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Centre News & Events: 2017
Announcement: Global Campus Human Rights Week, Pretoria, South Africa

16 November 2017- The Global Campus Human Rights Week will be held during the week from 4 to 9 December 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa. The events will feature a film screening and discussion on African cinema and human rights, meetings of institutional and governance structures of the Global Campus, a visual / performance art and panel discussion on the rights of women and LGBTIQ persons, a multi-disciplinary conference on contemporary and future challenges to democracy worldwide and the graduation of the 18th cohort of students on the Master’s degree programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa. The event is organised by the Global Campus of Human Rights in partnership with the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. The conference is realised thanks to the European Union. 

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27th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition to be held in Ghana

15 November 2017- It has been confirmed! The 2018 African Human Rights Moot Competition will take place in Ghana, and will be co-organised by the School of Law, University of Ghana and the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria.

On 14 November 2017, the University of Ghana joined a small group of African Universities that have twice hosted the African Human Rights Moot Competition, when its Vice Chancellor and the Centre’s Director signed a Memorandum of Understanding, providing that  the Moot will be hosted in Accra, from 6 to 11 August 2018.

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Disability Rights Scholarship Programme Alumni meet to discuss prospects for academic advancement and regional and country progress on disability rights

14 November 2017- On 9 November 2017, twenty three (23) alumni of the Disability Rights Scholarship Programme met at Saint George Hotel in Pretoria following the culmination of the 5th Annual African Disability Rights Conference. The purpose of the alumni meeting was to establish and form a platform for the alumni to network, share information about the scholarship programme, prospects for academic advancement and collaborate on issues pertaining to regional and country progress on disability rights. 

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Partner universities reflect on the status of disability inclusive policies and practices at their universities

10 November 2017- The importance of inclusive education has been recognised globally as critically important for the advancement of the right to education. The retention and successful throughput of students with disabilities in higher education institutions is at a critical juncture. In Africa, the transformation of higher education systems so that they provide quality inclusive education for all students is in its infancy.Students with disabilities are for the greater part still not able to equally participate in higher education institutions as their abled bodied counterparts. The Disability Rights and Law Schools Project in Africa partner universities met in Pretoria to discuss the current state of inclusion in higher education with regards to students with disabilities. 

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Opening the 5th Annual African Disability Rights Conference with a keynote address from Dr Samuel Kabue

8 November 2017- Dr Samuel Kabue, a member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee), welcomed the Conference’s thematic focus, which is on legal capacity. He noted that the Committee has been grappling with the concept of ‘legal capacity’, and its practical application, especially in Africa. He lamented the fact that even for states that have ratified, the implementation of the CRPD is impeded by a lack of state reporting, a failure to accept individual complaints and failure to designate national monitoring mechanisms for the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities.

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Centre for Human Rights hosts a regional planning meeting with the UN Independent Expert on the rights of persons with albinism

8 November 2017- A group of representatives of organizations working on the protection of persons with albinism in Africa convened in Pretoria on Monday 6 November 2017 at the call of the United Nations Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of Human Rights by Persons with Albinism, Ms. Ikpwonosa Ero. Ms. Ero’s mandate as the Independent Expert was created in 2015 by the UN Human Rights Council, to address discrimination and stop the killings of people living with albinism.

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Centre for Human Rights, Iranti-org and SIPD-Uganda host panel discussion on intersex human rights in Africa

7 November 2017- On Saturday 4 November 2017, the Centre for Human Rights (Centre) in partnership with Iranti-org and SIPD -Uganda convened a panel discussion on intersex human rights in Banjul, The Gambia. The event came on the side-lines of the 61st ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) which is taking place from 1-15 November. This was monumental considering that the African Commission is celebrating its 30 years anniversary and achievements ever-since it became operational 30 years ago.

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Call for Enrollments: MOOC on the International and African Legal Framework on Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and the Safety of Journalists

3 November 2017- The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria and UNESCO developed a massive open online course (MOOC) on the International and African Legal Framework on Freedom of Expression, Access to Information and the Safety of Journalists. The MOOC, which runs from 13 November to 18 December 2017, is hosted on the Canvas Network platform. Enrollment is free of charge and after the successful completion of all the modules, participants will receive a certificate.

 

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Announcing the African Disability Rights Conference 2017 on domesticating the CRPD in the African region: A focus on access to justice and legal capacity

3 November 2017- Only a few days to go! Files are packed, presentations rolled out and stakeholders from all across Africa are getting ready to attend the 5th Annual African Disability Rights Conference that will be held from 7 to 8 November 2017 at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria in South Africa.  The array of participants include scholars, researchers, practitioners, human rights activists, advocates for law reform, persons with disabilities, civil society groups, lawyers, policymakers, and analysts.

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Centre for Human Rights hosts the South African government and CSO’s on compliance with the Concluding Observations issued by the African Commission on the Rights of Women in South Africa

1 November 2017- By ratifying the Maputo Protocol in 2004, South Africa made a commitment to improve the status and protect the rights of women and girls in the country. It also committed under Article 62 of the African Charter and Article 26 (1) of the Maputo Protocol to submit periodic reports to the African Commission every two years from the time of ratification, highlighting the steps taken to guarantee the rights of women and girls. After consideration of these reports, concluding observations and recommendations are given to State Parties to guide them on the implementation of the rights as mentioned in the treaty.

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Centre for Human Rights and UNESCO present training for judges in Africa on freedom of expression, access to information and the safety of journalists

30 October 2017- The Centre for Human Rights in collaboration with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) held a three-day judicial training for judges from across Africa. The training which focused on freedom of expression, access to information and the safety of journalists took place from 23 to 25 October. 

In attendance were senior judges from Cameroon, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Mauritania, Mozambique, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. There was also a judge from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Community of Court of Justice.

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SOGIE Unit celebrates outstanding LGBTI icons in Africa

26 October 2017- The Centre for Human Rights works for the improvement of the human rights of minorities - including sexual minorities - and other disadvantaged or marginalised persons or groups across the continent.

Funded by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Pretoria, the Centre's SOGIE Unit focuses on education, capacity-building, advocacy and legal aid in the area of LGBTI rights and anti-discrimination. This poster highlights great Africans who identify as LGBTI persons, who are leaders in their field, and whose work contributes to the realisation of sexual minority rights in Africa.

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Call for Applications: Research consultant on Extractive Industries, Environment and Human Rights

25 October 2017- The Centre for Human Rights (CHR), Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is looking for a research consultant to prepare a baseline report on the impacts of the extractive industries on human rights and the environment in Africa. This work forms part of a project in which the CHR offers support to the Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment, and Human Rights (WGEI) of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission).

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Women’s Rights Unit facilitates meeting in Malawi on the African Commission’s Concluding Observations of the Maputo Protocol

25 October 2017- On Wednesday 18 October 2017, the Women's Rights Unit of the Centre for Human Rights (the Centre) organised a one-day meeting with Government and civil society organizations on Malawi’s compliance with the concluding observations issued by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) specifically in relation to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol). The meeting was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs in Malawi. The meeting brought together a total of about 20 stakeholders from the relevant government ministries, National Human Rights Commission, Office of the Ombudsman and Civil Society Organisations involved in the state reporting process in the country. The meeting was held at the Sunbird Capital hotel, in the capital city of Lilongwe. 

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Call for applications: LLD/DPhil in Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa

24 October 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, calls for applications for full-time doctoral scholarships in the field of sexual and/or reproductive rights and their intersection with culture or criminalisation in the African region.

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Press statement: LGBTI Human rights defenders and lawyers express grave concern over continuing harassment of LGBTI rights defenders, activists, educators and supporters

23 October 2017 - We, LGBTI human rights defenders and human rights lawyers, having gathered at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa, from  16 to 19 October 2017 for a training on Strategic Advocacy and Litigation for LGBTI Human Rights Defenders in Africa, strongly condemn the harassment, arbitrary arrest and prolonged detention of ordinary citizens  perceived to be gay in Egypt and Burundi; human rights activists working with health rights organisations in Tanzania; as well as  human rights lawyers planning to litigate a case on LGBTI health rights in Tanzania.

LGBTI human rights defenders and human rights lawyers who gathered at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa, from 16 to 19 October 2017 for a training on Strategic Advocacy and Litigation for LGBTI Human Rights Defenders in Africa
 
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Call for Applications: Disability Rights Scholarship Programme (Open Society Foundations)

23 October 2017- The Disability Rights Scholarship Programme provides awards for master’s degree study to disability rights advocates, lawyers, and educators to develop new legislation, jurisprudence, policy, research, and scholarship to harness the innovations and opportunities offered by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

With the knowledge and networks gained through the program, we expect that fellows will deepen their understanding of international law and education, with a focus on disability rights, and gain the tools necessary to engage in a range of CRPD implementation strategies, such as: challenging rights violations in their home countries by drafting enforceable legislation consistent with the CRPD; utilizing enforcement mechanisms set forth in the convention; taking forward disability rights litigation requesting CRPD-compliant remedies; engaging in disability rights advocacy; and developing law, education, or other academic curricula informed by the CRPD.

 

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Faculty of Law enters into MoU with Pan-African Parliament to advance the agenda of good governance in Africa

18 October 2017- The Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (UP) on 17 October 2017 entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Pan-African Parliament (PAP). The foreseen collaboration will be spear-headed by the Centre for Human Rights, but may involve other departments, centres, institutes and units in the Faculty of Law.



Prof Frans Viljoen, Director of the Centre for Human Rights and Honourable Roger Nkodo Dang, President of the Pan-African Parliament

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Invitation: Seminar on South Sudan and issues arising from narratives on human rights and armed rebellion

17 October 2017- The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria cordially invites you to a seminar on South Sudan and issues arising from narratives on human rights and armed rebellion.

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Press Statement: Centre for Human Rights calls for expediting of sexual harassment cases at the University of Pretoria

17 October 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, deplores any form of sexual harassment and is steadfastly committed to supporting the University community in any way possible to ensure that it is a safe environment – free from sexism, racism and other forms of discrimination – and to foster the values of equality, integrity, human dignity, privacy and mutual respect.

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African Forum for Doctoral Research in Human Rights (AfriDoors)

17 October 2017- The first African Forum for Doctoral Research in Human Rights (AfriDoors) was held at the University of Pretoria from 9 to 13 October. AfriDoors brought together close to 50 doctoral students, post-docs and faculty from the member institutions of Strengthening Human Rights Research and Education in Sub-Saharan Africa (SHUREA). SHUREA is a project funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland through the Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI) and is aimed at strengthening policy relevant human rights research.

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Centre for Human Rights presents training workshop on strategic advocacy and litigation for LGBTI human rights defenders and activists in Africa

16 October 2017- The Sexual Orientation Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Unit, Centre for Human Rights in collaboration with the Kingdom of the Netherlands Embassy in Pretoria is currently hosting the 2018 Training Workshop on Strategic Advocacy and Litigation for LGBTI Human Rights Defenders and Activists. This workshop, now ongoing, shall run from 16 October 2017 to 19 October 2017. In attendance are LGBTI human rights defenders from the legal, health, civil society and other sectors across the African continent. The participants are trained on using several advocacy stragies, including faith-based, disruptive and prison advocacy, as well as strategic litigation at national level, and how to use the UN and African regional human rights system for the advancement of LGBTI human rights.

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Call for Abstracts: Colloquium on 'Reading the LGBTI category at the locale - Indigenising stigmatised non-heteronormative African sexualities and genders'

16 October 2017- The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is convening a colloquium on 2 - 3 August 2018. The colloquium has the following main themes:

a) reading the LGBTI category at the African locale; and
b) indigenising stigmatised non-heteronormative African sexualities and genders.

It is anticipated that papers presented at the colloquium will be reworked by authors with a view to their consideration for publication as chapters in an edited volume.

© Corinna Kern / Getty Images Reportage

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Press Statement: African Court rejects Centre for Human Rights and CAL request, leaving political tension within AU unresolved

6 October 2017- SUMMARY: In 2015, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission), based in Banjul, The Gambia, and the AU body supervising state compliance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, granted observer status to the NGO Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL). When the Executive Council of the African Union (AU), with its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, subsequently considered the Commission’s activity report, it directed the African Commission to retract the observer status granted to CAL. A potential deadlock was avoided when two NGOs (the Centre for Human Rights and CAL) submitted a request for an advisory opinion to the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, soliciting the Court’s view on how the matter could be resolved. However, the Court has now declined to give its view, on the basis that the two NGOs were not competent to bring the request. This decision puts the Commission and the Executive Council on a potential collision course. The circumstances of the case revealed that the system of NGO obtaining observer status with the AU is illusory, as no NGO has as yet obtained this status. 

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Centre acknowledges and thanks staff, students, graduates, partners, donors and supporters for contributing to make University of Pretoria the top Law Faculty in Africa

6 October 2017-The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (UP), takes note of the 2018 raking of law faculties or schools by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THEWUR), in which the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Law is placed at position 92

According to the THEWUR, using a fixed set of criteria, UP’s Faculty of Law is the top law faculty not only in South Africa, but in Africa. As one of six departments within the Faculty of Law, the Centre for Human Rights acknowledges and thanks our staff, current students, our many graduates, partners, donors and other supporters, for their contributions in making the Centre – and the Faculty – a centre of excellence in Africa. 

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Invitation to a panel discussion on 'Working as a UN expert'

6 October 2017- Students and other interested parties are invited to attend a panel discussion on: ‘Working as a UN expert’. The Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria is currently in the unique position where three of its professors serve as expert members of United Nations bodies involved in the development of international law. They will discuss their work and how the appointment procedure works. This should be of special interest to students who consider a career with an international dimension.

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AU Human Rights Commissioner encourages acceptance of political diversity in Ethiopia at annual Julius Osega Lecture

3 October 2017- ‘The Constitution as a whole should guide governance in Ethiopia, not selected parts chosen for particular purposes.’ Dr Solomon Dersso, a member of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, expressed this view when he delivered the 2017 Julius Osega Memorial Lecture in Addis Ababa on Friday 29 September. The African Commission is the African Union’s longest-serving human rights body. 

Dr Solomon Negussie (Dean, College of Law and Governance Studies, Addis Ababa University), Prof Frans Viljoen (Director, Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria), Dr Solomon Ayele Dersso (Commissioner of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and Executive Director, Amani Africa Media and Research), Dr Yonas Birmeta (Head, School of Law, Addis Ababa University) and Dr Mizane Abate (Associate Dean, Graduate Programmes, College of Law and Governance Studies, Addis Ababa University)

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Conference on Regional Perspectives on the Right to Development

3 October 2017- A two-days Conference on the theme ‘Regional Perspectives on the Right to Development’ was jointly organised by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute, University of South Africa. The Conference took place on 28 and 29 September 2017 at the University of Pretoria. 

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Capacity Building for Senior Government Officials of the African Union on Disability Mainstreaming, Coordination and Financing

29 September 2017- The Disability Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, conducted a training course on disability mainstreaming, coordination, financing and implementation for senior government officials of the Africa Union member states and focal persons from the African Union Commission (AUC). Senior government officials from Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Somalia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria and Zimbabwe attended the one-week training which took place from 18-22 September 2017 at Capital Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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Centre for Human Rights presents Advanced Human Rights Short Course on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in Africa (25 - 29 September 2017)

29 September 2017- The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) hosted its Advanced Human Rights Short Course on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights in Africa from 25-29 September, 2017. The course brought together 32 participants; from different countries across Africa and Europe, with backgrounds that include: NGO managers, delegates of indigenous communities, academia, government policy makers, civil society, independent community consultants and legal practitioners. 

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Ratification of the Maputo Protocol by Mauritius: Reflections, Expectations and Next Steps

28 September 2017- Mauritius ratified (with reservations) the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) in June 2017. This makes 39, the countries that have ratified the Maputo Protocol. The presence of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition in Mauritius provided an opportunity for the Women’s Rights Unit to host an all stakeholder meeting not only to celebrate this momentous step towards full realisation of women’s rights but to also reflect on the challenges that delayed ratification since signing in 2005 and lessons apparent. In addition the meeting discussed the impact of ratification of the Maputo Protocol on the lives of women and girls in Mauritius and the critical next steps post the ratification.

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African Human Rights Moot Court Competition 2017: University of Mauritius (18 – 23 September 2017)

27 September 2017 - The African Human Rights Moot Court Competition is the largest gathering of students, academics and judges around the theme of human rights in Africa. This annual event brings together all law faculties in Africa, whose top students argue a hypothetical human rights case as if they were before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The Competition aims to prepare a new generation of lawyers to argue cases of alleged human rights violations before the African Court.

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26th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition Conference: The Maputo Protocol and Poverty Alleviation

27 September 2017 - The African Human Rights Moot Court Competition Conference took place at the University of Mauritius on 22 September 2017. Every year, the conference is one of the major highlights of the Moot Court competition. The conference utilises the platform of the Moot Court, which brings together students and faculty representatives from over 54 different universities around Africa, to raise, discuss and advance important issues of human rights in the continent. The 2017 conference theme was “The Maputo Protocol and poverty alleviation: Towards the realisation of women's rights in Africa”. 

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Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone visits Centre for Human Rights to explore potential collaboration

22 September 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights received a delegation from the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone on 22 September to explore potential collaboration. The Human Rights Commission expressed interest in support in capacity building of commissioners and staff in particular in relation to disability rights, LGBTI rights, business and human rights, women's rights and complaints handling. 

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Kingdom of Lesotho senior government officials visit the Disability Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights

22 September 2017 - The Disability Rights Unit of the Centre for Human Rights (the Centre) on 21 September 2017 had a privilege of hosting a delegation of senior government officials from the Kingdom of Lesotho (Lesotho).

The delegation comprised of Ms Nthabiseng Sekokotoana (Senior Assistant Parliamentary Counsel), Ms Linkeng Khubetsoana (Chief Legal Officer – Ministry of Social Development) and Ms Mahlapane Makakole – Bodiba (Director Disability Services – Ministry of Social Development) and from South Africa Mr Benny Palime (Director of Policy Legislation for Disability – Department of Social Development).  
 
 
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Press statement: Centre for Human Rights and Pan Africa ILGA express grave concern about threats to the right to freedom of association and right to information as twenty are arrested at training workshop in Zanzibar, Tanzania for alleged homosexuality

20 September 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, and Pan Africa International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Association (Pan Africa ILGA) strongly condemn the recent arrest of parents and NGO personnel at a training workshop on HIV prevention. 

On Friday 15 September 2017, Zanzibari police, acting on the orders of the District Commissioner, arrested a group of twenty parents, local partners and staff of an implementing NGO for organising and attending a workshop on peer-to-peer parent HIV and AIDS prevention. The workshop was aimed at addressing stigma and discrimination in the family with regards to HIV and AIDS. According to a local NGO leader, the group was accused of “training people on homosexuality”, which is not a crime in any known law in operation in Tanzania. 
 

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Centre for Human Rights presents 26th edition of the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition in Réduit, Mauritius

19 September 2017 -The African Human Rights Moot Court Competition is the largest gathering of students, academics and judges around the theme of human rights in Africa. This annual event brings together all law faculties in Africa, whose top students argue a hypothetical human rights case as if they were before the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The Competition aims to prepare a new generation of lawyers to argue cases of alleged human rights violations before the African Court.

 
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Immunity granted to Grace Mugabe challenged in debate between Professor Dire Tladi and Dr Thompson Chengeta

18 September 2017 - On 11 September 2017, the Institute of International and Comparative Law in Africa at the University of Pretoria hosted a debate between Professor Dire Tladi and Dr Thompson Chengeta on whether the Government of South Africa’s decision to grant Grace Mugabe immunity is within the confines of the law. The debate was chaired by the Director of Centre for Human Rights, Professor Frans Viljoen. 

 
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Centre presents short course on Police Oversight and Accountability in Africa

15 September 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria hosted the Advanced Human Rights Short Course on Police Oversight and Accountability in Africa from 11 to 15 September 2017. The course brought together 33 participants from several countries across Africa with backgrounds that include: national human rights institutions, police officers, academia, civil society, legal practitioners, prosecutors and government.

The course started with an opening address by Prof Frans Viljoen, Director of the Centre, followed by a presentation by Prof Elrena van der Spuy, on the underlying police oversight theoretical frameworks. Mr Sean Tait, Director of the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum, engaged participants on the differences between police oversight and accountability, as well as police oversight benchmarks. 
 
 
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Invitation: Human Rights in North Korea Seminar

14 September 2017 -  In celebration of the International Save North Korean Refugees Day on the 22 nd of September 2017; Defense Forum Foundation, Free North Korea Radio , Centre for Human Rights, Africa Solidarity for Sahrawi and North Korea Freedom Coalition cordially invite you to a seminar titled: Human Rights in North Korea

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Call for Applications: Postdoctoral Fellow, International Development Law Unit, Centre for Human Rights

13 September 2017 - The following vacancy is available:

Terms of Reference

Job Title: Post-Doctoral Fellow, International Development Law Unit
Reports to: SARChI Chair, Prof Danny Bradlow
Date of commencement: 1 January 2018
Location: Pretoria, South Africa
 
 
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Invitation to the 2017 Julius Osega Memorial Lecture (to be presented by Solomon Dersso in Ethiopia)

12 September 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria and the Faculty of Law, Addis Ababa University, cordially invites you to the Annual Julius Osega Memorial Lecture.

The 2017 Julius Osega Memorial Lecture will be presented by:
  • Dr Solomon Dersso
    Commissioner of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
    Executive Director, Amani Africa Media and Research
‘The quest for an inclusive and equal citizenship: Our time’s burning question‘
 
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Programme: 26th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition

12 September 2017 - The 26th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition is organised by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria in collaboration with the University of Mauritius from 18 to 23 September 2017 in Réduit, Mauritius.

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State reporting drafting workshop on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Zambia

11 September 2017 - On Wednesday 9 August to Friday 11 August 2017, the Women's Rights Unit of the Centre for Human Rights (the Centre) took part in a three-day state reporting drafting workshop on the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (African Charter) hosted by the Ministry of Justice in Zambia. 

The workshop was held in the serene Sandy Lodge in Chilanga, Zambia. The workshop brought together a total of 22 participants from the relevant government ministries, National Human Rights Commission and Civil Society organisations involved in the state reporting process. 
 

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Invitation to the 5th Disability Rights Conference (7 - 8 November 2017)

8 September 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria cordially invites you to a conference on advancing the right to access to justice and legal capacity for persons with disabilities in Africa which will be presented from 7 to 8 November 2017.

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Meet Jane Choolwe Nsanzya, winner of 2017 FACES competition

8 September 2017 - In its debut edition, FACES cellphone film competition recognized the short film by Miss Jane Choolwe Nsanzya as the winning entry. In addition to winning an all expense paid trip to Mauritius, Miss Nsanzya’s film titled “Ignorance isn’t bliss” will be screened during the 26th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition, taking place in Mauritius.

Jane Choolwe Nsanzya, winner of 2017 FACES competition 

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Call for Applications: Training Workshop for LGBT defenders

7 September 2017 -The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, cordially invites you to apply for the  Training Workshop on Strategic Advocacy and Litigation targeted at the promotion and protection of the human rights of  lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons for LGBT human rights defenders and activists in Africa.

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Centre for Human Rights hosts members of the Sri Lankan Right to Information Commission

7 September 2017 -The Centre for Human Rights on 6 September had the pleasure to host a delegation from the Sri Lanka Right to Information Commission (the Commission) on Wednesday 6 September. The delegation which comprised three Commissioners, the Director General as well as the Legal and Research Officer of the Commission met with the Director of the Centre for Human Rights, Prof Frans Viljoen and the head of the Access to Information (ATI) Unit, Dr Lola Shyllon. 

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Working Group Meeting on the Draft Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections for Africa

6 September 2017 - On 29 and 30 August 2017, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria in collaboration with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), Commissioner Pansy Tlakula, organised a meeting of the members of the Working Group on the draft ‘Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections for Africa’ (Draft Guidelines). 

Advocate Pansy Tlakula, Chair of the Information Regulator of South Africa and African Commission Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information

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Centre for Human Rights presents Advanced Human Rights Short Course on The Right to Development in Africa

31 August 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (UP), hosted its Advanced Human Rights Short Course on The Right to Development in Africa from 21-25 August, 2017. The short course brought together more than 25 participants; from 15 countries across Africa and Europe, with backgrounds that include national human rights institutions, academia, NGO managers, government policy makers, civil society, independent community consultants, legal practitioners, state attorneys and diplomats.

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Op-Ed: Queer Spaces will change things at UP

30 August 2017 - (By David Ikpo) - We have not done enough for queer persons at South African universities.

Studies and surveys carried out at universities in the United States and Australia show that queer persons suffer higher rates of sexual violence and harassment than non-queer persons. These surveys were carried out in jurisdictions with progressive laws and legal systems, much like those of South Africa. They are evidence that tough laws and policies provide good structures, and that the living and social realities of queer persons in our universities need to catch up. The harassment of queer persons is an issue too pressing to be ignored if the sanctity of learning spaces is to be guaranteed. Queer persons are as much a concern as other members of the staff and student community in planning both the present and the future training of foot soldiers through awareness raising and education

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Reflections on the Anti-Discrimination Policy of UP - Queer Space Collective

29 August 2017 - This week is the Anti-Discrimination week at University of Pretoria. The Queer Space Collective(QSC), through this video contributes to the conversation on what discrimination means to the queer community at the University of Pretoria, and what the university management should include among its considerations while drafting the University of Pretoria Anti-Discrimination Policy. The QSC is an informal group of persons, departments and organisations with the vision to make the University of Pretoria safer and more inclusive of queer identity through creative writing and expression.

Ofentse Nalele - University of Pretoria student and LGBTIQA+ Ally
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Centre for Human Rights hosts YALI scholars once again for training on women’s rights and sexual minority rights

25 August 2017 - On 24 August 2017 the Centre for Human Rights hosted yet another cohort of Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Southern Africa scholars for an afternoon of discussions on violence against women and the rights of sexual and gender minorities.

During the discussion It is non of my business, a movie on community action on violence against women and girls was shown.  The movie was followed by a question and discussion session led by Ms Patience Mungwari Mpani. The discussion touched on the inadequacies of the law in offering protection to survivors of violence. The impact of intimate partner violence on children and the importance of communities coming together to end violence against women. Participants also share personal experiences of growing up in homes where violence took place and the impact that this has on their life choices today. 
 

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Invitation: UP Anti-discrimination Week Presentations

25 August 2017 - The Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria cordially invites all staff and students to presentations by specialists on anti-discrimination lawto co-incide with the UP Anti-discrimination week.

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Centre for Human Rights presents capacity-building workshop on international human rights protection mechanisms in Zambia

24 August 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights presented a capacity-building workshop on international human rights protection mechanisms in Zambia at the Intercontinental Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia, on 16 and 17 August 2017. The workshop was organised in collaboration with the University of Zambia, and was attended by more than 40 participants. Participants included Mr Likando Kalaluka (Attorney General of Zambia), Dr. Zonke Majodina (former member/chairperson of the Human Rights Committee) as well as legal officers and staff of various government institutions and ministries. Staff from the Zambian Human Rights Commission, the National Assembly of Zambia, Zambia Open University, Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), Centre for Human Rights, civil society organisations and the press were also in attendance.

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Advancing human rights accountability through digital verification

23 August 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria is among four other universities across the world working with Amnesty International on its cutting-edge volunteer project Digital Verification Corps (DVC).

Coordinated by Sam Dubberley, the DVC was created to equip students to subsequently support the work of Amnesty International’s researchers, who are often confronted with overwhelming volumes of unverified social media content in connection with some form of human rights abuse. 
 


 

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Press Statement: Minister-President of Flanders visits Centre for Human Rights and delivers lecture on the link between official development assistance and the right to development

22 August 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is currently presenting its Advanced Human Rights Course on The Right to Development in Africa, from 21 to 25 August 2017. The course is aimed at responding to the eternal question: ‘is development a human right’? What does it mean in the African context?

As part of the short course, the Centre hosted the Flemish Delegation to Southern Africa. The delegation was led by the Flemish Minister-President Hon Geert Bourgeois and Dr Geraldine Reymenants, General Representative of the Government of Flanders. Also present were representatives from the University of Pretoria: Prof Tiniyiko Maluleke (Special Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Pretoria), Prof Andre Boraine (Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria) and Mr Norman Taku (Assistant Director, Centre for Human Rights).



Flemish Minister-President Hon Geert Bourgeois

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Press Statement: Centre for Human Rights applauds judgment requiring Qwelane to apologise for hate speech against LGBTI community

22 August 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, through its Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression (SOGIE) Unit, applauds last week’s judgment by the High Court of South Africa Gauteng Local Division in Johannesburg, sitting as an equality court, in the matter of the South African Human Rights Commission v Jon Qwelane. The Court found that Qwelane’s derogatory comments about gays, published in 2008, constituted hate speech, and ordered him, within 30 days, to apologise unconditionally to the lesbian, gay and bisexual community.

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Centre for Human Rights strengthens international collaboration on sexual and reproductive rights
21 August 2017- Participating and contributing to the fourth Bergen Exchanges, in Bergen, Norway, staff and graduates of the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, further strengthened the Centre’s focus on and international collaboration in respect of sexual and reproductive rights (SRR). 
 
Four Centre graduates (two currently registered doctoral students), together with two staff members, Prof Frans Viljoen (Director, Centre for Human Rights) and Ms Thuto Hlalele  (Administrative Coordinator, LLM/MPhil Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa programme), are participating in the week-long public discourse at the Bergen Exchanges. The discourse, which is hosted by the Centre on Law and Social Transformation, University of Bergen from 19 to 25 August 2017, is centered towards examining lawfare. The term ‘lawfare’ denotes the strategic uses of rights and law and how legal institutions function as arenas for political contestation. 
 

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The Centre for Human Rights coordinates African Charter and Maputo Protocol drafting workshop in Lesotho
14 August 2017- The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria coordinated a state report drafting workshop in collaboration with Ministry of Law and Constitutional Affairs, Lesotho from 31 July to 4 August 2017. The workshop brought together officials from different Government departments and civil society organisations pivotal to the drafting of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (African Charter) and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol).
 
The Kingdom of Lesotho ratified the African Charter in 1991 and the Maputo Protocol in 2004. However, it has only submitted one report to the African Commission under the African Charter in 2000 which covered the period from 1991 to 2000 and has not complied with its reporting obligations ever since. Lesotho has similarly not submitted any report under the Maputo Protocol according to article 62 of the African Charter and article 26 (1) of the Maputo Protocol. 
 

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Pretoria News: Tuks legal eagle trio fly high on key UN bodies

Legal expertise in department benefits local law students

16 August 2017- THE University of Pretoria is currently in the unique position where three law professors from the faculty of law serve as international experts on key UN bodies in Geneva, responsible for the development and application of international law.

According to the dean of the faculty of law, Professor Andre Boraine, such a concentration of international experts in one university is exceptional by any standard.

“Some – not even all – countries count themselves lucky if they have one person in these key UN positions: here we have three experts not only from one country but also from one university,” he said.
 

 
PICTURE: BONGANI SHILUBANE/ANA
Three law professors from the Tuks faculty of law, Christof Heyns, Dire Tladi and Ann Skelton, serve as international experts on key UN bodies in Geneva, responsible for the development and application of international law.
 
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Pan African Parliament members briefed on the new Regional Action Plan on Albinism in Africa 2017-2021

11 August 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights made a presentation before members of the Pan African Parliament Permanent Committte on Justice and Human Rights on the continued plight of persons with albinism on the continent and the need for regional action on 9 August 2017. The presentation is part of the Centre for Human Rights’ on-going efforts to advance the rights of persons with albinism in Africa which began in 2016. The presentation, which took place at the Pan African Parliament headquarters in Midrand, South Africa during the Justice and Human Rights Committee session sought to bring to the attention of the Committee members the continued persistent and egregious violations of the rights of persons with albinism. More importantly the need for African states to adopt the recently finalised Regional Action Plan on Albinism in Africa, a 5-year plan to address attacks and related violations against persons with albinism in Sub Saharan Africa.

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Centre for Human Rights celebrates National Women’s Day

11 August 2017 - Every year on 9 August, South Africa celebrates National Women’s Day in recognition of the role that women played in the liberation of the country from Apartheid. On 9 August 1956, over 20,000 women marched onto the Union Buildings in Pretoria protesting the Pass-Laws that restricted the movement of women of color in white areas to certain times of the day. The demonstration was a resounding success and is nationally recognised as one of the political milestones that marked the events that challenged the apartheid government to eventually usher in democracy in 1994. While National Women’s Day celebrates the courage of those women back in the day, it has also evolved into a day to promote women’s rights within the community and to call out government to act on unfulfilled promises to women in the country regarding rights such as freedom from violence perpetrated against women and girls.

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Capacity Building for members of the Pan African Parliament on Digital Rights, Democracy and Governance in Africa

8 August 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights held a capacity building workshop for members of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) on 5 August 2017. The workshop, which was held at the seat of PAP in Midrand, South Africa, was themed ‘Digital Rights, Democracy and Governance in Africa: The Role of National and Regional Parliaments. The Centre for Human Rights facilitated this workshop in collaboration with its partners- Applied Law and Technology (ALT) Africa, Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and Google.

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Op-Ed: It takes a village to breastfeed a child

7 August 2017 - (By Yolanda Booyzen) - One of the smartest investments that a country, a community and a family can make is to promote breastfeeding.

This is the message spread  by UNICEF, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international organisations that are promoting the benefits of breastfeeding during World Breastfeeding Week. The multiple advantages offered by breastfeeding include the most commonly known benefits of exceptional nutritional value, economic viability and cost-effectiveness, the prevention of childhood diseases, increased brain development in babies and a decreased risk of diabetes and some cancers in mothers.



Larissa Waters breastfeeding in the Australian Parliament
(Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP)

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Press Statement: Centre for Human Rights demands that government put words into action and take a definitive stand on violence against women

7 August 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, takes note of media reports and images circulating on social media, suggesting that the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Mduduzi Manana, has been involved in a case of assaulting a woman in a public place (restaurant) over the weekend.

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Op-Ed: What is Women’s Day to me?: Re-membering Saartjie Baartman and the place of memory

7 August 2017 - (By Prof Charles Ngwena) - As we celebrate Women’s Day let us engage in more than just reciting our affirmation of the equal citizenship and dignity of women in all their shades as adults, girl-children, transgender, straight, lesbian, disabled, black, white, brown and other shades of the human rainbow. Let us also engage in remembrance so that we summon our past and draw apt lessons. Histories are an integral part of our present and futures. Especially where unfulfilled promises or continuing injustices abide, as is borne by the continuing scourge of entrenched gender-based discrimination, including sexual violence and exploitation, remembrance offers us a powerful and creative cultural resource for investing with imaginary coherence our quest to create just, inclusive societies where women count. To this end, as we honour Women’s Day in South Africa, on the African continent and across the world and as we affirm the rightness of women’s equality, among other resources, we can draw on the memory of a Saartjie Baartman (also known as Sara or Sarah). The memory of the grotesque dehumanisation she suffered during her short life can serve to strengthen our resolve.

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Press Statement: Centre for Human Rights calls for the unconditional release of the 42 persons arrested with homosexual charges by the Nigerian government

3 August 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights calls for the immediate release of the 42 persons who were unjustly arrested by law enforcement agents at the HIV awareness training for sexual and gender minorities which was held at the Vincent Hotel, Weigh Bridge in Owode Onirin, Lagos State, Nigeria on Saturday 29 July 2017.

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Centre for Human Rights signs technical cooperation agreement with AMSHeR

3 August 2017 - On 2 August 2017, the Centre for Human Rights signed a technical cooperation agreement with African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR), establishing a framework for concrete collaboration on a number of activities. AMSHeR is a Pan-African coalition of organisations focusing on men who have sex with men (MSM) and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons (LGBT). AMSHeR works towards the promotion of non-discrimination, particularly based on sexual orientation and gender identity and the advancement of health services for MSM/LGBT persons in Africa. The signing ceremony was attended by AMSHeR’s Executive Director Kene Esom and law and human rights advocacy manager, Berry Didier Nibogora. The Centre was represented by its Director, Professor Frans Viljoen and Assistant Director Norman Taku.



Berry Didier Nibogora (Law and Human Rights Advocacy Manager, AMSHeR), Professor Frans Viljoen (Director, Centre for Human Rights), Kene Esom (Executive Director, AMSHeR) and Norman Taku (Assistant Director, Centre for Human Rights).

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Invitation: Women's Day advocacy event at the University of Pretoria

3 August 2017 - The Women's Rights Unit, the SOGIE Unit and the Disability Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights is organising an advocacy event in commemoration of the National Women's day in South Africa. On the 9th of August 1956 more than 20 000 women of all races marched to the Union Buildings in Protest to amendments to the Pass Law and presented a petition against the idea of women carrying passes in urban areas.

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Centre for Human Rights presents third Advanced Human Rights Short Course on Children’s Rights in Africa

1 August 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is currently hosting its third Advanced Human Rights Short Course on Children’s Rights in Africa. It started on Monday 31 July 2017 and runs to Friday 4 August 2017. The short course brings together 35 participants from 10 countries across Africa, with backgrounds that include national human rights institutions, academia, civil society, legal practitioners, prosecutors, teachers, medical professionals and government.

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Short Course on Business and Human Rights, 10 - 14 July 2017, Pretoria, South Africa

31 July 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, hosted its second short course on business and human rights at the University of Pretoria from 10 - 14 July 2017. The event was made possible with support from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Regional Office for Southern Africa. The short course brought together more than 55 participants, from 18 countries across Africa, with backgrounds that include national human rights institutions, academia, civil society, legal practitioners and government.

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Launch of Queer Africa 2: New stories and the fight for the protection and promotion of the human rights of non-confirming sexual and gender minorities

28 July 2017 - On Thursday 27 July 2017, Queer Africa 2: New stories made its grand entry into the University of Pretoria(UP) community at its well-attended book launch organised by the Queer Space Collective (QSC) at the Library Auditorium, University of Pretoria, Hatfield Campus. This was preceding earlier launches at the University of Witwatersrand, Cape Town and Oslo.

The force behind bringing Queer Africa 2: New stories home to UP, was the QSC’s vision to make the UP safer and more inclusive of queer identity and expression through creative writing and expressions. The QSC is an informal group comprising of individuals mostly from ten organisations representative of both themselves and their organisations. These organisations include: Student for Law and Social Justice; Up and Out; English Department and Drama Department of the University of Pretoria; Church World Services; Right to Care; Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action(GALA); Centre for Sexuality Aids and Gender; and the Centre for Human Rights. These organisations among other things engage actively at the core of their work with the issues of queerness and sexual and gender minority issues. Interestingly, individual membership of the QSC cuts across persons of various ages, races, sexual orientation, gender identities, nationalities and backgrounds working together through interdependence amongst members and member organisations to storm UP, to charm the UP space with the saturating consciousness of the need for equality, safety and inclusivity. The launch of Queer Africa 2: new stories is the Queer Space Collective’s maiden event.

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SA Federation for Mental Health hosts I Decide=I Am travelling art exhibition

28 July 2017 - The SA Federation for Mental Health (SAFMH) hosted the I Decide=I Am travelling art exhibition from the 17th to the 27th of July 2017 at its Randburg offices in Gauteng. The globally acclaimed exhibition by Bulgarian illustrator Nadezhda Georgieva and human rights activist Yana Buhrer tells the personal stories and reflections of sixteen people denied of their legal capacity because of their psychosocial or intellectual disability. The exhibition also includes three pieces by South African artist Daniel Mosako, based on his interpretation of the Life Esidimeni tragedy in which almost 100 persons with mental disabilities lost their lives.  

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Official results of the 9th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition

21 July 2017 - The 9th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition concluded with the final round on 21 July 2017 at the Palais des Nations in geneva, Switzerland.

  • The winning team of the 9th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition is the team that argued the case for the Applicant / Respondent, with 79.5%
    The winning team from St Thomas University, Canada was represented by Abbie LeBlanc and Navy Vezina.

     
  • The runner-up team of the 9th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition is the team that argued the case for the Applicant / Respondent, with 77.67 %.
    The runner-up team from University of buenos Aires, Argenitina was represented by Carolina Lisandro Elias and Tomas Maria Ainchill.

Judge Raul Pangalangan with the winners of the 9th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition
Navy Vezina and Abbie LeBlanc from St Thomas University, Canada

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Centre for Human Rights celebrates the legacy of Nelson Mandela at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland

19 July 2017 - The 9th Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition is currently underway at the Palais des Nations, United Nations Geneva headquarters. After the submission of written memorials, 36 teams from 23 countries coming from the 5 United Nations regions progressed to the pre-final rounds that are held annually in the human rights capital of the world.

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Call for researcher: States' Compliance with Concluding Observations issued by the African Commission

17 July 2017 - The following vacancies are available:

Terms of Reference

Project Title: State Parties' Compliance with the Concluding Observations and Recommendations issued by the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) on the Rights Enshrined in the Maputo Protocol
Organisation: The Centre for Human Right (CHR)
Job Title: Researcher
Duty Station: South Africa, Malawi, Nigeria (One position available per country)
Duration: Varied (Research paper based)
Contract Type: Individual consultant
Closing date: 31 July, 2017

 
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Invitation: Queer Space Collective launches 'Queer Africa 2' at the University of Pretoria

7 July 2017 - The Queer Space Collective (an informal group with the vision of making the University of Pretoria safer and more inclusive of queer identity and expression through creative writing) invites you to the University of Pretoria launch of Queer Africa 2: New Stories. Join us for readings, performances and a Q&A session.

Queer Africa 2: New Stories is a ground breaking collection featuring twenty-six masterpieces from eight countries – Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, and the United States of America. The plots of all twenty-six stories are separately and skilfully woven to reflect a vast range of human emotions and experiences that abound in the lives of Africans of all shades and colour at home and abroad who own the queer identity.

Date: Thursday 27 July 2017
Time: 17:00 - 18:30
Venue: Merensky Library Auditorium, University of Pretoria, Hatfield Campus
RSVP: PLACES LIMITED, PLEASE CLICK HERE TO RSVP ONLINE BEFORE MONDAY 24 JULY 2017
Contact: David Ikpo ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) / Pierre Brouard ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

 
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Centre for Human Rights hosts the JB Marks Education Trust Fund Beneficiaries

7 July 2017 – On 6 July 2017, the Centre for Human Rights hosted 5 beneficiaries and graduates (Jafta Bonginkosi, Shadrack Munyai, Xolilie Myeni, Miranda Mbonambi and Lisebo Kotelo) of the JB Marks Educational Trust Fund at the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria.

The JB Marks Education Trust Fund was established by the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in 1997 to address the need to empower NUM members and their children or dependents particularly those graduates entering the mining and construction sector. The vision and mission of the trust focuses on funding the beneficiaries of NUM members but the scope and reach of the Trust has evolved and grown with changing times over the past 20 years.
 

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CHR and ICNL presents Civil Society Law in Africa Course

7 July 2017 – Although the right to form civil society organisations and peaceful assembly and association are recognised by international legal instruments; civil society groups and activists continue to face threats and fall victim to oppression every day. The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria hosted a three day intensive short course on Civil Society Law in Africa from 3-5 July 2017. The course brought together several participants from across Africa, mainly representing civil society groups, policy makers, government officials, national human rights institutions and academia. 

Experts who lectured and participated in the course are: Professor Michelo Hansungule, Professor of Law, University of Pretoria; Emerson Sykes, Legal Advisor, International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL); Ricardo Wyngaard, Ricardo Wyngaard Attorneys; Irene Petras, Legal Advisor-Africa (ICNL); Corlett Letlojane, Executive Director, Human Rights Institute of South Africa; Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh, Executive Director, Southern Africa Litigation Centre; Kathleen Hardy, Senior Legal Officer, South African Human Rights Commission; and John Groarke, Mission Director, USAID/ South Africa.
 

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Invitation: Panel discussion on the outcomes of the current G20 discussion and its relevance to Africa's development

7 July 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretotria, together with the University of Johannesburg and the Heinrich Boell Stiftung, would like to invite you to a public dialogue titled: 'Highway to development? Reflections on the outcomes of the G20 summit in Germany' - a panel discussion focusing on outcomes of the current G20 discussion taking place in Germany, in particular those relevant to Africa's development. Some questions that would be considered:

What are the promising aspects and limits of the compacts framework especially with regards to infrastructure development? What role for South Africa as the sole African representative in the G20? And what sets this initiative apart from previous 'big-push' approaches to Africa's development?

 
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Global Campus of Human Rights facilitates lectures on comparative perspectives of transitional justice

6 July 2017 - In the context of the Global Campus of Human Rights’ Exchange of Lecturers, a representative of the Master’s Programme in Human Rights & Democratisation in Africa (HRDA), Mr Tshepo Madlingozi, together with a representative of the European Regional Master’s Programme in Democracy and Human Rights in South East Europe (ERMA), Dr Iavor Rangelov, hosted joint lectures on the theme of ''Comparative Transitional Justice: Retributive and Restorative Approaches” on 29 and 30 June 2017 at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, replicating the lecture in Sarajevo at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of the University of Sarajevo on 16 and 17 May 2017.

 
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Invitation: Public Lecture on ‘The Doctrine of Odious Debt’ by Lee C. Buchheit

30 June 2017 - The International Development Law Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria cordially invites you to a public lecture on ‘The Doctrine of Odious Debt’ by Lee C. Buchheit

Date: Monday 3 July 2017
Time: From 09:00
Venue: Room 2-65, Graduate Centre, University of Pretoria (Hatfield Campus)
Enquiries: Ms Thandeka Rasetsoke (012 420 5296 / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
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Global Campus Exchange of Lecturers: Sarajevo and Pretoria

29 June - In the framework of the Global Campus Exchange of Lecturers, the Master’s Programme in Human Rights & Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) together with the European Regional Master’s Programme in Democracy and Human Rights in South East Europe (ERMA) will host the joint lecture ''Comparative Transitional Justice: Retributive and Restorative Approaches '', which will take place on 29 and 30 June 2017 at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, replicating the lecture in Sarajevo at the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of the University of Sarajevo on 16 and 17 May 2017. 

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The Centre for Human Rights Hosts a Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) Event

27 June - On Thursday, 22nd June, the Women’s rights unit and the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Unit (SOGIE) hosted YALI delegates at the Centre for Human Rights. This very memorable visit is part of a bi-annual collaboration between the Centre for Human Rights and the YALI Regional Leadership Center as led by the University of South Africa (UNISA). YALI aims to develop young African leaders in Business and Entrepreneurship Development; Civic Leadership; Public Management and Governance through a hybrid of innovative and complimentary learning approaches. The Centre lends its support in ensuring that the different groups of leaders are conversant in crucial human rights issues and are also aware of their responsibility as leaders to uphold these rights.

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Eastern Africa Consultation on the Draft Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections for Africa

21 June - On 14 and 15 June 2017, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and the School of Law of the University of Nairobi, in collaboration with the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa (Special Rapporteur), Commissioner Pansy Tlakula, organised a consultation on the draft ‘Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections for Africa’ (Draft Guidelines). 

The purpose of the consultation was to elicit comments on the Draft Guidelines from various stakeholders with a view to strengthening its content. The event was attended by a broad range of stakeholders including Election Management Bodies, political parties, National Human Rights Institutions, media, academics and civil society organisations. 

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Launch of the exhibition ‘I decide=I am’: The untold stories of a life without voice, choice or control

19 June - The Centre for Human Rights in collaboration with the South African Human Rights Commission launched the travelling exhibition I decide=I am at the Commissions’ headquarters in Johannesburg yesterday. The globally acclaimed exhibition by Bulgarian illustrator Nadezhda Georgieva and award winning journalist and human rights activist Yana Buhrer tells the personal stories and reflections of sixteen people denied of their legal capacity because of their psychosocial or intellectual disability.

Speaking at the opening of the exhibition, South African Human Rights Commissioner responsible for Disability and Older Persons, Commissioner Bokankatla Malatji said the exhibition was part of a broader effort to raise awareness, promote understanding and public support of the right to legal capacity of persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities as guaranteed by article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

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The HRDA Chronicles #3: David Nnanna Ikpo (Fimi Sile Forever)

21 June - The HRDA Chronicles is out with a new episode. This time, the spotlight is on David Nnanna Ikpo, a 2016 graduate of the LLM/MPHIL in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa. In this feature, you will get to discover how David is trying to make the world better with the stroke of his pen and through his recently published novel - Fimi Sile Forever 

David Nnanna Ikpo ( @NnannaIkpo)

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States are failing to protect human rights of people with albinism

13 June - “Persons with albinism face significant barriers restricting their participation in society on an equal basis with others and preventing them from realising basic rights such as the right to physical and mental health, including access to adequate health care, and the right to education, social services, legal protection, and redress for rights abuses.”

United Nations Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism Ms. Ikponwosa Ero in a statement issued today to commemorate the International albinism awareness day

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'Making The Road' visits the Centre for Human Rights

13 June - On Thursday 8 June 2017, the Women’s Rights Unit hosted a dynamic group of activists from the United States who are on an educational and cultural exchange tour. They visited the Centre for Human rights to engage on issues of historical injustice, state violence, truth and the rule of law. The meeting had in attendance members of the Centre’s management team as well as representatives from the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Unit, the Disability Rights Unit and the Women’s Rights Unit. The guests were also a diverse mix of educators, activists, legal practitioners and students, having come under the umbrella of an organisation called ‘Making the Road’. This organisation focuses on forging new paths and understandings through conversations that connect America and Southern Africa, history to the present, and different generations to one another.

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#ChildNotWitch campaign highlights the plight of children accused of being witches in Africa

8 June - On 20 May 2017, students from the Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) programme launched a campaign against children accused of being witches in Africa. The campaign ended on 7 June 2017. The campaign, also known as #ChildNotWitch, aims to create awareness around children in various African countries, accused of being witches and the abuse and even killings that are a result of these accusations.

The launch of the campaign included an art exhibition of images and artistic symbols representing the terrible abuse and discrimination these innocent children have to face.

Students of the HRDA class as well as other guests, including lawyers, judges and magistrates, from various countries around Africa attended the event.

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Lecture invitation: The promise and peril of human rights technology - Speaker: Professor Jay Aronson

8 June - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria cordially invites you to a lecture titled: "The promise and peril of human rights technology"

Date: Monday, 12 June 2017
Time: 09:30 – 12:30
Venue: Room 2-2.1, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
Enquiries: Adebayo Okeowo ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
 

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First Lady of Mozambique presents the Annual Helen Kanzira memorial lecture in Maputo

5 June - On 30 May 2017, the annual Helen Kanzira Memorial Lecture was held for the first time in Maputo, Mozambique where the First Lady of Mozambique, Dr Isuara Nyusi, delivered the keynote address. The memorial lecture was organised by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria in collaboration with Centro de Direitos Humanos, Faculdade de Deireito, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane. The Universidade Eduardo Mondlane is one of 13 partner universities that present the LLM/MPhil in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) programme. 

First Lady of Mozambique, Dr Isuara Nyusi, delivered the keynote address at the 2017 Annual Helen Kanzira Memorial Lecture

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Centre for Human Rights advocates for the implementation of the Gabriel Shumba decision

5 June - Gabriel Shumba is an alumnus of the Centre for Human Rights, who was tortured by agents of the Zimbabwean government for supporting the opposition in that country. In 2013, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) found the government of Zimbabwe in violation of the African Charter and directed the government to carry out an investigation of the individuals responsible for the torture and recommended that they pay adequate compensation to Gabriel Shumba. 

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Call for Comments: Draft Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections for Africa

1 June - The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) has made a public call for comments on the draft ‘Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections in Africa’ (draft guidelines). Comments must be sent to the secretariat of the African Commission via email ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) no later than 30 June 2017.

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“I DECIDE = I AM” Exhibition Launch: Life without voice, choice, control…

31 May 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights and the South African Human Rights Commission invite you to the launch of the travelling exhibition “I Decide = I Am” by Bulgarian illustrator Nadezhda Georgiva, and award winning journalist Yana Buhrer Tavanier featuring emotive paintings on the Life Esidemini Tragedy by South African artist, Daniel Mosako. The exhibition tells the personal stories of people with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities trapped and invisible, denied of their right to decide.

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Centre celebrates Africa Day by reflecting on freedom of expression and xenophobia in a digital Africa

25 May 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights celebrated Africa Day 2017 with the theme The Africa we want: Rights, freedoms and governance in digital Africa”.This event was hosted in conjunction with Google. It was held at the historic Liliesleaf Farm, Rivonia, and attended by over eighty guests.The Embassy of the Netherlands, the Embassy of Ireland, HiVOS South Africa and the Centre for Human Rights partnered to organize a Rainbow Happy Hour and a round table discussion on that day.

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Centre for Human Rights launches book: 'Protecting the human rights of sexual minorities in contemporary Africa'

26 May 2017 - Irish drag queen and LGBTI activist Rory O’Neill/ Panti Bliss launched the book Protecting the human rights of sexual minorities in contemporary Africa edited by Sylvie Namwase and Adrian Jjuuko. The launch took place on 17 May, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia.

The Embassy of the Netherlands, the Embassy of Ireland, HiVOS South Africa and the Centre for Human Rights partnered to organize a Rainbow Happy Hour and a round table discussion on that day.

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Press Statement: Centre for Human Rights calls for urgent steps to engender a national and campus culture of non-violence and non-discrimination

25 May 2017 -The Centre for Human Rights calls for urgent action to be taken by the University of Pretoria to engender a campus culture of non-violence and non-discrimination through the accelerated review of the University’s sexual harassment policy and the provision of comprehensive and accessible services for survivors of sexual violence. The University must also ensure that perpetrators of sexual violence and slanderous remarks that defame women are condemned and are held accountable for their actions.

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Centre for Human Rights celebrates an alumnus

24 May 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights congratulates Mr. Rashid Dumbuya – a graduate of its Masters Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (class of 2013), upon his recent appointment as Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone. 

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Report: Judicial Enforcement of Socio-Economic Rights in Africa

24 May 2017 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria hosted its annual short course on the judicial enforcement of socio-economic rights in Africa from 15-19 May 2017. The course brought together 60 participants from across Africa, mainly representing civil society, members of judiciary, national human rights institutions, policy makers, government officials and academia. 

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