Exploring the link between poverty and human rights in Africa
Edited by Ebenezer Durojaye and Gladys Mirugi-Mukundi
ISBN: 978-1-920538-92-7
Pages: 277
Print version: Available
Electronic version: Free PDF available

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About the publication

This book addresses poverty, one of the important issues confronting Africa, from a multi-disciplinary approach. With contributions from eminent scholars from diverse backgrounds, the book explores poverty from a human rights perspective. Its central message is that poverty is not necessarily a failure on the part of an individual, but rather caused by the actions or inactions of governments, which are often exacerbated by structural inequalities in many African societies. This in turn requires a more pragmatic approach grounded in respect for human rights.

Exploring the link between poverty and human rights in Africa will be useful to researchers, policymakers, students, activists and others interested in addressing poverty.


Table of Contents


1. General introduction to poverty and human rights in Africa
Ebenezer Durojaye & Gladys Mirugi-Mukundi
1 Introduction
2 Understanding poverty
3 Nexus between poverty and human rights
4 Significance of this book
4.1 The relevance
5 Overview of the book
5.1 Section I: Trends and incidence of poverty in Africa
5.2 Section II: Poverty and socio-economic rights
5.3 Section III: Poverty and vulnerable groups
5.4 Section IV: Poverty and access to justice

2. Integrating a human rights approach to food security in national plans and budgets: The South African National Development Plan
Julian May
1 Introduction
2 Human rights and food security
3 Development planning and human rights
4 The components of budgeting for human rights
4.1 Diagnostic analysis
4.2 Identifying interventions and budget prioritisation
4.3 Estimating the financial costs of achieving food security
4.5 Estimating social and economic benefits
5 Public expenditure management for food security
5.1 Fiscal and monetary policy
5.2 Multi-year budgeting
6 Conclusion

3. Is South Africa winning the war on poverty and inequality? What do the available statistics tell us?
Emmanuel Sekyere, Steven Gordon, Gary Pienaar & Narnia Bohler-Muller
1 Introduction
1.1 Income inequality in South Africa
2 Poverty and human development trends in South Africa
2.1 South African Social Attitudes Survey: Perceptions of poverty
2.2 Human development
3 Access to services
4 Addressing social inequality in South Africa
4.1 Addressing income inequality in South Africa
4.2 Addressing human development challenges
4.3 Addressing service delivery
5 Conclusion and summary of findings

4. Who really ‘state-captured’ South Africa? Revealing silences in poverty, inequality and structurally-corrupt capitalism
Patrick Bond
1 Introduction
2 Inequality, the state and its ‘capture’
3 The political economy of the capitalist state
4 World Bank inequality denialism
5 The fight between hostile brothers: The ‘Zuptas’ and ‘White Monopoly Capital’
6 Social resistances

5. Poverty, women and the human right to water for growing food
Ngcimezile Mbano-Mweso
1 Introduction
2 The human right to water
2.1 Recognition in international law
2.2 Definition and content: Is there a right to water for growing food?
2.3 Normative content of the human right to water for growing food
3 Conclusion

6. The link between environmental pollution and poverty in Africa
Olubayo Oluduro
1 Introduction
2 Legal framework for the protection of the environment in Africa
3 Nature of environmental pollution in Africa
3.1 Environmental pollution in Africa: Case studies of some countries
4 Nexus between pollution and poverty
4.1 Environmental pollution leads to diversion of labour
4.2 Increased burden of disease in poor countries
4.3 Problem of food security
4.4 Right to safe drinking water
5 Protecting the environment to fight poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals
6 Recommendations
6.1 Political commitment
6.2 Promotion of education and information sharing
6.3 Eliminating poverty
7 Conclusion 138

7. Alleviating poverty through retirement reforms
Kitty Malherbe
1 Introduction
2 Poverty among older persons
3 Current social security provision for older persons
4 Arguments for the reform of the current retirement income system
5 Proposed retirement reforms
5.1 Comprehensive social security and retirement reform process
5.2 Reforms proposed by National Treasury
6 Constitutional principles guiding reforms
6.1 Coordinated approach
6.2 Inclusivity
6.3 Progressive realisation
6.4 Governance and accountability
6.5 Availability of resources
6.6 ‘Lifespan’ view to addressing poverty
7 Potential impact of social security and retirement income reforms

8. Disability, poverty and human rights in Africa: Opportunities for poverty reduction from the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Enoch M Chilemba
1 Introduction
2 Poverty, disability and human rights link in Africa
2.1 Persons with disabilities in Africa: Among the poorest of the poor
2.2 Poverty, disability and human rights linkage
3 Utilising the opportunities from CRPD in countering obstacles relating to disability and poverty in Africa
3.1 Fostering equality and non-discrimination to reduce poverty
3.2 Fostering inclusive education to eradicate poverty
3.3 Enhancing employment in the open labour market to eradicate poverty
3.4 Ensuring social protection to reduce poverty
4 Conclusion 188

9.The co-existence of gender inequality and poverty
Nomthandazo Ntlama
1 Introduction
2 SADC’s transformative vision in eliminating gender inequalities and poverty
2.1 Reducing poverty and eliminating gender inequality: A mammoth task
2.2 Towards a transformative region: Advancing the principles of the community of nations
3 Conclusion

10. The potential of the African human rights system in addressing poverty
Bright Nkrumah
1 Introduction
2 Norm creation and norm enforcement: Issues and implications
2.1 Normative framework for addressing poverty
2.2 African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights
2.3 Little angels: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
2.4 Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa
3 Other instruments relating to poverty
3.1 AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (Anti-Corruption Convention)
3.2 Declaration on Employment and Poverty Alleviation in Africa
3.4 Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme
4 Institutional frameworks for addressing poverty
4.1 African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
4.2 African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
4.3 African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights
4.4 Need for complementarity: The road not taken
5 Other related mechanisms
5.1 New Partnership for Africa’s Development
5.2 African Peer Review Mechanism
6 International best practice dealing with poverty
7 Concluding reflections

11. Realising access to justice for the poor: Lessons from working with rural communities
Victoria Balogun
1 Introduction
2 What is access to justice for the poor?
3 How are non-profit organisations such as the Centre for Community Justice and Development promoting access to justice in South Africa post-1994?
4 Are there any barriers to access to justice and do they have any implication(s) for the poor in poor communities?
5 The intersection between poverty and access to justice for poor communities
6 Access to justice, the role of legal aid offices and the commitment to serve the poor in poor communities
7 Equality and access to justice for the poor
8 Conclusion

12. The role of the South African Human Rights Commission in ensuring state accountability to address poverty
Rachael Adams
1 Introduction
2 Poverty and human rights
2.1 International human rights law
2.2 Poverty and human rights in South Africa
2.3 Socio-economic rights
3 What do we mean by state accountability?
3.1 State accountability
4 South African Human Rights Commission
4.1 Mandate and functions
4.2 Reporting requirements
5 Structures of accountability
5.1 Complaints
5.2 Reporting
6 Inequality and intersectional discrimination
6.1 Interdependence of rights and the role of government
7 Conclusion: The role of the South African Human Rights Commission

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