Human Rights Commission sees 13% increase in complaints

HRC commissioner, Andre Gaum said the principle of unity in diversity was not alive and well as it should be.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). Picture: www.sahrc.org.za

CAPE TOWN - The Human Rights Commission said it had seen a 13% increase in complaints, with equality being the most infringed right.

As the nation commemorated Human Rights Day on Sunday, the commission reminded the nation of the Sharpeville massacre, during which 69 protesters were shot dead by apartheid police in 1960.

HRC commissioner, Andre Gaum said the principle of unity in diversity was not alive and well as it should be.

He added matters pertaining to equality, just administrative action, as well as socio-economic human rights continued to top the list of complaints.

"They are consistently remaining the top three."

However, he acknowledged many positive strides have been made over the past 26 years of democracy.

"Our Constitution and our Bill of Rights are widely respected. We've seen the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Discrimination Act of 2006, same-sex marriage was made legal and I think we've made great strides with regards to the access of education."

Gaum added there were still many challenges, including education, that needed to be more inclusive for those with disabilities, and that far too many schools were still without water and sanitation.

As for the protection of the environment and social cohesion, he said a lot of work still needs to be done.

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