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The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to the launch of Choice and Conscience: Lessons from South Africa for a Global Debate, which offers a fresh and insightful perspective on the intersection between politics, mobilisation of discretionary power and the exercise of conscientious objection to abortion care.

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7-8 September 2024

The mood of exuberant optimism in Africa that the so-called wind of change in the 1990s and the new era of constitutions that it appeared to have ushered in, will provide much needed political stability, economic growth and development is fast fading. After a few years of what looked like progress, there is now an eerie feeling of a return to the dark pre-1990 era. The recent spate of military coups is clearly a sign that changes to constitutionalism, have not provided a solid foundation for political stability nor facilitated the economic growth that was supposed to improve the lives of the ordinary Africans. Whilst a few elites have grown richer, most Africans have remained poor, and the quality of social services such as schools, hospitals and other basic infrastructure have instead of improving deteriorated. A combination of poor governance, corruption and a weak legal framework have contributed to this situation.

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The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, has released volume 3 of the photobook series titled Looking through the prism: Narratives of queer dignity in South Africa. This series features photographs and narratives of the lives of LGBTIQ+ persons living in South Africa. Volume 3 of the series focuses on lesbian, bisexual and queer (LBQ) cisgender and transgender persons.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria cordially invites you to the virtual launch of a research report on the Impact of Race and Colour on the Enjoyment of Human Rights by Persons with Albinism in South Africa.

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The Centre for Human Rights (Centre) Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with Pan African International, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (PAN ILGA), held a side event on the practical steps to realising the Resolution on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Intersex Persons in Africa (Resolution 552) , on 19 October 2023 at the 79th session of the African Commission on Humana Peoples’(African Commission) Rights in Arusha. The side event was hosted under the umbrella of the African Civil Society Engagement (ACSE), a group of African Civil Society organisations working towards effective engagement with the African Commission.

On 24 October 2023, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria in collaboration with the Coalition for Effective African Court held a stakeholders’ dialogue on the ratification of the Protocol establishing the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and increased direct access to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The event was held as one of the Centre for Human Rights side events during the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights 77 Ordinary session in Arusha, Tanzania.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria will have a side event during the 42nd Ordinary Session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights of the Child, focusing on the essential topic of Intersex Children's Rights.

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On Monday, 2 October 2023, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria co-hosted a public forum on Mothering, Albinism and Human Rights in South Africa: The Resilience of Mothers Affected by Albinism at the Protea Hotel, Loftus Park, in Pretoria. The public forum was hosted as a collaborative effort between the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria; the Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria; Trinity Western University, Canada; McMaster University, Canada; University of Ottawa, Canada; and University of Toronto, Canada.

On 23 October 2023, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (the Centre) hosted a side event on the margins of the ongoing 77th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) taking place in Arusha, Tanzania. The side event was aimed at highlighting issues emerging from the apparent concurrence and overlap of reporting processes related to the implementation of the Maputo Protocol.  The processes of concern are the State Periodic Reporting to the African Commission as outlined under the Guidelines on State Reporting under the Maputo Protocol, and the reporting under the Maputo Protocol Score Card Index which was recently adopted by the African Union.

On October 6, 2024, the Centre for Human Rights ( Centre), University of Pretoria held a training for members of the LGBTIQ+ community on accessing Equality Courts in South Africa. The event was held in collaboration with Nelson Mandela University (NMU) Transformation Office in Gqeberha. 

The training is part of a larger project on Equality Courts in South Africa, aiming to raise awareness about the South African Equality Courts for the purposes of building capacity, confidence and knowledge in seeking redress for discrimination. The training began on 5 October, led by Adelaide Karomo from the NMU Transformation Office, with a short session on implicit bias and explored how bias can quickly turn into unfair discrimination.

From 12 – 13 October 2023, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria conducted the 2nd edition of its capacity building workshop for African civil society organisations on engagement with the African human rights system.  The event took place at Murray Guest House Brooklyn, Pretoria.

The workshop brought together civil society organisations from various African countries. Its primary aim was to acquaint participants with the foundational frameworks of the African human rights system and the institutions overseeing these norms. Additionally, attendees gained insights into the practical aspects of interfacing with African human rights bodies, for purposes of promoting and protecting human rights in Africa. 

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria , International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL) and ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa will be hosting a side event on “the Surveillance and human rights in Africa,” to promote human rights based approaches to the practice of surveillance and raise awareness on its human rights implications. Principle 41 of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa (the Declaration), calls on States to undertake lawful targeted surveillance instead of indiscriminate and untargeted collection, storage, analysis or sharing of a person’s communications.

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The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to its 11th Annual Disability Rights Conference on 20 and 21 November 2023 which will take place in a hybrid format (Southern Sun Hotel, OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg; and on zoom). The theme of this year’s conference is “Climate change and disability in Africa: A human rights’ response”.

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The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria South Africa invites you to an event on the side-lines of the 77th Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights titled: ‘Dissemination of the findings of the Study on Review of Discriminatory Laws related to Violence against Women in Africa’

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The Pretoria University Law Press (PULP) is proud to announce the winner of the Christof Heyns Memorial Thesis Award 2023. The award for the best thesis by an African doctoral candidate completed in 2022, goes to Dr Alphonce Paul Mbuya.

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The Centre for Human Rights (CHR), University of Pretoria (UP), the University of Antwerp and the government of Flanders hosted their annual advanced human rights course on the right to development.

This year, about 34 participants attended in person while 40 others followed online via Zoom. Participants were drawn from a variety of sectors including legal practitioners, human rights advocates, government officials, members of the judiciary, academics, and members of civil society organisations.

The Centre for Human Rights (Centre) , Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, welcomes the two judgements of the Supreme Court of Mauritius in Ah Seek A.R.F. v The State of Mauritius and Fokeerbux N. A. & Others v The State of Mauritius which decriminalised consensual same-sex sexual conduct between adults.

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

The Centre for Human Rights (Centre), Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria stands in solidarity with the Chief Justice of Zambia, Dr Mumba Malila SC, who has come under attack following his remarks about the need to respect the human rights of sexual minorities in Zambia. During a public lecture commemorating the Silver Jubilee of the Supreme Court of Zambia, on 22 September 2023, held at the University of Zambia, Justice Malila was asked a question on the rights of sexual minorities in Zambia, particularly of gay persons. In his response, Justice Malila stated:

I think there is something absolutely wrong in discriminating people that are different because of their sexuality. If they are people you know who are gay, I think it is absolutely wrong in allowing them less right than you would give to anyone else. Whether people are gay or not, they are human beings at the end of the day, and human rights must be accorded to all human beings.

To commemorate this anniversary, the Centre forHuman Rights, in collaboration with Government of Flanders calls to the general public for the participationof individuals or couples who are or have been marriedunder the same-sex marriage legal system applicablein South Africa, Belgium and France to be part of theco-creation and curation process of documenting thelived realities of same-sex married couples in thesecountries through photos and videos that reflct theirjourney. Prospective participants are encouraged toindicate their interest on or before 17 October 2023.

Click here to Particapate

On 27 and 28 September 2023, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, organised a two-day virtual seminar in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights’ Model Law on Access to Information for Africa. The Model Law was adopted on 13 February 2013, to provide legislative guidance for developing new and reviewing existing access to information laws in line with international best practices. It contains best practices and represents a harmonised approach to access to information throughout the continent and also serves as a basis for advocating for an enhanced access to information environment. The seminar provided a platform for ​​ exploring the status of access to information in Africa, including milestones and challenges.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and its partners ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa, and ARTICLE 19 Senegal and West Africa launched four reports on Proactive Disclosure of Information and Elections in Africa, during a webinar that was held on 26 September 2023. The reports assessed state compliance with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights 2017 Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections in Africa (the Guidelines). The studies focused on the recent elections in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and The Gambia. The initiative was undertaken with the support of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, currently led by Hon Commissioner Ourveena Geeresha Topsy-Sonoo.

On September 18-19 2023, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria hosted a hybrid Human Rights Strategic Litigation and Advocacy Training Workshop to curb the adverse effects of Climate Change and environmental shocks in Africa, at the Plant Sciences Complex in the University of the Pretoria. The event brought together legal professionals, judges, and scholars from Southern Africa to explore the critical intersections of climate change, human rights, and climate justice in Africa, with a specific focus on the SADC region. The event was opened by the convener of the event, Dr Elvis Fokala and soon after, the Assistant Director of the Centre for Human Rights, Mr Lloyd Kuveya and the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Elsabe Schoeman welcomed the participants to the University and wished them a very productive stay in Pretoria. 

As the world commemorates the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) that was proclaimed by the 74th UN General Assembly in  October 2019, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria recalls the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa which affirms the importance of the right of access to information in the “development of the human person, the creation and nurturing of democratic societies and for enabling the exercise of other rights”. It is a fundamental right that is protected under international human rights laws and standards.

The recent developments in Nagorno-Karabakh, a month-long blockade followed by a large-scale offensive on the region by Azerbaijani forces, the protracted conflict and the ensuing humanitarian tragedy have brought great sorrow to the lives of the most vulnerable members of our society, children. Many children faced the harsh realities of malnutrition and limited access to food due to severe shortages caused by the blockade and critical infrastructure damage. Since last week, many children in Nagorno-Karabakh have been brutally killed or injured in their homes or in the streets, or went missing. In the last days, after the cease-fire, hundreds of children along with their families have been deprived of food, sanitation, and shelter, and under difficult circumstances have been forced to seek refuge in Armenia.

On 15 September 2023, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, held its 5th edition of the African human rights bodies case discussion series at Southern Sun Hotel, Pretoria. The African human rights bodies case discussion series is part of the Centre for Human Rights efforts to improve the implementation and impact of the jurisprudence of African human rights bodies by providing a platform for stakeholders to discuss and engage with critical aspects of decisions of African human rights bodies. The 5th edition focused on the decisions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) in the cases of Justice Thomas S. Masuku v The Kingdom of Swaziland and Equality Now and Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association (EWLA) v the Federal Republic of Ethiopia.

From 13-15 September 2023, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights convened a 3-day conference on implementation and domestic impact of the decisions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) at Southern Sun Hotel, Pretoria, South Africa.

The Centre for Human Rights and its partners ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa, and ARTICLE 19 Western Africa invite stakeholders to the launch of the reports on Proactive Disclosure of Information and Elections in Africa. The reports assessed state compliance with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights 2017 Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections in Africa (the Guidelines).

On 7 September in Accra, Ghana, The Centre for Human Rights (the Centre) and Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) in partnership with Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica) and the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) held the launch of “A Guide to Your Rights: Fundamental Human Rights and Freedomsin Ghana” booklet. The launch was attended by various members of civil society, academia, representatives from the government, students and members of the media.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (Centre), invites qualified individuals to apply for the position of Case Study Researcher--Angola/Namibia. This is a consultancy position within a collaborative research project on the application of the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa (OAU Refugee Convention) to refugee displacements in the context of the effects of climate change, environmental degradation, and disasters in Africa.

This research project is a joint effort between the Centre and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Southern Africa Bureau, bringing together expertise and resources to advance our understanding of the impact of climate change, environmental degradation, and disasters on ‘public order’ within the framework of article I(2) of the OAU Refugee Convention.

The 32nd edition of the Christof Heyns African Human Rights Moot Court Competition brought together 47 teams from 14 African countries in Kumasi, Ghana. The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology from 3 – 9 September 2023 hosted the biggest gathering since before covid.

The competition started with preliminary rounds, during which 36 anglophone, 9 francophone, and 2 lusophone teams argued both sides of the hypothetical case. After rigorous arguments, ultimately 3 anglophone teams and 1 francophone team made it through to the finals.

On 8 September 2023, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria in partnership with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) and Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica), hosted a high-level discussion regarding civil society entry points into the African Union (AU). The discussion took place in Accra, Ghana with participants from various civil society organisations (CSOs) across Africa. 

The Danish Institute for Human Rights, iCourts Center of Excellence for International Courts, and the PhD School of the Faculty of Law of the University of Copenhagen invite PhD students working on human rights related topics to submit an application to participate in our PhD course on human rights research methods.

November 15-17, 2023
Danish Institute for Human Rights, Copenhagen

On 29 August 2023, the Centre hosted a dialogue with community leaders, leaders of faith-based organisations, hospital staff, and representatives of grassroots organisations working on the protection of refugees, asylum seekers, and other migrants (migrants) in Cape Town. The dialogue is an initiative of the Centre’s which seeks to promote social cohesion, and which is necessitated by, among other factors, the need to counter anti-African migrant sentiments that have contributed to the recurrence of xenophobic violence in South Africa, mainly targeting Black African migrants.

 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria is organising a two day Conference on the Implications of Illicit Financial Flows on the Right to Development in Africa. The Conference will bring together participants from a wide range of stakeholders including African governments, policymakers, representatives from AU institutions, international organisations, civil society organisations, academics, researchers and private sector representatives to raise awareness, examine causes, explore the human rights dimension, share research findings, and foster cooperation in combating IFFs. These objectives collectively aim to drive action and generate sustainable solutions to curtail IFFs and redirect resources towards inclusive and sustainable development in Africa.

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The Centre for Human Rights wishes to inform its friends, collaborating partners and all other stakeholders, of the appointment of Professor Nkatha Murungi, as Acting Director. This appointment follows the end of the term of the long-time Director, Professor Frans Viljoen, who has been the Director of the Centre since 2007. The 16 years of Prof. Viljoen’s leadership included several terms as Director, as well as interim extensions. He is now on a sabbatical, but will return and take up his position as teacher and researcher in the Centre at the start of 2024.  

On 18 August 2023, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities marked the one-year anniversary of adoption of its Guidelines on Deinstitutionalization, including in Emergencies (CRPD/C/5). Watch the official recording on UN Web TV here.

The Global Coalition on Deinstitutionalization (‘GC-DI’) is a collection of seven leading international organizations of persons with disabilities and civil society organizations. It was formed around the collective goal of promoting deinstitutionalization of persons with disabilities, under Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (‘CRPD’).

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, together with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, cordially invites you to a hybrid human rights based strategic litigation and advocacy training Workshop to curb the adverse effects of climate change and environmental shocks in Africa.

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Decriminalisation of anti-sodomy laws in an increasingly hostile environment in Africa

23 November 2023

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is convening a conference on sexual and gender minority rights in Africa under the theme decriminalisation of anti-sodomy laws in an increasingly hostile environment on sexual and gender minority rights in Africa. The aim of the conference is to critically analyse how anti-sodomy laws can be decriminalised under the prevailing hostile legal and political environment against sexual and gender minority rights in Africa.  The conference will be held in hybrid format on 23 November 2023 in South Africa and online. It is anticipated that papers presented at this conference will be reworked by authors and submitted to be part of an edited book on decriminalisation of Anti-sodomy laws in  Africa.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria seeks the consultancy services of an experienced consultant with research expertise to conduct a study to document the impact of digital violence on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) of women in Africa and measures taken by states to protect women from and respond to violence in the digital sphere.

2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ (African Commission) adoption of the Model Law on Access to Information for Africa (the Model Law). Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria will be organising a commemorative seminar on 27 and 28 September 2023, which aims to explore the status of access to information in Africa. 

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria in collaboration with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) recently hosted the opening ceremony of the 32nd Christof Heyns Moot Court Competition. With its theme, "The Africa We Want: Sexual and Gender Minority Rights in Africa, Climate Change, and Corruption," this year's competition promised to be a platform for exploring critical legal issues in the African context. The opening ceremony was a star-studded event, featuring speeches from esteemed legal personalities who set the stage for what promises to be an intellectually stimulating competition.

On 22 - 24 August 2023, the Centre co-hosted a workshop with the Chair of African Legal Studies, University of Bayreuth. The workshop brought together scholars human rights in Africa and Europe, as part of a project that interrogates the reasons why some human rights violations persist with little or no change despite the establishment of extensive legal frameworks and aims to provide solutions to them. The project aims to answer three major questions: why do human rights violations persist on a large scale? Why is there such a huge disparity between the legal frameworks and incidences of violations? And what can be done to close the gap between formal protection and the lived realities of citizens? In opening the workshop, Prof Thoko Kaime, the seating Chair of African Legal Studies, Bayreuth University, expounded on the three questions as the basis for the project on intractable problems of human rights.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (the Centre), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MFAIC) held a two-day Validation Workshop on the State Report of the Republic of Sierra Leone as required under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter) and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol). The Workshop was held from 1 to 2 August 2023 in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone ratified the African Charter in September 1983 and the Maputo Protocol in July 2015, and as of January 2023, had three outstanding reports on the African Charter. Sierra Leone is also yet to report on the Maputo Protocol since ratification.

To celebrate 20 years of the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol), the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Office of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa) calls for newsletter article contributions.

In pursuit of the ideals of excellence and diversity, the University of Pretoria wishes to invite applications for the following vacancy.

The University of Pretoria's commitment to quality makes us one of the top research Universities in the country and gives us a competitive advantage in international science and technology development.

This is a present but vacant full-time permanent position. The successful candidate should be able to start on 1 January 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

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

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (Centre), invites qualified individuals to apply for the position of Case Study Researcher--Angola/Namibia. This is a consultancy position within a collaborative research project on the application of the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa (OAU Refugee Convention) to refugee displacements in the context of the effects of climate change, environmental degradation, and disasters in Africa. This research project seeks to explore the impact of climate change, environmental degradation, and disasters on ‘public order’ within the framework of Article I(2) of the OAU Refugee Convention.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria is offering an internship opportunity within its Migrants’ Rights Unit. The intern will gain practical experience in the field of the rights of migrants.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (Centre), invites qualified individuals to apply for the position of Case Study Researcher. This is a consultancy position within a collaborative research project on the application of the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa (OAU Refugee Convention) to refugee displacements in the context of the effects of climate change, environmental degradation, and disasters in Africa.  This research project seeks to explore the impact of climate change, environmental degradation, and disasters on ‘public order’ within the framework of Article I(2) of the OAU Refugee Convention.

From 24 to 25 July 2023, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria collaborated with the office of the Ombudsperson for Children in Mauritius to host a capacity building on the ‘Rights of Children with Disabilities in the African Human Rights System’.

2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights' (African Commission) adoption of the Model Law on Access to Information for Africa (the Model Law). The Model Law was adopted on February 13, 2013 and provides guidance on Member States' legislative obligations in promoting and protecting the right to access information as outlined under article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (the African Charter) and other relevant instruments such as the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa and the Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections in Africa.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (Centre for Human Rights), cordially invites community leaders, school principals and teachers, leaders of faith-based organisations, representatives of grassroots organisations working in the area of refugees, asylum seekers, and other migrants, and hospital staff, to participate in a community dialogue in Cape Town, South Africa.

On 2 August 2023, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria co-hosted Dr Serge Brammertz, Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. The theme of Dr Brammertz’s lecture was on the development and transformation of international criminal law as a branch of international law, and he also spoke about contemporary issues in the field.

On 2 August 2023, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, hosted a child-led conference on children’s mental health in Schools in Africa, on its Hatfield Campus. The conference was attended by children nationals from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, South Africa, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

The Centre for Human Rights, Law Faculty, University of Pretoria (Centre) held a two-day Alumni Networking Roundtable at the University of Pretoria from 27 to 28 July 2023. The Roundtable was organized as both an academic conference and networking event to reconnect the alumni of the Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation (HRDA) with each other, with the Centre, and with the current students, during this 24th year of the HRDA.

On Friday 28 July 2023, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, at the University of Pretoria (Centre), held its inaugural Christof Heyns Human Rights Memorial Lecture, at the Aula, University of Pretoria. The event was attended by about 150 participants in person, including Christof’s wife Fearika, and two daughters, Willemien and Renée, and around 50 participants online.  The three panellists presenting the Lecture emphasised that the history and future of human rights remain based on struggle, and that the strategy against the current push back against human rights should be grounded in greater solidarity and more nuanced and sophisticated articulation of human rights language.

Bringing together over 18 activists and lawyers, the Centre for Human Rights (Centre) held a capacity building workshop on strategic litigation and advocacy for LGBTIQ+ Advocates in Africa from 24 to 28 July, 2023. The capacity building workshop which has been held annually for the last 4 years aims at enhancing the skills of experienced activists in Africa in strategic litigation and advocacy towards the protection of sexual and gender minorities on the continent.

EVENT INFORMATION

Date: Wednesday 2 August
Time: 17h00 – 18h30
Venue: Centre for Human Rights lecture hall, Faculty of Law
RSVP: mispa.roux@up.ac.za

Zoom Link

On 26 July 2023, a momentous event took place at the University of Pretoria's Faculty of Law, as the Centre for Human Rights launched its groundbreaking #RacialJustice campaign. This campaign is poised to be a catalyst for transformative change, promoting equality, understanding, and social justice in a world that continues to grapple with racial disparities. With a deep commitment to fostering inclusivity, the campaign seeks to address racial discrimination head-on and pave the way for a more equitable future.

On 20-21 July 2023, the Centre for Human Rights and the Pan-African Parliament Civil Society Forum (PAP CSO Forum), in partnership with the Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica) convened a meeting in Cote d’Ivoire with some of the West African key actors to establish a formal mechanism of engagement between the PAP and civil society.

The Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition reached a milestone, with the 15th edition of this Competition being held at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. As in 2022, the winning team emerged from the Asian region. This team, the National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi, India, was composed of Akhila Vijayan and Aishwarya Sridhar. The winning team won two Peter Coenen Scholarships for a Summer International Human Rights Implementation Programme at the University of Lucerne in Switzerland. The runner up team was St Thomas University, Canada.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, and the Zimbabwe chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), hosted a multi-stakeholder engagement on 27 and 28 June 2023 in Harare, Zimbabwe. The engagement sought to promote a healthy information ecosystem throughout the Zimbabwean election process by enhancing access to information and promoting rights-based approaches to addressing the disinformation challenge.

On a momentous day in Geneva, Switzerland, the world witnessed the fourth annual Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture, an event that has become a beacon of inspiration and intellectual discourse. This year's lecture focused on a critical topic that continues to shape our global landscape: the intersection of refugees and climate change. In a world grappling with both environmental and humanitarian challenges, the lecture served as a platform to address the urgent need for collective action and empathetic response.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is pleased to invite applications for the Master's degree (LLM/MPhil) in Multidisciplinary Human Rights (MDHR) for the academic year 2024. This prestigious program offers an unparalleled opportunity for students to engage in advanced studies and research in the field of human rights, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to make a lasting impact on human rights issues globally.

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’). 

To mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol), the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and the Faculty of Law, University of Nairobi launched two books published by the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP). The book launch took place in Nairobi, Kenya on 13 July 2023. The publications were launched in celebration of the Maputo Protocol turning 20 on 11 July 2023.

With the 2024 South African National Elections around the corner, the Democracy and Civic Engagement Unit at the Centre for Human Rights in Partnership with the Australian High Commission, South Africa convened a space in which young South Africans could engage on matters related to governance, democracy and stability on 14-15 July 2023. The democracy capacity building workshop was guided by the theme “Encouraging Youth Participation in South Africa’s Democracy.” 

The prestigious Nelson Mandela Moot Court Competition, named in honour of the iconic South African leader and human rights advocate, has long been recognised as a platform for aspiring legal minds to showcase their skills and passion for justice. With each passing year, the competition grows in significance, attracting talented law students from across the globe. As we delve into the advanced rounds of this year’s competition, let us explore the remarkable journey that participants undertake and the impact it has on the future of law.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria is pleased to invite you to the launch of the 2023 #RaciaJustice Campaign. The Centre joins the global community in the fighting against racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia. The campaign aims to achieve racial justice for the many victims of racism and racial discrimination, in the region and continent alike.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (Centre) co-hosted a virtual meeting on colonialism and sexual orientation and gender identity with the United Nations Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity on 6 July 2023. The meeting brought together experts on colonialism, coloniality and decolonisation in relation to sexual and gender diversity from across the world.

LEGAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS CENTRE AND CENTRE FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS V UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA (The reproductive rights case)

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law University of Pretoria would like to invite you to the 4th edition of its case discussion series on decisions of African human rights bodies.

Click here to register

By Bonolo Makgale and Nyasha M Mpani

"The revolution cannot triumph without the emancipation of women” — Thomas Sankara. Women on the African continent make up 50% of the population. Yet they continue to face discrimination, inequality and lack of access to equal opportunities. 

As part of the African women’s movement, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, and the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) convened with other women’s rights organisations in Nairobi, Kenya for the Annual General Meeting on 9 July 2023. The SOAWR AGM took place ahead of a two-day celebration of the Maputo Protocol anniversary on 10 and 11 July 2023 in collaboration with the African Union and the Government of Kenya, as the host state. The Centre financially supported representatives of 5 member organisations based in the Southern Africa region to participate in the AGM and the pivotal anniversary celebrations on 10 and 11 July 2023.

In pursuit of the ideals of excellence, the University of Pretoria wishes to invite applications for the following vacancy. The University of Pretoria's commitment to quality makes us one of the top research Universities in the country and gives us a competitive advantage in international development.

On 22 June 2023, the Centre for Human Rights (CHR) and the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS, and Gender (CSA&G) University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Center for Gender Studies and Feminist Futures (CGS) and the Center for Conflict Studies (CCS) at the Philipps-University Marburg, hosted the series finale of the Pretoria-Marburg Queer Conversations.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is concerned about the unwarranted and unlawful assaults on lawyers using brutal acts of violence and the criminal justice system in two autocratic states preparing for elections within the next two months. The governments of Zimbabwe and Eswatini will hold elections in August and September 2023, respectively, in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation of dissenting voices.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is convening a conference whose theme is ‘Climate Change and Disability in Africa: A Human Rights Response.’ The aim of the conference is two-fold: 1) to critically appraise laws, policies, practices, programmes, polities and ideologies that relate to the rights of persons with disabilities in Africa, in the context of climate change and 2) to suggest remedial responses (domestically, regionally and globally) to address violations of the rights of persons with disabilities in climate crises. The conference will be held in hybrid format from 20 – 21 November 2023. It is anticipated that papers presented at this conference will be reworked by authors and submitted for consideration for publication in the 2024 volume of the African Disability Rights Yearbook. www.adry.up.ac.za 

From the 20th to the 22nd of June 2023, the University of Pretoria’s (UP) faculty of law, Centre for Human Rights’(CHR), Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit, in collaboration with the Transformation Resource Centre (TRC), hosted a digital rights capacity-building workshop for parliamentarians in Maseru, Lesotho. 

On 30 June 2023, in Menlyn, Pretoria, esteemed jurists and legal experts gathered to enhance their knowledge and awareness of LGBTIQ+ issues in South Africa. The event was part of an ongoing Equality Courts project, sponsored by the European Union, empowering communities, and presiding officers in the fight for equality and justice.

Janet Gbam, a Doctoral student and the programme manager of the Masters Programme in Multidisciplinary Human Rights at the Centre for Human Rights, recently participated in the Education and Democratic Citizenship Conference (ICEDC) and Human Rights Education Review. The conference took place from 12-13 June 2023, focusing on the theme of ‘Human Rights and Education: Past, Present, and Future’.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria and the Faculty of Law, University of Nairobi cordially invite you to a launch of two publications recently published by the Pretoria University Law Press. The two publications will be launched in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol). The Maputo Protocol turns 20 on 11 July 2023

The South African Human Rights Commission, in collaboration with the Department of Education, The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invite student volunteers at the University of Pretoria, whohave experience in mooting to apply to be a marker of essays in the central marking process for the National School Moot Court Programme. 

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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.

The Centre for Human Rights, the Centre for Child Law both at the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria, and the Dullah Omar Institute at the Faculty of Law at the University of the Western Cape successfully hosted the annual Advanced Human Rights Course on Children's Rights in Africa from 19 to 23 June 2023.

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, invites you to join the inaugural Christof Heyns Memorial Lecture in memory of the manifold contribution of the late Professor Christof Heyns to human rights.

Venue: University of Pretoria, Aula 
Date: Friday 28 July 2023
Time: 16:30 for 17:00

Click  here to register

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria invites applications from litigators and other stakeholders passionate about sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), for a capacity building training on litigation of SRHR claims before national and regional mechanisms in Africa. The training is scheduled to take place from 3-4 August 2023 in Pretoria, South Africa.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (Centre) and KADIRAT, Tunisia hosted a three-day Workshop on State Reporting under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter) and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol) from 15 to 17 June 2023 in Tunis, Tunisia. The overall objective of the workshop was to strengthen Tunisia’s capacity to comply with its state reporting obligations under the African Charter and the Maputo Protocol. The Workshop was also aimed at disseminating information to non-governmental stakeholders on the African human rights system.

With the aim of harnessing the role of the media in positively influencing public attitudes through accurate, human-rights-based, and context-sensitive reporting on issues relating to migrants, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (Centre), in partnership with the European Union Delegation in South Africa, conducted training for journalists, other media practitioners, and social media influencers.

The second session of the 2023 Pretoria-Marburg Queer Conversations took place on Africa Day, 25 May, in a joint effort by the Centre for Human Rights (CHR), Faculty of Law and the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS, and Gender (CSA&G), University of Pretoria, along with the Centre for Gender Studies and Feminist Futures (CGS) and the Centre for Conflict Studies (CCS) at the Philipps-University Marburg. These conversations have emerged from a shared interest in addressing LGBTIQ+ and queer identities among the participating centres.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (Centre), cordially invite you to a panel discussion on the decision of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights of the Child (African Children’s Committee), communication No: 0012/Com/001/2019, Legal and Human Rights Centre and Centre for Reproductive Rights (on behalf of Tanzanian girls) v United Republic of Tanzania (Reproductive Rights case). 

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The Center for African Studies at Howard University, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Africa Bureau, is offering a 4-week professional development course on Humanitarian Security for practitioners and graduate students in Summer 2023.

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 concept of intersectionality was first introduced by Kimberlé Crenshaw to describe how Black women experience multiple forms of oppression and discrimination that cannot be understood or addressed solely by looking at race or gender separately. However, the concept has since been expanded to include other forms of oppression and marginalization beyond race and gender, such as class, sexuality, ability, and age. Disability scholars such as Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Kim Nielsen, Simi Linton and many others used the concept of intersectionality in demonstrating how social constructions of disability intersect with other social categories to create conditions of discrimination and marginalization. Rosemarie Garland-Thomson has argued that disability is not just a medical condition, but also a social and cultural category that intersects with other identities, to frame the experiences of persons with disabilities.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is organising a capacity-building workshop on engagement with the African human rights system for African civil society organisations (CSOs). The capacity-building workshop is a two-day training workshop scheduled for Friday 12-13 October 2023.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria in collaboration with the University of eSwatini faculty of law, Law Society of eSwatini and CANGO cordially invites you to the Inaugural Memorial lecture in honour of its alumnus, Thulani Rudolf Maseko.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, welcomes the appointment of Lindiwe Khumalo as the new Clerk of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP). This appointment comes at a crucial juncture for the PAP. Over the past couple of years, uncertainty and institutional challenges have persisted, including the presence of an acting Clerk for over a year.

The Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023, became law in Uganda on 26 May 2023, after President Yoweri Museveni had assented to the Bill. This recent development is the culmination of a process that has defied reason in its bid to erase the rights and dignity of sexual and gender minorities in Uganda, and in respect of which the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (Centre), expressed deep concern for the inevitable violation of human rights that will occur.

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