(By Prof Danny Bradlow)

Kofi Annan (80) was an important historical figure who played a critical role in many key events of the 1990s and 2000s. His death is therefore an opportunity to both celebrate his life and to begin honestly assessing his contributions to the world.

The Ghanaian diplomat’s legacy is complicated. He served as both head of the United Nations peacekeeping and as Secretary General of the UN. His tenure in these high offices – from 1992 to 2006 – were marked by great human tragedies as well as episodes of progress. His role in these events raises difficult questions about individual responsibility and the role of international organisations and their leaders in creating a more peaceful and just world.

This publication commemorates 18 years of the Master’s programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA).

It gives a snapshot of the HRDA programme; the Centre for Human Rights where it is based, and the partner universities in collaboration with which it is presented The reader will find comprehensive information on the donors, to whom the HRDA owes its very existence, and the administrative and academic staff whose competence and expertise have set high standards and given it world wide recognition.It gives a snapshot of the HRDA programme; the Centre for Human Rights where it is based, and the partner universities in collaboration with which it is presented The reader will find comprehensive information on the donors, to whom the HRDA owes its very existence, and the administrative and academic staff whose competence and expertise have set high standards and given it world wide recognition.Above all, this publication recognises the work of the alumni whose achievements in the field are contributing to advancing human rights and democracy, primarily in Africa, but also in other parts of the world. They are the manifestation of a momentum to move Africa forward; the vindication of the idea that expertise and a common understanding are important tools in addressing today’s development challenges.

From 17 to 18 August 2018, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is holding its 38th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government in Namibia. The Summit is expected to address some of the critical challenges affecting the region including the need to address poverty, promote development and take steps towards sub-regional integration. The Summit is also expected to speak to peace, stability and security in the region. Whilst these goals are inspirational, achieving them requires strong regional institutions capable of defending the rule of law and promoting democratic governance.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria is proud to announce the winners of this year’s FACES African Student Cellphone Film Competition.

First Prize (R10 000):

Jenira Ferreira with ‘Disillusionment of Student Culture’

The film was well executed and incorporated unique techniques that added flare to the overall output. This film was outstanding in its audio narration, cinematic shots and editing style.

The Centre of Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), held a Civil Society Organisations’ Forum on the sidelines of committee sittings which focused on the theme ‘Effective Engagement with the Pan-African Parliament’. The one-day meeting, which was held on 8 August 2018, was attended by the First Vice-President of the PAP, Honorable Julius Masel; the PAP Acting Clerk Parliament, Mr Yusupha Jobe; the PAP Legal Counsel, Mr Clement Phebe Mavungu; the PAP Senior International Relations Officer, Mrs Lyn Chiwandamira; Professors and staff members from the Centre of Human Rights. The forum was attended by Gauteng-based civil society organisations (CSOs) including Oxfam South Africa, Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust (SAPST), the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (OSISA), Section 27, South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), Centre of Applied Legal Studies (CALS), Freedom House and the French Embassy. The forum sought to establish a common approach to sustained and meaningful engagement by enabling participants to share and exchange best practices on how to achieve an effective and constructive civil society engagement platform with the PAP.

pdfDownload Programme 

The Women’s Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with HelpAge, the South African Older Persons’ Forum (SAOPF) and the Department of Student Affairs, are hosting an intergenerational dialogue to discuss issues relating to violence against women. This is part of a series of planned events to celebrate women’s month and also in line with the Centre’s #AgeWithRights campaign. The intergenerational dialogue seeks to address issues of violence against women across generations focusing on the unique vulnerabilities associated with ageing and strategies for countering violence collectively across the different age groups (young, middle-aged and older).

pdfDownload Invitation 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership and HelpAge International, organised the West Africa expert meeting on the rights of older women in Accra, Ghana.  This was in the wake of the 27th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, held annually by the Centre, and formed part of the Centre’s year-long #AgeWithRights campaign to advocate for the protection of the rights of older women.

On Tuesday 7 August 2018, in commemoration of South Africa’s National Women’s Day and as part of the Centre for Human Rights (the Centre’s) year-long campaign on the rights of older women in Africa, the Women’s Rights unit in collaboration with the Department of Library Services, University of Pretoria organised the  screening of the award winning documentary ’The Witches of Gambaga’ by Yaba Badoe.

The final round of the 27th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, which took place on 11 August 2018 at the Law Court complex in Accra, Ghana, was won by the combined team comprising the Université des Lagunes (Côte d'Ivoire), Makerere University (Uganda) and the University of Pretoria (South Africa).

The runner up team consisted of Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (Mozambique), University of Ghana (Ghana) and University of Nairobi (Nairobi). 

The final round was presided over by the Chief Justice of Ghana, Justice Sophia Akuffo, who is also a previous President of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights. 

A total of 48 teams partcipated in this annual event, which in 2018 was organised by the Centre for Human Rights and hosted by the School of Law, University of Ghana. This was the second time that the African Moot Competition was held in Ghana. 

"It’s time for Africa to commit to protect the rights of older persons”

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in partnership with HelpAge Global Network in Africa and Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa, on 9 August 2018 organised a Policy Dialogue with Key Government Institutions including the African Union Social Affairs Department responsible for coordination and ratification of the African Union Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Older Persons (Protocol) on 8 August 2018 and a regional expert meeting for West Africa on the theme “Human rights of older women in West Africa: The need for enhanced protection”. 

pdfAgeWthRights Press Statement

After an intense two days of heated arguments at the 27th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition in Ghana, the results of the preliminary rounds were announced at Miklin Hotel, East Legon on 8 August 2018.

The following teams qualified for the final round which will take place at the High Court of Ghana:

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.

pdfDownload the Call for Papers
pdfTéléchargez le Appel à Contributions
pdfBaixar o Pedido de Documentos

Alongside the activities of the 27th African Human Rights Moot Court, the Centre for Human Rights is engaging in advocacy to advance the rights of older persons, with a specific focus on older women, in Ghana. The Centre’s Women’s Rights Unit campaign, #AgeWithRights, in partnership with HelpAge International and the Moremi Initiative, hosted an advocacy meeting on 8 August to discuss Ghana’s ratification of the Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a conference on addressing the barriers to implementation of inclusive education in the African region, which will be held from 6 to 7 November 2018.

pdfDownload the Invitation

After an illustrious opening ceremony, the first two sessions of the preliminary rounds of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition started at the University of Ghana’s School of Law on 7 August 2018. The preliminary rounds involve all participating teams arguing the hypothetical case four times: twice for the Applicants, and twice as Respondent (the State).

The 27th edition of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition started on an illustrious note, on 6 August 2018, at the University of Ghana, Accra, when H.E Nana Akufo-Addo, the President of Ghana officially opened the event.

The African Human Rights Moot Court Competition remains one of the largest gatherings of students, academics and judges around the theme of human rights in Africa. As in the past 27 years of the African Moot Court Competition, the Moot has brought together teams from all over the African continent – this year, there are 48 teams from 15 African countries.

On the 2 and 3 August, 2018, the Centre for Human Rights hosted a colloquium on sexual minority rights within Africa. The colloquium presented a platform for authors from around the continent to challenge and re-define how sexuality, identity, and LGBT advocacy have been constructed in Africa. In his welcoming address, Professor Frans Viljoen recognized the inspirational role of Professor Charles Ngwena in initiating and conceptualising the colloquium, and emphasises its multi-disciplinary nature. In giving background about the workshop, Professor Ebenezer Durojaye challenged the participants to interrogate how sexuality has been defined in Africa, outside of Western ideals, and outlined the aspiration of a publication following the colloquium.

(By Yolanda Booyzen)

If breastfeeding did not already exist, someone who invented it today would deserve a dual Nobel Prize in medicine and economics” – Keith Hansen, World Bank (2016).

At the beginning of every August, we celebrate World Breastfeeding Week (WBW). And every year we are reminded of the elixir-like qualities of breastfeeding and how it can address some of the world’s toughest challenges – infant mortality, malnutrition, food insecurity, poverty, obesity and environmental degradation. The 2018 WBW campaign focuses on how breastfeeding is the “foundation of life” and how there are links between breastfeeding and each of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

pdfDownload this statement

The Centre for Human Rights - University of Pretoria (CHR), the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA), and the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) have sued the United Republic of Tanzania before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights for its failure to ensure adequate protection of persons with albinism (PWAs).

The applicants filed the lawsuit on 25th July 2018, alleging that the State of Tanzania has failed to take sufficient measures to ward against the widespread persecution and discrimination perpetrated by the public against PWA.

pdfDownload this invitation

In celebration of National Women’s Day in South Africa, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Department of Library Services, cordially invites you to the screening of the award winning documentary ‘The Witches of Gambaga’ by Yaba Badoe.

pdfDownload this statement
pdfDownload this media advisory
pdfDownload this flyer

Civil society organizations in South Africa comprised of a broad collective of human rights and women’s rights organizations and Trade Unions add their voice to the call for immediate and decisive action towards ending violence against women in South Africa. 

We call upon every woman in South Africa to join us on the 1st of August to march peacefully in protest of the violence with impunity targeted at women. We demand that the government of South Africa pay particular attention to the continued and increasing spate of violence against women and girls and take concrete measures to end the violation of women’s right to life, dignity and security of persons. 

The School of Law, University of Venda, and the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invite you to the Annual Helen Kanzira Memorial Lecture.

The Keynote Address will be presented by The Honourable Justice Mandisa Maya President of the Supreme Court of Appeal, South Africa ‘Safe and voluntary motherhood a matter of human rights: We can do more’

pdfDownload this invitation

On Friday 20 July 2018, students from the 14th Cohort of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) (Civic Leadership Track) visited the Centre for Human Rights to learn more about the Centre’s work.

The afternoon kicked off with a presentation from the Disability Rights Unit. The students were introduced to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and given some information on how specific rights within the Convention may be implemented in practice, using the right to access to justice which is found in article 13 of the Convention as an example. Students learnt about the different types of disabilities and the barriers which people with each type of disability typically face in accessing justice. Solutions to these barriers were also explored in the form of accommodations which may be made to enable persons with disabilities to participate effectively in the criminal justice system and access justice on an equal basis with others.

The winning team of the 10th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition: The University of Buenos Aires in Argentina

Coinciding with the birth date of Nelson Mandela 100 years ago, the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition was held at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The University of Buenos Aires in Argentina emerged as winners, and the St. Thomas University in Canada, as runners-up in the final round of the competition.

A total number of 39 universities representing 24 countries from the 5 United Nations regions participated in the pre-final oral rounds of the competition, held in the human rights capital of the world. The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, annually organises this event, in collaboration with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. This year marked the tenth time the competition took place.

The 10th edition of the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition is currently holding at the human rights capital of the world – Geneva, Switzerland. The 39 teams that are competing this year at the Palais des Nations made it after an initial round of regional contest across the 5 UN regions. Brazil has six universities at this year’s World moot which is the largest number from any country. India is next with 4 universities. While Kenya and Ukraine have 3 universities each.

This year’s moot is especially significant because not only does it mark the tenth year of the competition, it also coincides with the centenary celebration of the great Nelson Mandela – the man whom the moot is named after.

“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.

(By Dr Ashwanee Budoo)

The African Union has taken several initiatives to demonstrate its commitment to eliminating injustices against women in Africa. The most recent has been a meeting ahead of the African Union (AU) summit scheduled for later this year to highlight the continent’s commitment to gender equality.

Other examples include the African Women’s Decade (2010-2020), adopting the African Union Gender Policy and creating a fund for African women. In addition, the AU declared 2016 the year of human rights with a particular focus on the rights of women.

Fifteen years ago the AU adopted the Maputo Protocol under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to boost the protection of women. Its implementation was meant to be overseen by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, a human rights body set up under the African Charter. And the process was meant to be monitored by the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa.

Despite the protocol’s adoption, the violation of women’s rights is still widespread across the continent. The list is long. But some of the more egregious acts include violence against women, child marriage, gender-based discrimination and exploitative widow rites. The reasons for these range from culture, to tradition, ignorance, lack of education and patriarchy.

The problem is that the protocol’s provisions remain mere words on paper. This is because its potential has been stifled by a weak monitoring and evaluation function.

There is a solution to the problem: the creation of an institution whose sole purpose is to protect women’s rights. But it will require political will and a commitment to make the necessary funds available.

By Dr Ashwanee Budoo 

Mauritius has been shaken by the news of the death of a 13-year-old pregnant girl who was married. Her death was particularly shocking because the country doesn’t have a high child marriage rate. It’s extremely low compared to countries like Niger where 76% of brides are children or the Central African Republic where the figure is 68%. In fact it’s so low that no recent studies have been done to estimate the number of child marriages in the country.

Though rare, child marriages do take place and Mauritians typically turn a blind eye. But the death of the girl has sparked discussion on the state’s obligations to protect children from early marriage.

The child’s death happened just a few days before the second global meeting of Girls Not Brides, a global partnership of more than 900 civil society organisations committed to ending child marriage.

The meeting discussed the complexities of child marriage and the tools available to deal with it. Attendees agreed that urgent action must be taken if the world wants to see the end of child marriage in this generation. Child marriage is still legal in 117 countries.

In Mauritius, the girl’s death demonstrated that the issue must be given priority to ensure that children are protected.

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.

pdfDownload the FACES 2018 Poster
pdfDownload the FACES 2018 Official Rules (English)

Submit your entry online (Deadline: 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.

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. 

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.

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 5thcommemoration 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.

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.

pdfDownload the Call for Applications

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.

pdfDownload the Press Statement

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.

pdfDownload the Call for Submissions
Click here to submit your entry via the online form 
Visit the #UDHRat70 Multimedia Competition website

#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.

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.

pdfDownload the Press Statement
pdfDownload the Press Statement (Full Version)
Visit the #StopCameroonViolations Campaign website

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.

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.

pdfDownload the Guidelines
pdfTélécharger les directives

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).

pdfDownload Report

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!

 

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. .

pdfDownload this statement

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.

pdfDownload this resolution

 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’.

pdfDownload this call for abstracts in English

pdfDownload this call for abstracts in French

 

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.

pdfDownload this statement

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.

On 16 May 2018 Ms Ikponwosa Ero, the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism addressed the Pan Africa Parliament during its Sixth Ordinary Session which ended on 18 May 2018.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria invites you to a panel discussion on the protection of the rights of older women within the framework of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa (Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons).

pdfDownload this invitation

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria in collaboration with Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented its annual Advanced Human Rights Course on Judicial Enforcement of Socio-Economic Rights in Africa from 14 to 18 May 2018. The course brought together over 60 participants from across Africa and Europe, mainly representing members of judiciary, civil society, National Human Rights Institutions, policy makers, government officials and academia.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, welcomes the adoption by the African Union Heads of State of a treaty on the rights of person with disabilities, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (African Disability Rights Protocol), on 30 January 2018.  Africa now has a continental binding legal document protecting the human rights of persons with disabilities. The adoption of the African Disability Rights Protocol marks an important step towards recognising the equal dignity of persons with disabilities on the continent.

 

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria and the Global Emergency and Counterterrorism Institute cordially invites you to a public lecture by Peter Knoope on the ‘The lone wolves’ legion’. 

“We teach our old people to be proud. Not to bend their head in shame or stoop because they paid to be here. They worked hard to be here!” These were the touching words from Sandra Struw, the administrator of the Eersterust Welfare Organisation for the Aged (EWOFA) on the Centre’s visit to the old age home on Friday 11 May 2018. This event marks the beginning of the Centre’s year-long campaign on the rights of older persons, specifically older women. 

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.

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.

Please join us for a panel discussion in celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia (IDAHOT). The theme for this year, Alliances for Solidarity, is a welcome reminder of the need for solidarity within the communities of sexual and gender minorities, as the rights of one specific group cannot be solidly secured if the rights of other groups are left unchallenged. 

pdfDownload this invitation

The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) 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. PAP essentially operates in a consultative and advisory role mandated by the African Union.The Centre for Human Rights established a partnership with PAP through a Memorandum of Understanding which was signed on 27 October 2017. Key among the objectives of the partnership are the promotion of capacity building on human rights and democratisation in Africa, the increased visibility of PAP and the fostering of a strong interaction between PAP and Civil Society Organisations on the continent.

The Pretoria University Law Press (PULP) recently launched a collection of essays dealing with the lives and judgments of some of the first Constitutional Court Judges who were also all appointed by then President Nelson Mandela.The book, Making the road by walking, was launched at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (UP), on 18 April 2018, as South Africa and the rest of the world honour the birth-year of the iconic Nelson Mandela 100 years ago. A panel discussion took place under the banner: “Mandela’s legacy (re)considered: Historical and current perspectives of the Chaskalson Court”.

pdfDownload the publication Making the road by walking

Students on the Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) programme at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, recently visited the African human rights icon Dr Vera Chirwa.

On 15 April 2018, Professor Frans Viljoen (Director), Johannes Buabeng-Baidoo (HRDA Programme Coordinator) and three students on the HRDA programme (Hawi Asfaw fromEthiopia, Reshoketswe Mapokgole from South Africa and Urerimam Raymond Shamaki from Nigeria), paid a courtesy visit to the home of Dr Vera Mlangazua Chirwa in commemoration of her selfless service to human rights in Africa as well as her support to the Centre.

The Queer Space Collective calls on you to participate in fostering the creation, telling, re-telling, archiving and accessibility of queer books and stories by donating used or brand new queer literature to the Queer Library for use by members of the University of Pretoria community.

pdfDownload the Call for Donations

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a panel discussion on technology and democracy.

pdfDownload this invitation

3 May 2018  Geneva - As the world marks Press Freedom Day on 3 May 2018, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, Sheila B Keetharuth, has called on the Government to end its crippling restrictions on freedom of the press.

“Journalists remain at risk of arbitrary arrest, imprisonment and enforced disappearance in efforts to intimidate and control them, and these human rights violations happen with total disregard for the fundamental right to freedom of expression and information, as well as individual rights,” - Ms. Keetharuth.

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'.

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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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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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). 

Bamako, Mali, 24 April 2018

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pdfDownload the Brief to Zambia’s Initial Report on the Implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (Reporting period: 2008 – 2017)
pdfDownload the Background to the Brief to Zambia's Inital Report (Reporting period: 2008 - 2017)

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.

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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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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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.

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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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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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.

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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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.

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.

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.

pdfDownload the Call for Papers (English)
pdfTélécharger l'appel à contributions (français)

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.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Pretoria were exposed to the world of digital verification from 13 to 15 February 2018. Sam Dubberley, Manager of Amnesty International’s Digital Verification Corps (DVC) programme, facilitated a training, which was organised by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. The sole purpose was to open up the verification work to a multi-disciplinary group of students who will then become part of a global team assisting researchers at Amnesty International to advance accountability for human rights violations.

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.

Apply for this course online before 26 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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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.

The Centre for Human Rights congratulates Dr Innocent Maja on his recent appointment as Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Zimbabwe effective from 1 April 2018 and running for a period of four years.

The continued attacks perpetrated against persons with albinism on the continent has prompted the Centre for Human Rights in collaboration with the office of the United Nations Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism and several organisations representing persons with albinism to appeal to the Pan-African Parliament to prioritise the rights of persons with albinism on the continent.

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2018, the Women’s Rights unit of the Centre for Human Rights in collaboration with the Department of Library Services, University of Pretoria collaborated to screen the film, Queen of Katwe, and also revealed the ‘I Am Woman’ photo exhibition. The Centre’s Assistant Director, Norman Taku, opened the event by discussing the historical context in which we celebrate International Women’s Day. He shared his thoughts on how women persevere and prevail in a world designed to challenge them at every opportunity, and called on participants to fight for women’s rights, not only on International Women’s Day, but on every day of the year.

The Centre for Human Rights hosted the annual Advanced Human Rights Course on Sexual Minorities in Africa from 26 February 2018 to 2 March 2018 at the University of Pretoria, Hatfield campus. This course, which is sponsored by the Flemish Government, was attended by 61 participants from 17 African countries, as well as participants representing the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. Participants included LLM/MPhil students, lawyers, magistrates, members of the civil society and staff from State departments.

On Wednesday 21 February and Thursday 22 February 2018, the Women's Rights Unit of the Centre for Human Rights took part in a 2-day validation workshop for the Lesotho State Party Report to the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, on the African Charter on Human and Peoples (African Charter) and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol). The meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Law, Constitutional Affairs and Human Rights in Lesotho in collaboration with Centre for Human Rights.

Granting asylum seekers refugee status on the basis of persecution on the grounds of sexual orientation in Africa – best practice or just best laws from South Africa?

Following a seminar organised by the Centre for Human Rights, which revealed the difficulties of asylum seekers in South Africa applying for refugee status on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, the Centre calls on the South African government to appoint trained professionals to process applications in a sensitive manner and in an environment that protects the privacy and dignity of applicants, with a view to achieving a humane yet thorough and expedited process.

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You are cordially invited to Centre for Human Rights Master’s Programmes Welcoming Ceremony.

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The Global Campus of Human Rights is glad to announce the launch of the fourth edition of the GC Visual Contest, open to photographers and video-makers, professionals and amateurs, from any part of the world.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is convening a colloquium on 2 - 3 August 2018 and is calling for abstracts on non-heteronormative African sexualities and genders.

The colloquium has the following main themes:

  1. reading the LGBTI category at the African locale; and
  2. indigenising stigmatised non-heteronormative African sexualities and genders.

It is anticipated that papers presented at the colloquium will be reworked by authors with a view to their consideration for publication as chapters in an edited volume.

pdfDownload this Call for Abstracts

The Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, invites applications from individuals interested in pursuing a doctorate degree in law, specifically on the topic of the impact of the United Nations human rights treaties on the domestic level.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Department of Library Services, cordially invites you to a screening of the film Queen of Katwe and the I am Woman photo exhibition.

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The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria cordially invites you to a Panel discussion - Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity as a basis for asylum and refugee status.

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The Disability Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria wishes to invite applications for the following vacancy at the Centre for Human Rights (an academic department and a non-governmental organisation at the University):

Internship, Disability Rights Unit - (One post) (9 month contract appointment) - Centre for Human Rights

pdfClick here to view the vacancy

Students from all universities in the world are invited to participate in the prestigious Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition in 2018. Les étudiants de toutes les universités du monde sont invités à participer au prestigieux Concours Mondial de Procès Simulé des Droits de l’Homme Nelson Mandela de 2018.

Invitations in all six of the official UN languages

pdfInvitation letter (English)
pdfInvitation letter (French)
pdfInvitation letter (Spanish)
pdfInvitation letter (Arabic)
pdfInvitation letter (Russian)
pdfInvitation letter (Chinese)

International collaboration opportunity for students on #PolicingLaw to engage in an international effort to collect national legislation on the use of force.

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The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria hosted a public lecture by renowned legal scholar Professor Makau Mutua on 12 February 2018. Prof Mutua is a distinguished Professor at the Floyd H. and Hilda L. Hurst Faculty Scholar at the State University of New York Buffalo Law School. The public lecture raised the question whether the age of human rights is over. It was premised on the central argument that while human rights and the use of the ‘language of rights’ have been a phenomenal success, it has lost the ability to coalesce action against human rights atrocities. Unfortunately, no new discourses have emerged to take the place of human rights. What is needed is a new moral language to fill the vacuum left by human rights.

pdfDownload a summary of the lecture

The Centre for Human Rights welcomes the adoption of the Joint General Comment on Ending Child Marriage by both the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights of the Child.

pdfDownload this statement
pdfDownload the Joint General Comment of the ACHPR and ACERWC on ending child marriage (English)
pdfTélécharger l'Observation Générale Conjointe du CADHP et CAEDBE sur l’eradication du mariage des enfants (Francais)

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria is pleased to announce the start of a comprehensive study into the impact of the United Nations (UN) human rights treaty system in 20 countries around the world.

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The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria cordially invites you to a Public Lecture under the theme - "Is the age for human rights over?"

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(By Prof Danny Bradlow)

Kofi Annan (80) was an important historical figure who played a critical role in many key events of the 1990s and 2000s. His death is therefore an opportunity to both celebrate his life and to begin honestly assessing his contributions to the world.

The Ghanaian diplomat’s legacy is complicated. He served as both head of the United Nations peacekeeping and as Secretary General of the UN. His tenure in these high offices – from 1992 to 2006 – were marked by great human tragedies as well as episodes of progress. His role in these events raises difficult questions about individual responsibility and the role of international organisations and their leaders in creating a more peaceful and just world.

This publication commemorates 18 years of the Master’s programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA).

It gives a snapshot of the HRDA programme; the Centre for Human Rights where it is based, and the partner universities in collaboration with which it is presented The reader will find comprehensive information on the donors, to whom the HRDA owes its very existence, and the administrative and academic staff whose competence and expertise have set high standards and given it world wide recognition.It gives a snapshot of the HRDA programme; the Centre for Human Rights where it is based, and the partner universities in collaboration with which it is presented The reader will find comprehensive information on the donors, to whom the HRDA owes its very existence, and the administrative and academic staff whose competence and expertise have set high standards and given it world wide recognition.Above all, this publication recognises the work of the alumni whose achievements in the field are contributing to advancing human rights and democracy, primarily in Africa, but also in other parts of the world. They are the manifestation of a momentum to move Africa forward; the vindication of the idea that expertise and a common understanding are important tools in addressing today’s development challenges.

From 17 to 18 August 2018, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is holding its 38th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government in Namibia. The Summit is expected to address some of the critical challenges affecting the region including the need to address poverty, promote development and take steps towards sub-regional integration. The Summit is also expected to speak to peace, stability and security in the region. Whilst these goals are inspirational, achieving them requires strong regional institutions capable of defending the rule of law and promoting democratic governance.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria is proud to announce the winners of this year’s FACES African Student Cellphone Film Competition.

First Prize (R10 000):

Jenira Ferreira with ‘Disillusionment of Student Culture’

The film was well executed and incorporated unique techniques that added flare to the overall output. This film was outstanding in its audio narration, cinematic shots and editing style.

The Centre of Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), held a Civil Society Organisations’ Forum on the sidelines of committee sittings which focused on the theme ‘Effective Engagement with the Pan-African Parliament’. The one-day meeting, which was held on 8 August 2018, was attended by the First Vice-President of the PAP, Honorable Julius Masel; the PAP Acting Clerk Parliament, Mr Yusupha Jobe; the PAP Legal Counsel, Mr Clement Phebe Mavungu; the PAP Senior International Relations Officer, Mrs Lyn Chiwandamira; Professors and staff members from the Centre of Human Rights. The forum was attended by Gauteng-based civil society organisations (CSOs) including Oxfam South Africa, Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust (SAPST), the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa (OSISA), Section 27, South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), Centre of Applied Legal Studies (CALS), Freedom House and the French Embassy. The forum sought to establish a common approach to sustained and meaningful engagement by enabling participants to share and exchange best practices on how to achieve an effective and constructive civil society engagement platform with the PAP.

pdfDownload Programme 

The Women’s Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with HelpAge, the South African Older Persons’ Forum (SAOPF) and the Department of Student Affairs, are hosting an intergenerational dialogue to discuss issues relating to violence against women. This is part of a series of planned events to celebrate women’s month and also in line with the Centre’s #AgeWithRights campaign. The intergenerational dialogue seeks to address issues of violence against women across generations focusing on the unique vulnerabilities associated with ageing and strategies for countering violence collectively across the different age groups (young, middle-aged and older).

pdfDownload Invitation 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership and HelpAge International, organised the West Africa expert meeting on the rights of older women in Accra, Ghana.  This was in the wake of the 27th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, held annually by the Centre, and formed part of the Centre’s year-long #AgeWithRights campaign to advocate for the protection of the rights of older women.

On Tuesday 7 August 2018, in commemoration of South Africa’s National Women’s Day and as part of the Centre for Human Rights (the Centre’s) year-long campaign on the rights of older women in Africa, the Women’s Rights unit in collaboration with the Department of Library Services, University of Pretoria organised the  screening of the award winning documentary ’The Witches of Gambaga’ by Yaba Badoe.

The final round of the 27th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, which took place on 11 August 2018 at the Law Court complex in Accra, Ghana, was won by the combined team comprising the Université des Lagunes (Côte d'Ivoire), Makerere University (Uganda) and the University of Pretoria (South Africa).

The runner up team consisted of Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (Mozambique), University of Ghana (Ghana) and University of Nairobi (Nairobi). 

The final round was presided over by the Chief Justice of Ghana, Justice Sophia Akuffo, who is also a previous President of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights. 

A total of 48 teams partcipated in this annual event, which in 2018 was organised by the Centre for Human Rights and hosted by the School of Law, University of Ghana. This was the second time that the African Moot Competition was held in Ghana. 

"It’s time for Africa to commit to protect the rights of older persons”

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in partnership with HelpAge Global Network in Africa and Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa, on 9 August 2018 organised a Policy Dialogue with Key Government Institutions including the African Union Social Affairs Department responsible for coordination and ratification of the African Union Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Older Persons (Protocol) on 8 August 2018 and a regional expert meeting for West Africa on the theme “Human rights of older women in West Africa: The need for enhanced protection”. 

pdfAgeWthRights Press Statement

After an intense two days of heated arguments at the 27th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition in Ghana, the results of the preliminary rounds were announced at Miklin Hotel, East Legon on 8 August 2018.

The following teams qualified for the final round which will take place at the High Court of Ghana:

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.

pdfDownload the Call for Papers
pdfTéléchargez le Appel à Contributions
pdfBaixar o Pedido de Documentos

Alongside the activities of the 27th African Human Rights Moot Court, the Centre for Human Rights is engaging in advocacy to advance the rights of older persons, with a specific focus on older women, in Ghana. The Centre’s Women’s Rights Unit campaign, #AgeWithRights, in partnership with HelpAge International and the Moremi Initiative, hosted an advocacy meeting on 8 August to discuss Ghana’s ratification of the Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a conference on addressing the barriers to implementation of inclusive education in the African region, which will be held from 6 to 7 November 2018.

pdfDownload the Invitation

After an illustrious opening ceremony, the first two sessions of the preliminary rounds of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition started at the University of Ghana’s School of Law on 7 August 2018. The preliminary rounds involve all participating teams arguing the hypothetical case four times: twice for the Applicants, and twice as Respondent (the State).

The 27th edition of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition started on an illustrious note, on 6 August 2018, at the University of Ghana, Accra, when H.E Nana Akufo-Addo, the President of Ghana officially opened the event.

The African Human Rights Moot Court Competition remains one of the largest gatherings of students, academics and judges around the theme of human rights in Africa. As in the past 27 years of the African Moot Court Competition, the Moot has brought together teams from all over the African continent – this year, there are 48 teams from 15 African countries.

On the 2 and 3 August, 2018, the Centre for Human Rights hosted a colloquium on sexual minority rights within Africa. The colloquium presented a platform for authors from around the continent to challenge and re-define how sexuality, identity, and LGBT advocacy have been constructed in Africa. In his welcoming address, Professor Frans Viljoen recognized the inspirational role of Professor Charles Ngwena in initiating and conceptualising the colloquium, and emphasises its multi-disciplinary nature. In giving background about the workshop, Professor Ebenezer Durojaye challenged the participants to interrogate how sexuality has been defined in Africa, outside of Western ideals, and outlined the aspiration of a publication following the colloquium.

(By Yolanda Booyzen)

If breastfeeding did not already exist, someone who invented it today would deserve a dual Nobel Prize in medicine and economics” – Keith Hansen, World Bank (2016).

At the beginning of every August, we celebrate World Breastfeeding Week (WBW). And every year we are reminded of the elixir-like qualities of breastfeeding and how it can address some of the world’s toughest challenges – infant mortality, malnutrition, food insecurity, poverty, obesity and environmental degradation. The 2018 WBW campaign focuses on how breastfeeding is the “foundation of life” and how there are links between breastfeeding and each of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

pdfDownload this statement

The Centre for Human Rights - University of Pretoria (CHR), the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA), and the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) have sued the United Republic of Tanzania before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights for its failure to ensure adequate protection of persons with albinism (PWAs).

The applicants filed the lawsuit on 25th July 2018, alleging that the State of Tanzania has failed to take sufficient measures to ward against the widespread persecution and discrimination perpetrated by the public against PWA.

pdfDownload this invitation

In celebration of National Women’s Day in South Africa, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Department of Library Services, cordially invites you to the screening of the award winning documentary ‘The Witches of Gambaga’ by Yaba Badoe.

pdfDownload this statement
pdfDownload this media advisory
pdfDownload this flyer

Civil society organizations in South Africa comprised of a broad collective of human rights and women’s rights organizations and Trade Unions add their voice to the call for immediate and decisive action towards ending violence against women in South Africa. 

We call upon every woman in South Africa to join us on the 1st of August to march peacefully in protest of the violence with impunity targeted at women. We demand that the government of South Africa pay particular attention to the continued and increasing spate of violence against women and girls and take concrete measures to end the violation of women’s right to life, dignity and security of persons. 

The School of Law, University of Venda, and the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invite you to the Annual Helen Kanzira Memorial Lecture.

The Keynote Address will be presented by The Honourable Justice Mandisa Maya President of the Supreme Court of Appeal, South Africa ‘Safe and voluntary motherhood a matter of human rights: We can do more’

pdfDownload this invitation

On Friday 20 July 2018, students from the 14th Cohort of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) (Civic Leadership Track) visited the Centre for Human Rights to learn more about the Centre’s work.

The afternoon kicked off with a presentation from the Disability Rights Unit. The students were introduced to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and given some information on how specific rights within the Convention may be implemented in practice, using the right to access to justice which is found in article 13 of the Convention as an example. Students learnt about the different types of disabilities and the barriers which people with each type of disability typically face in accessing justice. Solutions to these barriers were also explored in the form of accommodations which may be made to enable persons with disabilities to participate effectively in the criminal justice system and access justice on an equal basis with others.

The winning team of the 10th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition: The University of Buenos Aires in Argentina

Coinciding with the birth date of Nelson Mandela 100 years ago, the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition was held at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The University of Buenos Aires in Argentina emerged as winners, and the St. Thomas University in Canada, as runners-up in the final round of the competition.

A total number of 39 universities representing 24 countries from the 5 United Nations regions participated in the pre-final oral rounds of the competition, held in the human rights capital of the world. The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, annually organises this event, in collaboration with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. This year marked the tenth time the competition took place.

The 10th edition of the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition is currently holding at the human rights capital of the world – Geneva, Switzerland. The 39 teams that are competing this year at the Palais des Nations made it after an initial round of regional contest across the 5 UN regions. Brazil has six universities at this year’s World moot which is the largest number from any country. India is next with 4 universities. While Kenya and Ukraine have 3 universities each.

This year’s moot is especially significant because not only does it mark the tenth year of the competition, it also coincides with the centenary celebration of the great Nelson Mandela – the man whom the moot is named after.

“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.

(By Dr Ashwanee Budoo)

The African Union has taken several initiatives to demonstrate its commitment to eliminating injustices against women in Africa. The most recent has been a meeting ahead of the African Union (AU) summit scheduled for later this year to highlight the continent’s commitment to gender equality.

Other examples include the African Women’s Decade (2010-2020), adopting the African Union Gender Policy and creating a fund for African women. In addition, the AU declared 2016 the year of human rights with a particular focus on the rights of women.

Fifteen years ago the AU adopted the Maputo Protocol under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to boost the protection of women. Its implementation was meant to be overseen by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, a human rights body set up under the African Charter. And the process was meant to be monitored by the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa.

Despite the protocol’s adoption, the violation of women’s rights is still widespread across the continent. The list is long. But some of the more egregious acts include violence against women, child marriage, gender-based discrimination and exploitative widow rites. The reasons for these range from culture, to tradition, ignorance, lack of education and patriarchy.

The problem is that the protocol’s provisions remain mere words on paper. This is because its potential has been stifled by a weak monitoring and evaluation function.

There is a solution to the problem: the creation of an institution whose sole purpose is to protect women’s rights. But it will require political will and a commitment to make the necessary funds available.

By Dr Ashwanee Budoo 

Mauritius has been shaken by the news of the death of a 13-year-old pregnant girl who was married. Her death was particularly shocking because the country doesn’t have a high child marriage rate. It’s extremely low compared to countries like Niger where 76% of brides are children or the Central African Republic where the figure is 68%. In fact it’s so low that no recent studies have been done to estimate the number of child marriages in the country.

Though rare, child marriages do take place and Mauritians typically turn a blind eye. But the death of the girl has sparked discussion on the state’s obligations to protect children from early marriage.

The child’s death happened just a few days before the second global meeting of Girls Not Brides, a global partnership of more than 900 civil society organisations committed to ending child marriage.

The meeting discussed the complexities of child marriage and the tools available to deal with it. Attendees agreed that urgent action must be taken if the world wants to see the end of child marriage in this generation. Child marriage is still legal in 117 countries.

In Mauritius, the girl’s death demonstrated that the issue must be given priority to ensure that children are protected.

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.

pdfDownload the FACES 2018 Poster
pdfDownload the FACES 2018 Official Rules (English)

Submit your entry online (Deadline: 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.

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. 

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.

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 5thcommemoration 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.

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.

pdfDownload the Call for Applications

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.

pdfDownload the Press Statement

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.

pdfDownload the Call for Submissions
Click here to submit your entry via the online form 
Visit the #UDHRat70 Multimedia Competition website

#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.

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.

pdfDownload the Press Statement
pdfDownload the Press Statement (Full Version)
Visit the #StopCameroonViolations Campaign website

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.

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.

pdfDownload the Guidelines
pdfTélécharger les directives

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).

pdfDownload Report

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!

 

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. .

pdfDownload this statement

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.

pdfDownload this resolution

 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’.

pdfDownload this call for abstracts in English

pdfDownload this call for abstracts in French

 

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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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.

On 16 May 2018 Ms Ikponwosa Ero, the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism addressed the Pan Africa Parliament during its Sixth Ordinary Session which ended on 18 May 2018.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria invites you to a panel discussion on the protection of the rights of older women within the framework of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa (Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons).

pdfDownload this invitation

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria in collaboration with Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented its annual Advanced Human Rights Course on Judicial Enforcement of Socio-Economic Rights in Africa from 14 to 18 May 2018. The course brought together over 60 participants from across Africa and Europe, mainly representing members of judiciary, civil society, National Human Rights Institutions, policy makers, government officials and academia.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, welcomes the adoption by the African Union Heads of State of a treaty on the rights of person with disabilities, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (African Disability Rights Protocol), on 30 January 2018.  Africa now has a continental binding legal document protecting the human rights of persons with disabilities. The adoption of the African Disability Rights Protocol marks an important step towards recognising the equal dignity of persons with disabilities on the continent.

 

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria and the Global Emergency and Counterterrorism Institute cordially invites you to a public lecture by Peter Knoope on the ‘The lone wolves’ legion’. 

“We teach our old people to be proud. Not to bend their head in shame or stoop because they paid to be here. They worked hard to be here!” These were the touching words from Sandra Struw, the administrator of the Eersterust Welfare Organisation for the Aged (EWOFA) on the Centre’s visit to the old age home on Friday 11 May 2018. This event marks the beginning of the Centre’s year-long campaign on the rights of older persons, specifically older women. 

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.

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.

Please join us for a panel discussion in celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia (IDAHOT). The theme for this year, Alliances for Solidarity, is a welcome reminder of the need for solidarity within the communities of sexual and gender minorities, as the rights of one specific group cannot be solidly secured if the rights of other groups are left unchallenged. 

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The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) 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. PAP essentially operates in a consultative and advisory role mandated by the African Union.The Centre for Human Rights established a partnership with PAP through a Memorandum of Understanding which was signed on 27 October 2017. Key among the objectives of the partnership are the promotion of capacity building on human rights and democratisation in Africa, the increased visibility of PAP and the fostering of a strong interaction between PAP and Civil Society Organisations on the continent.

The Pretoria University Law Press (PULP) recently launched a collection of essays dealing with the lives and judgments of some of the first Constitutional Court Judges who were also all appointed by then President Nelson Mandela.The book, Making the road by walking, was launched at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (UP), on 18 April 2018, as South Africa and the rest of the world honour the birth-year of the iconic Nelson Mandela 100 years ago. A panel discussion took place under the banner: “Mandela’s legacy (re)considered: Historical and current perspectives of the Chaskalson Court”.

pdfDownload the publication Making the road by walking

Students on the Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) programme at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, recently visited the African human rights icon Dr Vera Chirwa.

On 15 April 2018, Professor Frans Viljoen (Director), Johannes Buabeng-Baidoo (HRDA Programme Coordinator) and three students on the HRDA programme (Hawi Asfaw fromEthiopia, Reshoketswe Mapokgole from South Africa and Urerimam Raymond Shamaki from Nigeria), paid a courtesy visit to the home of Dr Vera Mlangazua Chirwa in commemoration of her selfless service to human rights in Africa as well as her support to the Centre.

The Queer Space Collective calls on you to participate in fostering the creation, telling, re-telling, archiving and accessibility of queer books and stories by donating used or brand new queer literature to the Queer Library for use by members of the University of Pretoria community.

pdfDownload the Call for Donations

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a panel discussion on technology and democracy.

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3 May 2018  Geneva - As the world marks Press Freedom Day on 3 May 2018, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, Sheila B Keetharuth, has called on the Government to end its crippling restrictions on freedom of the press.

“Journalists remain at risk of arbitrary arrest, imprisonment and enforced disappearance in efforts to intimidate and control them, and these human rights violations happen with total disregard for the fundamental right to freedom of expression and information, as well as individual rights,” - Ms. Keetharuth.

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'.

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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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

pdfDownload this statement

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). 

Bamako, Mali, 24 April 2018

pdfDownload this statement
pdfDownload the Brief to Zambia’s Initial Report on the Implementation of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (Reporting period: 2008 – 2017)
pdfDownload the Background to the Brief to Zambia's Inital Report (Reporting period: 2008 - 2017)

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.

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.

pdfDownload this invitation

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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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.

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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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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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.

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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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.

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.

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.

pdfDownload the Call for Papers (English)
pdfTélécharger l'appel à contributions (français)

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.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Pretoria were exposed to the world of digital verification from 13 to 15 February 2018. Sam Dubberley, Manager of Amnesty International’s Digital Verification Corps (DVC) programme, facilitated a training, which was organised by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. The sole purpose was to open up the verification work to a multi-disciplinary group of students who will then become part of a global team assisting researchers at Amnesty International to advance accountability for human rights violations.

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.

Apply for this course online before 26 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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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.

The Centre for Human Rights congratulates Dr Innocent Maja on his recent appointment as Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Zimbabwe effective from 1 April 2018 and running for a period of four years.

The continued attacks perpetrated against persons with albinism on the continent has prompted the Centre for Human Rights in collaboration with the office of the United Nations Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism and several organisations representing persons with albinism to appeal to the Pan-African Parliament to prioritise the rights of persons with albinism on the continent.

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2018, the Women’s Rights unit of the Centre for Human Rights in collaboration with the Department of Library Services, University of Pretoria collaborated to screen the film, Queen of Katwe, and also revealed the ‘I Am Woman’ photo exhibition. The Centre’s Assistant Director, Norman Taku, opened the event by discussing the historical context in which we celebrate International Women’s Day. He shared his thoughts on how women persevere and prevail in a world designed to challenge them at every opportunity, and called on participants to fight for women’s rights, not only on International Women’s Day, but on every day of the year.

The Centre for Human Rights hosted the annual Advanced Human Rights Course on Sexual Minorities in Africa from 26 February 2018 to 2 March 2018 at the University of Pretoria, Hatfield campus. This course, which is sponsored by the Flemish Government, was attended by 61 participants from 17 African countries, as well as participants representing the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. Participants included LLM/MPhil students, lawyers, magistrates, members of the civil society and staff from State departments.

On Wednesday 21 February and Thursday 22 February 2018, the Women's Rights Unit of the Centre for Human Rights took part in a 2-day validation workshop for the Lesotho State Party Report to the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, on the African Charter on Human and Peoples (African Charter) and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol). The meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Law, Constitutional Affairs and Human Rights in Lesotho in collaboration with Centre for Human Rights.

Granting asylum seekers refugee status on the basis of persecution on the grounds of sexual orientation in Africa – best practice or just best laws from South Africa?

Following a seminar organised by the Centre for Human Rights, which revealed the difficulties of asylum seekers in South Africa applying for refugee status on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, the Centre calls on the South African government to appoint trained professionals to process applications in a sensitive manner and in an environment that protects the privacy and dignity of applicants, with a view to achieving a humane yet thorough and expedited process.

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You are cordially invited to Centre for Human Rights Master’s Programmes Welcoming Ceremony.

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The Global Campus of Human Rights is glad to announce the launch of the fourth edition of the GC Visual Contest, open to photographers and video-makers, professionals and amateurs, from any part of the world.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is convening a colloquium on 2 - 3 August 2018 and is calling for abstracts on non-heteronormative African sexualities and genders.

The colloquium has the following main themes:

  1. reading the LGBTI category at the African locale; and
  2. indigenising stigmatised non-heteronormative African sexualities and genders.

It is anticipated that papers presented at the colloquium will be reworked by authors with a view to their consideration for publication as chapters in an edited volume.

pdfDownload this Call for Abstracts

The Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, invites applications from individuals interested in pursuing a doctorate degree in law, specifically on the topic of the impact of the United Nations human rights treaties on the domestic level.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Department of Library Services, cordially invites you to a screening of the film Queen of Katwe and the I am Woman photo exhibition.

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The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria cordially invites you to a Panel discussion - Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity as a basis for asylum and refugee status.

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The Disability Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria wishes to invite applications for the following vacancy at the Centre for Human Rights (an academic department and a non-governmental organisation at the University):

Internship, Disability Rights Unit - (One post) (9 month contract appointment) - Centre for Human Rights

pdfClick here to view the vacancy

Students from all universities in the world are invited to participate in the prestigious Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition in 2018. Les étudiants de toutes les universités du monde sont invités à participer au prestigieux Concours Mondial de Procès Simulé des Droits de l’Homme Nelson Mandela de 2018.

Invitations in all six of the official UN languages

pdfInvitation letter (English)
pdfInvitation letter (French)
pdfInvitation letter (Spanish)
pdfInvitation letter (Arabic)
pdfInvitation letter (Russian)
pdfInvitation letter (Chinese)

International collaboration opportunity for students on #PolicingLaw to engage in an international effort to collect national legislation on the use of force.

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The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria hosted a public lecture by renowned legal scholar Professor Makau Mutua on 12 February 2018. Prof Mutua is a distinguished Professor at the Floyd H. and Hilda L. Hurst Faculty Scholar at the State University of New York Buffalo Law School. The public lecture raised the question whether the age of human rights is over. It was premised on the central argument that while human rights and the use of the ‘language of rights’ have been a phenomenal success, it has lost the ability to coalesce action against human rights atrocities. Unfortunately, no new discourses have emerged to take the place of human rights. What is needed is a new moral language to fill the vacuum left by human rights.

pdfDownload a summary of the lecture

The Centre for Human Rights welcomes the adoption of the Joint General Comment on Ending Child Marriage by both the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights of the Child.

pdfDownload this statement
pdfDownload the Joint General Comment of the ACHPR and ACERWC on ending child marriage (English)
pdfTélécharger l'Observation Générale Conjointe du CADHP et CAEDBE sur l’eradication du mariage des enfants (Francais)

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria is pleased to announce the start of a comprehensive study into the impact of the United Nations (UN) human rights treaty system in 20 countries around the world.

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The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria cordially invites you to a Public Lecture under the theme - "Is the age for human rights over?"

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