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The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (Centre) is thrilled to congratulate Abiola Idowu-Ojo on her well-deserved appointment as the Executive Secretary at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission). She has been serving as the Commission’s Acting Executive Secretary since August 2023.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria cordially invites you to the Helen Kanzira Memorial Lecture. The theme for this years lecture is ‘The role of digital technologies in addressing maternal mortality in Africa’

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The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria cordially invites you to the second Christof Heyns Human Rights Memorial Lecture. Drawing on Christof’s sense of inclusion and collaboration, a panel will collectively deliver the ‘Lecture’. This year’s lecture traces the developments in law and practice ‘Towards the complete abolition of the death penalty in Africa’.

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In 2024, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (CHR), is proudly celebrating 10 years of the Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa (SRRA) programme. This initiative, which has made a significant regional impact, was born out of a desire to contribute to sexual and reproductive rights scholarship, arm practitioners with the knowledge to confidently steer and influence advocacy, policy, law, and enrich human rights discourse. Currently, this is the only programme on the continent that awards a specialised degree at the Master’s level on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

On 17 June 2024, the Global Campus (GC) International Student Conference on Just Transition: Conditions for Change in the Global Order launched at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek. This event marks a revitalised edition of the GC Global Classroom, a flagship research and networking programme for students, hosted this time by Global Campus Central Asia Master's Programme in Human Rights and Sustainability (MAHRS).

Members of the Global Campus Alumni Association (GCA) from the Global Campus of Human Rights (Global Campus) had their first in-person meeting in Athens, Greece on 17 -19 April 2024 to discuss climate-related challenges. 

The decision to launch the GCA Taskforce on ‘Climate justice and rights of future generations’ shows the determination of the alumni to advance climate justice, to safeguard the rights of future generations and to empower the whole alumni community with the necessary skills and tools to address the issue. At this meeting, we planned a year-long alumni programme focusing on climate justice and rights of future generations. While alumni from the Arab region focused on mapping climate justice actors in their region, Latin American and Asia Pacific region prioritised the development of child-friendly education. On the other hand, alumni from the Europe and the South East Europe regions presented on information and disinformation on the climate crisis in their respective regions. The Caucasus region proposed different activities such as a photography exhibition, creative games and discussions around climate justice in the Post-Soviet region.

Deputy Registrar of the African Court, Grace Wakio Kakai at the University of Pretoria in 2023

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (the Centre) announced the recipient of the Vera Chirwa Award during its annual graduation ceremony on 8 December 2023. The Centre selected Kenyan Deputy Registrar of the African Court (the Court), Grace Wakio Kakai, to receive the Vera Chirwa Award. Instituted in 2006 by the Centre, this Award honours alumni of the Master’s in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa Programme (HRDA) who best embody the spirit of the programme in their professional career by continuously bringing positive contributions to human rights.

On 22 March, the Centre for Human Rights (Centre), on the heels of National Human Rights Day (21 March), hosted its annual welcoming Ceremony for the students on the Centre’s academic programmes. This year, the Centre welcomes 28 students in the LLM/MPhil programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA), 11 in the Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa (SRRA), and 16 in Multi-Disciplinary Human Rights (MDHR). This year there is no intake for the masters programmes in Disability Rights in Africa (DRIA), which has a new intake every two years. There is also no intake for the Trade and Investment Law in Africa (TILA), which is run in partnership alternating between the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the University of Pretoria (UP), and is this year being held at the UWC.

On Monday 5 February 2024, the Centre for Human Rights, Law Faculty, University of Pretoria held a seminar with the Independent Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel which is part of its ongoing mission to South Africa. The purpose of the seminar was to discuss the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory with the chair of the Commission Navanethem Pillay and Commissioner Chris Sidoti, and staff from the Secretariat of the Commission at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Mr Giuseppe Calandruccio and Ms Sun Kim. 

On 8 December 2023, the Centre for Human Rights, Law Faculty, at the University of Pretoria (the Centre), celebrated the graduation of a number of students from its masters and doctoral programs. On this occasion, 42 students graduated with Masters degrees from 4 programmes (HRDA, SRRA, MDHR, TILA), while 8 candidates graduated with doctoral degrees. Six of the eight doctoral graduates at the Ceremony, that is: Landilani Banda, Crystal Mokoena,  Lindlyn Moma, Dumisani Gandhi, Josephat Kilonzo, and Beryl Orao, were registered at the Centre. 

This publication commemorates 23 years of the Master’s programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA). It gives a snapshot of the HRDA programme; the Centre for Human Rights where it is based, and the partner universities in collaboration with which it is presented.

Download the Alumni Diaries: 2000 -  2022

On 15 July 2023, the Faculty of Law and Political Science, Université Gaston Berger, in partnership with the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, hosted the annual Julius Osega Memorial Lecture, in Saint Louis, Senegal. The theme for this year’s lecture was ‘The challenges of democratisation and the protection of human rights in Africa’ (‘Les défis de la démocratisation et de la protection des droits humains en Afrique’). 

Prof Frans Viljoen, Judge Pillay, Tanele Maseko, Thabo Mavuso, Beatrice Mtetwa

The year 2023 marks 75 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was passed, yet the passing of Human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko on 21 January 2023 has demonstrated the long fight for human rights and democracy continues. With nearly half a year passed since the death of Thulani Maseko, there is still no justice and accountability.

“We are caught between hope and fear - hope for democracy and fear of being assassinated.” – Thulani Maseko.

Henok Ashagrey, a passionate Doctoral student and Tutor for the LLM/MPhil (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa) program at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, had an amazing opportunity to participate in a cutting-edge workshop titled 'Humour and Human Rights: Humour, a less explored tool to advance human rights.' 

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (Centre) is pleased to invite alumni of the Centres's master’s programme to participate in the Alumni Networking Roundtable  which are scheduled to be held on Thursday 27 July 2023 at the University of Pretoria. The Roundtable will consist of five thematic sessions and an alumni networking meeting.

The Centre for Human Rights is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of one of our alumni from the Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) Master’s programme, Professor Aifheli Enos Tshivhase. According to the latest updates, the cause of his untimely death was attributed to a collapse at his home on Wednesday 7 June. Unfortunately, we did not receive any more detailed information.

The Centre for Human Rights is an internationally recognised university-based institution combining academic excellence and effective activism to advance human rights, particularly in Africa. It aims to contribute to advancing human rights, through education, research and advocacy. 

On 10 May 2023, the Centre for Human Rights,Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria hosted a Panel Discussion on the Anglophone Crisis, moderated by Smith Naseri Edumebong. Ntokozo Sibanyoni welcomed all the participants in physical attendance and virtually, with over 80 participants joining the discussion and others following the event Live on the Centre’s YouTube Channel accessible here. 

The Centre for Hunan Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria is deeply concerned about the ongoing Anglophone crisis in Cameroon, characterised by non-state armed groups in the North-West participating in violent conflict with the government of Cameroon over perceived discrimination on the basis of language.

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. 

Thulani Rudolf Maseko (1 March 1970 - 21 January 2023) 

It is with great shock and profound sadness that we at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, learnt about the assassination of Thulani Maseko on 21 January 2023. He was shot dead in front of his family in his home south of Mbabane, Eswatini, in what can only be described as a targeted killing.

Our deepest sympathy goes to his wife and family in this difficult and traumatising time.

A Centre for Human Rights alumna, Grace Wakio Kakai, has been appointed the new Deputy Registrar of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights (African Court). She was sworn in on 7 November 2022, as the Court started its 67th Ordinary Session in Arusha, Tanzania.

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.

On 23 July 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the University of Ghana and the University of Nairobi, hosted the first online Julius Osega Memorial Lecture. The theme of this year’s lecture was Governance and human rights in Africa. 

The Centre for Human Rights' Human Rights and Democratisation class of 2020 take pleasure in inviting you to a Webinar on the Implication of armed conflict on women and the need for a ceasefire in Cameroon

The Centre for Human Rights, Human Rights and Democratisation class of 2020 take pleasure in inviting you to a Webinar on the Relevance of The African Union's "Silencing the Guns" Campaign for African Civil Society

The Centre for Human Rights' Human Rights and Democratisation class of 2020 take pleasure in inviting you to a Webinar on "Silencing the Guns" - A focus on child soldiers and women in conflict. 

With the recent happenings in the world: racism, police brutality, rape, and femicide, a number of Centre for Human Rights HRDA alumni came together with others to provide a message of hope and solidarity. In this video, Ms Mary Izobo (HRDA 2015), Ms Hibo Mahad (HRDA 2015), Ms Aminata Ly (HRDA 2015) and Ms Khuraisha Patel (HRDA 2015), alongside Ms Greta Dunn, Ms Neda Grozeva, Ms Khanyo Farise and Ms Rita Jacques provide this message: "We may look different and speak different languages, but we are one race - the human race. Hoping that our voices will be heard and we can contribute towards the wave of change."

Recently, three graduates of the Master’s in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) programme, presented by the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, were appointed to positions in which they are able to apply the theory of democratisation and human rights to make a difference in two African states, Namibia and Uganda. 

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, South Africa, is calling for applications for the Master's degree (LLM/MPhil) in Human Rights and Democratisation (HRDA) for the Class of 2021. This prestigious degree is presented by the Centre in partnership with 12 leading African universities.The programme forms part of the Global Campus of Human Rights, with Pretoria as the hub of the African regional programme.

On 6 February 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (UP), collaborated with Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen to host the second African edition of Cosmocafe. The Cosmocafe concept is part of the Human Rights Pavilion project conceived by Vanmechelen. It entails real conversations on human rights issues, referred to as SoTO Dialogues (Survival of the Other), that discusses the possibility of a universal human rights concept and the role of human rights in development. Previously, Cosmocafes have been held in 19 locations worldwide including Harare, Zimbabwe.

30 years have passed since world leaders adopted the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Many alumni from the Global Campus Alumni network dedicated their professional lives to transform children’s lives around the world.

This publication commemorates 18 years of the Master’s programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA).

It gives a snapshot of the HRDA programme; the Centre for Human Rights where it is based, and the partner universities in collaboration with which it is presented The reader will find comprehensive information on the donors, to whom the HRDA owes its very existence, and the administrative and academic staff whose competence and expertise have set high standards and given it world wide recognition.It gives a snapshot of the HRDA programme; the Centre for Human Rights where it is based, and the partner universities in collaboration with which it is presented The reader will find comprehensive information on the donors, to whom the HRDA owes its very existence, and the administrative and academic staff whose competence and expertise have set high standards and given it world wide recognition.Above all, this publication recognises the work of the alumni whose achievements in the field are contributing to advancing human rights and democracy, primarily in Africa, but also in other parts of the world. They are the manifestation of a momentum to move Africa forward; the vindication of the idea that expertise and a common understanding are important tools in addressing today’s development challenges.

Issues of the Alumni Newsletter provide more comprehensive reports on various engagements of alumni in the field.

Righting Wrongs: Alumni Newsletter

The Centre for Human Rights has learned with alarm of the arrest and continued detention of a prominent Swazi human rights lawyer and graduate of the Centre’s Master’s programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa — Mr Thulani Rudolf Maseko — by the Royal Swaziland Police Service on Tuesday 17 March 2014. He was arrested together with Mr Bheki Makhubu, editor of the New Nation magazine.

pdfDownload Full Press Release 21 March 2014

On 27 March 2012, Takele Soboka Bulto (Ethiopia, 2003) won the Harold Luntz Graduate Research Thesis Prize for 2011 for his PhD thesis submitted last year at the Melbourn Law School, Australia.

Takele says he is proud to say that he owes so much to the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, and its ever supportive Professors, for what he has achieved since 2003.

Dr Takele Soboka Bulto is currently Assistant Professor of International Studies at the Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra. 

On 9 December 2011, the Alumni Association welcomes 30 new members who will be awarded the LLM in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa.

On 11 July 2011, nineteen alumni attended a meeting during which they discussed strategies to strengthen the alumni network. Implementation of the African Charter research project was discussed in the same meeting. Alumni discussed proposals including co-authoring articles, joint publication, sharing articles and jurisprudence, launching list serves on thematic groups’ basis.

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