Human Rights

SACSIS embraces a rights based approach to development, which views poverty as a denial of human rights.

South Africa's New Food and Nutrition Policy Fails to Address Constitutional Right to Food

Picture credit: Grow and Resist Busiso Moyo - Everyone seems to have an interest in food policy these days, from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with its ‘Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa’, to the G8 with its ‘New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition’, to social movements, civil society networks and those who simply care about what they eat. Of course, some voices are more powerful than others. It is for this reason that movements of peasants and other small-scale food providers from around the...

I Am Not Charlie

Picture credit: Young man in South African township courtesy American University Gerard Boyce - I am not Charlie, though I’ve been mistaken for him often enough. I am not offended by this. Not in the least. I have that sort of face you see, a face that is an easily recognisable mosaic of indistinct features. I’m told that I bear a strong resemblance to the frustrated young township dweller who is fearful that unemployment and poverty will condemn him to the life of limited prospects for advancement that was his forefathers’ lot during the dark days of...

The Anti-Politics of Terrorism

Picture credit: Healing Pakistan Jane Duncan - Terrorism. In the wake of the recent attacks in Sydney, Paris and Baga, it’s a word that’s been on many people’s lips. After the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, some have argued vehemently against trying to explain the context in which terrorism arises as an attempt to be ‘soft’ on terrorism. Yet at the same time, it cannot be denied that the word terrorism is politically loaded. To name an attack as terrorist, rather than purely criminal, is to call on the...

Activists under Attack by the Corporate State

Picture credit: Anti-Fracking Activist Arrested in Washington D.C. courtesy EcoWatch Glenn Ashton - Naomi Klein’s latest book, “This Changes Everything – Capitalism vs the Climate” explains how the dominant economic system is destroying the life support systems of humans and all other life on earth. Klein proposes that in order to prevent catastrophic climate change we need to fundamentally shift away from the existing materialist based capitalist system. The 1970’s and ‘80’s were decades where human threats to planetary ecosystems were not only...

Eugene de Kock and the Violence of 'Nation Building and Reconciliation'

Picture credit: Eugene de Kock courtesy BBC screengrab. Siphokazi Magadla - The 27th of January 2015 marked the 70th anniversary of the ‘liberation’ of Auschwitz-Birkenau. This is the concentration camp in Poland where an estimated 1.1 million people were killed by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany during World War II. The victims of Auschwitz-Birkenau were killed in masses in gas chambers while some were beaten to death and others died of starvation, endured forced labour and suffered from infectious diseases. Speaking in front of the International...

Ratification of Human Rights Treaty Reaffirms SA's Commitment to Socio-Economic Rights and Internationalism

Picture credit: President Nelson Mandela at the United Nations (UN) in New York courtesy Milton Grant/UN Daniel McLaren - On 12 January 2015, South Africa ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Though ratification is long overdue, given that President Nelson Mandela signed the Covenant in 1994, this statement of renewed commitment to social and economic justice and internationalism has been roundly and justifiably welcomed. But what is the significance of this moment? To answer that, we must briefly revisit a very different time. 1976 was a year of tragedy and...