The Minister for Arts and Culture, Paul Mashatile, and the British Council, Dr Nicola Brewer, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of arts and culture. The event took place on 16 April 2013 at the National Library of South Africa (NLSA), Pretoria. (1) What international agreements and/or conventions has South Africa signed with respect to (a) young people, (b) children and (c) persons with disabilities, in particular with regard to the United Nations and the African Union; (2) whether the principles of such conventions and/or conventions have been incorporated into South African law; if not, why not; If so, what legislation? ANSWER N98E: (1) There are a large number of international agreements/conventions which, in one way or another, concern young people, children and persons with disabilities, since human rights as inherent rights of every human being are universal. These conventions will contain provisions which, although not specifically addressed to young people, children or persons with disabilities, will confer certain rights on them on the grounds that they are human beings. An unused list of these conventions is provided (see list below). (2) There are indeed a number of conventions that deal specifically with the rights of the child on the list. At present, there is no legally binding international agreement and/or convention specifically on young people. The international community has not yet been able to agree on the definition of “youth”. Nor is there currently a legally binding international agreement or convention specifically for persons with disabilities.

The non-binding “United Nations Model Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities” are the applicable guidelines and negotiations are under way to develop a corresponding convention. South Africa is actively participating in these negotiations. The president is the head of state and governs with a cabinet composed of ministers and deputy ministers who head the various departments of the national government. This research guide is created and maintained by Robin Gardner, MLS Academic Research Service, Melbourne Law School. South Africa is a member of the Commonwealth and the United Nations. The modern Republic of South Africa comprises the four former provinces that became the Union of South Africa in 1910: two former British colonies (Natal and Cape Colony) and two former Boer republics (Transvaal and Orange Free State). The country has three capitals: the administrative capital/seat of government is Pretoria, the legislative capital is Cape Town and the judicial capital is Bloemfontein. Please contact Robin at with corrections, suggestions or comments on the guide.

South Africa has a population of 56.4 million (2018 figures). .