Each year the SA Human Rights Commission celebrates Human Rights Day (21 March) by embarking on a week long Human Rights Week (HRW) campaign. This year the Commission has identified the pernicious effects of crime in South African society as needing immediate attention. Due to its cross-cutting nature, the impact of crime is felt across all socio-economic fields, jeopardising the universal benefits of the Bill of Rights. The achievement of equality, eradication of poverty and the deepening democracy cannot occur in the context of the high crime rate.
The Commission has, therefore, decided to host a two-day conference at the Southern Sun hotel in Sandton on 22-23 March 2007. The theme of the conference is Crime and its Impact on Human Rights: Ten after the Bill of Rights.
The Conference will seek to determine the root causes of crime in South Africa and consider its impact on human rights and freedoms, particularly the enjoyment of socio-economic rights, ten years after the coming into force of the Bill of Rights. It would provide an opportunity for various stakeholders to assess their crime prevention and combating strategies and develop sustainable human rights-based strategies and recommendations to effectively and efficiently prevent and eradicate crime in our society.
The conference will be preceded by Nationwide Community Dialogues on crime and human rights, facilitated by the provincial offices. It is hoped that the deliberations of these dialogues and conference will influence policy and/or strategies on crime prevention in South Africa.