In this issue of Human Rights, we look at some of the rights enshrined in our Bill of Rights and ask how far we have come from a society where the majority of people were denied human rights to one where human rights are supposed to become part of our DNA. One of the most disturbing developments in recent years has been attacks on the judiciary, sometimes not helped by the dubious actions of some in the justice system. We asked an advocate what this means for human rights and our Constitution. The LGBTQIA+ community has been fi ghting a battle for recognition in our society, despite their rights being guaranteed in the Constitution. The attacks on this community are often
violent, and activist Tamsin Jacobs Worts argues that many of these cases are simply regarded as gender-based violence crimes, but should really be seen as hate crimes. Another contentious right, especially for those whose misdemeanours are exposed, is media freedom. We asked the executive director of the South African National Editors’ Forum, Reggy Moalusi, to unpack the state of media freedom and what the public can do to defend it. We also explore some other rights, including the right to decent healthcare, the rights of the disabled, and the right to food security, among others. To set the context, we look at the origins of Human Rights Day in the Sharpeville Massacre on 21 March 1960, and we remember the immortal words of former president Nelson Mandela: “Never and never again”.
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