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Centre News & Events: 2017
Ratification of the Maputo Protocol by Mauritius: Reflections, Expectations and Next Steps

28 September 2017- Mauritius ratified (with reservations) the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) in June 2017. This makes 39, the countries that have ratified the Maputo Protocol. The presence of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition in Mauritius provided an opportunity for the Women’s Rights Unit to host an all stakeholder meeting not only to celebrate this momentous step towards full realisation of women’s rights but to also reflect on the challenges that delayed ratification since signing in 2005 and lessons apparent. In addition the meeting discussed the impact of ratification of the Maputo Protocol on the lives of women and girls in Mauritius and the critical next steps post the ratification.

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African Human Rights Moot Court Competition 2017: University of Mauritius (18 – 23 September 2017)

27 September 2017 - The African Human Rights Moot Court Competition is the largest gathering of students, academics and judges around the theme of human rights in Africa. This annual event brings together all law faculties in Africa, whose top students argue a hypothetical human rights case as if they were before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The Competition aims to prepare a new generation of lawyers to argue cases of alleged human rights violations before the African Court.

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26th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition Conference: The Maputo Protocol and Poverty Alleviation

27 September 2017 - The African Human Rights Moot Court Competition Conference took place at the University of Mauritius on 22 September 2017. Every year, the conference is one of the major highlights of the Moot Court competition. The conference utilises the platform of the Moot Court, which brings together students and faculty representatives from over 54 different universities around Africa, to raise, discuss and advance important issues of human rights in the continent. The 2017 conference theme was “The Maputo Protocol and poverty alleviation: Towards the realisation of women's rights in Africa”. 

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Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone visits Centre for Human Rights to explore potential collaboration

22 September 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights received a delegation from the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone on 22 September to explore potential collaboration. The Human Rights Commission expressed interest in support in capacity building of commissioners and staff in particular in relation to disability rights, LGBTI rights, business and human rights, women's rights and complaints handling. 

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Kingdom of Lesotho senior government officials visit the Disability Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights

22 September 2017 - The Disability Rights Unit of the Centre for Human Rights (the Centre) on 21 September 2017 had a privilege of hosting a delegation of senior government officials from the Kingdom of Lesotho (Lesotho).

The delegation comprised of Ms Nthabiseng Sekokotoana (Senior Assistant Parliamentary Counsel), Ms Linkeng Khubetsoana (Chief Legal Officer – Ministry of Social Development) and Ms Mahlapane Makakole – Bodiba (Director Disability Services – Ministry of Social Development) and from South Africa Mr Benny Palime (Director of Policy Legislation for Disability – Department of Social Development).  
 
 
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Press statement: Centre for Human Rights and Pan Africa ILGA express grave concern about threats to the right to freedom of association and right to information as twenty are arrested at training workshop in Zanzibar, Tanzania for alleged homosexuality

20 September 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, and Pan Africa International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Association (Pan Africa ILGA) strongly condemn the recent arrest of parents and NGO personnel at a training workshop on HIV prevention. 

On Friday 15 September 2017, Zanzibari police, acting on the orders of the District Commissioner, arrested a group of twenty parents, local partners and staff of an implementing NGO for organising and attending a workshop on peer-to-peer parent HIV and AIDS prevention. The workshop was aimed at addressing stigma and discrimination in the family with regards to HIV and AIDS. According to a local NGO leader, the group was accused of “training people on homosexuality”, which is not a crime in any known law in operation in Tanzania. 
 

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Centre for Human Rights presents 26th edition of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition in Réduit, Mauritius

19 September 2017 -The African Human Rights Moot Court Competition is the largest gathering of students, academics and judges around the theme of human rights in Africa. This annual event brings together all law faculties in Africa, whose top students argue a hypothetical human rights case as if they were before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The Competition aims to prepare a new generation of lawyers to argue cases of alleged human rights violations before the African Court.

 
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Immunity granted to Grace Mugabe challenged in debate between Professor Dire Tladi and Dr Thompson Chengeta

18 September 2017 - On 11 September 2017, the Institute of International and Comparative Law in Africa at the University of Pretoria hosted a debate between Professor Dire Tladi and Dr Thompson Chengeta on whether the Government of South Africa’s decision to grant Grace Mugabe immunity is within the confines of the law. The debate was chaired by the Director of Centre for Human Rights, Professor Frans Viljoen. 

 
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Centre presents short course on Police Oversight and Accountability in Africa

15 September 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria hosted the Advanced Human Rights Short Course on Police Oversight and Accountability in Africa from 11 to 15 September 2017. The course brought together 33 participants from several countries across Africa with backgrounds that include: national human rights institutions, police officers, academia, civil society, legal practitioners, prosecutors and government.

The course started with an opening address by Prof Frans Viljoen, Director of the Centre, followed by a presentation by Prof Elrena van der Spuy, on the underlying police oversight theoretical frameworks. Mr Sean Tait, Director of the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum, engaged participants on the differences between police oversight and accountability, as well as police oversight benchmarks. 
 
 
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Invitation: Human Rights in North Korea Seminar

14 September 2017 -  In celebration of the International Save North Korean Refugees Day on the 22 nd of September 2017; Defense Forum Foundation, Free North Korea Radio , Centre for Human Rights, Africa Solidarity for Sahrawi and North Korea Freedom Coalition cordially invite you to a seminar titled: Human Rights in North Korea

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Call for Applications: Postdoctoral Fellow, International Development Law Unit, Centre for Human Rights

13 September 2017 - The following vacancy is available:

Terms of Reference

Job Title: Post-Doctoral Fellow, International Development Law Unit
Reports to: SARChI Chair, Prof Danny Bradlow
Date of commencement: 1 January 2018
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
 
 
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Invitation to the 2017 Julius Osega Memorial Lecture (to be presented by Solomon Dersso in Ethiopia)

12 September 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria and the Faculty of Law, Addis Ababa University, cordially invites you to the Annual Julius Osega Memorial Lecture.

The 2017 Julius Osega Memorial Lecture will be presented by:
  • Dr Solomon Dersso
    Commissioner of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
    Executive Director, Amani Africa Media and Research
‘The quest for an inclusive and equal citizenship: Our time’s burning question‘
 
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Programme: 26th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition

12 September 2017 - The 26th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition is organised by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria in collaboration with the University of Mauritius from 18 to 23 September 2017 in Réduit, Mauritius.

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State reporting drafting workshop on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Zambia

11 September 2017 - On Wednesday 9 August to Friday 11 August 2017, the Women's Rights Unit of the Centre for Human Rights (the Centre) took part in a three-day state reporting drafting workshop on the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (African Charter) hosted by the Ministry of Justice in Zambia. 

The workshop was held in the serene Sandy Lodge in Chilanga, Zambia. The workshop brought together a total of 22 participants from the relevant government ministries, National Human Rights Commission and Civil Society organisations involved in the state reporting process. 
 

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Invitation to the 5th Disability Rights Conference (7 - 8 November 2017)

8 September 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria cordially invites you to a conference on advancing the right to access to justice and legal capacity for persons with disabilities in Africa which will be presented from 7 to 8 November 2017.

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Meet Jane Choolwe Nsanzya, winner of 2017 FACES competition

8 September 2017 - In its debut edition, FACES cellphone film competition recognized the short film by Miss Jane Choolwe Nsanzya as the winning entry. In addition to winning an all expense paid trip to Mauritius, Miss Nsanzya’s film titled “Ignorance isn’t bliss” will be screened during the 26th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, taking place in Mauritius.

Jane Choolwe Nsanzya, winner of 2017 FACES competition 

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Call for Applications: Training Workshop for LGBT defenders

7 September 2017 -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  Training Workshop on Strategic Advocacy and Litigation targeted at the promotion and protection of the human rights of  lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons for LGBT human rights defenders and activists in Africa.

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Centre for Human Rights hosts members of the Sri Lankan Right to Information Commission

7 September 2017 -The Centre for Human Rights on 6 September had the pleasure to host a delegation from the Sri Lanka Right to Information Commission (the Commission) on Wednesday 6 September. The delegation which comprised three Commissioners, the Director General as well as the Legal and Research Officer of the Commission met with the Director of the Centre for Human Rights, Prof Frans Viljoen and the head of the Access to Information (ATI) Unit, Dr Lola Shyllon. 

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Working Group Meeting on the Draft Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections for Africa

6 September 2017 - On 29 and 30 August 2017, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria in collaboration with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), Commissioner Pansy Tlakula, organised a meeting of the members of the Working Group on the draft ‘Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections for Africa’ (Draft Guidelines). 

Advocate Pansy Tlakula, Chair of the Information Regulator of South Africa and African Commission Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information

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Centre for Human Rights presents Advanced Human Rights Short Course on The Right to Development in Africa

31 August 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (UP), hosted its Advanced Human Rights Short Course on The Right to Development in Africa from 21-25 August, 2017. The short course brought together more than 25 participants; from 15 countries across Africa and Europe, with backgrounds that include national human rights institutions, academia, NGO managers, government policy makers, civil society, independent community consultants, legal practitioners, state attorneys and diplomats.

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Op-Ed: Queer Spaces will change things at UP

30 August 2017 - (By David Ikpo) - We have not done enough for queer persons at South African universities.

Studies and surveys carried out at universities in the United States and Australia show that queer persons suffer higher rates of sexual violence and harassment than non-queer persons. These surveys were carried out in jurisdictions with progressive laws and legal systems, much like those of South Africa. They are evidence that tough laws and policies provide good structures, and that the living and social realities of queer persons in our universities need to catch up. The harassment of queer persons is an issue too pressing to be ignored if the sanctity of learning spaces is to be guaranteed. Queer persons are as much a concern as other members of the staff and student community in planning both the present and the future training of foot soldiers through awareness raising and education

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