IIG News

Right down to it

“When you do nothing you feel overwhelmed and powerless, But when you get involved you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.” – Maya Angelou

It’s a day in March in our beloved South Africa, the 21st to be exact. An important day for everyone, including the insurance industry in South Africa. Our industry has a significant role to play in upholding human rights, ensuring equitable access to resources and opportunities, and promoting social justice. Human Rights day and insurance? Here’s the how.

One of the key rights that the insurance industry needs to uphold on this day is the essential human right to quality education. Education is crucial in empowering individuals, ensuring they have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in all aspects of life. Therefore, insurers need to approach their educational offerings in a more astute way and ensure that the valuable skills available are accessible to all, regardless of their income level. The IIG through its partnership offers programmes across various levels to assist in this regard.

If we do not provide everyone the opportunity to obtain a quality education or maintain their wellness, it is highly likely outcomes such could be highly influenced by race, gender, or ethnicity, which can have an impact in any aspect of one’s life. Such outcomes are inconsistent with human rights and equity.

Similarly, we (the insurance industry) need to endorse the right to the access of quality healthcare. In South Africa, many people are unable to access healthcare services due to financial constraints, meaning they are not able to receive the treatment they need in times of illness or injury. As an industry that provides financial protection for such unexpected events, insurance companies need to ensure that individuals are provided with specific coverage options that enable them to access quality healthcare without experiencing financial strain.

Lastly, while human rights apply to everyone, some communities and groups in society may be more vulnerable to injustices and discrimination than others. Insurers need to take a deliberate approach to address these disparities and ensure that all members of society are able to fully realise their rights. This includes sensitivity to social issues. 

In conclusion, the insurance industry in South Africa plays a vital role in upholding human rights, providing individuals with access to critical services and promoting social justice. Human Rights is not an aspect limited to one day’s celebration, but for the year-round well-being of all individuals.

Article written by: Jabu Mtimkulu