Right to equality most violated human right - Human Rights Commission

Johannesburg – The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) received more than 4 000 complaints between 2015 and 2016, with the right to equality being the violation complained of the most, according to its annual trends analysis report (ATAR).

Less than half of these complaints were accepted, with the remainder being rejected or referred.

The report revealed that in the 2015/2016 period, the commission received 749 complaints about equality violations, 505 of which were related to race.

These cases were most commonly litigated by the commission at the Equality Court, and related the use of the "k-word" and the words "monkey" and "baboon”, as well as other derogatory racial undertones, the report said.

It concluded that racism remained endemic.

"After race, discrimination based on disability and ethnic origin account for the largest numbers of equality-related complaints received by the commission," read the report.

The commission released the 74-page report on Tuesday.

Gauteng topped the list with the most complaints, at 1 110. The province was followed by the Western Cape, which registered 640 complaints, and KwaZulu-Natal at 581.

The second most violated human right was reported to be unfair labour practices, such as discrimination in the workplace, coming in at 440 complaints.

A lack of access to healthcare, water, food, and social security was the theme of 428 complaints.

There were 409 complaints of violations of rights in relation to arrest and detention, while 379 complaints of violations of the right to just administrative action were recorded.

The commission said it remained concerned by the rate of human rights violations in the country.

The report concluded that, while formal frameworks existed to guarantee and protect rights in South Africa, society could not develop overnight to meet the legal or policy standard.

This means the realising of rights was not guaranteed by formal equality, the report said.

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