On 14 July 2018, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) hosted a day-long community dialogue on the South African government's implementation of the right of access to adequate housing and the right to sufficient water and sanitation as contained in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) in Johannesburg. The dialogue, which brought together approximately 30 community-based activists, academics, and civil society representatives, was supported by the Dullah Omar Institute (DOI) at the University of the Western Cape and funded by the Foundation for Human Rights (FHR)

The community dialogue will inform the ICESCR Civil Society Campaign's development of a shadow report to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Committee on ESCR) on South Africa’s implementation of the ICESCR. In 2017, the South African government submitted its initial periodic report on its progress in realising the rights contained in the ICESCR to the Committee, which is due for consideration by the Committee in September 2018. This offers South African non-governmental organisations (NGOs), social movements and community-based organisations (CBOs) an important opportunity to contribute to holding the South African government accountable for the levels of enjoyment or non-enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights in the country through the production of a shadow report that could supplement the state periodic report or that could provide an alternative interpretation on the state’s progress on implementation.

The ICESCR Civil Society Campaign has developed a draft shadow report, which will be supplemented by the views of the activists and civil society representatives who participated in the community dialogue.

The ICESCR Civil Society Campaign is comprised of a number of South African based civil society organisations, which includes the Black Sash, Dullah Omar Institute, Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP SA), People’s Health Movement SA (PHM), SERI, Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII) and various other organisations.

  • See the full programme of the community dialogue here.
  • See Michael Clark's presentation on the ICESCR Civil Society Campaign's development of a shadow report here.
  • See Alana Potter's presentation on the South African government's progress in relation to the right to water and sanitation here.
  • See Michael Clark's presentation on the South African government's progress in relation to the right to housing here.