The Foundation for Human Rights (FHR) is committed to assisting the most vulnerable groups in South Africa realise their human rights guaranteed in the Constitution. In South Africa, not only civil and political rights, but also socio economic rights are justiciable.
FHR subscribes to a human rights-based approach to development. From a human rights perspective, poverty can be described as the denial of a person’s right to a range of human rights. A poor person is one who is deprived of basic capabilities – such as the capability to be free from hunger, to live in good health, and to be educated. In the language of rights, one may say that a poor person is one for whom a number of human rights remain unfulfilled such as the rights to food, health and education.
Through the assistance of the Flanders Government, we have been able to move away from addressing more than just a conceptual framework for development but also practical projects to achieve this objective. The sharp focus of the Flanders Government support for land reform, small-scale agriculture, climate change, the environment and job creation in three designated provinces allowed for a practical application of these concepts.
This includes supporting small-scale farmers with agricultural and non-farm development as a basis for rural development. Poverty is more than just a lack of income. Poverty is also about power and inequality. Therefore, we are especially proud of the focus of the programme on women farmers. Women have for generations been involved in small scale farming. They need to be supported in these endeavours through agricultural support services, creation of new markets and local sharing of resources such as agricultural equipment.
Employment is an instrumental right by which socio- economic rights can be accessed. Job creation has a multi faceted cascading e ect on communities, impacting positively on the most vulnerable persons. South Africa’s Constitution upholds people’s right to a clean and healthy environment. It also secures their right to participate in all matters of public concern. As an initiative of civil society, the project’s compatibility with national policy rests on this foundation.
Continue reading below or download the full “SERSA Programme Report: Growing Our Food – Sustaining Our Future: Sharing Stories from the Fields” resource.