The functions of selected human rights institutions and related role-players in the protection of human rights in Zimbabwe
Various violations of the human rights of ordinary people and human rights defenders have been reported in Zimbabwe since the late 1980s. It is widely acknowledged that such violations have been perpetrated mostly by the government through its different organs for political and other related reasons. Human rights violations were also easily committed against ordinary people and human rights defenders because there was no Constitution that adequately protected such people's fundamental human rights (including their civil and political rights and their socio-economic rights) in Zimbabwe. Given this background, the article discusses the protection of human rights in Zimbabwe, in the light of the Zimbabwe Constitution Amendment Act 20 of 2013 (Zimbabwe Constitution 2013). This is done in order to investigate whether the promotion, protection, enforcement and respect for human rights in Zimbabwe has now improved. To this end, the functions of selected national human rights institutions and other related role-players, namely civil society, the judiciary, the law enforcement organs and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, are briefly discussed first. Secondly, the functions of selected regional and international institutions, namely the Southern African Development Community, the African Union and the United Nations are discussed in relation to the protection of human rights in Zimbabwe. Thereafter, concluding remarks and possible recommendations that could be utilised to combat human rights violations and enhance the protection of human rights in Zimbabwe are provided.
Keywords: Human rights; judiciary; protection; enforcement; violations.