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Centre News & Events: 2018
Maputo Protocol turns 15! A call for states to ratify and implement the Protocol- moving from rhetoric to action
11 July 2018 - “Inequality can be done away with only by establishing a new society, where men and women will enjoy equal rights, resulting from an upheaval in the means of production and in all social relations. Thus, the status of women will improve only with the elimination of the system that exploits them….” Thomas Sankara
 
Since Sankara uttered these words, the African continent has made some strides towards eliminating the system that exploits and discriminates against women. One of these steps is the adoption of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) on 11 July 2003 in Maputo, Mozambique, it later came into force in 2005. 

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Eritrea: UN expert says embracing human rights vital to shape successful future
9 July 2018 - GENEVA (26 June 2018) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea expressed concern that patterns of violations identified over the past six years persist, namely arbitrary and incommunicado detention, indefinite military/national service amounting to forced labour and severe restrictions on fundamental freedoms.
 
In her fifth and final report to the Human Rights Council, Sheila Keetharuth expressed concern that the human rights violations she identified in her first and subsequent reports, as well as in those of the Commission of Inquiry in Eritrea remained unchanged. 
 

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FACES 2018: African Student Cellphone Film Competition

28 June 2018 -  Registered undergraduate and postgraduate students from all tertiary institutions in Africa are invited to participate in the FACES 2018: African Student Cellphone Film Competition.

The closing date for FACES 2018 is 31 July 2018.

The purpose of the Competition is to encourage students from Africa to express themselves and to engage with issues of relevance to Africa, using available cellphone technology.

 

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Women’s Rights Unit co-presents drafting workshop on the African Charter, the Protocol to the African Charter and the Maputo Protocol in The Gambia

18 June 2018 - The Women's Rights Unit team took part in a two day 'drafting'  workshop organised jointly by the Ministry of Justice, Gambia and the Centre for Human Rights (the Centre) from 28 to 29 May 2018. The workshop was held at the NANA conference hall in Serrekunda, the Gambia.  

A total of 42 participants attended the workshop. The participants consisted of representatives from Government Ministries as well as Civil Society Organisations. Participants were also members of a newly formed task team that had been set up for the purposes of drafting state reports on all the treaties that the Gambia is party to. The Gambia has ratified the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (the African Charter) in June 1983 and The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) in May 2005. By virtue of its ratification of these instruments, the Gambia has expressed commitment to the obligation under Article 62 of the African Charter and Article 26(1) of the Maputo Protocol to submit a report every two years to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission). This report should be made up of two parts; Part A on the African Charter and Part B on the Maputo Protocol.

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    Centre for Human Rights celebrates Albinism Awareness Day in eMalahleni and calls for the rights of persons with albinism to be realised

    18 June 2018 - On 13 June 2018, the Centre for Human Rights (the Centre) joined the Minister of Arts & Culture Nathi Mthethwa, Commissioner Nomasonto Mazibuko, Commissioner for Gender Equality and the Albinism Association of South Africa in the 5th commemoration of the International Albinism Awareness Day. The theme for this year’s commemoration was “Shining Our Light to the World.”

    Jehoshaphat Njau, Moyahabo Thoka and Maria Nantege from the Centre’s Disability Rights Unit attended the commemoration, held at the J. Khananda Primary School and Leonard Ntshuntshe Secondary School in eMalahleni (formerly Witbank), Mpumalanga Province.

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      Call for Applications: Capacity Building Workshop on strategic advocacy & litigation for LGBT human rights defenders in Africa

      15 June 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, cordially invites you to apply for the Capacity Building Workshop on Strategic Advocacy & Litigation targeted at the promotion and protection of the human rights of lesbians, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in Africa.

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      Joint Press Statement: Centre for Human Rights & Centre for Child Law call on the government of South Africa to “leave no child behind”

      15 June 2018 - On 16 June 2018, Africa commemorates the Day of the African Child 2018 under the theme “Leave No Child Behind for Africa’s Development”. This year’s theme aims to target children who are not benefitting from Africa’s growth and development. African countries are challenged to ensure that children are at the centre and not left behind in the drive towards sustainable economic development. This day is commemorated in memory of the Soweto student uprising, that began on June 16 1976, when students marched in protest against the poor quality of education they received and demanded to be taught in their own languages.

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      Calling all UP students and staff to enter the #UDHRat70 Multimedia Competition

      14 June 2018 - Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is launching the UDHRat70 Multimedia Competition, with four creative categories, and a total amount of R32 000 in prizes. The Competition is open to University of Pretoria (UP) staff and students only. The winners will be announced at the Centre’s Graduation Ceremony on 7 December 2018.

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      Centre for Human Rights celebrates International Albinism Awareness Day by #CelebratingWomenWithAlbinism

      #CelebratingWomenWithAlbinism is a campaign by the Disability Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria.

      The campaign aims to celebrate the achievements and to highlight the stories and experiences of women with albinism.The campaign was launched in 2018 on International Albinism Awareness Day on 13 June.

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      Press Statement: Centre for Human Rights calls for independent investigation of sustained allegations of crimes against humanity in Cameroon

      11 June 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is extremely concerned about the continuing human rights violations in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon, and the lack of international alarm and action about the situation. Available evidence strongly suggests that crimes against humanity have been and are being committed in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon.

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      Centre for Human Rights hosts Young African Leaders (YALI) from Southern Africa

      11 June 2018 - Does violence against women matter to you? If it does, what can be done differently to prevent and end the increasing spate of violence against women in our communities? These are the questions that the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) delegates pondered on during their visit to the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria on 17 May 2018.

      The YALI delegates viewed the gripping documentary None of their business which dealswith community action on violence against women, depicting the plight of many women who face domestic violence and the deafening silence of community members who view the issue as a private matter..

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      Official Launch of the Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections in Africa

      11 June 2018 - In a landmark acknowledgement of the importance of the normative elaboration of the obligation of Member States with respect to the right of access to information in electoral processes, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) adopted the Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections for Africa (the Guidelines) on 10 November 2017, during its 61st Ordinary Session, in Banjul, The Gambia. To celebrate this milestone, the Guidelines were officially launched during the recently concluded 62nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission, which took place from 25 April to 9 May 2018 in Nouakchott, Mauritania, in a session presided over by the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa (Special Rapporteur), Commissioner Lawrence Mute.

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      Centre for Human Rights hosts planning meeting towards Zimbabwe’s implementation of African human rights decisions

      08 June 2018 - One of the mandates of the Implementation Clinic at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is to engage with the national actors in African States towards the implementation of African human rights decisions. Having identified Zimbabwe as one of the focus countries for the year, the Centre in collaboration with some local partners in Zimbabwe are organising a national dialogue and capacity building workshop to enable the environment crucial to the implementation of human rights decisions. On 24 May 2018, the Centre hosted a planning meeting with representatives from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (ZHRF) and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC).

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      I Am Intersex: Challenges and experiences

      05 June 2018 - This video is part of an advocacy project undertaken by HRDA students of the 2018 Advocacy Clinic Group at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. It forms part of an online campaign on the rights of intersex persons. The video captures the incredible life story of Dimakatso Sebidi, who is intersex and seeks to create awareness on intersex persons and their daily life experiences and challenges Intersex persons exist and have rights just like you and I. Join the #IAmIntersex campaign on Twitter and spread the word!

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      Call for Papers: Conference on human rights, securitisation and counter-terrorism in Africa

      04 June 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and the School of Law, University of Ghana, Legon, in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) are pleased to announce a one-day conference on human rights, securitisation and counter-terrorism in Africa and hereby invite proposals for papers. The conference will be held as part of the 27th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition..

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      Call for Papers: 6th Annual Disability Rights Conference

      04 June 2018 - The 6th Annual African Disability Rights Conference will be held from 6 to 7 November 2018 at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria in South Africa. This year’s conference will focus on addressing the barriers to implementation of inclusive education in the African region.  

      It is anticipated that pa pers presented at this conference will be reworked by authors and submitted for consideration for publication in the 2019 volume of the  African Disability Rights Yearbook.

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      Press Statement: Southern African experts call on States to enhance the protection for older women

      1 June 2018 - Experts from across Southern Africa attended a meeting at the University Pretoria on 30 May 2018 to explore ways in which more attention can be drawn to the plight of older women in the region, and in Africa. They called for African states to follow the lead of Lesotho, which is on the verge of formalising its ratification of the African Union’s Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa. .

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      Pan African Parliament adopts a Resolution on Persons with Albinism in Africa (PAP.4/PLN/RES/05/MAY.18)

      1 June 2018 - On 18 May 2018, the Pan African Parliament (Parliament) adopted a Resolution on Persons with Albinism in Africa (Resolution). The Parliament is an organ of the African Union (AU), which was established to ensure that Africa takes full ownership and participation in the development and sustainable transformation of the continent. The Parliament sits in Midrand, South Africa and comprisesof 53 AU member states. The Parliament holds the mandate to issue resolutions and recommendations on key developmental and social issues affecting the African continent.

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      #AgeWithRights: Centre launches campaign on the Rights of Older Persons, with a particular focus on the Rights of Older Women in Africa

      24 May 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights is spearheading a campaign on the rights of older women in Africa. This campaign seeks to strengthen advocacy around the rights of older women and to advocate for States to ratify the Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons.

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      Call for Abstracts: Kéba Mbaye Conference on African approaches to international law, with a focus on international human rights law

      24 May 2018 - Following on from a two-day Round Table on ‘African Approaches to International Law’, held at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, on 3 and 4 May 2017, a two-day Conference is scheduled for 5 and 6 December 2018, in Pretoria: the ‘Kéba Mbaye Conference on African approaches to international law, with a focus on international human rights law’.

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      Press Statement: Pan African Parliament adopts landmark recommendation on the Rights of Older Persons

      24 May 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, welcomes the adoption of the Recommendation on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa by the Pan African Parliament on 17 May 2018, at its just concluded Sixth Ordinary Session.

      This Recommendation is a timely response to an unprecedented change in demographics as the population of older persons grows across Africa. It is estimated that Africa will experience an increase in the ageing population from 64.4 million in 2015 to 220 million by 2050. Persons older than 60 years old experience vulnerabilities related to a wide range of issues such as health care, disparities based on geographic location and social insurance needs. Because of pervasive misconceptions and stereotypes about ageing, older persons in many African countries are isolated, poor, abused and suffer various forms of violence and discrimination. Older persons are victims of ageism, which is a systematic stereotyping and discrimination based on age and physical appearance. As the HIV epidemic caused life expectancy decrease, many older persons, particularly older women, are left behind to raise the young generation (the grandchildren). Older women are particularly vulnerable as they face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination based on ageism, sexism, disability and the rural/urban divide.

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