In times of economic crisis, as well as in times of GDP growth, the budgetary choices made by the state affect human rights more than any other decision-making process. Cut public debt? Reduce the deficit? Invest in education, health care, infrastructure?

Since the Universal Declaration on Human Rights of 1948, human rights and constitutional law have begun to provide frameworks for engaging with these important questions. The goal of human rights budget analysis, as explained in this Policy Brief, is to guide governments towards making budget choices which ensure that the protection and fulfilment of human rights is supported by the budget, especially in times of resource constraints. This is particularly true of socio-economic rights, which in South Africa take up a large share of the budget.

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