Suid-Afrika en die Universele Periodieke Hersieningsmeganimse van die Verenigde Nasies se Menseregte Raad: Die waardebepaling van akkulturasie

Absalom, Inge (2022-04)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2022.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The question often arises whether international human rights law can make a difference. The importance of this question can be ascribed to the institutions that monitor the implementation of international human rights norms. These institutions only deserve support to the extent that they significantly contribute towards the protection of international human rights. A commitment to improve the human rights situation in all member states of the United Nations (UN) was made in 2008 in the establishment resolution of the UN human rights monitoring mechanism, the Universal Periodic Review mechanism (UPR), an international human rights monitoring institution. This softer, cooperative mechanism is applied by the UN Human Rights Council and has the purpose of improving human rights and addressing human rights abuses in all countries. Member states of the UN are reviewed once every 52 months by means of uniform procedures. Current literature on international accountability mechanisms has focused on confrontation and the potential of cooperative mechanisms is therefore often overlooked. Consequently, this study investigated three cycles of the UPR process through a case study design. The aim of the study was to assess the effectiveness of South Africa’s participation in the three cycles of the UPR to determine to what extent the country’s behaviour contributed to the success of the UPR. The focus was on the visibility of the positive aspects of the regionalism amongst South Africa and its region, the willingness of South Africa to implement recommendations and commitments, and whether any visible acculturation patterns were present. The theoretical model by Goodman and Jinks was used as basis to theoretically support the study. The model was used to explain South Africa’s effective action in the UPR in terms of the country’s adherence regarding human rights recommendations and commitments. In this area, cognitive and social pressure from a peer group is important. This study reviewed South Africa’s participation as a member of the UPH, where the Africa group took an oath to enhance the quality of their recommendations to other countries. The study found that South Africa upheld the oath by the Africa group due to role internalisation as an African country and therefore felt compelled to act like the group. Solidarity with the African region points to the positive impact that regionalism might have. Furthermore, South Africa was generally receptive to the UPR recommendations during the review sessions due to social pressure by the international peer group. However, there were some gaps in implementation of these recommendations. The implications of the research findings are that investigations into the UPR processes are essential, because they raise the question whether participation by a country in the processes of a a voluntary, unforced universal human rights initiative can have positive consequences, or whether it is an exercise without substance.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Kommer word dikwels uitgespreek oor of internasionale menseregte wetgewing ‘n verskil kan maak. Die belangrikheid van hierdie vraag kan toegeskryf word aan die instellings wat die implementering van internasionale menseregte norme moniteer. Hierdie instellings verdien slegs ondersteuning tot die mate waartoe hulle betekenisvol bydra tot die beskerming van internasionale menseregte. ‘n Belofte om die menseregte situasie in alle lidstate van die Verenigde Nasies (VN) te verbeter, is in 2008 gemaak in die vestigingsresolusie van die Verenigde Nasies se menseregte moniteringsmeganisme, die Universele Periodieke Hersieningsmeganisme (UPH), ‘n internasionale menseregte moniteringsinstelling. Hierdie sagter, samewerkende meganisme word deur die VN Menseregte Raad aangewend en het ten doel om die menseregte te verbeter en menseregte vergrypinge in alle lande aan te spreek. Lidstate van die Verenigde Nasies word eenmalig elke 52 maande deur uniforme prosedures hersien. Bestaande literatuur oor internasionale verantwoordbaarheidsmeganismes neig om te fokus op konfrontasie en die potensiaal van samewerkende meganismes word dus veral misgekyk. Gevolglik het hierdie studie die drie siklusse van die Universele Periodieke Hersieningsmeganisme proses deur middel van ‘n gevallestudie ontwerp ondersoek. Die navorsingsdoel was om te fokus op die Afrika-kontinent, met die klem op Suid-Afrika om die effektiwiteit van die land se deelname in die drie siklusse van hierdie Hersieningsmeganisme na te gaan. Op hierdie wyse is vasgestel tot watter mate Suid-Afrika se deelname bygedra het tot die sukses van die UPH. Die fokus was op die sigbaarheid van die positiewe aspekte van regionalisme tussen Suid-Afrika en sy streeksgroep, die geneigdheid van Suid-Afrika om aanbevelings en beloftes te implementeer, sowel as of daar sigbare akkulturasiepatrone teenwoordig was. Goodman en Jinks se akkulturasie model is as basis gebruik om die studie teoreties te rugsteun. Hierdeur is effektiewe optrede van Suid-Afrika in die Hersieningsmeganisme verklaar in terme van staatstoewyding ten opsigte van menseregte aanbevelings en beloftes. Kognitiewe en sosiale druk, van ’n verwysingsgroep is in hierdie verband van belang. Hierdie studie het Suid-Afrika se deelname in die Hersieningsmeganisme ondersoek, waar die Afrika-groep ‘n eed geneem het om die kwaliteit van hul aanbevelings aan ander state te verbeter. Die studie het bevind dat Suid-Afrika die eed van die Afrika-groep gestand gedoen het as gevolg van interne druk en rolinternalisering as ’n Afrika-staat en dus verplig gevoel het om op te tree soos genoemde groep. Solidariteit met die Afrika-streek het gedui op die positiewe impak wat regionalisme moontlik kan hê. Suid-Afrika was verder ook oor die algemeen bereid om aanbevelings te aanvaar, weens sosiale druk deur die internasionale portuurgroep. Daar bestaan egter ’n gaping in die implementering van hierdie aanbevelings. Die implikasie van die navorsingsbevindings is dat ondersoeke na die Hersieningsmeganisme se prosesse noodsaaklik is, omdat dit die vraag laat ontstaan of staatsdeelname in die prossesse van ‘n vrywillige, nie-gedwonge universele menseregte inisiatief, positiewe gevolge kan he en of dit ’n oefening sonder substansie is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/124594
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