The SA Human Rights Commission on Sunday welcomed the decision by government to ratify the UN’s International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
“The decision by government, which was effected on the January 12 2015, should be commended as it ensures that South Africa is finally able to honour its international obligations and to consolidate its commitment to alleviate poverty and ensure social justice for all,” the SAHRC said in statement.
The commission urged government to apply the covenant domestically.
“We urge government to expedite the domestication of the Covenant so as to ensure that those provisions that are in the Covenant and not in our Constitution, or any other legislation, become applicable in South Africa.”
The final ratification of the covenant was a fitting tribute to former president Nelson Mandela who initially signed the ICESCR in 1994 on his first visit to the UN in New York, “taking a bold step to indicate South Africa’s intention to join the rest of the world in promoting socio-economic rights,” the commission said.
The United Nations further expressed hope that by ratifying the ICESCR, the South African government would give progressive effect to the right to education within the framework of its national education policy and available resources, said the SAHRC. SAPA