The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, will host a one-week intensive short course on sexual minority rights from 24 to 28 February 2020.
Course date: 24 - 28 February 2020
Venue: Graduate Centre, University of Pretoria Main Campus
About the course
The Advanced Human Rights Course on Sexual Minority Rights in Africa is a short course that introduces participants to basic SOGIESC (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics) concepts and a thematic and geographical exposition of challenges faced by LGBTIQ+ persons in Africa.
This course is designed for people who wish to obtain basic/introductory information, an understanding of the terminology, and a general appreciation of the problems faced by LGBTIQ+ persons in realising basic human rights in many African societies. Participants get to understand ways they can contribute to advancing the rights of LGBTIQ+ persons, especially at the national level. Participants typically include academics, police officers and magistrates (who often lack basic knowledge and are often accused of abusing LGBTIQ+ persons); and NGOs that do not work on sexual minority rights issues or that have only recently begun to do so and need capacity building. They may also include National Human Rights Institutions that can play an important role in countries where national governments are unsympathetic to LGBTIQ+ issues.
The Centre for Human Rights also hosts a capacity building workshop on sexual minorities in Africa, a more technical course designed to train LGBTIQ+ activists on how to engage with the African Union and United Nations human rights bodies - understanding the history, composition and working of these supra-national bodies, as well as how to bring cases/communications before these bodies. The workshop examines case law as well as legal and political strategies used in the past. This helps participants formulate their own strategies and develop networks. The workshop is interactive and includes practical exercises where participants receive training on the processes and procedures of AU and UN human rights bodies. They are also able to share experiences and inspire each other. Participants for the workshop typically include LGBTIQ+ activists and human rights defenders in general who, at least, have some experience of working at the national level. More information on applying for this workshop will be published on the Centre's website in due course.
The programme may contain elements of the following themes:
- Conceptual clarification of the terms ‘gay’, ‘lesbian’, ‘bisexual’, ‘transgender’ and ‘intersex’ (the origin of these and other related terms and their influence);
- Bio-medical data on homosexuality, and its interpretation;
- HIV and the emergence of ‘men-who-have-sex-with-men’ (MSM), MSM and the LGBTIQ+ movement, the risk of HIV infection to lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered and intersex persons;
- African tradition/culture and homosexuality (the ‘unAfrican’ debate, anthropological perspectives on homosexuality in traditional Africa);
- The approach to homosexuality of the major religious traditions (Christianity, Islam);
- Public opinion on sexual minority rights: media, popular culture and literature in Africa and sexual minority rights;
- A typology of human rights violations of sexual minorities in African states (attempts to address them; reasons for violations);
- Criminal law and LGBTIQ+ persons (sodomy laws, and the application of criminal law);
- Sexual minority rights under international law (ICCPR; Toonen case; Yogyakarta Principles; are LGBTIQ+ persons ‘minorities’ under international law);
- Domestic legal provisions affecting LGBTIQ+ persons in African states (eg criminalisation of same-sex relations);
- Strategies and best practices of litigation to vindicate the rights of sexual minorities (the role of civil society organs, media etc);
- Current case law development in African states;
- EU / Council of Europe and LGBTIQ+ Rights;
- Other international (UN) law and sexual minorities
The course fee is ZAR 3 000.00 (US $ 450).
This fee covers tuition, course materials, teas and lunch for the duration of the course.
The fee excludes transport and accommodation costs.
A limited number of partial scholarships are available.
Applicants must indicate on the online application form whether they wish to apply for a scholarship and provide sufficient motivation substantiating why they require financial assistance.
Applicants must also indicate whether they would still like to be considered for admission in the event that they are not granted a scholarship.
Please note: Applications closed on 12 February 2020.
A high proficiency in English is required to attend this course. All lectures and materials are in English. Prior to applying for this course, please read through the information on the practical Information and the payment details pages.
Documents to be submitted:
- Curriculum Vitae (short CV in PDF or Word document, maximum 3 pages, maximum 10 MB in file size)
- One Letter of Recommendation (PDF or Word document, maximum 10 MB in file size)
- Academic Records (students only) (combined in one PDF or Word document, maximum 10 MB in file size)
* Please note that in order to apply for any of the Advanced Human Rights Courses, you are required to use a Google Gmail account.
Applications closed on 12 February 2020.
Overview of previous courses
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