oa South African Journal of Bioethics and Law - The Life Esidimeni tragedy : a human-rights perspective - review

Volume 10 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1999-7639



The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) affirms that all human beings are entitled to core rights essential to human fulfilment. Although all human rights are important, the ICESCR’s guarantee of the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health may be the most significant. Having good health is necessary for human wellbeing. Paramount to this is the freedom of individuals to exercise their human rights. As seen with the Life Esidimeni tragedy, people with mental illnesses often find it more difficult than others to achieve the fulfilment of their rights. This article discusses human-rights legal instruments, and focuses on the rights to health, life and dignity in the context of the tragedy. It also examines how the realisation of human rights can have meaningful results for mentally ill people.

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