The right to health for refugees in South Africa: Concrete reality or wishful thinking?Posted: 13 December, 2017 Filed under: Cristiano d'Orsi | Tags: 2003 National Health Act, African Charter of Human and Peoples’ Rights, CEDAW, domestic law, health services, healthcare services, ICERD, ICESCR, National Strategic Health Plan, OHCHR, political rights, refugee convention, refugees, right to health, right to health care, SAHRC, socio-economic rights, South Africa, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, xenophobia 1 Comment
Author: Cristiano d’Orsi
Research Fellow and Lecturer at the South African Research Chair in International Law (SARCIL), University of Johannesburg
Scope of the study: How the ‘right to health’ is intended in this work
South Africa (SA) is one of the largest economies in Africa. Since December 2010 the country is a member of the informal association of five major emerging world economies (BRICS) and the only African country to be a member of the G20, the major international forum for economic cooperation and policymaking.
At the end of 2016, SA was reported to be hosting 91,043 refugees.
Although SA has ratified a good number of human rights legal instruments since the end of apartheid, in 1994, , the actual implementation of the rights enshrined in some of them still remain problematic. One such right is the right of refugees to have access to adequate healthcare in the country.
This situation occurs also because access healthcare services in SA, as with many other fundamental rights in the republic, has historically been biased in terms of a number of arbitrary grounds (p. 55).