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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.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with Ghent University, presented the annual Advanced Human Rights Course (AHRC) on African Human Rights System in Comparative Perspectives from 9 to 12 October 2020. The course was presented online via Zoom. Just under 50 participants from 17 African countries, Europe andSouth America attended the course. Participants included legal practitioners, human rights advocates, government representatives as well as members of academia.

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.

On 8 October 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Global Engagement Network on Internal Displacement in Africa (GENIDA), hosted a webinar on the situation of urban Internally Displaced Peoples in time of COVID-19 and how protection can be secured and enhanced.

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.

Pride Afrique, the first virtual Pan-African pride event, recently took place from 14 to 16  August. The event provided an opportunity for African LGBTIQ+ communities to meet and celebrate virtually, despite the COVID-19 pandemic that has prevented several physical pride events from being held.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria notes with disappointment the decision by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court to effectively ban Caster Semenya from participating in certain competitive sporting events (400m to the mile) unless she reduces her testosterone levels to ‘acceptable female’ levels. This decision follows an appeal by Caster to the Supreme Court against a decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), which upheld the validity of the World Athletics regulations on female athletes with differences of sex development (Eligibility Regulations on Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development). The CAS, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, is a private legal person under Swiss law. Its arbitration awards are subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court.

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) is currently prersenting the annual Advanced Human Rights Course on Police Oversight and Vulnerable Groups in Africa.  

(Op-Ed by Marystella A. Simiyu)

The inability of countries to ordinarily hold elections and undertake electioneering is one of the many disruptions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the passing of Advocate George Bizos on 9 September 2020, South Africa lost an exceptional human rights lawyer who devoted his life to the promotion and fostering of a human rights culture in South Africa. “His life demonstrates the best use to which the law can be put: as a tool to defend those at risk of abuse of power, and as a tool for social transformation and human connection’”, said the Director of the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, Frans Viljoen.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, has with alarm taken note of the precarious position and imminent risk of irreparable harm to the life of Nigerian singer Yahaya Sharif Aminu. The Centre on 9 September 2020 lodged a request to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) to take immediate action, in the form of directing an urgent appeal to the Head of State, or any other appropriate form. 

About 40% of countries in Africa are at a debt-stressed level, while COVID-19 has forced a strong fiscal response globally as nations try to avoid lasting structural damage to their economies. This is according to Governor Lesetja Kganyago of the South African Reserve Bank, who spoke at the fourth annual Distributed Interdisciplinary Sovereign Debt Research and Management Conference, or D-DebtCon. The conference is taking place virtually this year in nine countries, spanning five continents, from 7 to 18 September.

By: Bonolo Makgale

The national lockdown in South Africa which was initiated due to the COVID-19 global health pandemic has revealed another hidden pandemic amongst us.  The latest National Income Dynamic Study (NIDS) Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (CRAM) has revealed that the national lockdown has contributed to the perpetual hunger for 2.2 million South Africans. The report revealed that with 3 million South Africans having lost their incomes and jobs, hunger has become a national crisis exposing food insecurity in the most vulnerable communities.

The Disability Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a webinar on mothers impacted by albinism. The webinar, which is a dialogue on gender, albinism and human rights in South Africa is held in commemoration of Albinism Awareness Month.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a webinar organised by the Children’s Rights Unit on the occasion of the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC). The webinar will focus on children’s rights in the digital age in Africa.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa, cordially invites you to apply for the Capacity Building Workshop on Strategic Advocacy and Litigation for human rights defenders working on the promotion and protection of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons in Africa.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (‘the Centre’), is implementing a three-year project on access to the equality courts by the LGBTIQ+ community in the City of Tshwane. The overall goal of the project is to demonstrably promote the enhanced use of the Equality Courts by the South African LGBTIQ+ community in general, and the Tshwane community in particular.

An analysis of the deteriorating human rights situation in Zimbabwe

In conversation with Mr Brian Kagoro

The Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI) is holding its annual conference from 3 to 5 September on the theme 'The future of human rights: Socio-economic rights, equality and development'. Register for free on www.ahri-network.org and join us online. 

In recent days, media houses in the region and around the globe have put a spotlight on the continuation of systemic human rights violations in Zimbabwe. This state of affairs is disturbing as far as the democratic space in the country is concerned, and needs to be closely monitored by the international community. Elie Wiesel, who was a holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate rightly said that the opposite of good is not bad, but rather indifference; Indifference against human suffering, indifference against serious violations of rights by the State agents in Zimbabwe is a serious threat to peace both locally and regionally. Wiesel comprehended well that the struggle against indifference is a struggle for peace.

The Disability Rights Unit, Centre for Human Rights cordially invites you to join a training in strengthening advocacy skills in the era of COVID-19 and beyond: Human rights training for organisations representing persons with albinism in Southern Africa. 

Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, hosts an annual conference on disability rights in an African context during the month of November. The inaugural disability rights conference was held in 2013. The conference acts as a platform for convening dialogue amongst key stakeholders on disability rights, and to spotlight the pertinent and emerging disability rights concerns in the African region. More information on previous editions of the conference can be found at  https://www.chr.up.ac.za/disability-rights-projects/dru-annual-conference.

In 2020, the conference will focus 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.

The International Development Law Unit, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria cordially invites you to the opening session of the 4th Annual Distributed Sovereign Debt Research and Management Conference (D-DebtCon4). The opening session will start a 15:00 (SAST) and the keynote address will be given by Lesetja Kganyago South African Reserve Bank Governor.

The impact of COVID-19 on elections in Africa

In conversation with Ms Bonolo Makgale

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, the Human Rights Institute of South Africa, DITSHWANELO - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights and the Global Rainbow Foundation (Mauritius) cordially invite you to a webinar on civil society experiences on the shadow reporting mechanism of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

The webinar provides the opportunity to learn about the experiences of civil society organisations in using the shadow report mechanism for promoting human rights at national levels, especially in the absence of civil society reporting guidelines on shadow reporting to the African Commission.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a webinar organised by the Democracy and Civic Engagement Unit on the current situation in Zimbabwe. The webinar will discuss the continuing deterioration of human rights in Zimbabwe, and provide an opportunity  to stand in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe during these challenging times.

On 11 August 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, in collaboration with the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS & Gender (CSA&G) at the University of Pretoria (UP), co-hosted a webinar on the UP Trans Protocol (the ‘Protocol’), a document developed for UP’s Institutional Transformation Committee (ITC) to address the needs of transgendered, intersex and gender-diverse students and staff members. The Protocol hopes to enable the eradication of discrimination against transgender (trans), intersex, gender non-conforming and non-binary members of the student and staff body.

On 6 August 2020, the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP) based at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, held its first-ever virtual book launch. The edited volume of essays titled Exploring the link between poverty and human rights in Africa is edited by Ebenezer Durojaye and Gladys Mirugi-Mukundi, with contributions from eminent scholars from diverse backgrounds. PULP is a non-profit open-access publisher focused on advancing African scholarship.

This webinar seeks to provide reflections on aspects of the Commission’s 2020 Rules. It aims to inform, but also to provoke discussion and further criticism. The Rules of Procedure remain work-in-progress. 

This event takes place under the auspices of five NGOs that work closely with the Commission: Amnesty International; Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria; Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA); Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA); and Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA).

(Op-Ed by Dr Nkatha Murungi)

Women’s Day commemorates the march by about 20,000 women to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 9 August 1956, to protest the introduction of regulations on movement, also known as pass laws by the government of South Africa at the time. The march to the Union Buildings was accompanied by similar protests in other towns and provinces, in a manner that portrayed a solid resolve and unity of purpose, for a cause that defied colour and racial differences that were the norm at the time. The march was the culmination of resistance initiatives by women in the face of state-backed oppression and brutality.

The Centre for Human Rights, in collaboration with the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS & Gender at the University of Pretoria (UP), is hosting a webinar on the UP Trans Protocol. The UP Trans Protocol is a document developed for the Institutional Transformation Committee to address the needs of transgendered, intersex and gender-diverse students and staff members.

The UP Trans Protocol hopes to enable the eradication of discrimination against transgender (trans), intersex, gender non-conforming and non-binary members of the student and staff body. It has been presented to the University’s Institutional Transformation Committee (ITC) for consideration as an approach to supporting trans, intersex, gender non-conforming and non-binary students and staff in the places where they study or work.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, welcomes the appointment by President Ramaphosa of two special envoys to engage with the deteriorating conditions in Zimbabwe.  However, we regret the characterisation of a situation of serious human rights violations as “difficulties”, and urge President Ramaphosa to ensure that South Africa’s approach is not one of “quiet diplomacy” at the expense of addressing the underlying issues of impunity and lack of accountability. Given that South Africa is currently chairing the African Union, it is of increased importance for President Ramaphosa to take a clear stand against erosions of constitutional governance and the rule of law, and to insist on accountability for violations of human rights in Zimbabwe.

In answer to the question “What would it take to turn the tide of the negation of women’s rights”, a webinar commemorating Women’s Month identified two main responses: the need for mobilisation at grass root street level, and the need for building closer partnerships between men and women to achieve the full dignity and equality of women and men.

The Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA), University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’s Rule of Law Program for Sub-Saharan Africa, Nairobi, Kenya cordially invites you to an Online Seminar under the theme “Assessing the Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic regulations on Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Eastern and Southern Africa”

The first issue of the 2020 volume of the African Human Rights Law Journal (AHRLJ) is published today (6 August 2020). The publication of this volume of the AHRLJ marks twenty years since the Journal has first appeared.  The African Human Rights Law Journal, which is the only scholarly journal focused on the African regional human rights system, is published by the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP), in association with the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria.  

(By Professor Daniel Bradlow)

About eight years ago, the government of Mozambique formed two companies, Proindicus and the Mozambique Asset Management. These two companies entered into loan agreements, valued at approximately $2.2 billion, with creditors including Credit Suisse and VBT Bank. Even though these debts were obligations of the state, some of these debts were hidden from the Mozambique parliament and public. Their existence was exposed in 2016 and precipitated a debt crisis in the country.

Understanding Indigenous People’s rights from a global perspective

In conversation with Professor Cyndy Baskin

The COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor Coordinating Group express their alarm about increasing police violence against persons with disabilities in the context of the pandemic, and are calling on governments around the world to take urgent steps to prevent acts of brutality.

The International Development Law Unit (IDLU) at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Boston University, Global Development Policy Center, the SADC Development Finance Resource Centre (SADC-DFRC), the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa recently published a report that articulates how development finance can play a significant role in helping SADC countries shift toward more renewable and accessible energy sources for their countries.

This webinar hosted jointly by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, the Leading Like Mandela Institute, the Thembekile Mandela Foundation and the United Nations, in a series of online “Mandela Talks” honours these legacies, celebrates the power of women to rise above adversity in creating a better world and remembers the indomitable spirit of Zindzi Mandela, a great daughter of the nation.

The most recent volume of the Global Campus Human Rights Journal was published on 31 July 2020. It comprises a special focus feature, foregrounding selected developments in the area of children’s rights’. The special focus results from a cooperation agreement between the Global Campus of Human Rights and the Right Livelihood Foundation. 

In 2017, the Assembly of the African Union adopted the “African Union Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020”. The Silencing the Guns campaign is part of the broader vision of Agenda 2063 with the goal of achieving the ‘Africa We Want’. It aims to ensure a prosperous, integrated and peaceful Africa with inclusive and sustainable development. In 2020, as part of the practical steps, the African Union has kicked off the Silencing the Guns campaign, targeting its member states as they are the primary duty-bearers to ensure peace and security, and the realisation of human rights within their respective jurisdictions and beyond.

The Pretoria University Law Press (PULP) invites you to the virtual book launch of Exploring the link between poverty and human rights in Africa

This book, edited by Ebenezer Durojaye and Gladys Mirugi-Mukundi, addresses poverty, one of the important issues confronting Africa, from a multi-disciplinary approach. With contributions from eminent scholars from diverse backgrounds, the book explores poverty from a human rights perspective. Its central message is that poverty is not necessarily a failure on the part of an individual, but rather caused by the actions or inactions of governments, which are often exacerbated by structural inequalities in many African societies. This in turn requires a more pragmatic approach grounded in respect for human rights. Exploring the link between poverty and human rights in Africa will be useful to researchers, policymakers, students, activists, and others interested in addressing poverty.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, wishes to congratulate Prof Charles Maimela on his appointment as the Deputy Dean: Teaching and Learning of the Faculty of Law for the period 1 August 2020 to 30 April 2024. He joins the Dean, Professor Elsabe Schoeman, at the helm of the faculty ship as it faces the stormy waters of a COVID-19 world.

(Op-Ed by Dr Ashwanne Budoo)

Since the new wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in December 2019, many states around the world have taken drastic steps including lockdowns and quarantine to ensure the minimal spread of the virus.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee last week adopted comprehensive standards on the way in which States should deal with peaceful assemblies. These guidelines are authoritative for the 173 States in the world that have ratified the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The 18-member committee of international experts adopted the General Comment as the culmination of a two-year process. The process was led by Professor Christof Heyns, former Director of the Centre for Human Rights, current Director of the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa at the University of Pretoria and a member of the Committee. He was supported by colleagues in the Faculty of Law and a doctoral student from Kenya.

(By Professor Daniel Bradlow)

African sovereign debtors are caught on the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand, they are obliged to help their populations deal with the COVID virus. This requires them to mobilize as quickly as possible the maximum available resources to spend on health care and on supporting people facing hunger, homelessness and unemployment. However, they know that they cannot raise sufficient financing for these purposes merely by mobilizing domestic resources and accessing official sources of finance. 

(Op-Ed by Prof Daniel Bradlow)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a R70 billion (US$4.3 billion) loan for South Africa to help the country manage the immediate consequences of the fallout from COVID-19. The Conversation Africa’s editor, Caroline Southey, asked Danny Bradlow to shed some light on what South Africans should expect.

The Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria will be hosting a session on “Civil society in the digital age in Africa: identifying threats and mounting pushbacks” at the 2020 RightsCon.

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. 

As part of Mandela Month, during which we remember the birth date of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela on 18 July 1918, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with Leading Like Mandela Institute and the Thembekile Mandela Foundation, hosted the first in a series of online Mandela Talks.

(Op-Ed by Prof Daniel Bradlow)

The South African government has asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for $4.2 billion.

The money would come from a facility that provides financing to countries facing an urgent balance of payments need, without the need to have a full-fledged program in place.

The Centre for Human Rights calls on the African Commission through the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa to urgently issue an appeal to the Zimbabwean government to respect and abide by its human rights obligations under the African Charter and other international law. This ongoing crackdown, if left unchecked, will cement the culture of impunity and entrench unwarranted arrests of journalists and human rights defenders. The Centre for Human Rights also takes this opportunity to impress upon the relevant authorities the need to respect constitutional provisions on media freedom and free expression and reiterates that journalism is not a crime, but a crucial element in the exercise of freedom of expression and an essential component of democracy that is also instrumental in fighting against corruption. Journalists and other media practitioners deserve protection.

Applications are invited for the position of “Junior Graphic Designer” at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. 

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

#Tech4Rights: The importance of technology and human rights

In conversation with Ms Hlengiwe Dube 

On 20 April 2020, the COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor (DRM) launched an international survey to monitor state measures concerning persons with disabilities amid the pandemic. The initial analysis of the ongoing global survey has revealed grave and systemic violations of fundamental freedoms and human rights of persons with disabilities detained in large- and small-scale institutions, which have become the epicenter of COVID-19 infections and deaths.

The University of Ghana and the University of Nairobi in collaboration with the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria cordially invite you to the Julius Osega Memorial Lecture 2020 under the theme - "Governance and human rights in Africa". 

This year, Mandela Day comes at as opportune a time as ever. As the novel coronavirus surges ahead with alarming alacrity, we are fortunate to be reminded that we can draw inspiration from Madiba’s life. For many of us, COVID-19 poses the challenge of being isolated, disconnected, depressed and losing our sense of being grounded. During the 27 years of his incarceration, Madiba transcended his isolation and disconnection. We are reminded, and should draw encouragement, from how he strengthened his purpose and resolve under extremely trying circumstances, and constantly shaped himself in preparation of his influential role that left an impact on us all. For those among us who have faced or are confronting illness or loss due to COVID-19, Madiba’s example of courage and perseverance speaks loudly and reassuringly.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (the Centre), is implementing a two-year project on Children’s Privacy in the Digital Sphere. The overall goal of the project is to promote enhanced protection for children’s right to privacy in the digital sphere in Africa. This goal will be achieved through three main interventions: research for evidence and knowledge building on the standards and practice on children privacy online; evidence based advocacy for children’s privacy in the digital sphere, and capacity building to enhance the development and implementation of relevant protections to enhance online privacy for children. The first pillar of the project entails knowledge building on the regional and domestic standards governing children’s privacy when navigating the internet. One of the main components of this aspect is a regional study which seeks to foster evidenced-based understanding of key issues relating to children’s privacy online in the African context.

Accordingly, the Centre seeks to institute a regional study to analyse the legal protection and practical enjoyment of children’s right to privacy in the digital sphere in the African Context. By utilising concrete examples and authoritative information from African countries, the study is expected to generate the empirical basis for the capacity building and advocacy elements of the project. The study will explore the international and regional standards on children’s privacy online, and identify the standards and key issues in protection of children’s right to privacy in the digital sphere in Africa.

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

As part of Mandela Month, during which we remember the birth date of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela on 18 July 1918, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, the Leading Like Mandela Institute and the Thembekile Mandela Foundation are jointly hosting the first in a series of online Mandela Talks.

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. 

Over the last decade governments across the continent have introduced a plethora of legal restrictions aimed at tackling disinformation and other kinds of “false” or “misleading” information. More recently, COVID-19 has prompted some governments, such as in South Africa, to pass emergency measures which also criminalise disinformation as it relates to the pandemic.

The Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is hosting a discussion that will draw out the ways in which governments in Sub-Saharan Africa are tackling the disinformation challenge and delve into the issues these pose for the enjoyment of human rights and freedom of expression in particular in both theory and practice.

The Centre for Human Rights made a statement on the human rights situation in Africa during the 66th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. The Centre has been enjoying observer status as NGO with the African Commission since 1993. The 66th session is the first Commission Session to take place virtually.

On 7 July 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, hosted a follow-up webinar on privacy and data protection in Africa in the COVID-19 context. Privacy and data protection practitioners from Africa analysed the current status of data protection and privacy on the continent. In the responses to COVID-19, there is collection, sharing, storage and processing of personal information. This raises questions regarding Africa’s preparedness to the security, management and protection of personal information and safeguarding the right to privacy. The webinar assessed privacy and data protection approaches in the various responses to COVID-19. 

The Centre for Human Rights welcomes the passing of the Civil Union Amendment Bill by South Africa’s second legislative body, the National Council of Provinces (NCP). The Amendment Bill repeals section 6 of the Civil Union Act 17 of 2006 (CUA), which had provided that a marriage officer may, in writing, inform the Minister of Home Affairs that he or she objects to solemnising a civil union between persons of the same sex on the ground of conscience, religion, and belief. This provision had long been a barrier to the legal recognition of same-sex couples by marriage officers in the Department of Home Affairs.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, takes pleasure in inviting you to our COVID-19 Discussion Fora. These discussions deal with the potential and actual impact on human rights and democratisation of COVID-19 in Africa. This Discussion Forum is part of a series of events at which the panelists are alumni of the academic programmes of the Centre. While these Fora had initially been targeting only the Centre’s staff and alumni, they are now public. The panelists of Forum12 are all alumni of the Master’s in Human Rights and Democratisation Africa (HRDA).

Institutional racism and how it manifests in the African context

In conversation with Dr Joel Modiri

On 2 July 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, hosted the eleventh in a series of discussions, which are now open to the public. These discussions deal with the potential and actual impact on human rights on human rights and democratisation in Africa. The discussion was held in Zoom.

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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.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with Ghent University, presented the annual Advanced Human Rights Course (AHRC) on African Human Rights System in Comparative Perspectives from 9 to 12 October 2020. The course was presented online via Zoom. Just under 50 participants from 17 African countries, Europe andSouth America attended the course. Participants included legal practitioners, human rights advocates, government representatives as well as members of academia.

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.

On 8 October 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Global Engagement Network on Internal Displacement in Africa (GENIDA), hosted a webinar on the situation of urban Internally Displaced Peoples in time of COVID-19 and how protection can be secured and enhanced.

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.

Pride Afrique, the first virtual Pan-African pride event, recently took place from 14 to 16  August. The event provided an opportunity for African LGBTIQ+ communities to meet and celebrate virtually, despite the COVID-19 pandemic that has prevented several physical pride events from being held.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria notes with disappointment the decision by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court to effectively ban Caster Semenya from participating in certain competitive sporting events (400m to the mile) unless she reduces her testosterone levels to ‘acceptable female’ levels. This decision follows an appeal by Caster to the Supreme Court against a decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS), which upheld the validity of the World Athletics regulations on female athletes with differences of sex development (Eligibility Regulations on Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development). The CAS, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, is a private legal person under Swiss law. Its arbitration awards are subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court.

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) is currently prersenting the annual Advanced Human Rights Course on Police Oversight and Vulnerable Groups in Africa.  

(Op-Ed by Marystella A. Simiyu)

The inability of countries to ordinarily hold elections and undertake electioneering is one of the many disruptions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the passing of Advocate George Bizos on 9 September 2020, South Africa lost an exceptional human rights lawyer who devoted his life to the promotion and fostering of a human rights culture in South Africa. “His life demonstrates the best use to which the law can be put: as a tool to defend those at risk of abuse of power, and as a tool for social transformation and human connection’”, said the Director of the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, Frans Viljoen.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, has with alarm taken note of the precarious position and imminent risk of irreparable harm to the life of Nigerian singer Yahaya Sharif Aminu. The Centre on 9 September 2020 lodged a request to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) to take immediate action, in the form of directing an urgent appeal to the Head of State, or any other appropriate form. 

About 40% of countries in Africa are at a debt-stressed level, while COVID-19 has forced a strong fiscal response globally as nations try to avoid lasting structural damage to their economies. This is according to Governor Lesetja Kganyago of the South African Reserve Bank, who spoke at the fourth annual Distributed Interdisciplinary Sovereign Debt Research and Management Conference, or D-DebtCon. The conference is taking place virtually this year in nine countries, spanning five continents, from 7 to 18 September.

By: Bonolo Makgale

The national lockdown in South Africa which was initiated due to the COVID-19 global health pandemic has revealed another hidden pandemic amongst us.  The latest National Income Dynamic Study (NIDS) Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (CRAM) has revealed that the national lockdown has contributed to the perpetual hunger for 2.2 million South Africans. The report revealed that with 3 million South Africans having lost their incomes and jobs, hunger has become a national crisis exposing food insecurity in the most vulnerable communities.

The Disability Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a webinar on mothers impacted by albinism. The webinar, which is a dialogue on gender, albinism and human rights in South Africa is held in commemoration of Albinism Awareness Month.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a webinar organised by the Children’s Rights Unit on the occasion of the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC). The webinar will focus on children’s rights in the digital age in Africa.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa, cordially invites you to apply for the Capacity Building Workshop on Strategic Advocacy and Litigation for human rights defenders working on the promotion and protection of the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons in Africa.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (‘the Centre’), is implementing a three-year project on access to the equality courts by the LGBTIQ+ community in the City of Tshwane. The overall goal of the project is to demonstrably promote the enhanced use of the Equality Courts by the South African LGBTIQ+ community in general, and the Tshwane community in particular.

An analysis of the deteriorating human rights situation in Zimbabwe

In conversation with Mr Brian Kagoro

The Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI) is holding its annual conference from 3 to 5 September on the theme 'The future of human rights: Socio-economic rights, equality and development'. Register for free on www.ahri-network.org and join us online. 

In recent days, media houses in the region and around the globe have put a spotlight on the continuation of systemic human rights violations in Zimbabwe. This state of affairs is disturbing as far as the democratic space in the country is concerned, and needs to be closely monitored by the international community. Elie Wiesel, who was a holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate rightly said that the opposite of good is not bad, but rather indifference; Indifference against human suffering, indifference against serious violations of rights by the State agents in Zimbabwe is a serious threat to peace both locally and regionally. Wiesel comprehended well that the struggle against indifference is a struggle for peace.

The Disability Rights Unit, Centre for Human Rights cordially invites you to join a training in strengthening advocacy skills in the era of COVID-19 and beyond: Human rights training for organisations representing persons with albinism in Southern Africa. 

Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, hosts an annual conference on disability rights in an African context during the month of November. The inaugural disability rights conference was held in 2013. The conference acts as a platform for convening dialogue amongst key stakeholders on disability rights, and to spotlight the pertinent and emerging disability rights concerns in the African region. More information on previous editions of the conference can be found at  https://www.chr.up.ac.za/disability-rights-projects/dru-annual-conference.

In 2020, the conference will focus 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.

The International Development Law Unit, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria cordially invites you to the opening session of the 4th Annual Distributed Sovereign Debt Research and Management Conference (D-DebtCon4). The opening session will start a 15:00 (SAST) and the keynote address will be given by Lesetja Kganyago South African Reserve Bank Governor.

The impact of COVID-19 on elections in Africa

In conversation with Ms Bonolo Makgale

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, the Human Rights Institute of South Africa, DITSHWANELO - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights and the Global Rainbow Foundation (Mauritius) cordially invite you to a webinar on civil society experiences on the shadow reporting mechanism of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

The webinar provides the opportunity to learn about the experiences of civil society organisations in using the shadow report mechanism for promoting human rights at national levels, especially in the absence of civil society reporting guidelines on shadow reporting to the African Commission.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a webinar organised by the Democracy and Civic Engagement Unit on the current situation in Zimbabwe. The webinar will discuss the continuing deterioration of human rights in Zimbabwe, and provide an opportunity  to stand in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe during these challenging times.

On 11 August 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, in collaboration with the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS & Gender (CSA&G) at the University of Pretoria (UP), co-hosted a webinar on the UP Trans Protocol (the ‘Protocol’), a document developed for UP’s Institutional Transformation Committee (ITC) to address the needs of transgendered, intersex and gender-diverse students and staff members. The Protocol hopes to enable the eradication of discrimination against transgender (trans), intersex, gender non-conforming and non-binary members of the student and staff body.

On 6 August 2020, the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP) based at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, held its first-ever virtual book launch. The edited volume of essays titled Exploring the link between poverty and human rights in Africa is edited by Ebenezer Durojaye and Gladys Mirugi-Mukundi, with contributions from eminent scholars from diverse backgrounds. PULP is a non-profit open-access publisher focused on advancing African scholarship.

This webinar seeks to provide reflections on aspects of the Commission’s 2020 Rules. It aims to inform, but also to provoke discussion and further criticism. The Rules of Procedure remain work-in-progress. 

This event takes place under the auspices of five NGOs that work closely with the Commission: Amnesty International; Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria; Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA); Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA); and Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA).

(Op-Ed by Dr Nkatha Murungi)

Women’s Day commemorates the march by about 20,000 women to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 9 August 1956, to protest the introduction of regulations on movement, also known as pass laws by the government of South Africa at the time. The march to the Union Buildings was accompanied by similar protests in other towns and provinces, in a manner that portrayed a solid resolve and unity of purpose, for a cause that defied colour and racial differences that were the norm at the time. The march was the culmination of resistance initiatives by women in the face of state-backed oppression and brutality.

The Centre for Human Rights, in collaboration with the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS & Gender at the University of Pretoria (UP), is hosting a webinar on the UP Trans Protocol. The UP Trans Protocol is a document developed for the Institutional Transformation Committee to address the needs of transgendered, intersex and gender-diverse students and staff members.

The UP Trans Protocol hopes to enable the eradication of discrimination against transgender (trans), intersex, gender non-conforming and non-binary members of the student and staff body. It has been presented to the University’s Institutional Transformation Committee (ITC) for consideration as an approach to supporting trans, intersex, gender non-conforming and non-binary students and staff in the places where they study or work.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, welcomes the appointment by President Ramaphosa of two special envoys to engage with the deteriorating conditions in Zimbabwe.  However, we regret the characterisation of a situation of serious human rights violations as “difficulties”, and urge President Ramaphosa to ensure that South Africa’s approach is not one of “quiet diplomacy” at the expense of addressing the underlying issues of impunity and lack of accountability. Given that South Africa is currently chairing the African Union, it is of increased importance for President Ramaphosa to take a clear stand against erosions of constitutional governance and the rule of law, and to insist on accountability for violations of human rights in Zimbabwe.

In answer to the question “What would it take to turn the tide of the negation of women’s rights”, a webinar commemorating Women’s Month identified two main responses: the need for mobilisation at grass root street level, and the need for building closer partnerships between men and women to achieve the full dignity and equality of women and men.

The Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA), University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’s Rule of Law Program for Sub-Saharan Africa, Nairobi, Kenya cordially invites you to an Online Seminar under the theme “Assessing the Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic regulations on Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Eastern and Southern Africa”

The first issue of the 2020 volume of the African Human Rights Law Journal (AHRLJ) is published today (6 August 2020). The publication of this volume of the AHRLJ marks twenty years since the Journal has first appeared.  The African Human Rights Law Journal, which is the only scholarly journal focused on the African regional human rights system, is published by the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP), in association with the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria.  

(By Professor Daniel Bradlow)

About eight years ago, the government of Mozambique formed two companies, Proindicus and the Mozambique Asset Management. These two companies entered into loan agreements, valued at approximately $2.2 billion, with creditors including Credit Suisse and VBT Bank. Even though these debts were obligations of the state, some of these debts were hidden from the Mozambique parliament and public. Their existence was exposed in 2016 and precipitated a debt crisis in the country.

Understanding Indigenous People’s rights from a global perspective

In conversation with Professor Cyndy Baskin

The COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor Coordinating Group express their alarm about increasing police violence against persons with disabilities in the context of the pandemic, and are calling on governments around the world to take urgent steps to prevent acts of brutality.

The International Development Law Unit (IDLU) at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Boston University, Global Development Policy Center, the SADC Development Finance Resource Centre (SADC-DFRC), the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa recently published a report that articulates how development finance can play a significant role in helping SADC countries shift toward more renewable and accessible energy sources for their countries.

This webinar hosted jointly by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, the Leading Like Mandela Institute, the Thembekile Mandela Foundation and the United Nations, in a series of online “Mandela Talks” honours these legacies, celebrates the power of women to rise above adversity in creating a better world and remembers the indomitable spirit of Zindzi Mandela, a great daughter of the nation.

The most recent volume of the Global Campus Human Rights Journal was published on 31 July 2020. It comprises a special focus feature, foregrounding selected developments in the area of children’s rights’. The special focus results from a cooperation agreement between the Global Campus of Human Rights and the Right Livelihood Foundation. 

In 2017, the Assembly of the African Union adopted the “African Union Master Roadmap of Practical Steps to Silencing the Guns in Africa by 2020”. The Silencing the Guns campaign is part of the broader vision of Agenda 2063 with the goal of achieving the ‘Africa We Want’. It aims to ensure a prosperous, integrated and peaceful Africa with inclusive and sustainable development. In 2020, as part of the practical steps, the African Union has kicked off the Silencing the Guns campaign, targeting its member states as they are the primary duty-bearers to ensure peace and security, and the realisation of human rights within their respective jurisdictions and beyond.

The Pretoria University Law Press (PULP) invites you to the virtual book launch of Exploring the link between poverty and human rights in Africa

This book, edited by Ebenezer Durojaye and Gladys Mirugi-Mukundi, addresses poverty, one of the important issues confronting Africa, from a multi-disciplinary approach. With contributions from eminent scholars from diverse backgrounds, the book explores poverty from a human rights perspective. Its central message is that poverty is not necessarily a failure on the part of an individual, but rather caused by the actions or inactions of governments, which are often exacerbated by structural inequalities in many African societies. This in turn requires a more pragmatic approach grounded in respect for human rights. Exploring the link between poverty and human rights in Africa will be useful to researchers, policymakers, students, activists, and others interested in addressing poverty.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, wishes to congratulate Prof Charles Maimela on his appointment as the Deputy Dean: Teaching and Learning of the Faculty of Law for the period 1 August 2020 to 30 April 2024. He joins the Dean, Professor Elsabe Schoeman, at the helm of the faculty ship as it faces the stormy waters of a COVID-19 world.

(Op-Ed by Dr Ashwanne Budoo)

Since the new wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in December 2019, many states around the world have taken drastic steps including lockdowns and quarantine to ensure the minimal spread of the virus.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee last week adopted comprehensive standards on the way in which States should deal with peaceful assemblies. These guidelines are authoritative for the 173 States in the world that have ratified the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The 18-member committee of international experts adopted the General Comment as the culmination of a two-year process. The process was led by Professor Christof Heyns, former Director of the Centre for Human Rights, current Director of the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa at the University of Pretoria and a member of the Committee. He was supported by colleagues in the Faculty of Law and a doctoral student from Kenya.

(By Professor Daniel Bradlow)

African sovereign debtors are caught on the horns of a dilemma. On the one hand, they are obliged to help their populations deal with the COVID virus. This requires them to mobilize as quickly as possible the maximum available resources to spend on health care and on supporting people facing hunger, homelessness and unemployment. However, they know that they cannot raise sufficient financing for these purposes merely by mobilizing domestic resources and accessing official sources of finance. 

(Op-Ed by Prof Daniel Bradlow)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a R70 billion (US$4.3 billion) loan for South Africa to help the country manage the immediate consequences of the fallout from COVID-19. The Conversation Africa’s editor, Caroline Southey, asked Danny Bradlow to shed some light on what South Africans should expect.

The Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria will be hosting a session on “Civil society in the digital age in Africa: identifying threats and mounting pushbacks” at the 2020 RightsCon.

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. 

As part of Mandela Month, during which we remember the birth date of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela on 18 July 1918, the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with Leading Like Mandela Institute and the Thembekile Mandela Foundation, hosted the first in a series of online Mandela Talks.

(Op-Ed by Prof Daniel Bradlow)

The South African government has asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for $4.2 billion.

The money would come from a facility that provides financing to countries facing an urgent balance of payments need, without the need to have a full-fledged program in place.

The Centre for Human Rights calls on the African Commission through the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa to urgently issue an appeal to the Zimbabwean government to respect and abide by its human rights obligations under the African Charter and other international law. This ongoing crackdown, if left unchecked, will cement the culture of impunity and entrench unwarranted arrests of journalists and human rights defenders. The Centre for Human Rights also takes this opportunity to impress upon the relevant authorities the need to respect constitutional provisions on media freedom and free expression and reiterates that journalism is not a crime, but a crucial element in the exercise of freedom of expression and an essential component of democracy that is also instrumental in fighting against corruption. Journalists and other media practitioners deserve protection.

Applications are invited for the position of “Junior Graphic Designer” at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. 

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

#Tech4Rights: The importance of technology and human rights

In conversation with Ms Hlengiwe Dube 

On 20 April 2020, the COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor (DRM) launched an international survey to monitor state measures concerning persons with disabilities amid the pandemic. The initial analysis of the ongoing global survey has revealed grave and systemic violations of fundamental freedoms and human rights of persons with disabilities detained in large- and small-scale institutions, which have become the epicenter of COVID-19 infections and deaths.

The University of Ghana and the University of Nairobi in collaboration with the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria cordially invite you to the Julius Osega Memorial Lecture 2020 under the theme - "Governance and human rights in Africa". 

This year, Mandela Day comes at as opportune a time as ever. As the novel coronavirus surges ahead with alarming alacrity, we are fortunate to be reminded that we can draw inspiration from Madiba’s life. For many of us, COVID-19 poses the challenge of being isolated, disconnected, depressed and losing our sense of being grounded. During the 27 years of his incarceration, Madiba transcended his isolation and disconnection. We are reminded, and should draw encouragement, from how he strengthened his purpose and resolve under extremely trying circumstances, and constantly shaped himself in preparation of his influential role that left an impact on us all. For those among us who have faced or are confronting illness or loss due to COVID-19, Madiba’s example of courage and perseverance speaks loudly and reassuringly.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (the Centre), is implementing a two-year project on Children’s Privacy in the Digital Sphere. The overall goal of the project is to promote enhanced protection for children’s right to privacy in the digital sphere in Africa. This goal will be achieved through three main interventions: research for evidence and knowledge building on the standards and practice on children privacy online; evidence based advocacy for children’s privacy in the digital sphere, and capacity building to enhance the development and implementation of relevant protections to enhance online privacy for children. The first pillar of the project entails knowledge building on the regional and domestic standards governing children’s privacy when navigating the internet. One of the main components of this aspect is a regional study which seeks to foster evidenced-based understanding of key issues relating to children’s privacy online in the African context.

Accordingly, the Centre seeks to institute a regional study to analyse the legal protection and practical enjoyment of children’s right to privacy in the digital sphere in the African Context. By utilising concrete examples and authoritative information from African countries, the study is expected to generate the empirical basis for the capacity building and advocacy elements of the project. The study will explore the international and regional standards on children’s privacy online, and identify the standards and key issues in protection of children’s right to privacy in the digital sphere in Africa.

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

As part of Mandela Month, during which we remember the birth date of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela on 18 July 1918, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, the Leading Like Mandela Institute and the Thembekile Mandela Foundation are jointly hosting the first in a series of online Mandela Talks.

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. 

Over the last decade governments across the continent have introduced a plethora of legal restrictions aimed at tackling disinformation and other kinds of “false” or “misleading” information. More recently, COVID-19 has prompted some governments, such as in South Africa, to pass emergency measures which also criminalise disinformation as it relates to the pandemic.

The Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is hosting a discussion that will draw out the ways in which governments in Sub-Saharan Africa are tackling the disinformation challenge and delve into the issues these pose for the enjoyment of human rights and freedom of expression in particular in both theory and practice.

The Centre for Human Rights made a statement on the human rights situation in Africa during the 66th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. The Centre has been enjoying observer status as NGO with the African Commission since 1993. The 66th session is the first Commission Session to take place virtually.

On 7 July 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, hosted a follow-up webinar on privacy and data protection in Africa in the COVID-19 context. Privacy and data protection practitioners from Africa analysed the current status of data protection and privacy on the continent. In the responses to COVID-19, there is collection, sharing, storage and processing of personal information. This raises questions regarding Africa’s preparedness to the security, management and protection of personal information and safeguarding the right to privacy. The webinar assessed privacy and data protection approaches in the various responses to COVID-19. 

The Centre for Human Rights welcomes the passing of the Civil Union Amendment Bill by South Africa’s second legislative body, the National Council of Provinces (NCP). The Amendment Bill repeals section 6 of the Civil Union Act 17 of 2006 (CUA), which had provided that a marriage officer may, in writing, inform the Minister of Home Affairs that he or she objects to solemnising a civil union between persons of the same sex on the ground of conscience, religion, and belief. This provision had long been a barrier to the legal recognition of same-sex couples by marriage officers in the Department of Home Affairs.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, takes pleasure in inviting you to our COVID-19 Discussion Fora. These discussions deal with the potential and actual impact on human rights and democratisation of COVID-19 in Africa. This Discussion Forum is part of a series of events at which the panelists are alumni of the academic programmes of the Centre. While these Fora had initially been targeting only the Centre’s staff and alumni, they are now public. The panelists of Forum12 are all alumni of the Master’s in Human Rights and Democratisation Africa (HRDA).

Institutional racism and how it manifests in the African context

In conversation with Dr Joel Modiri

On 2 July 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, hosted the eleventh in a series of discussions, which are now open to the public. These discussions deal with the potential and actual impact on human rights on human rights and democratisation in Africa. The discussion was held in Zoom.