SIHMA | Scalabrini Institute For Human Mobility In Africa

Human Rights: Rights for all

Human Rights Day is a national day that is observed annually on 21 March to remind South Africans about the sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for the attainment of democracy in South Africa. One principal document that enshrines and protects the rights of people living in South Africa including migrants, asylum seekers and refugees is the South African Constitution. The rights are provided for in Chapter 2 of the Constitution called the Bill of Rights. Some of the rights enshrined include: 1. Life; 2. Freedom and security of the person; 3. Privacy; protection from slavery, servitude and forced labour; 4. Freedom of religion, belief and opinion; 5. Freedom of expression; 6. Political rights; 7. Citizenship; 8. Freedom of movement and residence; 9. Freedom of trade, occuptation and profession; 10. Education; 11. Equality; 12. Freedom of movement and residence; 13. Language and culture; and 14. Access to courts.

Often people on the move face many challenges that act as a barrier to their access and enjoyment of human rights. They encounter discrimination, exploitation, abuse, restrictive immigration policies and anti-migrant sentiments both during transit and in their destination countries. At SIHMA, we believe that research plays an important role in ensuring that human rights of all people that live in South Africa are upheld. By generating evidence-based data and working with various stakeholders in different sectors we strive to ensure that initiatives/ programmes/ advocacy is targeted towards improving the lives of communities. As we observe Human Rights Day let us recommit ourselves to building a society where every individual enjoys the full range of human rights and opportunities regardless of the country they were born in. Furthermore, we encourage all people to know their rights bey engaging in various human rights discussions and documents that entail the rights of people in South Africa, specifically the Bill of Rights. For more information you can refer to:

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