The year 2019 was very important in various ways for South Africa and Human Rights Institute of South Africa. Firstly, South Africa marked 25 years of freedom as a human rights and democratic state. South Africa ascended to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as a non-permanent member from 2019 – 2020. South Africa assumed roles as President of UNSC for a one month, in October 2019. It was also the 25th Anniversary of HURISA formation working towards defending human rights, through education & training, research and advocacy programmes. The organisation was privileged to conduct dialogues countrywide on South Africa’s human rights and democratic trajectory since 1994. This included assessment of the policy making systems and process in South Africa and scrutinized the prominence of public participation, as well as the public platforms, policy implementation, opportunities and challenges facing the country. The organisation coordinated provincial dialogues in nine provinces across the country through support from the Royal Embassy of Denmark. HURISA used the opportunity to mirror its own human rights approaches in performing functions as a human rights organisation over the years at national, regional and global levels. The organisation continue playing this important role at the grass roots level, especially in promoting protection of human rights for the most vulnerable in our society. The milestone achieved in impacting capacity building programmes, awareness raising, research studies, advocacy initiatives, public platforms, informationdissemination in diverse communities and media demonstrated a great need for more work to be done in promoting freedom of association, assembly, democracy, public participation in policy making and decision making. It was important to devise innovative ideas for constructive engagement at high levels as well as finding creative ways to sustain a culture of human rights, respect of the rule of law, peace, democracy and accountability in South Africa and beyond 25 years to come. HURISA was privileged to garner testimonies from the grass roots communities that were able to express their experiences and impressions on South Africa’s human rights and democratic society established in 1994. The organisation adopted a slogan “Celebrate What? For Who?” with the aim of enthusing robust and vibrant dialogues from diversity of participants from all levels of communities across the country
About This Report
This report provides summaries of activities undertaken to mark South Africa’s 25th anniversary of human rights and democracy. The report also outline details of activities conducted during implementation of the project, including analysis of challenges detected and contribution of recommendations collated for strengthening efforts aimed at creating a culture of human rights and consolidation of democratic ethos to the South- Africa -We -Want. The report is divided into seven parts. The first part of the report outlines the structure adopted for implementation of the project. This structure enabled smooth implementation of human rights dialogues across the country. This include; Establishment of the Reference Group, Provincial Focal Points, Hosting of Provincial Dialogues, Schedule of Provincial Dialogues and List of Provincial Focal Points. The second part of the report provides Issues that Emerged from Provincial Dialogues. The third part of the report highlights all aspects and activities Marking 25 Years of Human Rights and Democracy in South Africa i.e.; Launch of the National Report and Key Findings as Presented at the Launch of National Report. The fourth part of the report reflect the establishment of the Human Rights Forum which preceded the High Level Panel, which was followed by the Award Ceremony and Media related activities undertaken such as social media, radio and TV interviews. The fifth part showcase advocacy exercises conducted at intergovernmental structures such as the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, Pan African Parliament, National Parliament and United Nations. The sixth relates to work conducted under SDGs
auspices and contribution of recommendations. Finally, the seventh part of the report contains the Conclusion,
Acknowledgement of significant roles played by various individuals and organisations during implementation of the
25th Anniversary, including, the picture collage enhancing the special memories.
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