Norwegian recommendations in UPR on South Africa 31 May
Norway commends South Africa for its Constitution with its strong Bill of Rights. The independent judiciary, spearheaded by the Constitutional Court, has played a significant role in realizing these rights and has earned high respect both nationally and internationally.
We would also like to express our continued support to South Africa’s international leadership in the fight against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We recognize South Africa’s efforts to strengthen protection of LGTBI-persons also on the national level, and look forward to the report and recommendations of the Task Force established for this purpose.
Freedom of expression and access to information has been a fundamental right South Africa has held high. We have noted with concern however the introduction of the Protection of State Information Bill. We commend South Africa for the consultation process involving representatives from organizations and media, and recognize recent amendments to the bill. But there are still concerns. Norway recommends South Africa to ensure that the Bill, when adopted, fully complies with international human rights law.
Norway welcomes the establishment of national institutions to address inter alia the problem of violence against women. We are deeply concerned by the high number of rapes. Norway recommends South Africa to take concrete measures to improve the protection of women against gender-based violence and to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable. We further recommend that the training of the police, prosecutors and the judiciary should be strengthened in this area.
Finally, Norway recommends South Africa to ensure that the proposed new Traditional Courts Bill, if adopted, does not violate South Africa’s international obligations or its own Constitution in the area of women’s rights and gender equality.
Norway’s advance questions to South Africa
- Which steps are taken to further strengthen the implementation of the social and economic rights safeguarded by the Bill of Rights of the South African Constitution? When will South African ratify the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights?
- What measures will South Africa take to combat gender based discrimination and violence, and to improve the human rights situation for women in the country?
- Norway welcomes the establishment of the task force on violence and discrimination against individuals on the grounds of their sexual orientation or gender identity. When is the task force expected to deliver its report and what are the expected outcomes if this process?