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Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, South Africa

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is an internationally recognised university-based institution combining academic excellence and effective activism to advance human rights, particularly in Africa. It aims to contribute to advancing human rights, through education, research and advocacy.

Latest News

Scholarship Programme
Scholarship Programme
The Disability Rights Scholarship Program offers awards to individuals from the Czech Republic and select countries in Africa and Eurasia for a one-year Master of Laws degree.
#CRC30: Meet Melanie Smuts from the Global Campus Alumni
#CRC30: Meet Melanie Smuts from the Global Campus Alumni
Joint Statement:
Joint Statement:
Open letter to President Macron about human rights abuses in Cameroon
New Africa Rights Talk episode
New Africa Rights Talk episode
The latest episode features a conversation with Abigail Dawson on 'Exlporing issues affecting migrants in South Africa'. Hosted by Tatenda Musinahama.
7th Annual Disability Rights Conference
7th Annual Disability Rights Conference
Placing the spotlight on the right of persons with disabilities to live in the community.
Access to justice for persons with disabilities
Access to justice for persons with disabilities
Centre for Human Rights trains justice personnel in Botswana
Centre calls for end to evictions
Centre calls for end to evictions
Centre for Human Rights calls for an end to the eviction of refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa
UN implements UP researchers' proposal
UN implements UP researchers' proposal

Latest Press Statements

Joint Statement: Cameroon – Open letter to President Macron about human rights abuses in Cameroon
12 November 2019

Dear President Macron:

We, the undersigned scholars, writers, and human rights advocates, write to plead with France to up its engagement in resolving Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis, described by some analysts as “Rwanda in slow motion”.

Specifically, we respectfully urge France to use its considerable influence with the government of President Paul Biya to encourage Cameroon to openly embrace the Swiss-led peace talks, as a means of ending the killings and atrocities being committed in the North West and South-West regions of the country. A lasting solution must come from a mediated process that includes Anglophone armed-separatist groups and non-violent civil-society leaders.

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Press Statement (12 November 2019)
Centre for Human Rights calls for an end to the eviction of refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa
24 October 2019
The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is deeply concerned about the eviction of refugees and asylum seekers who were holding a sit-in at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Cape Town, South Africa. The evictions were carried out by the South African Police Service on 30 October 2019.
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Press Statement (24 October 2019)
Centre for Human Rights and Shift hosts an expert consultation on developing better ways to evaluate business respect for human rights
29 October 2019
The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (UP), in collaboration with Shift, will be hosting a two-day multi-stakeholder meeting of experts concerning the Valuing Respect project - a project aimed at evaluating how companies understand and give effect to their responsibility to respect human rights. The consultation will take place on 30 and 31 October 2019.
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Press Statement (29 October 2019)
The Centre in statement to African Commission calls for AU Peace and Security Council involvement in Cameroon
28 October 2019
The Centre for Human Rights presented its statement on aspects of the human rights situation in Africa, at the 65th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, taking place in Banjul, the Gambia. It drew attention to the situation in Cameroon; raised concerns about the lack of priority by the African Commission on its protective mandate; called for the consistent implementation of Resolution 275; and urged the African Commission to develop soft-law standards on the rights of intersex persons.
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Press Statement (28 October 2019)
"#Beijing25Africa: Reflections on African women’s rights at the 65th Ordinary Session of the African Commission
24 October 2019
As the Beijing Declaration is currently undergoing review, it is critical to implement international and regional human rights standards and frameworks, including the Maputo Protocol, which requires commitment by governments to achieve gender equality, as well as strategic efforts by CSOs to hold states accountable to their obligations.
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Press Statement (24 October 2019)
Advocacy platform of former Commissioners established to strengthen the independence of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
16 September 2019
Former members of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission), meeting in Pretoria, initiated the setting-up of a platform to strengthen the independence of the African Commission.
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Press Statement (16 September 2019)
Press Statement: Experts discuss South Africa’s Commitment to Global and Regional Accountability
13 September 2019

A recent round table seminar brought together by the South Africa Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, with the support of the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, discussed South Africa’s attitude towards global and regional accountability mechanisms.

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Press Statement (13 September 2019)
"Future Africa Statement on Forced Migration in Africa"
7 September 2019

WE, PARTICIPANTS of the International Conference on the Protection of Forced Migrants in Africa, gathered on 6 and 7 September 2019 at the Future Africa campus of the University of Pretoria, South Africa;

INVOKING the notion of Ubuntu; RECOGNIZING the development of progressive laws and policies governing forced displacement and migration adopted by several countries in Africa; and CALLING for a movement away from rhetoric towards the effective implementation of existing laws and policies;

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Conference Statement (7 September 2019)
  • Joint Statement: Cameroon – Open letter to President Macron about human rights abuses in Cameroon Press Statement (12 November 2019)
  • Centre for Human Rights calls for an end to the eviction of refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa Press Statement (24 October 2019)
  • Centre for Human Rights and Shift hosts an expert consultation on developing better ways to evaluate business respect for human rights Press Statement (29 October 2019)
  • The Centre in statement to African Commission calls for AU Peace and Security Council involvement in Cameroon Press Statement (28 October 2019)
  • "#Beijing25Africa: Reflections on African women’s rights at the 65th Ordinary Session of the African Commission Press Statement (24 October 2019)
  • Advocacy platform of former Commissioners established to strengthen the independence of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Press Statement (16 September 2019)
  • Press Statement: Experts discuss South Africa’s Commitment to Global and Regional Accountability Press Statement (13 September 2019)
  • "Future Africa Statement on Forced Migration in Africa" Conference Statement (7 September 2019)

Academic Programmes

Academic programmes presented by the Centre for Human Rights:
HRDA

HRDA

LLM/MPhil in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa
The LLM/MPhil in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa is a prestigious one-year intensive course where 25-30 exceptional individuals spend 6 months in Pretoria and 6 months at one of the 13 partner universities all over Africa.

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TILA

TILA

LLM (International Trade and Investment Law in Africa)
The LLM degree in International Trade and Investment Law in Africa is a higher education and training programme based in, and focused on, Africa with full exposure to the international world of trade and investment.

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SRRA

SRRA

LLM/MPhil (Sexual & Reproductive Rights in Africa)
The Master's degree (LLM/MPhil) in Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa is a two-year programme that is offered as a blended learning course comprising of online interaction and residential block-weeks in Pretoria.

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MDHR

MHR

LLM/MPhil (Multidisciplinary Human Rights)
The LLM/MPhil degree in Multidisciplinary Human Rights gives students from various disciplines the opportunity to engage with human rights issues from a number of perspectives. This programme is for lawyers and non-lawyers.

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DRIA

DRIA

LLM/MPhil (Disability Rights in Africa)
The two-year programme is offered as a hybrid teaching approach comprising online interaction and residential face-to-face weeks in Pretoria. Two face-to-face sessions will be scheduled every year. The first face-to-face session is in December 2018.

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Education Projects

The Centre presents annually a number of short courses, two moot court competitions and a conference:
AHRC

AHRC

Advanced Human Rights Courses
The Advanced Human Rights Courses (AHRC) programme consists of annual advanced short courses dealing with issues pertinent to human rights, development and good governance in Africa.

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AHRMCC

AHRMCC

African Human Rights Moot Court Competition
The annual African Human Rights Moot Court Competition is the largest gathering of students, academics and judges around the theme of human rights in Africa.

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NMWMCC

NMWMCC

Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition
The Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition is an annual event and is open to both undergraduate and master's degree law students.

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Annual Conference

Conferences

Annual Conference
The Disability Rights Unit at Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, hosts an annual conference on disability rights in an African context during the first week of November.

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Research Units

Research Units

Overview of our Units

The Centre for Human Rights hosts a number of Research Units whose main objectives are to do research in their prospective fields.

Most Units have a short course, a clinical group and a resource database linked to the Unit. Focus areas include freedom of expression and access to information, business and human rights, children's rights, disability rights, women's rights, litigation, race and common citizenship, sexual orientation and gender and identity expression and unlawful killings.

Overview of our Units

Associated Institutes / Units

IDLU

IDLU

International Development Law Unit
The International Development Law Unit (IDLU) presents the LLM (International Trade and Investment Law in Africa) and its mission is to conduct and promote policy-oriented legal research on international development law topics.

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ICLA

ICLA

Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa
The Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA) aims to become a first port of call for those who wish to engage in legal research and legal reform in Africa involving comparative or international law at the advanced level.

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Publications

AHRLJ

AHRLJ

African Human Rights Law Journal

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ADRY

ADRY

African Disability Rights Yearbook

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Awards & Prizes

UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education
In 2006, the Centre for Human Rights was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education, with particular recognition for the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition and the LLM in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa
2006
2006
UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education
African Union Human Rights Prize
In 2012, the Centre for Human Rights was awarded the 2012 African Union Human Rights Prize, in recognition of the Centre's contribution to the work of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights in the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa.
2012
2012
African Union Human Rights Prize