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).

The Centre invited eight authors from the Disability Rights and Law Schools Project in Africa partner universities (Chancellor College, University of Malawi, Midlands State University, University of Zambia, University of Ilorin) and Disability Rights Scholarship Alumnus Programme to participate in the event. Authors were required to submit a paper in advance of the colloquium.

The papers submitted focused in main on the implications of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) for the African region with particular reference to article 13, the right to access to justice and article 12, the right to equal recognition before the law. This was in line with the theme of the Fifth Annual Disability Rights Conference that was hosted in November 2017.

The editors of the Yearbook Professor Helene Combrinck, Dr Ilze Grobbelaar- du Plessis, Professor Charles Ngwena and Professor Serges Djoyou Kamga together with disability rights scholars Ms Dianah Msipa and Dr Enoch Chilemba provided critical feedback to authors on submitted articles.
Speaking at the conclusion of the colloquium Ms Innocentia Mgijima-Konopi, Disability Rights Unit, Programme Manager said the colloquium which was made possible by the support of the Open Society Foundation, is the first of many colloquiums that the Centre plans to host annually to contribute towards growing future generations of disability rights scholars in the African region.

For more information on the colloquium on academic writing in the disability rights field and work of the Disability Rights Unit contact:
Linda Yotamu
Intern, Disability Rights Unit
Tel +27 (0)12 420 6398



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