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Curriculum: Class of 2017

Detailed curriculum information: Class of 2017

LLM Human Rights Option: Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa (04252019)
MPhil Human Rights Option: Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa (04251025)

Module NameModule CodeCredits
Research methodology for human rightsNRM 8015
Research proposal RHP 8035
Mini-dissertationMND 802 125
[pre requisites: NRM 801 and RHP 803]MND 80225
International Human Rights law relevant to sexual
and reproductive rights in Africa
HRA 80220
Using human rights principles to realise sexual and
reproductive health rights claims
HRA 80320
Applying human rights to selected reproductive
health issues in Africa
HRA 80420
Applying human rights principles to selected sexual
rights and sexuality issues in Africa
HRA 80520
Applying human rights principles to selected rights
of sexual minorities in Africa
HRA 806 20
Research and advocacy to realise sexual, reproductive health and sexual minority rights claims in AfricaHRA 80720

NRM 801 Research methodology for human rights and RHP 803 Research proposal

These modules continue over year 1. By 31 December 2017 of the students' supervisors must have approved the research proposal.

Timeline

  • HRA 802 International human rights law relevant to sexual and reproductive rights in Africa
    16 January to 28 February 2017
    Coordinator: Prof Magnus Killander
    No block week
  • HRA 803 Using human rights principles to realise sexual and reproductive health rights claims
    1 March to 31 May 2017
    Coordinator: Prof Charles Ngwena
    Block week: 20-31 March 2017
  • HRA 804 Applying human rights to selected reproductive health issues in Africa 804
    1 June to 31 September 2017
    Coordinator: Prof Charkes Ngwena
    Block week: 14-18 August 2017
  • HRA 805 Applying human rights principles to selected sexual rights and sexuality issues in Africa 805
    1 October to 30 December 2017
    Coordinator: Prof Charles Ngwena
    No block week
  • HRA 806 Applying human rights principles to selected rights of sexual minorities in Africa 806
    1 December 2017 to 31 March 2018
    Coordinator: Prof Frans Viljoen
    No block week
  • HRA 807 Research and advocacy to realise sexual, reproductive health and sexual minority rights claims in Africa 807
    1 March to 31 July 2018
    Coordinator: Prof Frans Viljoen
    Block week: Dates to be announced in due course

Modules

NRM 801 Research methodology for human rights
Academic organisation: Centre for Human Rights
Period of presentation: Semester 1
Credits: 5
Module content:
In this module, the focus is on aspects of human rights research, fact finding, advocacy and education.

RHP 803 Research proposal
Academic organisation: Law Dean's Office
Period of presentation: Year
Credits: 5
Module content:
Development and presentation of a research proposal. (A research proposal must be submitted to the supervisor and accepted in the first semester of the second year of study before the student will be allowed to register for the mini-dissertation.)

MND 802 Mini-dissertation
Academic organisation: Centre for Human Rights
Prerequisite: NRM 801 and RHP 803
Credits: 125
Module content:
(a) The student must submit a research proposal during his/her first year of registration for the LLM/MPhil degree to the supervisor prior to commencing with the writing of the mini-dissertation.
(b) A mini-dissertation (MND 802) of 18 000 to 20 000 words inclusive of footnotes but excluding the list of contents and the bibliography, is required. The first full draft of the mini-dissertation must be submitted to the study leader not later than 1 May 2018 and the final draft by no later than 31 July 2018. The mini-dissertation must deal with the subject content of one of the modules or a combination of the modules registered for by the student for his/her LLM/MPhil degree.

HRA 802 International human rights law relevant to sexual and reproductive rights in Africa
Academic organisation: Centre for Human Rights
Credits: 20
Module content:
The focus of this module is on the principles and processes of international human rights law, at the global and regional level, and their relevance to issues of reproductive and sexual health, and to the situation of sexual minorities, with specific reference to Africa.
Topics include:
(a) History, philosophy and ideology of human rights, with particular reference to Africa.
(b) Basic concepts in international and national human rights law.
(c) The global (UN) system of human rights protection: norms, institutions, procedures, and their relevance to reproductive and sexual rights.
(d) The African (AU) system of human rights protection: norms, institutions, procedures, and their relevance to reproductive and sexual rights (placed in comparative perspective, with reference to European and Inter-American systems).
(e) The actual and potential role regional economic communities (at sub-regional level) in Africa in human rights in Africa, with specific reference to reproductive and sexual rights.
(f) An overview of human rights protection at the domestic level, with specific reference to selected African states
(g) Understanding the role of international human rights mechanisms in the protection of sexual minorities.

HRA 803 Using human rights principles to realise sexual and reproductive health rights claims
Academic organisation: Centre for Human Rights
Credits: 20
Module content:
The focus of this module is on the application of human rights principles to reproductive and sexual health with a view to realising rights claims at three levels, namely, the domestic, the regional and the global levels.
Topics include:
(a) Applying human rights to sexual and reproductive health, including the rights to equality, life human dignity, freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment, health, information, education, reproductive self-determination, maternity protection in employment, liberty and security of the person, and privacy.
(b) Developing a sexual and reproductive rights claim through identifying the reproductive health wrong, its causes and the wrongdoer; documenting the alleged wrong; determining which laws are implicated, identifying human rights standards for determining breach of a reproductive right.
(c) Advancing a sexual and reproductive rights claim at the domestic level with reference to realising reproductive rights through regulatory and disciplinary procedures, courts of law, alternative dispute resolution, domestic human rights institutions, and ombudspersons.
(d) Advancing a sexual and reproductive rights claim at the regional and sub-regional levels with reference to realising reproductive rights through African regional and sub-regional institutions.
(e) Advancing a sexual and reproductive rights claim at the global level with particular reference to realising reproductive rights through United Nations treaty monitoring bodies.
(f) Drawing lessons from comparable regional human rights systems with particular reference to the European and Inter-American regional human rights systems.

HRA 804 Applying human rights to selected reproductive health issues in Africa
Academic organisation: Centre for Human Rights
Credits: 20
Module content:
The focus of this module is on the application of human rights principles to discrete reproductive health issues with a view to developing human rights responses to contemporary reproductive health challenges in the African region.
Topics include:
(a) Contraception
(b) Domestic violence
(c) Female genital cutting
(d) Infertility and assisted reproduction
(e) Maternal death
(f) Sexual violence in times of conflict
(g) Sexuality and reproductive health education
(h) Trafficking in women and children
(i)  Unsafe abortion

HRA 805 Applying human rights principles to selected sexual rights and sexuality issues in Africa
Academic organisation:
Centre for Human Rights
Credits: 15
Module content:
The focus of this module is on the application of human rights principles to selected issues related to sexual and sexuality issues in Africa, with a view to developing human rights responses to related contemporary challenges in the African region.
Topics include:
(a) Overview of relevant concepts
(b) The foundation of sexual rights in international human rights instruments
(c) Sexual norms and gender stereotypes
(d) Sex work and human rights
(e) Sexual coercion and abuse
(f) Sexually transmitted infections including HIV and rights relating to information and prevention
(g) The right to comprehensive sexual education
(h) Harmful traditional practices that violate sexual rights
(i) Link between sexual rights and reproductive health rights
(j) Advocacy strategies for sexual rights

HRA 806 Applying human rights principles to selected rights of sexual minorities in Africa
Academic organisation:
Centre for Human Rights
Credits: 20
Module content:
The focus of this module is on the application of human rights principles to selected issues affecting sexual minorities in Africa, with a view to developing human rights responses to related contemporary challenges in the African region.
Topics include:
(a) Providing a critical understanding of the concepts ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’, ‘homosexual’, ‘bisexual’, ‘gay’, ‘lesbian’, ‘transgender’, ‘intersex’, ‘sexual minority’, ‘heterosexism’, and ‘queer’
(b) Understanding theories on the psychology, biology and sociobiology of homosexuality
(c) Investigating the global history of homosexuality, particularly in the ‘West’ (USA and Britain) and its influence on Africa
(d) Investigating the evolution of homosexuality and society in Africa, including an anthropological review of homosexuality in traditional African societies, and under colonialism and in post-colonial Africa
(e) Understanding the nature of the violation of rights of ‘sexual minorities’ (including violations to the rights to health; discrimination based on actual or presumed sexual orientation, gender identity and HIV status; sexual and other forms of violence; violations of the right to privacy; and stigmatisation and its consequences) particularly by states and non-state actors in Africa
(f) Understanding the reasons for rights violations and homophobia in Africa by investigating the role of culture/tradition, religion and majoritarianism
(g) Considering the role of public policy, by focusing on the need and possibilities for legal reform, and strategies to sensitise and change homophobic attitudes

HRA 807 Research and advocacy to realise sexual, reproductive health and sexual minority rights claims in Africa
Academic organisation:
Centre for Human Rights
Credits: 15
Module content:
This module aims to equip students with the skills to conduct research and advocacy on sexual and reproductive health issues, and for the realisation of these rights, and the rights of sexual minorities, in Africa.
Topics include:
(a) Defining human rights violations
(b) Analysing root causes of human rights violations
(c) Social sciences research methods
(d) Investigating facts and gathering evidence
(e) Conducting interviews
(f) Strategic thinking including developing strategic partnerships
(g) Advanced legal reasoning and legal writing
(h) Strategic impact litigation
(i) Negotiation and mediation
(j) Media advocacy
(k) Engaging government and other stakeholders
(l) Conducting a practical exercise as a form of actual intervention to decrease stigma and increase sensitisation and acceptance of the rights of LGBTI communities in the context of the country in which the students find themselves

Assessment methods

In general this course will be assessed as follows:
Pre-contact assessment: Students will be expected to submit assignments before the block session (counting 30% of the total assessment mark of the module)

Contact session assessment: During the block week, students will be assessed on their participation and at the end of the block week students will write an exam (counting 30% of the total assessment mark of the module)

Post-contact session: Upon the completion of the block week an assignment will be assigned to students. (counting 40% of the total assessment mark of the module)

Specific assessment per module will be communicated by the course coordinator.

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