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  Download Pretoria Declaration on Technology and Human Rights
  Download abstract and a list of bios of participantsabstract and a list of bios of participants

From 1 to 3 September, the Centre for Human Rights organised the conference of the Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI). AHRI was established in 2000 by seven human rights institutes in Europe and has grown to include more than 80 university-based human rights institutes across the world. The 2022 conference was the first time that AHRI held its annual conference outside Europe. The Centre for Human Rights organised the 2020 conference on the theme of socio-economic rights, but due to Covid-19 this conference was moved fully online.

Upcoming Conferences 

call for paper ahri conference 2022

Technology and the future of human rights

2 - 3 September 2022

Technological developments have made what was once science fiction reality. This gives some hope for a utopian future while others get nightmares. It also highlights the extent to which technologies that are not explicitly designed with human rights and equity in mind have tremendous potential to do harm.

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annual disability rights conference 2022

10th Annual Disability Rights Conference

17 - 18 November 2022

The CHR hosts an annual conference on disability rights in an African context in November. The conference serves as a platform for convening dialogue amongst key stakeholders on disability rights, and to spotlight pertinent and emerging disability rights concerns in the African region.

In 2022, the conference theme is ‘Migration, Displacement and Disability in Africa: A Human Rights Response

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call for applications decrim 2022

Decriminalisation of same-sex laws and the eradication of conversion practices in Africa

24 - 25 November 2022

Technological developments have made what was once science fiction reality. This gives some hope for a utopian future while others get nightmares. It also highlights the extent to which technologies that are not explicitly designed with human rights and equity in mind have tremendous potential to do harm.

Read More

Past Conferences 

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The 6th Annual African Disability Rights Conference will be held from 6 to 7 November 2018 at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria in South Africa. This year’s conference will focus on addressing the barriers to implementation of inclusive education in the African region.  

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, will be hosting a regional conference titled ‘Fulfilling the right of persons with disabilities to live in the community: Promoting choice, inclusion and participation’. The 7th Annual Disability Rights Conference will be held on 11 and 12 November 2019 in Johannesburg. 

In 2020, the conference will focus on developing responses for overcoming barriers faced by persons with disabilities in the respect, protection and fulfilment of the right to health in the African region.

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Download speaker biographies


Date: 17 - 18 November 2020  
Session 1: 08:00 – 11:00 GMT | 09:00 – 12:00 WAT | 10:00 – 13:00 SAST | 11:00 – 14:00 EAT  
Session 2: 12:00 – 15:00 GMT | 13:00 – 16:00 WAT | 14:00 – 17:00 SAST | 15:00 – 18:00 EAT  
Venue: Online (Zoom)

Background

In its preamble and substantive provisions, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD) underscores the imperative of securing equality and human dignity for persons with disabilities in all socio-economic sectors, including in the provision of health care and related services.

About the Conference 

For the past seven years, the Centre for Human Rights has hosted the Annual Disability Rights Conference in November of each year. The conference acts as a platform for convening dialogue amongst key stakeholders on disability rights, and to spotlight the pertinent and emerging disability rights concerns in the African region. More information on previous editions of the conference  can be found at www.chr.up.ac.za/disability-rights-projects/dru-annual-conference 

In 2020, the conference will focus on developing responses for overcoming barriers faced by persons with disabilities in the respect, protection and fulfilment of the right to health in the  African region.
The conference has two main complementary objectives:

  1. to critically appraise laws, policies, practices, programmes, polities and ideologies that impede the respect, protection and fulfilment of the right to health of persons with disabilities; and
  2. to suggest how to overcome the impediments. Discussions during the conference will contribute towards the realisation of the right to health of persons with disabilities as set out in Article 25 of the Convention on the  Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and Article 15 of the Protocol to the African Charter on  Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa (African Disability  Rights Protocol).  

The conference seeks to bring together scholars, practitioners, care and service providers,  researchers and other pertinent actors from the African region and beyond who are working on various aspects of the right to health of persons with disabilities.

Submission specifications

A committee will review abstracts that are in English, are 400-450 words in length, without footnotes or endnotes, and in MS Word format (not PDF). Abstracts must include in a single document: title of abstract, author’s name, affiliation, qualifications, email address and body of abstract.

Important dates

  • Abstracts must be sent by email to tariro.rufetu@up.ac.za by 14 September 2020.
  • Authors wishing to discuss ideas before submitting an abstract can contact the convenors at charles.ngwena@up.ac.za /nkatha.murungi@up.ac.za.
  • Authors will be notified by 17 September 2020 whether their abstract has been accepted.
  • Authors of accepted abstracts are required to submit full papers by 30 October 2020.

Funding

Authors whose conference paper is accepted for presentation at the conference may be considered for reimbursement or modest compensation for data costs related to their participation in the conference.


For more information, please contact: 

Innocentia Mgijima-Konopi
Manager: Disability Rights and Law Schools Programme

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 6398
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743
innocentia.mgijima@up.ac.za

Tariro Rufetu
Programme Officer: Disability Rights Unit

Tel: +27 (0)12 420 6398
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743
tariro.rufetu@up.ac.za

Migration, Displacement and Disability: A Human Rights Response
17 - 18 November 2022 


About the conference

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, hosts an annual conference on disability rights in an African context during the month of November. The inaugural disability rights conference was held in 2013. The annual conference serves as a platform for convening dialogue amongst key stakeholders on disability rights, and to spotlight pertinent and emerging disability rights concerns in the African region.

In 2022, the conference theme is ‘Migration, Displacement and Disability in Africa: A Human Rights Response

The main focus of the conference will be on respecting, protecting, promoting and fulfilling the rights of persons with disabilities who migrate or are displaced. The conference has two main objectives: 1) to critically appraise laws, policies, practices, programmes, polities and ideologies that relate to migration and displacement of persons with disabilities in Africa and 2) to suggest remedial responses (domestically, regionally and globally) to address violations of the rights of persons with disabilities as migrants and internally displaced persons (IDPs). The conference will be convened by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa, on 17 and 18 November 2022. It is anticipated that authors will rework papers presented at this conference.

Background

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ushered in a transformative human rights approach to disability. It constitutes a shift from a medical to a social model of disability. The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disability (the African Disability Rights Protocol) has followed suit. Under article 4 and article 18(1), respectively, the CRPD provides for the liberty of movement, right to choose and right to the residence to persons with disabilities. Article 11 of CRPD also calls for States Parties to take all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural disasters.  

The African Disability Rights Protocol and the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention) contain several provisions that can be used to ad­vance the respect, protection and, ultimately, fulfil­ment of the rights of persons with disabilities in situation of risks. Notably, they require States Parties to protect the rights of all persons including disabled persons against being arbitrarily displaced and, in so doing, to respect provisions of international law that are relevant for the protection of IDPs.

Persons with disabilities who migrate or are displaced experience numerous violations of their human rights. Environmental disasters and conflict situations in Africa and across the globe serve as push factors for the migration and displacement of people. They create situations of risk to persons with disabilities, severely hindering mobility. Many are left behind in situations with little access to health care or rehabilitation or support services, lack of carers and exposure to violence.  Some are forced to move, becoming internally displaced persons living in IDP camps. Others are forced to travel to other countries, risking being declared illegal or subjection to restrictions of personal liberty without access to basic services.  Those who move are also at risk of losing documents that are essential to their survival.

Wars, conflict and environmental disasters that cause people to migrate are major cause of impairment and impoverishment. Forced migratory passage impacts adversely on persons with disabilities as they flee or attempt to reconstruct their lives in new places.

Persons with disabilities who have fled their residences and countries for reasons related to an armed conflict and who find themselves in a destination country that is at peace are protected under international humanitarian law (IHL), specifically provisions of the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols. For instance, IHL contains several provisions that justify differential treatment based on a person’s state of health, age, sex or rank. Notwithstanding, there is a North-South disparity in protections for a number of reasons.   Comparatively, migrants or displaced people of colour from the Global South experience greater personal risks but enjoy fewer protections than their northern counterparts as the war in Ukraine has reminded us.

Although much has been written and documented on migration and the movements of people within and across national borders, very little has been written on the intersection between disability, migration and displacement. This paucity is evident also across disciplines. In the light of environmental disasters, wars and conflict, food shortages, and environmental degradation, disability justice should be an integral part of the conversation on issues concerning migration and displacement in the African Region. Disability scholarship has yet to extensively engage with the predicament of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced with disabilities across a range of geopolitical spaces.

Against this backdrop, the convenors of the conference invite abstracts (and, eventually, papers developed from accepted abstracts) that are aimed at identifying and providing remedial responses to violations of the rights of persons with disabilities who are under migration, who have migrated or who have been displaced. The parameters of an abstract can be at a country level, sub-regional level, regional level and/or global level or a combination of these levels. What is crucial is that abstracts should address African needs, taking into account relevant human rights and international humanitarian law frameworks.

Participants

The conference seeks to bring together stakeholders interested in promoting the rights of persons with disabilities who are under migration, migrated, or displaced. The prevailing violations against the rights of persons with disabilities is partly due to limited laws, policies, practices, programmes, polities and ideologies that protect disabled IDPs and migrants in Africa. The bulk of current research, published commentaries and activism on migration and displacement of people addresses the global north. There is a particular need to contextualise the experiences of the African region and bring them to the public domain for debate and exchange of ideas that speak to the locale rather than merely reproduce discourses from the Global North.

Possible topics to consider

Topics of particular interest include but are not limited to the following:

  • Causes of migration and displacement among persons with disabilities in the Global South
  • Experiences of persons with disabilities during exodus and post-conflict/humanitarian contexts
  • Rights of persons with disabilities during exodus and post-conflict/humanitarian contexts
  • Place of civil society and non-governmental organisations in promoting the rights of migrants and IDPs with disabilities
  • Place of domestic human rights institutions in promoting the rights of migrants and IDPs with disabilities
  • Courts and tribunals and the rights of migrants and IDPs with disabilities
  • Intersections of disability, race, culture, poverty, gender and legal status in the migration process
  • Intersection of migration, disability and gender non-conformity
  • Intersection of migration, disability and sexual minorities
  • Intersection of migration, disability and intersex
  • Asylum, disabled bodies, and (re)construction of disabled lives across borders
  • Globalisation, neoliberalism and the role of migrant and IDPs with disabilities in contemporary imperialism
  • Racism, xenophobia and the position of migrants or IDPs with disabilities
  • Medicalisation and treatment of migrants and IDPs with disabilities in Africa
  • Migrants and IDPs with disabilities in policy and practice: critical analyses
  • Migrants and IDPs with disabilities in resettlement
  • Migrants and IDPs with disabilities, voice, and claims for social justice

As part of underscoring the importance of multi-sectoral responses and partnerships in the production of knowledge, we particularly encourage joint abstracts between scholars, policymakers and persons with disabilities together with their representative organisations.

Submission specifications

A committee will review abstracts that are written in English, are 300-350 words in length and in MS Word format (not PDF).
Abstracts must include in a single document:

  1. Title of abstract
  2. Author’s name
  3. Affiliation
  4. Qualifications
  5. E-mail address

Submission deadline for abstracts:

30 June 2022
Authors will be notified by 15 July 2022 whether their abstract has been accepted.

Submission deadline for Papers:
28 October 2022 Authors whose abstracts are accepted will be required to submit their full papers by 28 October 2022.

For more information on the 10th Annual Disability Rights Conference please contact: 

disabilityconference@up.ac.za


For more information on the Disability Rights Unit, please contact: 

Dianah Msipa (she/her)
Manager: Disability Rights Unit

Tel: +27 (0)12 420 6398
Fax: +27 (0) 86 580 5743
dianah.msipa@up.ac.za

 

The Freedom of Expression and Access to Information Unit participated in the Ghana Data Protection Conference which took place from 20 to 21 April 2017 in Accra, Ghana. 

The Conference, which was organised by the Ghana Data Protection Commission, brought together a broad range of stakeholders to amongst other things share knowledge on data protection issues and developments around the world.

In line with the theme of the conference of ‘Safeguarding Fundamental Human Rights through Data Protection’, the Unit presented findings of its on-going research on the adoption of a human rights based approach to data protection in Africa.

This conference is part of the Unit’s on-going project with Google, which involves collaboration on advancing data protection/privacy in Africa through research, training and advocacy.
 

On 4 and 5 November 2014, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, hosted an academic conference on disability rights with a focus on the effective implementation of the rights of women with disabilities in Africa. Fifteen papers were presented at the conference, on a diverse range of issues including political participation, access to education, sexual and reproductive rights, building an inclusive environment, resource allocation, access to justice and violence against women with disabilities. The conference drew participants from more than 15 countries and approximately 50 people attended the conference. Participants included persons with disabilities, their families, civil society groups as well as advocates for disability law reform, lawyers, policy makers, academics and practitioners from around the world.

The Centre for Human Rights at the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria cordially invites you to a conference on the effective implementation of the rights of women with disabilities in Africa.

The Conference is on the theme ‘Overcoming obstacles: Towards the effective implementation of the rights of women with disabilities in Africa’ and will be presented by scholars, practitioners and disability activists from all over the world, but particularly from Africa.

pdfDownload the Invitation

Date: 4 and 5 November 2014
Time: 09:00 to 17:00
Venue: Auditorium,Plant Sciences Building, Hatfield Campus, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
RSVP:  Kindly confirm your attendance by Friday 31 October 2014 by sending an email to carole.viljoen@up.ac.za
Enquiries: Ms Carole Viljoen (012 420 3810 / carole.viljoen@up.ac.za)
GPS: 25°45’16.5”S 28°14’01.5”E

No registration fee is charged but pre-registration is compulsory.

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