Campaign partner APCOF recommends investigation into bylaws

To promote constitutionally compliant legislation, in the past 27 years, South Africa’s policy and legislative environment has been a subject of sustained and progressive reform. However, across all nine provinces, laws still exist that criminalise the status of individuals, and penalise the performance of life-sustaining activities in the public places, effectively punishing the poor and marginalised.

In addition to constitutional obligations to review and replace all legal instruments that promote discrimination and marginalisation, South Africa’s obligations and responsibilities to reform outdated criminal laws are expressed in binding regional and international law, as interpreted and clarified by key continental human rights bodies.

APCOF has assessed these laws, in a research report to be formally launched on 1 July, against the prescripts of relevant national, regional and international laws, including the Principles which provide an authoritative interpretation of South Africa’s binding regional human rights commitments as expressed in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. This submission draws on the findings of the research report to make observations and recommendations.

Download the full submission: Submission in response to the call for submissions by the South African Legal Reform Commission on its investigation to identify and repeal colonial and apartheid era legislations

Photo by Hennie Stander on Unsplash

A homeless man in cape town
8 June, 2021
Petty Offences
Human Rights
Use of Public Spaces
South Africa
Campaign Partners:
Africa Policing Civilian Oversight Forum

The Campaign to Decriminalise Poverty and Status is a coalition of organisations from across the world that advocate for the repeal of laws that target people based on poverty, status or for their activism.


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