The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria cordially invite you to a discussion on the impact of United Nations human rights treaties and mechanisms at the domestic level, organized jointly by the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (University of Oslo) and the Centre for Human Rights (University of Pretoria) as part of a project funded by Diku’s UTFORSK programme.
The Norwegian Centre for Human Rights (University of Oslo) and the Centre for Human Rights (University of Pretoria) have been working on human rights issues for decades. A recurring debate that has accompanied international human rights law and mechanisms is whether they have any impact. There is quite a bit of scholarship on these issues, however, the joint UTFORSK project will provide a venue for discussing the issue of the impact of UN human rights treaties and mechanisms at the domestic level.
The Centre for Human Rights (University of Pretoria) has been running the Pretoria United Nations human rights treaty system impact study, led by the late Professor Christoph Heyns, Professor Frans Viljoen (Director of the Centre), and Professor Rachel Murray. This is a large-scale, long term project aimed at facilitating a better understanding of the dynamics involved in the processes through which the UN human rights treaty system (the treaties themselves and the treaty monitoring bodies based in Geneva) makes a difference on the domestic level, or fails to do so. Without understanding to what extent what happens in Geneva actually helps to bring about change where it matters - to the people on the ground, worldwide - it is impossible to learn the lessons needed to ensure that the system will meet the challenges of the 21st century and thrives, or even merely survives. There was a 2002 and 2021 book that will be presented in this seminar.
‘Impact’, of course, has many dimensions and can be approached from a variety of angles. The goal here is not to cover this massive area, and to provide final answers on where there was impact and where not, but rather to make it possible for researchers who look at impact from any angle to have easy access to some of the core sources they should take into consideration: The documents available in the UN system, or on the domestic level, demonstrating pathways of material impact of the system in the countries in question.
First part (13.00 - 14.00, including 15 - 20 minutes Q&A)
- Gentian Zyberi, Introduction of the UTFORSK program, cooperation between our centres, a combination of research and teaching, and academic exchanges.
- Frans Viljoen, Presentation of the study on the domestic impact of UN human rights treaties and mechanisms
Short break, 15 minutes
Second part (14:15 - 15.30, including 20 - 30 minutes Q&A)
Presentation of the impact of human rights work at the domestic level.
- National Institution for Human Rights, with a focus on Norway
- Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, with a focus on South Africa
- International Department, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo, with a focus on countries we work
This seminar will be held as a hybrid event, meaning that it is possible to join in person or via Zoom. Please register using the link below and select your preferred attendance modality. If you choose to join us via Zoom, the link to the event and login details will be shared with registered participants well in advance.