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December 5, 2019 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is deeply concerned about the recent decision of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania to withdraw its declaration made under article 34(6) of the Protocol of the African Charter on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights allowing individuals and NGOs to take cases directly to the African Court.

November 12, 2019 

Honourable Emmanuel Macron
President of the Republic of France
Palais de l’Elysée, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
75008 Paris, FRANCE

Dear President Macron:

We, the undersigned scholars, writers, and human rights advocates, write to plead with France to up its engagement in resolving Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis, described by some analysts as “Rwanda in slow motion”.

Specifically, we respectfully urge France to use its considerable influence with the government of President Paul Biya to encourage Cameroon to openly embrace the Swiss-led peace talks, as a means of ending the killings and atrocities being committed in the North West and South-West regions of the country. A lasting solution must come from a mediated process that includes Anglophone armed-separatist groups and non-violent civil-society leaders.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is deeply concerned about the eviction of refugees and asylum seekers who were holding a sit-in at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Cape Town, South Africa. The evictions were carried out by the South African Police Service on 30 October 2019.

The evictions were conducted in a violent manner, violating the dignity of those affected. Furthermore, scenes of children being forcibly separated from their parents are especially concerning, taking into account the standards dealing with the protection of the rights of children that South Africa has committed itself to.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (UP), in collaboration with Shift, will be hosting a two-day multi-stakeholder meeting of experts concerning the Valuing Respect project - a project aimed at evaluating how companies understand and give effect to their responsibility to respect human rights. The consultation will take place on 30 and 31 October 2019. 

The Centre for Human Rights presented its statement on aspects of the human rights situation in Africa, at the 65th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, taking place in Banjul, the Gambia. It drew attention to the situation in Cameroon; raised concerns about the lack of priority by the African Commission on its protective mandate; called for the consistent implementation of Resolution 275; and urged the African Commission to develop soft-law standards on the rights of intersex persons.

As part of the Africa Beijing+25 review, and in preparation of the commemoration of the Beijing Declaration in 2020, the  African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission), through the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa, hosted a panel during the 65th Ordinary Session of the Commission on 22 October 2019 in Banjul. The panel focused on the rights of women in Africa and was an opportunity to reflect on the strides made on the continent over the years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration in 1995.

Former members of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission), meeting in Pretoria, initiated the setting-up of a platform to strengthen the independence of the African Commission.

A recent round table seminar brought together by the South Africa Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, with the support of the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, discussed South Africa’s attitude towards global and regional accountability mechanisms. Discussions focused on international criminal accountability, and on the ease of access to regional justice for human rights violations. Reasons for South Africa’s position were provided and interrogated.

WE, PARTICIPANTS of the International Conference on the Protection of Forced Migrants in Africa, gathered on 6 and 7 September 2019 at the Future Africa campus of the University of Pretoria, South Africa;

INVOKING the notion of Ubuntu; RECOGNIZING the development of progressive laws and policies governing forced displacement and migration adopted by several countries in Africa; and CALLING for a movement away from rhetoric towards the effective implementation of existing laws and policies;

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, strongly condemns the recent xenophobic violence and attacks against foreign nationals in South Africa. The Centre calls on the government to develop a targeted intervention strategy. The cycle of outrage, followed by commitment to take action, but then inevitably fading into inaction, should be broken.

Dawda K Jawara, who played a considerable role in laying the foundations of the African regional human rights system, passed away on 27 August 2019.  He was 95 years old. For those following and committed to human rights in Africa, the name of Dawda Jawara takes pride of place.

pdfDownload Press Statement

The High Court of Botswana has, in a landmark ruling and a unanimous decision by the bench declared Section 164 and 165 of the Botswana Penal Code that previously criminalised same-sex sexual acts, as unconstitutional. Botswana joins Angola, Mozambique, Seychelles, and South Africa as members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to have decriminalised same-sex sexual acts, a progressive outlook for this region. The Botswana decision comes not so long after Kenyan judges upheld similar provisions in the Kenyan Penal Code criminalising same-sex sexual acts, a sad contrast.

The Centre for Human Rights (the Centre), University of Pretoria, calls on the South African government to enhance the protection for older persons; and to ratify the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa (Protocol on Older Persons).

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is deeply concerned about the reported blocking of social media by the government of Eritrea to curb an impending demonstration ahead of the country’s Independence Day commemorations. Eritrea is due to celebrate its 26th Independence Day on 24 May 2019. 

Statement by the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (NGO enjoying observer status) to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, at its 64th Ordinary Session, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on 26 April 2019, on the situation of human rights in Africa.

The Centre for Human Rights (the Centre) congratulates the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) of Kenya and its leadership upon winning the Court of Appeal case, in which the Kenya Non Government Organisations Coordination Board appealed the decision of the Kenya High Court to allow NGLHRC to register under the Kenya Non Government Organisations Coordination Act. The Court of Appeal delivered its  decision on Friday 22 March 2019. 

Statement delivered by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria at the 33rd Ordinary Session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

(18 March 2019, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

The Centre for Human Rights (the Centre), University of Pretoria, fully supports the campaign by the South African Department of Sports and Recreation, against the enforcement of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) regulations against hyper-androgenic women in sports. This follows an appeal against the regulations made to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) by Olympic champion Caster Semenya and Athletics South Africa (ASA). The appeal, which is before the CAS, will be concluded on 29 March 2019. The regulations violate the right to bodily autonomy, physical integrity, freedom from non-discrimination and other bioethical considerations.

pdfDownload this Press Statement

Civil society organisations working on gender-based violence (GBV) express concern over the slow pace at which the South African Presidency is addressing issues identified at the National Summit against Gender-Based Violence and Femicide.

pdfDownload this Press Statement

The Centre for Human Rights (the Centre) congratulates the government, parliament and people of Angola, for the brave steps taken, through its judicial reform programme, towards the decriminalisation of ‘habitual unnatural vices’, into which consensual adult same-sex sexual conduct was read. The Centre also expresses its pleasure towards the criminalisation of crimes based on discrimination including prohibiting crimes based on discrimination based on sexual orientation. To further galvanise the reforms, employment and service discrimination based on sexual orientation is also now illegal. These are major achievements towards respecting and promoting the rights of all citizens of Angola including sexual and gender minorities.

pdfDownload Press Statement

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December 5, 2019 

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is deeply concerned about the recent decision of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania to withdraw its declaration made under article 34(6) of the Protocol of the African Charter on the Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights allowing individuals and NGOs to take cases directly to the African Court.

November 12, 2019 

Honourable Emmanuel Macron
President of the Republic of France
Palais de l’Elysée, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
75008 Paris, FRANCE

Dear President Macron:

We, the undersigned scholars, writers, and human rights advocates, write to plead with France to up its engagement in resolving Cameroon’s Anglophone Crisis, described by some analysts as “Rwanda in slow motion”.

Specifically, we respectfully urge France to use its considerable influence with the government of President Paul Biya to encourage Cameroon to openly embrace the Swiss-led peace talks, as a means of ending the killings and atrocities being committed in the North West and South-West regions of the country. A lasting solution must come from a mediated process that includes Anglophone armed-separatist groups and non-violent civil-society leaders.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is deeply concerned about the eviction of refugees and asylum seekers who were holding a sit-in at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Cape Town, South Africa. The evictions were carried out by the South African Police Service on 30 October 2019.

The evictions were conducted in a violent manner, violating the dignity of those affected. Furthermore, scenes of children being forcibly separated from their parents are especially concerning, taking into account the standards dealing with the protection of the rights of children that South Africa has committed itself to.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (UP), in collaboration with Shift, will be hosting a two-day multi-stakeholder meeting of experts concerning the Valuing Respect project - a project aimed at evaluating how companies understand and give effect to their responsibility to respect human rights. The consultation will take place on 30 and 31 October 2019. 

The Centre for Human Rights presented its statement on aspects of the human rights situation in Africa, at the 65th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, taking place in Banjul, the Gambia. It drew attention to the situation in Cameroon; raised concerns about the lack of priority by the African Commission on its protective mandate; called for the consistent implementation of Resolution 275; and urged the African Commission to develop soft-law standards on the rights of intersex persons.

As part of the Africa Beijing+25 review, and in preparation of the commemoration of the Beijing Declaration in 2020, the  African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission), through the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa, hosted a panel during the 65th Ordinary Session of the Commission on 22 October 2019 in Banjul. The panel focused on the rights of women in Africa and was an opportunity to reflect on the strides made on the continent over the years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration in 1995.

Former members of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission), meeting in Pretoria, initiated the setting-up of a platform to strengthen the independence of the African Commission.

A recent round table seminar brought together by the South Africa Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, with the support of the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, discussed South Africa’s attitude towards global and regional accountability mechanisms. Discussions focused on international criminal accountability, and on the ease of access to regional justice for human rights violations. Reasons for South Africa’s position were provided and interrogated.

WE, PARTICIPANTS of the International Conference on the Protection of Forced Migrants in Africa, gathered on 6 and 7 September 2019 at the Future Africa campus of the University of Pretoria, South Africa;

INVOKING the notion of Ubuntu; RECOGNIZING the development of progressive laws and policies governing forced displacement and migration adopted by several countries in Africa; and CALLING for a movement away from rhetoric towards the effective implementation of existing laws and policies;

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, strongly condemns the recent xenophobic violence and attacks against foreign nationals in South Africa. The Centre calls on the government to develop a targeted intervention strategy. The cycle of outrage, followed by commitment to take action, but then inevitably fading into inaction, should be broken.

Dawda K Jawara, who played a considerable role in laying the foundations of the African regional human rights system, passed away on 27 August 2019.  He was 95 years old. For those following and committed to human rights in Africa, the name of Dawda Jawara takes pride of place.

pdfDownload Press Statement

The High Court of Botswana has, in a landmark ruling and a unanimous decision by the bench declared Section 164 and 165 of the Botswana Penal Code that previously criminalised same-sex sexual acts, as unconstitutional. Botswana joins Angola, Mozambique, Seychelles, and South Africa as members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to have decriminalised same-sex sexual acts, a progressive outlook for this region. The Botswana decision comes not so long after Kenyan judges upheld similar provisions in the Kenyan Penal Code criminalising same-sex sexual acts, a sad contrast.

The Centre for Human Rights (the Centre), University of Pretoria, calls on the South African government to enhance the protection for older persons; and to ratify the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa (Protocol on Older Persons).

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is deeply concerned about the reported blocking of social media by the government of Eritrea to curb an impending demonstration ahead of the country’s Independence Day commemorations. Eritrea is due to celebrate its 26th Independence Day on 24 May 2019. 

Statement by the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (NGO enjoying observer status) to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, at its 64th Ordinary Session, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on 26 April 2019, on the situation of human rights in Africa.

The Centre for Human Rights (the Centre) congratulates the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) of Kenya and its leadership upon winning the Court of Appeal case, in which the Kenya Non Government Organisations Coordination Board appealed the decision of the Kenya High Court to allow NGLHRC to register under the Kenya Non Government Organisations Coordination Act. The Court of Appeal delivered its  decision on Friday 22 March 2019. 

Statement delivered by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria at the 33rd Ordinary Session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

(18 March 2019, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

The Centre for Human Rights (the Centre), University of Pretoria, fully supports the campaign by the South African Department of Sports and Recreation, against the enforcement of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) regulations against hyper-androgenic women in sports. This follows an appeal against the regulations made to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) by Olympic champion Caster Semenya and Athletics South Africa (ASA). The appeal, which is before the CAS, will be concluded on 29 March 2019. The regulations violate the right to bodily autonomy, physical integrity, freedom from non-discrimination and other bioethical considerations.

pdfDownload this Press Statement

Civil society organisations working on gender-based violence (GBV) express concern over the slow pace at which the South African Presidency is addressing issues identified at the National Summit against Gender-Based Violence and Femicide.

pdfDownload this Press Statement

The Centre for Human Rights (the Centre) congratulates the government, parliament and people of Angola, for the brave steps taken, through its judicial reform programme, towards the decriminalisation of ‘habitual unnatural vices’, into which consensual adult same-sex sexual conduct was read. The Centre also expresses its pleasure towards the criminalisation of crimes based on discrimination including prohibiting crimes based on discrimination based on sexual orientation. To further galvanise the reforms, employment and service discrimination based on sexual orientation is also now illegal. These are major achievements towards respecting and promoting the rights of all citizens of Angola including sexual and gender minorities.

pdfDownload Press Statement