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The Advanced Human Rights Courses (AHRC) and the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (UP) recently hosted the 2021 edition of its annual short course on Sexual Minority Rights in Africa. The course was presented through both virtual and physical sessions from 22 to 26 February 2021.  The course was attended by 90 participants and more than 20 presenters from both across and outside Africa. Participants also included LLM/MPhil students on both the Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) and the Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa (SRRA) Masters programmes in the Faculty of Law, UP. Also in attendance were researchers and academics, judicial officers, government workers, and members of civil society. The hybrid format provided an opportunity for the Centre for Human Rights to accommodate a larger group of participants in an interactive, virtual classroom in conjunction with about twenty HRDA students who physically attended the course.   

The Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) Unit of the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, is recruiting for the part-time position of Student Project Associate under a nine-month contract beginning on 1 April 2021 and ending on 31 December 2021, renewable based on performance and continued funding. 

After considerable consideration and wide consultations with all stakeholders, the organisers of the 2021 African Human Rights Moot Court Competition are pleased to announce that, while the preliminary rounds of this year’s competition will be held virtually, the quarter-final, semi-final and final rounds of the 30th edition of the Moot Competition will take place from 26 to 31 July 2021, in Stellenbosch, South Africa. 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is seeking an Assistant Director (Operations). The deadline for applications is 1 March 2021.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, welcomes the coming into effect of Angola’s Penal Code decriminalising consensual same-sex acts between adults. The new Penal Code repeals articles 70 and 71 of the colonial Penal Code that had prohibited acts considered to be ‘against nature’ including same-sex sexual practices. These previous provisions adversely affected Angolan LGBTIQ+ communities and hindered their access to basic human rights such as access to justice, healthcare services, education, and employment.

By Ashwanee Budoo-Scholtz

The African Union (AU) held the 38th Ordinary Session of its Executive Council at the beginning of February 2021. One of the agenda items was to elect six new members of the AU Commission

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is seeking a Manager for the Women's Rights Unit. The deadline for applications is 1 March 2021.

The  Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, seeks to appoint an appropriately qualified researcher to conduct a study on the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC).

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child are pleased to announce the call for papers for the Fifth Volume of the African Human Rights Yearbook (AHRY). The First Volume, which was published at the end of 2017, comprised 17 articles while the Second Volume contained a total of 23 contributions. It was published in early 2019. The Third and the Fourth Volumes published end of 2019 and 2020, comprised respectively 25 and 24 contributions. This joint publication, which contains contributions in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic has been initiated in the framework of the complementarity relationships among the three institutions. 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in partnership with Oxford University Faculty of Law, International Human Rights Clinic at the USC Gould School of Law, Oasis Network for Community Transformation and the Oxford University Cameroon Conflict Society cordially invite you to the Oxford Conference on US Senate Resolution 684 regarding the conflict in Anglophone Cameroon. This event is held in memory of the victims of the Ngarbuh Massacre which took place one year ago on 14 February 2020. 

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, gladly notes that the African Union (AU) policy organs elected Adv Dumisa Ntsebeza as a Judge on the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.  Adv Ntsebeza, a human rights stalwart of note, will be the second South African to serve on the continent’s highest human rights body. 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, wishes to support its alumnus, Professor Anthony Chima Diala on his recent recommendation to the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent by the United Nations Consultative Group on the mandate on 22 January 2021. Professor Diala is one of the two candidates put forward by the Consultative Group out of 10 initially selected candidates. 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, joins the commemoration of Data Protection Day, celebrated worldwide on 28 January. This year, it is the 40th anniversary of the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, also known as Convention 108. On 28 January 1981, the treaty opened for signature by the member states and for accession by non-member states. To date, it has been signed by close to forty countries including five African countries. The Convention has global applicability, as it is the only treaty on data protection that is open to any country in the world. Its principles have been transposed in national, regional and sub-regional data protection frameworks.  

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, welcomes and commends the signing of the South African Political Party Funding Act by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The Act will come into operation on 1 April 2021. The adoption of this law follows the ruling of the Constitutional Court on private political party funding in the case of My Vote Counts NPC v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Another, in which the Court reiterated that funding disclosure is part of the right to make informed political and electoral decisions.

The Democracy and Civic Engagement Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, seeks to appoint an appropriately qualified individual for its internship programme based in Hatfield, Pretoria, South Africa.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (Centre), welcomes the decision of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC) holding the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) responsible for the extrajudicial execution of Pascal Kabungulu, a prominent human rights defender, at the hands of state agents. The Centre calls on the DRC government to give effect to the HRC’s decision and bring those responsible to justice.  

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Council of Europe, hosted an online event to commemorate Data Protection Day 2021. 

Accountability Counsel and the African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) cordially invite you to a webinar on the urgent need for community-led accountability in Africa. 

The Disability Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, seeks to appoint an appropriately qualified individual for its internship programme based in Hatfield, Pretoria, South Africa.

On 19 January 2021, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Global Academic Interdisciplinary Network (GAIN), hosted the Southern Africa Regional Sessions of the Virtual Conference on the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, wishes to congratulate its graduate, Justice Miatta Maria Samba, who has just been elected as a Judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC).  She will take her seat on the Court early in 2021.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is concerned about ongoing discrimination on the basis of disability by airline carriers in Nigeria.

On 7 and 8 December 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, and Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre (TLAC), under the umbrella of the Solidarity for African Women's Rights (SOAWR) Network, held a workshop on the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) and its efficacy as an advocacy tool for the protection and promotion of women’s rights.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, calls for applications for a full-time doctoral scholarship in the field of disability rights. The successful candidate will be based within the Centre, and will be expected to contribute to the work of the Centre’s Disability Rights Unit (for 25 hours per week), while attending to her/his LLD/DPhil work.

For the first time since in its 12-year history, the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition was wholly held online. The team of Strathmore University, Kenya, consisting of Mariam Malik and Eugene Kanyugo, claimed the title as 2020 winners. The runner-up team is Kenyatta University, also from Kenya.

The Womens’ Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Botswana Labour Migrants Association (BOLAMA), organised a workshop to consider the non-ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) by the government of Botswana. The aim of the workshop was to sustain advocacy efforts towards the ratification of the Maputo Protocol. The meeting was held online on 1 December 2020 and Ms Patience Mungwari, Ms Lydia Chibwe and Ms Anthonia Lola Dickson represented the Centre.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, cordially invite you to a global webinar on peaceful (and not so peaceful) assemblies: A fresh look at the international standards.

Africa is experiencing the highest increase in the number of older persons’ population. Most of them are living longer with valuable capacities but with vulnerabilities too. Yet older person’s rights are neither recognised nor valued, and often suffer from abuse, assaults and even murder at the hands of those who should support and protect them. Older persons are often accused of witchcraft, blamed for misfortunes such as sudden deaths, HIV/AIDS, traffic accidents and even the weather. They are denied opportunities for employment, they have restricted access to land and property, and lack adequate legal protection. Older women in particular bear more risks due to the intersectionality of their age as well as other aspects such as gender, disability and poverty. This is due to the lack of policies or legal frameworks that can protect the rights of older people in the majority of African countries. 

On 10 December 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, held its annual graduation ceremony on International Human Rights Day. It was the first virtual human rights graduation ceremony due to COVID-19. The Centre awarded its annual Vera Chirwa Prize to two alumni (Solomon Dersso and Benyam Mezmur) for their role in contributing to the African Union’s human rights bodies both as members and chairpersons.

For the first time, the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition has taken place virtually in 2020.

History was made on 5 December 2020 when the final round of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition was for the first time held virtually. The combined team of Makerere University, Uganda, and the University of Pretoria, South Africa, who appeared for the applicants, emerged as the winners. The runner-up is the combined team of the University of Ghana, Legon; and Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny Cocody, Côte d'Ivoire. 

For the first time in its 29-year history, the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition has taken place virtually in 2020.

The year 2020 is the African Union Year of Silencing the Guns. The rhetoric provides a strong impetus for providing critical solutions to conflict in Africa. As the primary driver of internal displacement in Africa, conflict accounts for the continent’s 12.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). Through reflections from key experts in the African region, this webinar provides insights on critical strategies for silencing the guns and evidently preventing forced displacement in Africa.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a webinar to assess the status of implementation of the Maputo Protocol and submission of state reports to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, and the Asser Institute are proud to announce the publication of the second paper in the African Human Rights Policy Papers series. 

More than 20 civil society organisations fighting for social justice, supported by the Marikana Commission Chairperson Judge Ian Farlam, state that meaningful engagement with the new draft SAPS Bill is being undermined due to the 2018 report of the Panel of Experts on Policing being kept secret

Professor Charles Ngwena, Professor of Law in the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, has been awarded the annual Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Scholarly Books for his monograph What is Africanness? Contesting nativism in culture, race and sexualities.

(By Professor Daniel Bradlow)

The COVID-19 crisis is one of many indicators that we live in dangerous and uncertain times. Others include the international community’s struggle to respond to technological and climate change, demographic shifts, growing poverty and inequality as well as increased global insecurity. 

The semi-final rounds of the 29th 2020 edition of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition were held virtually and separately in French and English from 9 - 14 November 2020. This marks the first time that semi-final rounds have been part of the competition.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Democracy Development Program (DDP), under the umbrella of the established Pan-African Parliament (PAP) CSO forum, is hosting a dialogue to engage young Africans on matters related to Africa’s politics and development and the workings of the PAP in particular.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is alarmed by the arrest and detention of three human rights defenders by Egyptian authorities last week, marking a troubling escalation in an ongoing campaign of harassment and intimidation that has thus far failed to silence various organisations dedicated to defending fundamental human rights in the country.

The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) recently launched a video and a comic book prepared from the report on Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). FPIC is a legal right for indigenous people in terms of international law, based on the principle of self-determination and it is also the collective right of indigenous peoples to negotiate the terms of externally imposed policies, programs, and projects that directly affect their livelihoods and well-being.

 

The 8th Annual Disability Rights Conference was held on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 November 2020, virtually via zoom. The theme for this year’s two-day conference was ‘realising the right to health of persons with disabilities in Africa’. The conference focused 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. 

During his visit to Bern last week, the Burkinabe Minister of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, Mr  Harouna Kaboré has marked his disagreement with the “Popular Initiative for Responsible  Multinationals” that will be submitted to a vote in Switzerland on November 29th. According to  Minister Harouna Kaboré, the adoption of this Initiative would cause "serious socio-economic problems" in Burkina. 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, calls for support for Professor Benyam Dawit Mezmur’s candidacy for re-election to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child to be held on 24 November 2020.

Award-winning dissertation: A comparative analysis of the role of lawyers in the settlement of international disputes and the development of international law

In conversation with Jonathan Kabre

The International Development Law Unit (IDLU) at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria invites you to 4 workshops to discuss papers focusing on the impacts and challenges relating to the sovereign debt situations in the SADC member countries.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Global Development Policy Center at Boston University, Southern African Development Community Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE), SADC Development Finance Resource Centre (SADC-DFRC) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa cordially invite you to the launch of the report Expanding Renewable Energy for Access and Development: The Role of Development Finance Institutions in Southern Africa, featuring a discussion of the study and Q&A with the audience.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in partnership with Amnesty International, African Court Coalition, Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA), Coalition for the Independence of the African Commission (CIAC) and Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER), cordially invite you to a webinar for reflection on the current state of the African human rights system and the role of key stakeholders in strengthening and supporting the regional human rights bodies.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is seeking a Monitoring, Evaluation and Advocacy Co-Ordinator. The deadline for applications is 27 November 2020.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is seeking a Manager for the Children's Rights Unit. The deadline for applications is 27 November 2020.

Members of the Freedom from Violence Unit of the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, have for the last five years been leading the process in the United Nations (UN) to develop a coherent set of international standards on the management of demonstrations.

The Centre for Human Rights, Equality Now and International Commission of Jurists (Kenya Chapter) have drafted Shadow Reporting Guidelines in response to Resolution 436 by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. The resolution recognises the need to have a set of guidelines to guide non-state actors to submit appropriate shadow reports to the Commission. Please take a moment to go through the draft guidelines and fill out the accompanying questionnaire which will assist us to improve the draft guidelines.

#EndSARS: Practical implications of the protests on Nigerian citizens

In conversation with Ayodele Sogunro

For the first time in its 29-year history, the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition took place virtually as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the restriction on movements and the various mitigating measures adopted by several countries on the continent. 29 English-speaking and 7 French-speaking teams took part in the online preliminary rounds from 21 September to 21 October 2020. The semi-final rounds take place from 9 to 14 November, and the final round on 28 November. All these rounds are virtual, using the Zoom platform.

#EndSARS: The need for police reform and justice for victims of police brutality in Nigeria

In conversation with Victoria Ibezim- Ohaeri

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a virtual conference on 4 and 5 November 2020. The theme of the conference is ‘Elections and COVID-19: Harnessing the pandemic to improve elections.’ The conference is organised by the Democracy and Civic Engagement Unit and the Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit of the Centre for Human Rights. The conference invites academics, policymakers, practitioners, researchers and other stakeholders with a keen interest in democracy and elections, information technology and human rights law in the African context.

The African Human Rights Policy Papers is a series of concise, thoughtful and accessible papers published by the Centre for Human Rights at the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. The series runs from 2020. These papers set out key findings on contemporary topics related to human rights, good governance, social justice and democratisation in Africa. In some cases, the topics may extend to the broader range of issues related to the rule of law and international law. The primary aim of the papers is to provide policy guidance to relevant stakeholders and decision makers. Ancillary aims include: supporting advocacy campaigns, spreading knowledge, and sparking public debate on selected issues. 

The Democracy and Civic Engagement Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, recently developed a Toolkit for civil society advocacy in the Pan-African Parliament (PAP). Despite its potentially crucial role in PAP’s activities, civil society organisations (CSOs) still know very little about this institution. For most CSOs, the PAP, and the African Union (AU) in general, are largely invisible, and too distant to access or influence with their advocacy. This Toolkit aims to change that.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is an internationally recognised hybrid institution; both an academic department in the Faculty of Law and a NGO/CSO that combines academic excellence, effective activism, education, training, research and capacity-building to advance human rights in Africa.

The 29th edition of  the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition adopted, for the first time, a hybrid format following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is part of a coalition of seven global disability rights organisations that have called for urgent action by States and the international community to halt the catastrophic failure to protect the lives, health, and rights of persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Statement by the Coalition for the Independence of the African Commission (CIAC): Today we mark African Human Rights Day, at a time when many Africans are struggling to come to terms with the devastating effects that Covid-19 has had on their lives. While many have lost their jobs, business, and different sources of income, others have been victims of human rights violations including rape and other gender-based violence, abusive policing, discrimination based on their race, social class, or sexual orientation.

(Op-Ed by Solomon A. Dersso, Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights)

For this year’s Africa Human Rights Day, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights commemorates this landmark event under the theme ‘Human and Peoples’ Rights and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Protecting Rights for Building Back Better’. This occasion serves to deliberate on why and how respect for and protection of human and peoples’ rights offers the recipe for a successful strategy for building back better. 

In an age during which human rights are increasingly intellectually questioned, and placed under political threat, it is reassuring and important that human rights institutions still prosper. In 2019, the Centre for Human Rights forged ahead to establish itself as a credible institution advancing the rights of particularly the most vulnerable among us in Africa, and to raise levels of understanding and awareness of rights on the continent. 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to its 8th Annual Disability Rights Conference on 17 and 18 November 2020,  which will take place virtually via Zoom. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Realising the right to health of persons with disabilities in Africa’.  

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is saddened by the passing of Devikarani Priscilla Jana, anti-apartheid activist and giant of South African human rights law, on 10 October 2020. 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is concerned about ongoing police brutality and human rights violations in Nigeria. These violations are in response to demonstrations by Nigerians expressing concerns about gross human rights violations by the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), particularly by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a tactical unit within the NPF designed to tackle incidents of armed robbery in Nigeria.

On 1 October 2020, the Women’s Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University for Pretoria, in partnership with International Commission of Jurists (Kenya) and Equality Now, conducted a webinar to garner the views of civil society organisations on the draft Shadow Reporting Guidelines they have developed.  

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is seeking a Deputy Accountant. The deadline for applications is 9 November 2020.

On 22 October 2020, Validity Foundation, the European Network on Independent Living, Disability Rights International, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, the International Disability Alliance, the International Disability and Development Consortium, and the Disability Rights Fund/Disability Rights Advocacy Fund will launch the COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor Global Report.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (UP), in partnership with the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA), hosted a three-day workshop on strategic litigation and advocacy for LGBTI+ human rights defenders in Africa. The workshop is an annual event organised by the Centre’s Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) Unit and is aimed at building the capacity of and empowering LGBTI+ human rights defenders in Africa, with a specific focus on how to conduct strategic litigation and advocacy. This year’s edition was held virtually from 7 to 9 October 2020.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, takes great pleasure in congratulating Dianah Msipa on her appointment by the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities onto a team of experts working on the proposed African Union (AU) Convention on Violence against Women and Children.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (the Centre) is assessing state compliance with the Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections in Africa (the Guidelines) that the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) adopted during its 61st Ordinary Session in November 2017. The Centre has completed its initial country assessment under the Guidelines focusing on the 2019 elections in South Africa.

The African Human Rights Law Journal (AHRLJ) in 2020 celebrates 20 years since it first appeared. This milestone was marked with a webinar on 7 October 2020, hosted by the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP), based at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. The AHRLJ is the only peer-reviewed journal focused on human rights related topics of relevance to Africa, Africans and scholars of Africa.

 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a conference on privacy and data protection in Africa from 12 to 15 October 2020. The conference is organised by the Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit in collaboration with the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms Coalition(AfDec Coalition). The conference will be of interest to academics, students, policymakers and practitioners working in the areas of privacy, data protection, big data, information technology, and human rights law in Africa and others interested in understanding of the state of privacy and data protection, particularly within the African context. The conference is aimed at improving privacy and data protection scholarship in Africa. 

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Global Engagement Network on Internal Displacement in Africa (GENIDA), cordially invite you to a webinar on the situation of urban IDPs in an era of COVID-19 and how protection can be secured and enhanced.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria and the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre (TLAC), under the umbrella of the Solidarity for African Women's Rights (SOAWR) Network, held a three-day virtual workshop from 28 to 30 September 2020 on the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) and shadow reporting. The aim of the workshop was to increase the number of shadow reports submitted to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) and to encourage a robust interaction of CSOs with the African Commission to effectively monitor the implementation of the Maputo Protocol

The Disability Rights Unit of the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the office of the United Nations Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism hosted a virtual two-day advocacy and human rights skills training. The training, which was held online from 28 to 29 September 2020 was aimed at organisations representing persons with albinism in Southern Africa. The training was attended by individuals representing civil society organisations (CSOs) from various African countries, including South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Malawi, Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique. Furthermore, the virtual platform allowed the inclusion of international participants, and included Argentina and Iraq.

On 27 August 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the African Climate Foundation hosted a webinar focusing on foreign policy and South Africa's climate change diplomacy. 

The Pretoria University Law Press (PULP) invites you to a webinar to mark 20 years of the African Human Rights Law Journal. 

The African Human Rights Law Journal in 2020 marks 20 years of consistently publishing 2 issues per year. It was first published in 2001 by Juta publishers. From 2013, it has been published as an open-access journal by PULP. The Journal is accredited with the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS) and appears in a number of open access portals, including AfricanLii, the Directory of Open Access Journals and SciELO.

Poverty and human rights in Africa

In conversation with Ebenezer Durojaye and Gladys Mirugi-Mukundi

The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) is convening a webinar on the Second Revised Draft of the Treaty on Business and Human Rights. The webinar will be an opportunity for Africans to discuss the draft, highlight its strengths and weaknesses and reflect on the prospects of galvanising state support for its adoption.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, calls for applications for full-time doctoral scholarships in the field of sexual and/or reproductive rights in the African region. 

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, takes great pleasure in congratulating Professor Charles Ngwena on his appointment by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development as an advisory committee member for Project 148. 

This year's Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition saw 44 teams (39 English-language and 5 Spanish-language teams) participating for the coveted eight quarter-finalists positions places. Although the Competition is open to French-language teams, regrettably, only two teams submitted its memorials (Ecole Superieure des sciences de Pierre Elliot Trudeau (Esseget) and Catholic University of Bakavu).

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya) and Equality Now cordially invite you to a validation meeting of the shadow reporting guidelines to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is distressed by the march on 23 September 2020 against foreign nationals in the City of Tshwane (#PutSouthAfricansFirst). The marchers targeted Nigerians and Zimbabweans, in particular. While declaring that they are concerned about illegal migrants, the marchers spoke of ‘Nigerians’ and ‘Zimbabweans’ in a very general way. The march organisers in one breath expressed concern about illegal migrants and drug trafficking. By making this association between migrant status and drug trafficking, the marchers fell into the trap of generalisation and stigmatisation of all of these non-nationals as both illegal and criminal. 

The first phase of the 2020 Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition has been completed. From 19 to 23 September 2020, the preliminary rounds of the World Moot Court Competition for the first time ever took place virtually. Forty-three teams from all five United Nations regions participated in these rounds, which took place in English and Spanish.  

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, ARTICLE 19 (Eastern and Western Africa), Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe, Transparency International (Kenya), and the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa cordially invite you to a webinar on the occasion of the commemoration of the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI).

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is assessing state compliance with the Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections in Africa (the Guidelines) that the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) adopted during its 61st Ordinary Session in November 2017. The Centre has completed its initial country assessment under the Guidelines focusing on the 2019 elections in South Africa.

The English preliminary rounds for the 29th edition for the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition will be held online from 21 September to 21 October 2020. The #AfricanMoot2020 is presented by the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Université Virtuelle de Sénégal (UVS) and the Université Cheick Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD). The preliminary rounds for the French-speaking teams have been organised separately and will be held, also online, from 12 to 16 October 2020.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF), and African Men for Sexual Health & Rights (AMSHER) hosted the annual advanced human rights short course on Police Oversight and Vulnerable Groups in Africa from 7 to11 September 2020.

The preliminary oral rounds of the 12th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Competition will be held online from 19 to 23 September 2020. The World Moot is presented by the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Washington College of Law, American University and the United Nations Human Rights Council Branch (HRCB) at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, wishes to congratulate Dr Rimdolmsom Jonathan Kabre on his recent achievement. Dr Kabre, a post-doctoral research fellow at International Development Law Unit (IDLU), was awarded the 2020 Law Faculty Prize (Prix de Faculté) from the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) for the best doctoral dissertation. Dr Kabre was also awarded a grant to support the publication of his dissertation. This prize was awarded during the Opening Ceremony for the 2020 courses at the University of Lausanne, which took place on 15 September 2020.

Preparations for the 30th edition of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, scheduled to take place from 26 to 31 July 2021, are now formally underway. Following the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by Stellenbosch University, the host for the 30th edition of the Competition, on 7  September 2020, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria, Prof Tawana Kupe, co-signed the MOU at the University of Pretoria on 16 September 2020. 

The Democracy and Civic Engagement Unit and the Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, are hosting a (virtual) conference on 29 October 2020 under the theme ‘Elections and COVID-19: Harnessing the pandemic to improve elections’.

The positive implications of the Committee on the Rights of the Child to host the first ever United Nations treaty body session outside of Geneva.

In conversation with Professor Ann Skelton

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a webinar organised by the Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit on “Proactive disclosure of information and elections in South Africa”. The webinar will focus on South Africa’s compliance with the Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections in Africa, issued by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. This flows from a collaborative research report on access to information and elections during South Africa’s 2019 elections, that will be formally launched.

Preparations for the 2021 African Human Rights Moot Court Competition were formally launched on 7 September 2020 in Stellenbosch, South Africa, when the Director of the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, Prof Frans Viljoen, the Vice Rector (Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies) of Stellenbosch University, Prof Eugene Cloete, together with the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Stellenbosch University, Prof Nicola Smit, signed the Memorandum of Understanding.

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The Advanced Human Rights Courses (AHRC) and the Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (UP) recently hosted the 2021 edition of its annual short course on Sexual Minority Rights in Africa. The course was presented through both virtual and physical sessions from 22 to 26 February 2021.  The course was attended by 90 participants and more than 20 presenters from both across and outside Africa. Participants also included LLM/MPhil students on both the Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) and the Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa (SRRA) Masters programmes in the Faculty of Law, UP. Also in attendance were researchers and academics, judicial officers, government workers, and members of civil society. The hybrid format provided an opportunity for the Centre for Human Rights to accommodate a larger group of participants in an interactive, virtual classroom in conjunction with about twenty HRDA students who physically attended the course.   

The Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) Unit of the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, is recruiting for the part-time position of Student Project Associate under a nine-month contract beginning on 1 April 2021 and ending on 31 December 2021, renewable based on performance and continued funding. 

After considerable consideration and wide consultations with all stakeholders, the organisers of the 2021 African Human Rights Moot Court Competition are pleased to announce that, while the preliminary rounds of this year’s competition will be held virtually, the quarter-final, semi-final and final rounds of the 30th edition of the Moot Competition will take place from 26 to 31 July 2021, in Stellenbosch, South Africa. 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is seeking an Assistant Director (Operations). The deadline for applications is 1 March 2021.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, welcomes the coming into effect of Angola’s Penal Code decriminalising consensual same-sex acts between adults. The new Penal Code repeals articles 70 and 71 of the colonial Penal Code that had prohibited acts considered to be ‘against nature’ including same-sex sexual practices. These previous provisions adversely affected Angolan LGBTIQ+ communities and hindered their access to basic human rights such as access to justice, healthcare services, education, and employment.

By Ashwanee Budoo-Scholtz

The African Union (AU) held the 38th Ordinary Session of its Executive Council at the beginning of February 2021. One of the agenda items was to elect six new members of the AU Commission

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is seeking a Manager for the Women's Rights Unit. The deadline for applications is 1 March 2021.

The  Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, seeks to appoint an appropriately qualified researcher to conduct a study on the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC).

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child are pleased to announce the call for papers for the Fifth Volume of the African Human Rights Yearbook (AHRY). The First Volume, which was published at the end of 2017, comprised 17 articles while the Second Volume contained a total of 23 contributions. It was published in early 2019. The Third and the Fourth Volumes published end of 2019 and 2020, comprised respectively 25 and 24 contributions. This joint publication, which contains contributions in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic has been initiated in the framework of the complementarity relationships among the three institutions. 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in partnership with Oxford University Faculty of Law, International Human Rights Clinic at the USC Gould School of Law, Oasis Network for Community Transformation and the Oxford University Cameroon Conflict Society cordially invite you to the Oxford Conference on US Senate Resolution 684 regarding the conflict in Anglophone Cameroon. This event is held in memory of the victims of the Ngarbuh Massacre which took place one year ago on 14 February 2020. 

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, gladly notes that the African Union (AU) policy organs elected Adv Dumisa Ntsebeza as a Judge on the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights.  Adv Ntsebeza, a human rights stalwart of note, will be the second South African to serve on the continent’s highest human rights body. 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, wishes to support its alumnus, Professor Anthony Chima Diala on his recent recommendation to the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent by the United Nations Consultative Group on the mandate on 22 January 2021. Professor Diala is one of the two candidates put forward by the Consultative Group out of 10 initially selected candidates. 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, joins the commemoration of Data Protection Day, celebrated worldwide on 28 January. This year, it is the 40th anniversary of the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data, also known as Convention 108. On 28 January 1981, the treaty opened for signature by the member states and for accession by non-member states. To date, it has been signed by close to forty countries including five African countries. The Convention has global applicability, as it is the only treaty on data protection that is open to any country in the world. Its principles have been transposed in national, regional and sub-regional data protection frameworks.  

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, welcomes and commends the signing of the South African Political Party Funding Act by President Cyril Ramaphosa. The Act will come into operation on 1 April 2021. The adoption of this law follows the ruling of the Constitutional Court on private political party funding in the case of My Vote Counts NPC v Minister of Justice and Correctional Services and Another, in which the Court reiterated that funding disclosure is part of the right to make informed political and electoral decisions.

The Democracy and Civic Engagement Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, seeks to appoint an appropriately qualified individual for its internship programme based in Hatfield, Pretoria, South Africa.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (Centre), welcomes the decision of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC) holding the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) responsible for the extrajudicial execution of Pascal Kabungulu, a prominent human rights defender, at the hands of state agents. The Centre calls on the DRC government to give effect to the HRC’s decision and bring those responsible to justice.  

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Council of Europe, hosted an online event to commemorate Data Protection Day 2021. 

Accountability Counsel and the African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) cordially invite you to a webinar on the urgent need for community-led accountability in Africa. 

The Disability Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, seeks to appoint an appropriately qualified individual for its internship programme based in Hatfield, Pretoria, South Africa.

On 19 January 2021, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Global Academic Interdisciplinary Network (GAIN), hosted the Southern Africa Regional Sessions of the Virtual Conference on the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, wishes to congratulate its graduate, Justice Miatta Maria Samba, who has just been elected as a Judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC).  She will take her seat on the Court early in 2021.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is concerned about ongoing discrimination on the basis of disability by airline carriers in Nigeria.

On 7 and 8 December 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, and Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre (TLAC), under the umbrella of the Solidarity for African Women's Rights (SOAWR) Network, held a workshop on the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) and its efficacy as an advocacy tool for the protection and promotion of women’s rights.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, calls for applications for a full-time doctoral scholarship in the field of disability rights. The successful candidate will be based within the Centre, and will be expected to contribute to the work of the Centre’s Disability Rights Unit (for 25 hours per week), while attending to her/his LLD/DPhil work.

For the first time since in its 12-year history, the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition was wholly held online. The team of Strathmore University, Kenya, consisting of Mariam Malik and Eugene Kanyugo, claimed the title as 2020 winners. The runner-up team is Kenyatta University, also from Kenya.

The Womens’ Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Botswana Labour Migrants Association (BOLAMA), organised a workshop to consider the non-ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) by the government of Botswana. The aim of the workshop was to sustain advocacy efforts towards the ratification of the Maputo Protocol. The meeting was held online on 1 December 2020 and Ms Patience Mungwari, Ms Lydia Chibwe and Ms Anthonia Lola Dickson represented the Centre.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, cordially invite you to a global webinar on peaceful (and not so peaceful) assemblies: A fresh look at the international standards.

Africa is experiencing the highest increase in the number of older persons’ population. Most of them are living longer with valuable capacities but with vulnerabilities too. Yet older person’s rights are neither recognised nor valued, and often suffer from abuse, assaults and even murder at the hands of those who should support and protect them. Older persons are often accused of witchcraft, blamed for misfortunes such as sudden deaths, HIV/AIDS, traffic accidents and even the weather. They are denied opportunities for employment, they have restricted access to land and property, and lack adequate legal protection. Older women in particular bear more risks due to the intersectionality of their age as well as other aspects such as gender, disability and poverty. This is due to the lack of policies or legal frameworks that can protect the rights of older people in the majority of African countries. 

On 10 December 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, held its annual graduation ceremony on International Human Rights Day. It was the first virtual human rights graduation ceremony due to COVID-19. The Centre awarded its annual Vera Chirwa Prize to two alumni (Solomon Dersso and Benyam Mezmur) for their role in contributing to the African Union’s human rights bodies both as members and chairpersons.

For the first time, the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition has taken place virtually in 2020.

History was made on 5 December 2020 when the final round of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition was for the first time held virtually. The combined team of Makerere University, Uganda, and the University of Pretoria, South Africa, who appeared for the applicants, emerged as the winners. The runner-up is the combined team of the University of Ghana, Legon; and Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny Cocody, Côte d'Ivoire. 

For the first time in its 29-year history, the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition has taken place virtually in 2020.

The year 2020 is the African Union Year of Silencing the Guns. The rhetoric provides a strong impetus for providing critical solutions to conflict in Africa. As the primary driver of internal displacement in Africa, conflict accounts for the continent’s 12.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). Through reflections from key experts in the African region, this webinar provides insights on critical strategies for silencing the guns and evidently preventing forced displacement in Africa.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a webinar to assess the status of implementation of the Maputo Protocol and submission of state reports to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, and the Asser Institute are proud to announce the publication of the second paper in the African Human Rights Policy Papers series. 

More than 20 civil society organisations fighting for social justice, supported by the Marikana Commission Chairperson Judge Ian Farlam, state that meaningful engagement with the new draft SAPS Bill is being undermined due to the 2018 report of the Panel of Experts on Policing being kept secret

Professor Charles Ngwena, Professor of Law in the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, has been awarded the annual Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Scholarly Books for his monograph What is Africanness? Contesting nativism in culture, race and sexualities.

(By Professor Daniel Bradlow)

The COVID-19 crisis is one of many indicators that we live in dangerous and uncertain times. Others include the international community’s struggle to respond to technological and climate change, demographic shifts, growing poverty and inequality as well as increased global insecurity. 

The semi-final rounds of the 29th 2020 edition of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition were held virtually and separately in French and English from 9 - 14 November 2020. This marks the first time that semi-final rounds have been part of the competition.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Democracy Development Program (DDP), under the umbrella of the established Pan-African Parliament (PAP) CSO forum, is hosting a dialogue to engage young Africans on matters related to Africa’s politics and development and the workings of the PAP in particular.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is alarmed by the arrest and detention of three human rights defenders by Egyptian authorities last week, marking a troubling escalation in an ongoing campaign of harassment and intimidation that has thus far failed to silence various organisations dedicated to defending fundamental human rights in the country.

The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) recently launched a video and a comic book prepared from the report on Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). FPIC is a legal right for indigenous people in terms of international law, based on the principle of self-determination and it is also the collective right of indigenous peoples to negotiate the terms of externally imposed policies, programs, and projects that directly affect their livelihoods and well-being.

 

The 8th Annual Disability Rights Conference was held on Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 November 2020, virtually via zoom. The theme for this year’s two-day conference was ‘realising the right to health of persons with disabilities in Africa’. The conference focused 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. 

During his visit to Bern last week, the Burkinabe Minister of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, Mr  Harouna Kaboré has marked his disagreement with the “Popular Initiative for Responsible  Multinationals” that will be submitted to a vote in Switzerland on November 29th. According to  Minister Harouna Kaboré, the adoption of this Initiative would cause "serious socio-economic problems" in Burkina. 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, calls for support for Professor Benyam Dawit Mezmur’s candidacy for re-election to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child to be held on 24 November 2020.

Award-winning dissertation: A comparative analysis of the role of lawyers in the settlement of international disputes and the development of international law

In conversation with Jonathan Kabre

The International Development Law Unit (IDLU) at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria invites you to 4 workshops to discuss papers focusing on the impacts and challenges relating to the sovereign debt situations in the SADC member countries.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Global Development Policy Center at Boston University, Southern African Development Community Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE), SADC Development Finance Resource Centre (SADC-DFRC) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa cordially invite you to the launch of the report Expanding Renewable Energy for Access and Development: The Role of Development Finance Institutions in Southern Africa, featuring a discussion of the study and Q&A with the audience.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in partnership with Amnesty International, African Court Coalition, Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA), Coalition for the Independence of the African Commission (CIAC) and Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER), cordially invite you to a webinar for reflection on the current state of the African human rights system and the role of key stakeholders in strengthening and supporting the regional human rights bodies.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is seeking a Monitoring, Evaluation and Advocacy Co-Ordinator. The deadline for applications is 27 November 2020.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is seeking a Manager for the Children's Rights Unit. The deadline for applications is 27 November 2020.

Members of the Freedom from Violence Unit of the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, have for the last five years been leading the process in the United Nations (UN) to develop a coherent set of international standards on the management of demonstrations.

The Centre for Human Rights, Equality Now and International Commission of Jurists (Kenya Chapter) have drafted Shadow Reporting Guidelines in response to Resolution 436 by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. The resolution recognises the need to have a set of guidelines to guide non-state actors to submit appropriate shadow reports to the Commission. Please take a moment to go through the draft guidelines and fill out the accompanying questionnaire which will assist us to improve the draft guidelines.

#EndSARS: Practical implications of the protests on Nigerian citizens

In conversation with Ayodele Sogunro

For the first time in its 29-year history, the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition took place virtually as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in the restriction on movements and the various mitigating measures adopted by several countries on the continent. 29 English-speaking and 7 French-speaking teams took part in the online preliminary rounds from 21 September to 21 October 2020. The semi-final rounds take place from 9 to 14 November, and the final round on 28 November. All these rounds are virtual, using the Zoom platform.

#EndSARS: The need for police reform and justice for victims of police brutality in Nigeria

In conversation with Victoria Ibezim- Ohaeri

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a virtual conference on 4 and 5 November 2020. The theme of the conference is ‘Elections and COVID-19: Harnessing the pandemic to improve elections.’ The conference is organised by the Democracy and Civic Engagement Unit and the Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit of the Centre for Human Rights. The conference invites academics, policymakers, practitioners, researchers and other stakeholders with a keen interest in democracy and elections, information technology and human rights law in the African context.

The African Human Rights Policy Papers is a series of concise, thoughtful and accessible papers published by the Centre for Human Rights at the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. The series runs from 2020. These papers set out key findings on contemporary topics related to human rights, good governance, social justice and democratisation in Africa. In some cases, the topics may extend to the broader range of issues related to the rule of law and international law. The primary aim of the papers is to provide policy guidance to relevant stakeholders and decision makers. Ancillary aims include: supporting advocacy campaigns, spreading knowledge, and sparking public debate on selected issues. 

The Democracy and Civic Engagement Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, recently developed a Toolkit for civil society advocacy in the Pan-African Parliament (PAP). Despite its potentially crucial role in PAP’s activities, civil society organisations (CSOs) still know very little about this institution. For most CSOs, the PAP, and the African Union (AU) in general, are largely invisible, and too distant to access or influence with their advocacy. This Toolkit aims to change that.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is an internationally recognised hybrid institution; both an academic department in the Faculty of Law and a NGO/CSO that combines academic excellence, effective activism, education, training, research and capacity-building to advance human rights in Africa.

The 29th edition of  the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition adopted, for the first time, a hybrid format following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is part of a coalition of seven global disability rights organisations that have called for urgent action by States and the international community to halt the catastrophic failure to protect the lives, health, and rights of persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Statement by the Coalition for the Independence of the African Commission (CIAC): Today we mark African Human Rights Day, at a time when many Africans are struggling to come to terms with the devastating effects that Covid-19 has had on their lives. While many have lost their jobs, business, and different sources of income, others have been victims of human rights violations including rape and other gender-based violence, abusive policing, discrimination based on their race, social class, or sexual orientation.

(Op-Ed by Solomon A. Dersso, Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights)

For this year’s Africa Human Rights Day, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights commemorates this landmark event under the theme ‘Human and Peoples’ Rights and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Protecting Rights for Building Back Better’. This occasion serves to deliberate on why and how respect for and protection of human and peoples’ rights offers the recipe for a successful strategy for building back better. 

In an age during which human rights are increasingly intellectually questioned, and placed under political threat, it is reassuring and important that human rights institutions still prosper. In 2019, the Centre for Human Rights forged ahead to establish itself as a credible institution advancing the rights of particularly the most vulnerable among us in Africa, and to raise levels of understanding and awareness of rights on the continent. 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to its 8th Annual Disability Rights Conference on 17 and 18 November 2020,  which will take place virtually via Zoom. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Realising the right to health of persons with disabilities in Africa’.  

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is saddened by the passing of Devikarani Priscilla Jana, anti-apartheid activist and giant of South African human rights law, on 10 October 2020. 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is concerned about ongoing police brutality and human rights violations in Nigeria. These violations are in response to demonstrations by Nigerians expressing concerns about gross human rights violations by the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), particularly by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a tactical unit within the NPF designed to tackle incidents of armed robbery in Nigeria.

On 1 October 2020, the Women’s Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University for Pretoria, in partnership with International Commission of Jurists (Kenya) and Equality Now, conducted a webinar to garner the views of civil society organisations on the draft Shadow Reporting Guidelines they have developed.  

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is seeking a Deputy Accountant. The deadline for applications is 9 November 2020.

On 22 October 2020, Validity Foundation, the European Network on Independent Living, Disability Rights International, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, the International Disability Alliance, the International Disability and Development Consortium, and the Disability Rights Fund/Disability Rights Advocacy Fund will launch the COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor Global Report.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (UP), in partnership with the Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA), hosted a three-day workshop on strategic litigation and advocacy for LGBTI+ human rights defenders in Africa. The workshop is an annual event organised by the Centre’s Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) Unit and is aimed at building the capacity of and empowering LGBTI+ human rights defenders in Africa, with a specific focus on how to conduct strategic litigation and advocacy. This year’s edition was held virtually from 7 to 9 October 2020.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, takes great pleasure in congratulating Dianah Msipa on her appointment by the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities onto a team of experts working on the proposed African Union (AU) Convention on Violence against Women and Children.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (the Centre) is assessing state compliance with the Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections in Africa (the Guidelines) that the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) adopted during its 61st Ordinary Session in November 2017. The Centre has completed its initial country assessment under the Guidelines focusing on the 2019 elections in South Africa.

The African Human Rights Law Journal (AHRLJ) in 2020 celebrates 20 years since it first appeared. This milestone was marked with a webinar on 7 October 2020, hosted by the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP), based at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. The AHRLJ is the only peer-reviewed journal focused on human rights related topics of relevance to Africa, Africans and scholars of Africa.

 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a conference on privacy and data protection in Africa from 12 to 15 October 2020. The conference is organised by the Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit in collaboration with the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms Coalition(AfDec Coalition). The conference will be of interest to academics, students, policymakers and practitioners working in the areas of privacy, data protection, big data, information technology, and human rights law in Africa and others interested in understanding of the state of privacy and data protection, particularly within the African context. The conference is aimed at improving privacy and data protection scholarship in Africa. 

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Global Engagement Network on Internal Displacement in Africa (GENIDA), cordially invite you to a webinar on the situation of urban IDPs in an era of COVID-19 and how protection can be secured and enhanced.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria and the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre (TLAC), under the umbrella of the Solidarity for African Women's Rights (SOAWR) Network, held a three-day virtual workshop from 28 to 30 September 2020 on the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) and shadow reporting. The aim of the workshop was to increase the number of shadow reports submitted to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) and to encourage a robust interaction of CSOs with the African Commission to effectively monitor the implementation of the Maputo Protocol

The Disability Rights Unit of the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the office of the United Nations Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism hosted a virtual two-day advocacy and human rights skills training. The training, which was held online from 28 to 29 September 2020 was aimed at organisations representing persons with albinism in Southern Africa. The training was attended by individuals representing civil society organisations (CSOs) from various African countries, including South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Malawi, Ghana, Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique. Furthermore, the virtual platform allowed the inclusion of international participants, and included Argentina and Iraq.

On 27 August 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the African Climate Foundation hosted a webinar focusing on foreign policy and South Africa's climate change diplomacy. 

The Pretoria University Law Press (PULP) invites you to a webinar to mark 20 years of the African Human Rights Law Journal. 

The African Human Rights Law Journal in 2020 marks 20 years of consistently publishing 2 issues per year. It was first published in 2001 by Juta publishers. From 2013, it has been published as an open-access journal by PULP. The Journal is accredited with the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS) and appears in a number of open access portals, including AfricanLii, the Directory of Open Access Journals and SciELO.

Poverty and human rights in Africa

In conversation with Ebenezer Durojaye and Gladys Mirugi-Mukundi

The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) is convening a webinar on the Second Revised Draft of the Treaty on Business and Human Rights. The webinar will be an opportunity for Africans to discuss the draft, highlight its strengths and weaknesses and reflect on the prospects of galvanising state support for its adoption.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, calls for applications for full-time doctoral scholarships in the field of sexual and/or reproductive rights in the African region. 

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, takes great pleasure in congratulating Professor Charles Ngwena on his appointment by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development as an advisory committee member for Project 148. 

This year's Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition saw 44 teams (39 English-language and 5 Spanish-language teams) participating for the coveted eight quarter-finalists positions places. Although the Competition is open to French-language teams, regrettably, only two teams submitted its memorials (Ecole Superieure des sciences de Pierre Elliot Trudeau (Esseget) and Catholic University of Bakavu).

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya) and Equality Now cordially invite you to a validation meeting of the shadow reporting guidelines to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is distressed by the march on 23 September 2020 against foreign nationals in the City of Tshwane (#PutSouthAfricansFirst). The marchers targeted Nigerians and Zimbabweans, in particular. While declaring that they are concerned about illegal migrants, the marchers spoke of ‘Nigerians’ and ‘Zimbabweans’ in a very general way. The march organisers in one breath expressed concern about illegal migrants and drug trafficking. By making this association between migrant status and drug trafficking, the marchers fell into the trap of generalisation and stigmatisation of all of these non-nationals as both illegal and criminal. 

The first phase of the 2020 Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition has been completed. From 19 to 23 September 2020, the preliminary rounds of the World Moot Court Competition for the first time ever took place virtually. Forty-three teams from all five United Nations regions participated in these rounds, which took place in English and Spanish.  

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, ARTICLE 19 (Eastern and Western Africa), Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe, Transparency International (Kenya), and the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa cordially invite you to a webinar on the occasion of the commemoration of the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI).

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is assessing state compliance with the Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections in Africa (the Guidelines) that the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) adopted during its 61st Ordinary Session in November 2017. The Centre has completed its initial country assessment under the Guidelines focusing on the 2019 elections in South Africa.

The English preliminary rounds for the 29th edition for the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition will be held online from 21 September to 21 October 2020. The #AfricanMoot2020 is presented by the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Université Virtuelle de Sénégal (UVS) and the Université Cheick Anta Diop de Dakar (UCAD). The preliminary rounds for the French-speaking teams have been organised separately and will be held, also online, from 12 to 16 October 2020.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF), and African Men for Sexual Health & Rights (AMSHER) hosted the annual advanced human rights short course on Police Oversight and Vulnerable Groups in Africa from 7 to11 September 2020.

The preliminary oral rounds of the 12th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Competition will be held online from 19 to 23 September 2020. The World Moot is presented by the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Washington College of Law, American University and the United Nations Human Rights Council Branch (HRCB) at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, wishes to congratulate Dr Rimdolmsom Jonathan Kabre on his recent achievement. Dr Kabre, a post-doctoral research fellow at International Development Law Unit (IDLU), was awarded the 2020 Law Faculty Prize (Prix de Faculté) from the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) for the best doctoral dissertation. Dr Kabre was also awarded a grant to support the publication of his dissertation. This prize was awarded during the Opening Ceremony for the 2020 courses at the University of Lausanne, which took place on 15 September 2020.

Preparations for the 30th edition of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, scheduled to take place from 26 to 31 July 2021, are now formally underway. Following the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by Stellenbosch University, the host for the 30th edition of the Competition, on 7  September 2020, the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria, Prof Tawana Kupe, co-signed the MOU at the University of Pretoria on 16 September 2020. 

The Democracy and Civic Engagement Unit and the Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, are hosting a (virtual) conference on 29 October 2020 under the theme ‘Elections and COVID-19: Harnessing the pandemic to improve elections’.

The positive implications of the Committee on the Rights of the Child to host the first ever United Nations treaty body session outside of Geneva.

In conversation with Professor Ann Skelton

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a webinar organised by the Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit on “Proactive disclosure of information and elections in South Africa”. The webinar will focus on South Africa’s compliance with the Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections in Africa, issued by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. This flows from a collaborative research report on access to information and elections during South Africa’s 2019 elections, that will be formally launched.

Preparations for the 2021 African Human Rights Moot Court Competition were formally launched on 7 September 2020 in Stellenbosch, South Africa, when the Director of the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, Prof Frans Viljoen, the Vice Rector (Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies) of Stellenbosch University, Prof Eugene Cloete, together with the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Stellenbosch University, Prof Nicola Smit, signed the Memorandum of Understanding.