On 3 - 4 August 2023, the Centre for Human Rights (the Centre), University of Pretoria, hosted a training on litigation of SRHR claims before national and regional mechanisms in Africa, at the Southern Sun Hotel in Pretoria, South Africa. The training was attended by over 40 practitioners of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). The participants were drawn from several African countries, including South Africa, Mauritius, Botswana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, DRC, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Uganda.

The training is the first of a series aimed at amplifying the response to the enduring and emerging challenges to the realisation of SRHR in Africa. Such challenges include pockets of resistance to the progressive interpretation and application of SRHR norms, inconsistent interpretation and application of the norms, limited capacity for monitoring, and accountability among others. The training comes amidst concerns that the potential of litigation before judicial and quasi-judicial bodies has not been fully maximised regarding the enforcement of SRHR in most African countries. Even when legal standards on SRHR exist, cases are not brought before the national and regional mechanisms due to limited awareness of the mechanisms among key SRHR actors and litigators. The training sought to address this gap, by empowering actors with the best practices relating to litigation of SRHR claims before national and regional mechanisms.

The scope of the training covered three major themes: the normative standards on SRHR; the gaps and opportunities in litigation of contemporary SRHR issues in Africa; and the procedural aspects and strategies for effective strategic litigation of SRHR claims before national and supra-national mechanisms.

The training was facilitated by academics and practitioners with knowledge and experience of SRHR and litigation before national and regional bodies on the African continent.

The Centre extends its appreciation to the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) for its financial support towards the training.

The Centre also express its appreciation to the Centre for Reproductive Rights (CRR), the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) and the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) personnel who facilitated parts of the training.

For more information, please contact:

Research Programme Officer
Programme Manager: Litigation and Implementation Unit

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 3151


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