Businesses called to uphold human rights

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Photo: SA Human Rights Commission via Facebook

The business and private sector must adopt preventative measures to reduce the spread of the virus and human rights violations.

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has called on all businesses to uphold human rights during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The commission is concerned that businesses may be unaware of their human rights obligations under the Constitution.

“Price hikes in respect of personal protective equipment and other high-demand goods, as well as the failure to implement precautionary measures to protect workers from contracting Covid-19, violate various human rights,” said the commission in a statement.

This includes the fundamental right to human dignity, the right to access healthcare services and the right to the highest attainable standard of health set out in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

“The commission, therefore, calls on all businesses to recall that in addition to having to adhere to relevant competition and other laws, business and private actors continue to bear human rights obligations and responsibilities during this Covid-19 pandemic,” read the statement.

The business and private sector must adopt preventative measures to reduce the spread of the virus and human rights violations.

“The business sector’s respect for, protection and promotion of human rights will be crucial to ensure South Africa’s resilience and recovery in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic,” added the Commission.

The Commission will continue to work closely with other statutory regulatory bodies such as the Competition Commission to ensure that the business sector upholds the respect for human rights in its operations.