Press Statement for immediate release: 10 December 2012
Today marks International Human Rights Day celebrated world-wide for the entrenchment of human rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948 and in recognition of the final day of the 16 Days of Activism on No Violence Against Women. POWA and HURISA call upon concrete action to address violence of women and children. South Africa is recognized as a beacon for human rights yet excruciating violence against women continues to be a part of women realities. Women’s security is continuously compromised; the implementation of domestic law to curb violence on women and children remains hopeless as role players continue to provide less than satisfactory services to survivors of violence.
We celebrate and recognise the launching of the National Council on Gender Based as a positive step towards combating violence against women thereby seeking to improve their lives. We humbly request the Ministry of Women Children and People With Disabilities to strengthen relations with CSOs and work together with the Department of Justice to improve implementation of the Domestic Violence Act and the Sexual offences Act of 2007, as access to justice cannot be attained without addressing barriers in the system. Access to Justice is not only a key human right provided under Article 8 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, but various other key human rights instruments including CEDAW.
We further request the Ministry of Women to accelerate the process of submitting the state report to the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights as part B of the report lacks details on steps taken by South Africa to give effect to the Protocol on the rights of Women. We regret that this process has been unfairly delayed thereby minimizing the opportunity to reflect on progress made and challenges relating to domesticating this Protocol. We further request the Ministry to ensure that this process is as inclusive as possible. As civil society organisations we wish to extend our support and technical assistance in this regard.
Contact details: Nonhlanhla Sibanda (POWA) & Corlett Letlojane (HURISA) : 011 642 4345/ 011 492 0568