SA human rights abuses documented

JOHANNESBURG - Shocking violations of basic human rights being perpetrated on Zimbabwe farm labourers by South African farmers and government officials were laid bare last week by Human Rights Watch.
The report reveals how Zimbabweans employed in Limpopo farms were subject

ed to constant maltreatment by farmers who occasionally get them deported on pay-days before collecting their wages.
It also documents how state officials arrest, detain and deport undocumented foreign migrants in ways that flout South Africa’s immigration law.
The abuses violate the country’s Immigration Act as well as its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which South Africa ratified in 1999.
Human Rights Watch also found that the SA government routinely failed to enforce its employment law for farm workers. Rural migrant workers are particularly vulnerable, since commercial farmers often do not comply with basic employment laws, even for documented migrant workers.
The report also identifies ways in which SA’s immigration and employment laws do not provide adequate legal protection for migrants. The organisation called on the government to enforce and, where necessary, amend its laws to ensure that foreign nationals are able to realize their rights protected under the constitution.
Human Rights Watch called on the SA government to enforce its employment laws by increasing the number of labour inspectors and introducing mechanisms to enable workers to report employers who do not meet labour standards, and encouraging nongovernmental organizations to help monitor labour practices.

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