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Health care, food, water and social services


The right to health care, food, water and social services is considered to be the basis for socio-economic justice and equality. These socio-economic rights also require of the state a positive obligation, like the right to housing.

This section borrows much of its phrasing from the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966. The Bill of Rights does however acknowledge that these rights are to be realised progressively (over time) and in accordance with the state's available resources.

Everyone has the right to have access to ­

  • health care services, including reproductive health care;
  • sufficient food and water; and
  • social security, including, if they are unable to support themselves and their dependants, appropriate social assistance.

The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of each of these rights.

No one may be refused emergency medical treatment.


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