Human Rights Reminder

Human rights are the basic rights everyone has, simply because they are human. In South Africa, this list of human rights is contained in the Bill of Rights, Chapter 2 of the South African Constitution, the highest law in the country.

Equality You cannot be discriminated against. But affirmative action and fair discrimination are allowed.  Human Dignity Your dignity must be respected and protected.Life You have the right to life. Freedom and Security of the Person You cannot be detained without trial, tortured or punished cruelly. Domestic violence is not allowed.Slavery, Servitude and Forced Labour  Slavery, servitude and forced labour are not allowed.  Privacy You cannot be searched or have your home or possessions searched without the proper procedures being followed by the police. Freedom of Religion, Belief and Opinion  You can believe and think whatever you want and can follow the religion of your choice. Freedom of Expression All people (including the press) can say whatever they want. Assembly, Demonstration, Picket and Petition  You can hold a demonstration, picket and present a petition. But you must do this peacefully.Freedom of Association  You can associate with whomever you want to.Political Rights  You can support the political party of your choice. If you are a citizen and at least 18 years old, you can vote.Citizenship Your citizenship cannot be taken away from you. Freedom of Movement and Residence You can go and live anywhere in South Africa. Freedom of Trade, Occupation and Profession You can do whatever work you choose. Labour Relations  You may join trade unions and go on strike. Environment You have the right to a healthy environment. Property Your property can only be taken away from you if the proper rules are followed. Housing  The government must make sure people get access to proper housing. Healthcare, Food, Water and Social Security  The government must make sure you have access to food and water, healthcare and social security. Children Children under the age of 18 have special rights. Education  You have the right to basic education, including adult basic education, in your own language (if this is possible).Language and Culture  You can use the language you want to and follow the culture that you choose.Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities  Communities can enjoy their own culture, practise their own religion and use their own language. Access to Information You have the right to any information the government has. Just Administrative Action Actions by the government must be fair. Access to Courts You can have a legal problem decided by a court or a similar structure. Arrested, Detained and Accused Persons  These rights protect people arrested, imprisoned or accused of a crime.

If your rights have been violated, you can report the matter to one of the following bodies: •South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)  The SAHRC will help you if any of your human rights have been violated. To lodge a complaint, you need to complete the online complaint form. The SAHRC will usually not be able to help you where: •Your case does not involve a violation of any of the rights in the Bill of Rights. •Your problem happened before 27 April 1994. •Your case is a criminal case and you need a lawyer (in this case, please call the Legal Aid Board on 0800 110 110 or visit their offices.) •You have been convicted of a crime and you want to appeal.

For more information, contact the Western Cape Office:  Tel: 021 426 2277 Fax: 021 426 2875 E-mail: ssalie@sahrc.org.za   You can also lodge complaints at   •Independent Complaints Directorate Tel: 021 941 4800 Fax: 021 949 3196 E-mail: complaints@ipid.gov. za •Public Protector Tel: 021 423 8644 Fax: 012 423 8708  •Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration CCMA Cape Town Office Tel: 021 469 0111 Fax: 021 465 7193/7/87/462 5006 E-mail: ctn@ccma.org.za•Commission on Gender Equality •Office of the Consumer Protector The Office of the Consumer Protector  (OCP) acts as a "prosecutor" on behalf of consumers in order to bring their complaints/cases before the Consumer Tribunal, which is a special court that hears consumer complaints. There are steps to take before you lodge a complaint with the OCP.

Toll Free number: 0800 007 081 Fax: 021 483 5872

E-mail: consumer@westerncape.gov.za

Carine Badenhorst

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