Proposal for HRC to champion S African's rights abroad

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Parliament - The Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises has submitted legislative proposals that seek to amend the Commission on Gender Equality Act and the Human Rights Commission Act.

The amendments aim to empower the Commission on Gender Equality and the Human Rights Commission to champion gender issues and the human rights of South Africans when their rights are infringed at home as well as internationally.

"The proposals come in the light of the abuse meted out to athlete Caster Semenya by the International Athletics Association Federation (IAAF)," said the Portfolio Committee's Chairperson Vytjie Mentor.

The body called for Semenya to undergo gender tests during the world championships in Germany last month, which was slammed by South Africans as well as President Jacob Zuma.

Additionally, the Chairperson submitted a petition that instructs Athletics South Africa (ASA) to demand compensation from the IAAF on Semenya's behalf for the "suffering and humiliation" she experienced.

Mentor called on ASA, the Commission on Gender Equality and South African Human Rights Commission to condemn IAAF's behaviour as well as demand a personal apology.

Both the proposals and the petition were submitted to Parliamentary Speaker, Max Sisulu, on 26 August.