Human Rights organisation Amnesty International South Africa says the level of xenophobic attacks in the country is unacceptable.
It says its research shows major discrepancies between South Africa’s policies and practice which results in violations of the rights of asylum-seekers.
The organisation has launched a report in Johannesburg titled “25 years On: A Human Rights Manifesto for South Africa.”
“Although progress has been made since the first free elections 25 years ago, especially in developing a robust Constitution and progressive legislation to promote and protect human rights, compliance and implementation is often lacking. This keeps people bound to the triple burdens of unemployment, poverty and inequality, with escape impossible,” says Amnesty International Secretary General, Kumi Naidoo.
He adds that the South African government should uphold the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers.
“The people of South Africa owe a massive debt to the people of the African continent for our liberation. They kept us there when we were in exile and supporting us at international forums and so on. It’s completely unacceptable that we have the levels of xenophobic violence in one hand. And we have the lack of purposeful implementation of reasonable policies that government has adopted in terms of support centres. So, there are practical things that the government can do and should do, and we urge speed.”
The report by Amnesty also recommends that South Africa’s post-election government put human rights at the centre of its policies or risk shackling people to the chains of unemployment, poverty and inequality for decades to come.
Read Amnesty International South Africa full report: 25 Years On: A Human Rights Manifesto for South Africa
South Africa will be holding its sixth democratic election on 8 May 2019, celebrating 25 years since the first free elections in 1994.
Kumi Naidoo has lambasted political parties in South Africa for failing to include climate change in their manifestos.
Naidoo says Climate change is a reality that cannot be ignored and that Africa is one of the most vulnerable regions, with the poor affected most. And that makes it a human rights issue.
Cyclone Idai left a trail of destruction in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. It killed hundreds and displaced hundreds of thousands of people across the region.
Weeks later it’s impact is still being felt.
The region is bracing itself as Cyclone Kenneth is expected to make landfall on Thursday afternoon.
South Africa is also reeling from floods across several parts of the country following persistent rain after the Easter Weekend.
Naidoo says, “The leaders must wake up. It can’t be business as usual; climate change is a reality.”