The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is pleased to invite applications for the Master's degree (LLM/MPhil) in Multidisciplinary Human Rights (MDHR) for the academic year 2024. This prestigious program offers an unparalleled opportunity for students to engage in advanced studies and research in the field of human rights, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to make a lasting impact on human rights issues globally.

Henok Ashagrey, a passionate Doctoral student and Tutor for the LLM/MPhil (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa) program at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, had an amazing opportunity to participate in a cutting-edge workshop titled 'Humour and Human Rights: Humour, a less explored tool to advance human rights.' 

South Africa, like the rest of Africa – and the world – celebrates ‘Africa Day’ today.  This day, 25 May, is the date on which, 60 years ago, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was founded. The OAU was in 2002 transformed into the African Union (AU), with its inaugural session being held in Durban, South Africa, on 9 July 2002. Because the roots of ‘formalised pan-Africanism’ are traced back to 1963, the date of the OAU’s founding still marks ‘Africa Day’.

Dr Michelle R. Maziwisa is the new Programme Manager for the Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) Masters Programme at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. Maziwisa previously served as a postdoctoral researcher at the Dullah Omar Institute, at the University of Western Cape, Cape Town. She is a recipient of the prestigious Ronald Watts Young Scholar Award for her essay on External Economic Arrangements and South African Cities as Agents of Local Development. Her work on women’s rights is broad and includes sexual and reproductive rights, representation and participation in democratic processes, and feminist trade justice.

Badudwan’ is a practice in Ghana where a man is given a cow in recognition of him have borne 10 children. In the process the woman who has been put under pressure to carry all 10 (or more) pregnancies is ignored. Organisations might be allowed into school to discuss sexuality education for adolescents but personal convictions of staff block the distribution of contraceptive products to the youth. These are only some of the issues that have come up in the discussions on sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) in Ghana during a training organised by the Women’s Rights Unit, Centre for Human Rights in collaboration with WiLDAF Ghana from 16-17 March 2023. The meeting is part of the project funded by the Swedish International Development Corporation (SIDA). The project is aimed at strengthening SRHR in Africa.

Centre for Human Rights, doctoral candidate Brian Kibirango is the latest recipient of the Christof Heyns memorial scholarship. The Christof Heyns Human Rights Scholarship was instituted in memory of renowned human rights scholar, Christof Heyns, who was a professor of human rights law at the University of Pretoria until his untimely death in March 2021.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria welcomed the third cohort of master’s students on the LLM/MPhil Disability Rights in Africa (DRIA) programme during an orientation week (Week Zero) which was held from 3 to 4 March 2023.

On 3 November 2022, Professor Charles Manga Fombad, the Director of Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA), was awarded the University of Pretoria’s (UP) prestigious Chancellor’s award for research, for the year 2021. Prof Fombad is a National Research Foundation (NFR) B1-rated scholar and a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSA).

Over 100 students, academics and experts from more than 50 countries joined the four-day long Global Classroom 2022 on internal displacement, amiably hosted by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. The programme included presentations by seven student research teams on regional approaches and case studies on topics such as climate disaster-induced displacement; the impact of ongoing conflicts on displaced women and children; an analysis of the Kampala Convention and the UN Guiding Principle on internal displacement; and the role of state and non-state organisations in supporting IDPs. 

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, takes great pleasure in congratulating Dianah Msipa on her appointment by the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities onto a team of experts working on the proposed African Union (AU) Convention on Violence against Women and Children.

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, University of Pretoria is launching in 2019 a LLM/MPhil (Disability Rights in Africa) degree. The knowledge attained from programme provides an opportunity to disability rights advocates, lawyers, researchers, social activists and educators to develop new legislation, jurisprudence, policy, research, and scholarship to harness the innovations and opportunities offered by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa (the Protocol).

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.

On 29 and 30 January 2018, the Centre for Human Rights, Disability Rights Unit convened a two-day colloquium for emerging scholars in the disability rights field. In his welcoming address, Professor Frans Viljoen stated that the focus of the colloquium, was on developing theoretical and practical skills for academic writing in disability rights as they apply to the African region. Further explaining the rationale behind the colloquium Professor Charles Ngwena, said that the colloquium was aimed at providing emerging scholars in the disability rights field with a forum for developing a paper in progress into a publishable article for submission to African Disability Rights Yearbook (Yearbook).


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