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The South African Constitutional Court’s recent judgment requiring Parliament to amend the Electoral Act is remarkable for two reasons. In this judgment, the Court for the first time ever placed reliance on a judgment of the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights. This hopefully marks the beginning of a continuous dialogue between the highest South African and African Union courts. Through this judgment, the Court has set a process in motion that would see the end of the closed party-list proportional representation to the national and provincial legislatures. This is a welcome development, and provides an opportunity not only to expand citizen participation in the electoral process, but also in the drafting of the new Electoral Act. 

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

The Centre for Human Rights (CHR), Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is an internationally recognised institution combining academic excellence and impactful activism to advance human rights, particularly in Africa. Through education, research and advocacy, to support the African Union’s infrastructure and improve the enjoyment of human rights on the continent.

The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) held its inaugural session in March 2004. With the PAP now marking 16 years of operation, the CHR is commissioning an evidence-based analytical study to assess (a) the way in which the PAP has executed its functions and exercised its powers; (b) the extent to which it has achieved its objectives; and (c) the factors that have supported and constrained it in its operations. In particular, the study examines how the PAP has helped close the ‘democratic deficit’ in AU governance, while exploring the AU’s attempts to convert PAP into a fully-fledged legislative institution for the African continent.

On 9 June 2020, The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights - Regional Office for Southern Africa, in collaboration with the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (UP), convened a webinar on the right of peaceful assembly in Southern Africa in the context of COVID-19.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, notes with grave concern the instances of death and other human rights violations due to excessive force during law enforcement in South Africa. We note that these are not isolated instances, but are linked to inequalities based on race.

“The disturbingly high rate of arrest-related deaths, and its structural causes, in particular as far as it relates to racial inequalities, must be investigated and addressed with great urgency and seriousness”, said Frans Viljoen, the Centre’s Director. 

The Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, and the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invite you to the Annual Helen Kanzira Memorial Lecture, which will be presented online.

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 Day of the African Child 2020. The webinar will speak to the issue of access to a child friendly justice system in Africa, against the backdrop of the 30 year anniversary of the adoption of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

These are some of the African organisations that have been in the frontlines battling the COVID-19 pandemic by putting the interests of persons with albinism at the fore, as we prepare to celebrate International Albinism Awareness Day on 13 June 2020.

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 Forum 8 are all alumni of the Master’s in Human Rights and Democratisation Africa (HRDA).

Covid-19 and the impacts of concomitant government regulations on women

In conversation with Ms Patience Mungwari

In commemoration of International Albinism Awareness Day on 13 June 2020, these are some of the voices from women with Albinism in Africa telling us how they are #MadeToShine

On 4 June 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, held the seventh in a series of discussions, which are now open to the public. These discussions deal with the potential and actual impact on human rights and democratisation of COVID-19 in Africa.The discussion was held in Zoom.

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights - Regional Office for Southern Africa, in collaboration with the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (UP), is convening a webinar on the right of peaceful assembly in Southern Africa in the context of COVID-19.

The Centre for Human Rights, in partnership with the United Nations Independent Expert on Albinism, Open Society Foundations and other organisers takes pleasure in inviting you to an online albinism celebration to commemorate International Albinism Awareness Day on 13 June 2020. The celebration is a global event which features various artists with albinism from all over the world. 

On 2 June 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, held a webinar on challenges of hyperandrogenic women in competitive sports. The discussion was held in Zoom.

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 Forum 7 are all alumni of the Master’s in Human Rights and Democratisation Africa (HRDA).

A webinar on the theme “Assessing the implications of Covid-19 pandemic regulations on human rights and the rule of law in Africa,” is planned for 11-12 August 2020. It is organized by the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa and Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria, in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’s Rule of Law Program for Sub-Saharan Africa - Nairobi, Kenya. 

Since 20 April 2020, through a global survey, the COVID-19 Disability Rights Monitor (DRM) has been gathering data to conduct rapid independent monitoring of state measures concerning persons with disabilities in the context of the pandemic.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a webinar to discuss the impact of the World Athletics (formerly IAAF) Regulations on the human rights of hyperandrogenic female athletes.

On 28 May 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, held the sixth in a series of discussions, which are now open to the public. These discussions deal with the potential and actual impact on human rights and democratisation of COVID-19 in Africa.The discussion was held in Zoom.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (UP), with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, held its annual Advanced Human Rights Course (AHRC) on the judicial enforcement of socio-economic rights in Africa from 18 to 22 May 2020. The course was delivered for the first time in a virtual format.

On 26 May 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, held a webinar organised by the Democracy and Civic Engagement Unit to unpack the challenges of COVID-19 and its impact on elections on the African continent. The discussion was held in Zoom.

The right to access to justice for persons with disabilities

In conversation with Ms Dianah Msipa

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 Forum 6 are all alumni of the Master’s in Human Rights and Democratisation Africa (HRDA).

On 21 May 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, held the fifth in a series of discussions with Centre alumni, students and staff. These discussions deal with the potential and actual impact on human rights and democratisation of COVID-19 in Africa.The discussion was held in Zoom.

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 to unpack the challenges of COVID-19 and its impact on elections on the African continent.

As governments attempt to tackle the unprecedented public health and economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are deeply concerned that women and girls are suffering even more egregious violations of their human rights. In the absence of gender-sensitive intersectional responses, different forms of systemic discrimination already faced by women and girls will be exacerbated. The dramatic increase in women’s caregiving responsibilities, the rise in what was already an epidemic of sexual and domestic violence, the continued feminization of poverty, the proliferation of barriers to healthcare, especially pregnancy-related healthcare, will profoundly jeopardize women’s safety and well-being, economic security, and participation in political and public life, both during and after the pandemic. The measures taken by governments to mitigate the risks to health and life posed by COVID-19 must take into account the specific attributes and circumstances faced by women and girls. These include, but are not limited to their sex, gender, age, disability, ethnic origin, and immigration or residence status. States must refrain from any action that will exacerbate the already disproportionate economic and social impact of this pandemic on women and girls.

On 19 May 2020, the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa in partnership with the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria and ARTICLE 19 (Eastern Africa and Western Africa) convened a webinar to introduce the revised Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa.

In response to the recent Khoza judgement in the Pretoria High Court on the use of force by law enforcement officials during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa together with the Centre for Human Rights have made available an overview of the main international legal documents and standards on the use of force.

The Centre for Human Rights and the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender (CSA&G), recognise, support, and commemorate the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). This annual event, observed on May 17, is marked internationally for the recognition of LGBTIQ+ rights. In particular, it is used to raise awareness and educate the public on issues of violence, discrimination, repression, and also to call attention to the health challenges that detract from the progress and wellbeing of the LGBTIQ+ community all over the world.

On 14 May 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, held the fourth in a series of discussions with Centre alumni, students and staff. These discussions deal with the potential and actual impact on human rights and democratisation of COVID-19 in Africa. The discussion was held in Zoom.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and the Southern African Miners Association (SAMA) (comprised of the undersigned organisations), are gravely concerned by the recently published SADC Regional COVID-19 Response Report – Bulletin 2 which omitted to set out clear guidelines on how older persons right to health should be protected during national lockdowns. This is particularly alarming considering the vulnerability of older persons to COVID-19. This susceptibility is further heightened for older persons who used to work in the mines with pre-existing occupational lung diseases and weakened immune systems due to ageing. Without a clear regional response that involves working together across communities, organisations and countries, which targets the protection of the most vulnerable, the spread and minimisation of the virus cannot be suppressed.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has had a major impact on the global public and has disrupted the daily pattern of life for billions of people across the world. As states across the globe impose lockdowns and ‘social distancing’ regulations to contain the spread of the virus, human rights have become severely restricted even in the most liberal democratic countries.

On 12 May 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, held a webinar on the need for businesses to respect and promote human rights in Africa, specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic. The discussion was held in Zoom.

In commemoration of IDAHOBIT, there will be a webinar hosted by the Centre for Human Rights in collaboration with the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS & Gender, University of Pretoria.

(Op-Ed by Dr Ashwanne Budoo)

Governments across the world are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside the mountain of related challenges, fake news has become a source of frustration. Some are now referring to this fake news phenomenon as a ‘disinfodemic’.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, would like to inform applicants and prospective applicants of the Advanced Human Rights Course on the Judicial Enforcement of Socio-Economic Rights in Africa (18 – 22 May 2020) that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of borders as well as academic institutions in South Africa, the course will be presented in a modified format — a format different from the conventional contact sessions.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a webinar on the need for businesses to respect and promote human rights in Africa, specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 7 May 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, held the third in a series of discussions with Centre alumni, students and staff. These discussions deal with the potential and actual impact on human rights and democratisation of COVID-19 in Africa. The discussion was held in Zoom.

On 5 May 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, held a webinar on human rights abuses by police officers during enforcement of government responses to COVID-19 in Africa. The discussion was held in Zoom.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, together with the Sex Workers Education & Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) and Sisonke is deeply concerned about the ongoing discrimination against sex workers in South Africa in response to the COVID-19 crisis and calls on the government to take urgent measures to extend its COVID-19 palliative measures to sex workers in need.

(Op-Ed by Prof Daniel Bradlow)

Once again, African countries are confronting overwhelming debt burdens. According to the most recent World Bank debt statistics, they owe a total of $493.6 billion in long term debt to their foreign official and commercial creditors. About one third, $117 billion, is in the form of tradeable bonds. In 2019, many African countries spent more money servicing their debts than they did on health.

By Bonolo Makgale

After confirming the country’s first COVID-19 case on 5 March, South Africa braced itself for a 21-day lockdown, which officially began on 26 March and was initially intended to last until 16 April. The lockdown was subsequently extended to 30 April and has been further extended indefinitely with the relaxation of some of the restrictions and some sectors of the economy being allowed to reopen, along with the extension of certain socio-economic relief mechanisms intended to cushion citizens from the hardships that the pandemic is sure to induce. In this light, one of the regulations included a moratorium on evictions, with the understanding that evictions would place vulnerable persons at risk of contracting and transmitting the virus. The provision stipulates: “All evictions and executions of attachment orders, both movable and immovable, including the removal of movable assets and sales in executions, is suspended with immediate effect for the duration of the lockdown.” These regulations were aimed at minimising possible losses of income, particularly among the working class and people in the informal sector.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is deeply concerned about the recent decisions by the Governments of the Republic of Benin and Côte d’Ivoire to no longer allow individuals and NGOs to take cases directly to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Almost all cases decided by the African Court so far have been submitted by individuals. Reducing this form of access to the African Court, impedes the establishment of the Court as a legitimate continental institution that entrenches the principles of accountability based on the rule of law. Our concern is exacerbated by the fact that that these decisions have been taken in a context of increased hostility towards the human rights bodies established under the African Union and decreasing support for their mandates. 

The Global Engagement Network on Internal Displacement in sub-Saharan Africa (GENIDA), which forms part of the global Interdisciplinary Network on Displacement, Conflict and Protection (INDCaP), makes the following submission in response to the Call for Inputs disseminated by the UN High-Level Panel (HLP) in March 2020.

As the world commemorates the World Press Freedom Day, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, commends the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights for making available the revised Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa at a time when the world has been plunged into a global health crisis, COVID-19. The current Declaration replaces the 2002 Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression in Africa. The revision was undertaken by the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information (Special Rapporteur) against the backdrop developments in the developments that have taken place in the context of freedom of expression, access to information.

On 30 April 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, held the second in a series of discussions with Centre alumni, students and staff. These discussions deal with the potential and actual impact on human rights and democratisation of COVID-19 in Africa. The discussion was held in Zoom.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a webinar on human rights abuses by police officers during enforcement of government responses to COVID-19 in Africa.

Understanding the rights of sexual minorities as human rights 

In conversation with Dr Adrian Jjuuko

The need for inclusive spaces for trans women in Africa

In conversation with Dr Anastacia Tomson

This year, South Africans celebrate Freedom Day in conditions of confinement.  We are reminded that on this day, 26 years ago, for the first time in history all South Africans exercised the most basic of rights, the right to vote. This election ushered in a system of democratic governance based on the values of equality, inclusion and tolerance, as entrenched in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

Since 2008, Lesbian Visibility Day is celebrated annually on 26 April. It has now grown into a week-long event known as Lesbian Visibility Week and is celebrated from 20 to 26 April 2020. The day aims to celebrate and support lesbian women while increasing the visibility of the lesbian community. Across the globe, women who love women continue to be persecuted in a unique way. Their sexuality is often viewed as a challenge to patriarchal masculinity and traditional gender roles, and this frequently results in targeted violence against lesbian women. The violent phenomena of homophobic rape, more commonly recognised by the misnomer ‘corrective rape’, continues to plague the lesbian community. This is the situation in Africa, as it is around the world.

On 23 April 2020, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, held the first in a series of discussions with Centre alumni, students and staff. These discussions deal with the potential and actual impact on human rights and democratisation of COVID-19 in Africa. The discussion was held in Zoom.

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has published the revised Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa (the Declaration). The Commission adopted the Declaration during its 65th Ordinary Session which was held from 21 October to 10 November 2019 in Banjul, The Gambia. The revised Declaration replaces the 2002 Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression in Africa. The initiative to revise the Declaration was undertaken by the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information (the Special Rapporteur). The adoption of the Declaration is a landmark development that elaborates article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and will contribute to an enhanced normative standard for freedom of expression, access to information and digital rights in Africa, in line with international human rights and standards. The Declaration was scheduled to be launched during the African Commission’s 66th Ordinary Session which has been deferred due to the COVID-19 crisis. 

(Op-Ed by Thomas White)

Let’s go back to the “trolley problem”. Imagine a group of hostages is chained to a train track with a runaway locomotive hurtling towards them. If the train stays on course, the entire group of hostages is going to die. If the train is derailed, fewer deaths will ensue, but massive chaos will be caused in the process.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, call on the South African government to act swiftly to reduce the further spread of COVID-19 in South African correctional centres. This can be done by releasing a limited number of incarcerated persons so as to reduce their risk of contracting the virus, and allowing for more effective social distancing within correctional centres. 

Students who have completed, or will complete, their doctoral studies in law at an African University in 2020 are encouraged to submit their doctoral theses for consideration for the new Pretoria University  Law Press Thesis Prize, which will be awarded on an annual basis. The winning thesis will be published in book form by the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP).

Evidence is emerging that persons with disabilities are being disproportionately affected by the Coronavirus pandemic and emergency measures being taken by governments worldwide. As governments rush to respond to the virus, it is more critical than ever to guarantee that measures taken are fully inclusive of persons with disabilities and prevent human rights violations from taking place.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisers of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition have decided to adjust the format and dates of the 2020 African Moot Competition. The preliminary rounds of the Competition will now take place virtually, and the semi-final and final rounds have been rescheduled to take place in Dakar, in December 2020.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, are deeply concerned about the situation of migrants in the territory of South Africa during this COVID-19 crisis. 

The study on Civil society in the digital age in Africa: identifying threats and mounting pushbacks was undertaken by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretroia and the Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) to explore the extent of state-sponsored digital challenges that the civil society in Africa is faced with. It illustrates the challenges faced by civil society organisations and the importance of digital security measures.

(Op-Ed by Prof Danny Bradlow)

The coronavirus and its economic consequences have caused economic tsunamis in every country in the world. The scale of the onslaught will dominate discussions at the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank spring meetings due to take place – for the first time ever virtually – in mid April.

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

The Centre for Human Rights in an effort to spearhead the belief of leaving no one behind acknowledges the importance of a rights-based approach to ageing and calls for the promotion and protection of the rights of older persons.

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

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, South Africa, is calling for applications for the Master's degree (LLM/MPhil) in Disability Rights in Africa (DRIA) for the Class of 2021. The DRIA programme was launched in 2018 and is the first master’s degree programme in Africa focusing specifically on the rights of persons with disabilities in Africa.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, South Africa, is calling for applications for the Master's degree (LLM/MPhil) in Sexual & Reproductive Rights in Africa (SRRA) for the Class of 2021. The SRRA degree is a unique degree, offered as a blended learning programme, to which 15 individuals from African countries are admitted.

The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, South Africa, is calling for applications for the Master's degree (LLM) in International Trade and Investment Law in Africa (TILA) for the Class of 2021. The TILA degree is a unique programme to which 25 to 30 individuals from African countries with a degree allowing access to the legal profession (e.g. LLB or licence en Droit) and preferably experience in the field of trade and investment law are admitted.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19, the oral rounds of the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition will now be held in December 2020, and no longer in July. The Competition will be scheduled around Human Rights Day (10 December), with participating teams and judges traveling to Geneva, Switzerland, for the oral rounds. If this would not be possible, the oral rounds, probably in an adjusted and scaled down version, will be held on-line. Either way, the 2020 Competition will still be held.

The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) wishes to inform its members, partners and other stakeholders of the suspension, until further notice, of the Southern and Central Africa capacity building trainings, as well as the side event scheduled to take place during the 66th ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The UNCRC and its practical implications in the African context 

In conversation with Adv Karabo Ozah

The South African government announced a 21-day lockdown of the country starting on 27 March 2020, as part of measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the national directive, the University of Pretoria took the decision to close down until 16 April 2020. Being based in South Africa, and the University of Pretoria in particular, the Centre for Human Rights is directly affected by these measures.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions on movement has generated considerable anxiety and uncertainty for us. We support and embrace these measures for unmistakably serving the public good, but we are also aware of their disruptive effect on our regular mode of academic and programmatic work. We have therefore made efforts to ensure continuity as far as possible, and to minimise disruption where possible. Our commitment is driven by the long-term goal of ensuring the advancement of the protection of human rights through education, research and advocacy on the African continent.

We live in uncertain times. Around the world, severe measures have been put in place to protect public health and avoid the collapse of health care systems. Many countries are in lock down and international travel has all but ceased. South Africa will be in lock down for 21 days from midnight on 26 March.

As South Africa continues to evolve nearly 26 years into its democratic era, special occasions such as Human Rights Day on 21 March are a sobering reminder of the struggle and sacrifice that so many undertook for the benefit of all.

Human Rights Day memorialises the 69 people killed and 180 injured during the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960, which followed a march by ordinary people demonstrating against unjust pass laws which infringed on their right to freedom of movement.

Following President Cyril Ramaphosa's speech on 15 March 2020, the Executive Management of the University of Pretoria has decided to suspend contact classes, graduation ceremonies, conferences, mass gatherings and events. 

The Advanced Human Rights Courses (AHRC), in collaboration with the Disability Rights Unit of the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (UP), recently hosted the annual short course on Disability Rights in an African Context, from 9 to 13 March 2020.

Background to the Yearbook

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

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (UP) through its Advanced Human Rights Courses (AHRC) and the Disability Rights Unit is currently hosting the annual Disability Rights in an African Context course.

From 3 to 4 March 2020 the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) hosted a Joint Workshop of Committees on the 2020 African Union (AU) theme. The AU’s theme for 2020 is Silencing the Guns: Creating a conducive environment for Africa’s development. The theme is intended to ensure that Africa creates a conducive environment towards prioritising peace, security and socio-economic development.

COVID-19: Welcoming Ceremony Master's Programmes postponed

As South Africa faces the locally expanding coronavirus epidemic, the University of Pretoria’s (UP) executive management team has decided to postpone contact classes and to reschedule the academic calendar.

Therefore, the welcoming ceremony, scheduled for 20 March 2020, is postponed. Details regarding the rescheduling of the ceremony will be communicated via the Centre's website and social media channels in due course.

We urge our students, staff, friends and colleagues to stay safe as we collectively turn the tide against this pandemic.

(Op-Ed by Ade JohnsonThiruna Naidoo & Annie Bipendu)

International Women's Day (IWD), celebrated annually on 8 March, is an opportunity to reflect on the achievement of gender equality in the world, and particularly in Africa. The commemoration of IWD provides a chance to assess the changes and progress made towards the achievement of gender equality generally and the protection of the human rights of women and girls particularly.

The Advanced Human Rights Courses (AHRC), in collaboration with the SOGIESC Unit of the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria (UP), recently hosted the annual short course on Sexual Minority Rights in Africa, from 24 to the 28 February 2020.  The course was attended by 58 participants from all over the world, with 20 African countries represented. This year’s participants included students on both the LLM/MPhil (Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa) and the LLM/MPhil (Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa) programmes. Also in attendance were doctoral researchers, judicial officers, representatives from the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI), members of civil society, academics and members from the South African Police Services (SAPS).

Registration for the 2020 Conference of the Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI) on 'The future of human rights: Socio-economic rights, equality and development' is now open!

As a country previously ravaged by a protracted civil war that killed approximately 150 000 people and left behind 200 000 refugees, Liberia is rising from the ashes of its past. In addition, it has had to deal with the Ebola virus that also wiped out thousands more from its population, yet the country continues to strive to improve its human rights record. This was demonstrated by the commitment that the government of Liberia has made to the drafting of a state party report to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter) and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol).

COVID-19: Public Lecture postponed

As South Africa faces the locally expanding coronavirus epidemic, the University of Pretoria’s (UP) executive management team has decided to postpone contact classes and to reschedule the academic calendar.

Therefore, the public lecturey, scheduled for 24 March 2020, is postponed. Details regarding the rescheduling of the lecture will be communicated via the Centre's website and social media channels in due course.

We urge our students, staff, friends and colleagues to stay safe as we collectively turn the tide against this pandemic.

Discussion on the United Nations Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty

In conversation with Prof Manfred Nowak

Registration for the 29th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition is now open. The competition will be held from 3 - 8 August 2020  in Dakar, Senegal.

The UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Dr Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, developed the Guiding Principles on Human Rights Impact Assessments of Economic Reforms (A/HRC/40/57) to help governments understand how to use human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) to promote human rights compliant economic reform policies.

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

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria through its Advanced Human Rights Courses (AHRC) and the SOGIESC Unit, is currently hosting the annual Sexual Minority Rights in Africa course.

The political exclusion of refugees was discussed at a recent lecture hosted on 18 February 2020 by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. The theme of the lecture was on the voting rights of refugees. Students on the Master’s programmes in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) and Multidisciplinary Human Rights (MDHR) were also in attendance.

Journey to becoming the Chairperson of the African Commission

In conversation with Dr Solomon Dersso

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is presenting a massive open online course (MOOC) on nthe African human rights system. Enrolment is free and the course runs from 17 February to 9 March 202. This is the second time that this MOOC is presented.

 

A number of alumni of the Master’s programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) participated in the 17th All Africa Course on International Humanitarian Law (IHL). The course was presented at the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, from 28 January to 6 February 2020.

(By Christof Heyns & Frans Viljoen)

A new, global academic study to answer this question is launched in collaboration with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a Brown Bag Lunch Lecture on Voting Rights of Refugees by distinguished international refugee law scholar, Dr Reuven (Ruvi) Ziegler.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is seeking a Deputy Accountant. The deadline for applications is 21 February 2020.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is seeking a Project Manager for its Business and Human Rights Unit. The deadline for applications is 21 February 2020.

The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, will host the 2020 Conference of the Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI) on 'The future of human rights: Socio-economic rights, equality and development'. The conference will be held from 4 to 5 September 2020 at Future Africa.

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