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Centre News & Events: 2018
Official launch of the Joint General Comment on Ending Child Marriage and the Report on Child Marriage in Africa

3 May 2018 - On 30 April 2018, at the 62nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission), the Joint General Comment to Ending Child Marriage and the Report on Child Marriage in Africa were officially launched.

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High level panel on advancing the human rights of African women on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Maputo Protocol

3 May 2018 - The high level panel on the 15th Anniversary of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women (Maputo Protocol) took place on 2 May 2018 at the 62nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission. The panel consisted of Hon. Commissioner Soyata Maiga, Chairperson of the Commission; Hon. Kongbelet Zingasof the Central African Republic (Pan African Parliament); Pacharo Kayira, Government of Malawi; Esther Waweru, SOAWR Network (Equality Now); Patience Mungwari, Mpani, Centre for Human Rights; and Edigah Kavulavu, International Commission of Jurists Kenya.

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Statement: Centre for Human Rights calls for autonomy and independence of the African Commission to be reaffirmed; and for action on Cameroon and Eritrea

28 April 2018 - Statement by the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, at its 62nd ordinary session, Nouakchott, Mauritania, 28 April 2018, on the situation of human rights in Africa

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Call for participation: Whipping up a storm of trans-inclusivity

2 May 2018 - In commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol), the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is developing a photo exhibition and short video on the theme ‘Transwomen are women’. The exhibition and video will focus on the strength of Article 1(k) of the Maputo Protocol which provides that 'Women means persons of female gender, including girls'.

Being a transgender woman is a blessing. You do not choose to be trans, you are born trans. It is a process as well because you have to go through a certain process to have the image you want, look how you want, feel how you want.- Dimpho Tsotetsi 

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Invitation: High Level Panel on advancing the human rights of African women on the occasion of the Anniversary of the Maputo Protocol

2 May 2018 - July 2018 marks the fifteenth anniversary of the adoption of the ground-breaking human rights instrument, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol). As of April 2018, it has been ratified by 40 countries.

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Centre for Human Rights co-hosts panel discussion on the Report on Child Marriage and the recently adopted Joint General Comment to End Child Marriages at the 62nd Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights

26 April 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights (the Centre) in partnership with Equality Now, Girls not Brides, Human Rights Watch and Plan International hosted a panel discussion on the recently adopted Joint General Comment to End Child Marriages and the Report on Child Marriage, commissioned by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (African Commission). 

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Statement on the rights and welfare of the child at the 31st Ordinary Session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Bamako, Mali, 24 April 2018

Honourable Chairperson and members of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, I thank you for this opportunity to address you on the occasion of the 31st Ordinary Session of this honourable Committee. The Centre for Human Rights conveys its gratitude to the Committee for granting our application for observer status during the 30th Ordinary Session in Khartoum, Sudan in December 2017. We are pleased that granting us observer status will further facilitate our engagement with the Committee for the promotion and protection of children’s rights on the continent, especially through the full, effective and efficient implementation of the provisions of African Children’s Charter. 

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Launch of Joint General Comment on Ending Child Marriage and Report on Child Marriage in Africa

24 April 2018 - The Launch of both the Joint General Comment on Ending Child Marriage and the Report on Child Marriage in Africa will take place at the 62nd Session of the African Commission in Mauritania.

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Press Statement: Centre for Human Rights celebrates Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s life as an African woman activist

12 April 2018 - As South Africans, fellow Africans, and the world, finally bid farewell to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, we at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, join to honour the life of this remarkable woman. While it is a time of sadness, it is also a time of celebration. 

We celebrate Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in solidarity with all other Africans. Few figures in modern Africa have had the power to unite and inspire as she had. Standing tall and proud, she made visible South Africans’ struggle for dignity, and ignited a common sense of purpose among Africans in all corners of the continent.  

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Symbolic signing of Grant Agreement between Norway (through its Embassy in Pretoria) and University of Pretoria (UP), 10 April 2018, 1300-1330, Kaya Rosa, UP Campus

10 April 2018 - The Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Pretoria, Ambassador Trine Skymoen, and the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria (UP), Prof Cheryl de la Rey, today (10 April 2018) renewed the long-standing collaborative partnership between Norway and UP. Building on two previous periods of support, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its Embassy in Pretoria, provided a three-year grant to the University’s Centre for Human Rights, covering 2018 to 2020.

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Press Statement: In response to alleged abuse in an old age home, Centre for Human Rights calls upon South African government to ratify the AU protocol on older persons

6 April 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is gravely concerned by recent allegations of precarious living conditions in certain residential homes for older persons. Reports of alleged abuse of older persons in the Lodewyk Spies Home, located in Pretoria, places a spotlight on some of the human rights violations that older persons face in residential care. The old age home is accused of neglecting residents, controlling the residents’ social grants cards, and depriving the residents of nutritious food. Older persons, inside and outside of residential care, face discrimination which has an impact on their prospects for employment, their healthcare treatment and their ability to make decisions about their own lives. The Centre calls upon the Department of Social Development to conduct regular investigations of all older person residential care facilities, as mandated by section 22 of South Africa’s Older Persons Act 13 of 2006.

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Invitation: PULP Book launch and panel discussion - Making the Road by Walking

6 April 2018 - A recent PULP publication, Making the road by walking, considers the contribution of eight of the Judges who served on the Constitutional Court headed by Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson, and who were still alive and no longer served on the Court in 2013. They are Justices Ackermann, Goldstone, Kriegler, Mokgoro, O’Regan, Sachs, Skweyiya and Yacoob. They were all appointed by President Nelson Mandela. Making the road by walking is edited by three members of the Human Sciences Research Council’s Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery Programme (Narnia Bohler-Muller, Michael Cosser and Gary Pienaar). 

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Advanced Human Rights Short Course on Women’s Rights in Africa, 26 – 29 March 2018

29 March 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria held a one-week intensive short course on Women’s Rights in Africa from 26 to 29 March 2018. The course is part of a series of Advanced Human Rights Short Courses the Centre organises and offers to the members of the public. The course was attended by students of the Masters in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa as well as practitioners from government officials, women’s rights advocates and activists, members of civil society and researchers. The course has also attracted and proved useful for cross-discipline practitioners such as medical doctors who often encounter various women’s rights concerns in their work. 

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Press Statement: Centre for Human Rights calls on the government of Mozambique, the African Union and United Nations to take action on the attack against Ericino de Salema

28 March 2018

The Centre for Human Rights has learnt with grave concern reports of the attack against Mr Ericino de Salema, a journalist and political commentator in Mozambique. According to reports, Mr de Salema was abducted on Tuesday 27 March 2018 and later found severely beaten and unconscious at a ring road in the Mutanhane area of the Maputo province in Mozambique. It is reported that his legs where repeatedly hit with an iron rod, in an apparent effort to break them. It is believed he remains unconscious and that he sustained multiple fractures to his feet, femur and arms. Mr De Salema’s abduction appears to be connected to his regular feature as a political commentator on Soico Televisão (STV) Sunday Programme ‘Ponto de Vista. In recent times, Mr de Salema has expressed views on a wide variety of politically sensitive issues.


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Centre for Human Rights celebrates human rights at the inaugural Human Rights Festival

28 March 2018 - From 23 to 25 March 2018, Constitution Hill in partnership with the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, alongside other civil society organisations presented the first edition of the Human Rights Festival. The Human Rights Festival was held in celebration of South African Human Rights Day (21 March), 21 years since the coming into effect of the South African Constitution and 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations.

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Annual short course on ‘Disability Rights in the African context’ highlights the need for the promotion and the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities

26 March 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria held a one-week intensive short course on Disability Rights in the African context from 12 to 16 March 2018. The course is part of a series of Advanced Human Rights Short Courses the Centre organises and offers to the members of the public. Over 60 participants from over 20 African countries enrolled and attended this year’s course. The participants included: persons with disabilities working in human rights, LLM/MPhil human rights students, Doctoral candidates working on disability rights, human rights activists, government officials, police officers, policy makers and distinguished Professors.

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Call for Papers: African Human Rights Yearbook Volume 2 (2018)

23 March 2018 - The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child are pleased to announce the call for articles for the Second Edition of the African Human Rights Yearbook (AHRY). The First Edition, which was published at the end of 2017, comprised 17 articles. This joint publication, which contains contributions in English and French, is initiated in the framework of the complementarity relationships between the three institutions. We are inviting abstracts for papers and case discussions that will propose groundbreaking academic contributions to the human rights discourse in Africa.

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Women’s Rights Unit presents capacity building workshop on state reporting on the African Charter and the Maputo Protocol in Abuja, Nigeria

22 March 2018 - The Women’s Rights Unit of the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria in collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission, Nigeria, organised a capacity building workshop on state reporting under the African Charter and the Maputo Protocol, from 12 to 14 March 2018, at Bolton White Hotel, Abuja. Participants at the workshop included representatives from ministries and agencies of government, as well as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Nigeria.

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Call for Applications: Advanced Human Rights Course - Race and Common Citizenship in a South African context

19 March 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, will host a one-week intensive short course on Race and Common Citizenship in a South African context from 9 to 12 April 2018.

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Invitation: Debate on democracy and economic development

19 March 2018 - On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Republic of Mauritius, the Mauritius High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa, in collaboration with the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a debate on the topic ‘Democracy is necessary for economic development’, presented by students of the Master’s in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA).

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Centre welcomes 58 human rights students at its annual Master’s Programmes Welcoming Ceremony

19 March 2018 - On Friday 16 March 2018 the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria welcomed the 2018 cohort of its Master’s degree students. The welcoming ceremony included the launch of the highly anticipated Alumni Diaries, a colourful chronicle of the journey and impact of the Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) programme and its alumni from its inception in 2000 until 2017.

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