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The 2022 Advanced Human Rights Course (AHRC) on the African human rights systems in comparative perspectives took place from 4 - 8 April 2022. The course was hosted by the Centre for Human Rights, University of in collaboration with Ghent University.

This year, the course was presented in a hybrid format with Masters’ in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) and Multi-Disciplinary Human rights (MDHR) attending physically at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa Campus, while about 60 participants from all over the world joined the course online via zoom. Approximately 24 African countries and Belgium were represented in this year’s course. Participants were drawn from a variety of sectors including; legal practitioners, human rights advocates, government staff members, members of parliament, members of the judiciary, academics and members of civil society organisations.

The course began with a word of welcome, a setting of the course scenes, an introduction to the course programme and course exercises by Prof Magnus Killander, Professor of Human Rights Law who is the main course coordinator. Prof Frans Viljoen, the Director of the Centre for Human Rights, began the course discussions with a lecture on the African Charter and its monitoring bodies and on ways to advance human rights through the African human rights system. He encouraged participants to remain steadfast in their work towards building the African systems and he concluded by saying that “the challenges faced by the African human rights system such as insufficient funding and political influence should not discourage the African human rights movement but should be considered a strength to forge on”. Dr Nkatha Murungi, Assistant Director, Centre for Human rights concluded the first day of discussions with an interactive session on Children’s rights in the African human rights system.

ahrc african human rights system 1

The following topics were also discussed in the course

  • The African Democracy Charter and challenges to its implementation 
    Advocate Bahame Tom Nyanduga Former Commissioner: African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
  • Sub-regional protection of human rights in Africa
    Prof Magnus Killander, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria 
  • The European human rights system
    Prof Yves Haeck, Ghent University
  • The Inter-American human rights system
    Clara Burbano-Herrera, Ghent University
  • The Maputo Protocol on the rights of women in Africa
    Dr Ashwanee Budoo, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria
  • Litigation before the African Commission and the African Court
    Advocate Bahame Tom Nyanduga, Former Commissioner: African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights 

The key highlights of this year’s course included:

  • The discussions of the Tanzanian African Court cases of Rajabu v Tanzania and Henerico v Tanzania with the CHR litigation Unit
  • A panel discussion on the best practices in the regional protection on human rights with Prof Magnus Killander
  • The NGO statement exercise with Dr Ashwanee Budoo, CHR and 
  • the course quizzes with Prof Magnus Killander.

The course was a success, and we continue to thank the Government of Flanders for their financial support.

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