Cort Adelers gate 30 (kart)
The South Africa Programme and the Network on Local Politics in Developing Countries (at theUniversity of Oslo) are very pleased to invite you to participate in a two-day open conference
Date: 8-9 June 2004.
Venue: Helga Eng Building, University of Oslo, Blindern
In 1994 South Africa’s historic shift to a popularly elected post-apartheid government signaled a dramatic triumph in the struggle to extend democracy and human rights to the excluded majority. Formal components of democracy -such as elections, state organs and institutional channels- were constructed. Not least, a highly innovative constitutional framework underpinned the edifice of civil and political rights. One of the most innovative aspects of the new era was the constitutional space given also to the right to an adequate standard of living, in other words, to socio-economic rights. The landmark of a decade after apartheid now provides the opportune occasion for a critically balanced analysis of the extent to which these formal spaces of democracy have enabled, shaped and constrained the fulfillment of socio-economic rights in South Africa. The aim of the 2 day conference is to critically assess the interface between the formal spaces of democracy and different actors within what is termed a politics of socio-economic rights. The conference will explore the following questions:
progress has been made in the fulfillment of socio-economic rights since 1994?
do different actors relate to these formal spaces, interact with them and use them in order to fulfil socio-economic rights?
strategies, whether collaborative or confrontational, are most effective in fulfilling socio-economic rights?
are the challenges ahead for socio-economic rights and how should South Africa deal with the politics of rights in the years to follow? Leading South African scholars, activists and NGO actors, along with Norwegian-based discussants, will place these questions in the context of specific themes addressing
Geir Ulfstein (Norwegian Centre for Human Rights): Welcome remarks
Adam Habib (Human Sciences Research Council): The Transition from Apartheid to Democracy
Albie Sachs (Constitutional Court of SA): How We Got from There to Here: On the Bill of Rights and Fulfillment of Socio-Economic Rights in Post-Apartheid South Africa
Siri Gloppen (University of Bergen and Christian Michelsen Institute): Socio-Economic Rights and Constitutionalism: Not by Litigation Alone?
Charlotte McClain (South African Human Rights Commission):
Socio-Economic Rights and the Role of the SAHRC
Open floor discussion. Discussant: Sibonile Khoza (Community Law Centre, Univ. of the Western Cape)
Julian May (University of KwaZulu Natal): Poverty and Social Policy
Open floor discussion. Discussant: Einar Braathen (Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research)
Richard Ballard (University of KwaZulu Natal): The Social Movements Project
Liv Tørres (Norwegian Research Council): Labour and the Politics of the Alliance
Treatment Action Campaign (not confirmed) HIV/AIDS: How the Treatment Plan was Won
Open floor discussion. Discussant: Peris Jones (Norwegian Centre for Human Rights)
Thembele Kepe and Ben Cousins (PLAAS, Univ of the Western Cape): Land Reform and Rural Development
Open floor discussion. Discussant: Tor Arve Benjaminsen (Noragric)
Paul Graham (Institute for Democracy in South Africa). Socio-Economic
Rights: Cornerstone or Capstone of Democracy?
Open floor discussion
Kristian Stokke (Univ. of Oslo). Concluding Remarks
For further information contact:
Dr. Peris Jones, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (peris.jones at nchr.uio.no) or
Prof. Kristian Stokke, University of Oslo (kristian.stokke at sgeo.uio.no).