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Centre News & Events: 2018
Women’s Rights Unit co-presents drafting workshop on the African Charter, the Protocol to the African Charter and the Maputo Protocol in The Gambia

18 June 2018 - The Women's Rights Unit team took part in a two day 'drafting'  workshop organised jointly by the Ministry of Justice, Gambia and the Centre for Human Rights (the Centre) from 28 to 29 May 2018. The workshop was held at the NANA conference hall in Serrekunda, the Gambia.  

A total of 42 participants attended the workshop. The participants consisted of representatives from Government Ministries as well as Civil Society Organisations. Participants were also members of a newly formed task team that had been set up for the purposes of drafting state reports on all the treaties that the Gambia is party to. The Gambia has ratified the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (the African Charter) in June 1983 and The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) in May 2005. By virtue of its ratification of these instruments, the Gambia has expressed commitment to the obligation under Article 62 of the African Charter and Article 26(1) of the Maputo Protocol to submit a report every two years to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission). This report should be made up of two parts; Part A on the African Charter and Part B on the Maputo Protocol.

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    Centre for Human Rights celebrates Albinism Awareness Day in eMalahleni and calls for the rights of persons with albinism to be realised

    18 June 2018 - On 13 June 2018, the Centre for Human Rights (the Centre) joined the Minister of Arts & Culture Nathi Mthethwa, Commissioner Nomasonto Mazibuko, Commissioner for Gender Equality and the Albinism Association of South Africa in the 5th commemoration of the International Albinism Awareness Day. The theme for this year’s commemoration was “Shining Our Light to the World.”

    Jehoshaphat Njau, Moyahabo Thoka and Maria Nantege from the Centre’s Disability Rights Unit attended the commemoration, held at the J. Khananda Primary School and Leonard Ntshuntshe Secondary School in eMalahleni (formerly Witbank), Mpumalanga Province.

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      Call for Applications: Capacity Building Workshop on strategic advocacy & litigation for LGBT human rights defenders in Africa

      15 June 2018 - 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 Capacity Building Workshop on Strategic Advocacy & Litigation targeted at the promotion and protection of the human rights of lesbians, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons in Africa.

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      Joint Press Statement: Centre for Human Rights & Centre for Child Law call on the government of South Africa to “leave no child behind”

      15 June 2018 - On 16 June 2018, Africa commemorates the Day of the African Child 2018 under the theme “Leave No Child Behind for Africa’s Development”. This year’s theme aims to target children who are not benefitting from Africa’s growth and development. African countries are challenged to ensure that children are at the centre and not left behind in the drive towards sustainable economic development. This day is commemorated in memory of the Soweto student uprising, that began on June 16 1976, when students marched in protest against the poor quality of education they received and demanded to be taught in their own languages.

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      Calling all UP students and staff to enter the #UDHRat70 Multimedia Competition

      14 June 2018 - Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is launching the UDHRat70 Multimedia Competition, with four creative categories, and a total amount of R32 000 in prizes. The Competition is open to University of Pretoria (UP) staff and students only. The winners will be announced at the Centre’s Graduation Ceremony on 7 December 2018.

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      Centre for Human Rights celebrates International Albinism Awareness Day by #CelebratingWomenWithAlbinism

      #CelebratingWomenWithAlbinism is a campaign by the Disability Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria.

      The campaign aims to celebrate the achievements and to highlight the stories and experiences of women with albinism.The campaign was launched in 2018 on International Albinism Awareness Day on 13 June.

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      Press Statement: Centre for Human Rights calls for independent investigation of sustained allegations of crimes against humanity in Cameroon

      11 June 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is extremely concerned about the continuing human rights violations in the North-West and South-West regions of Cameroon, and the lack of international alarm and action about the situation. Available evidence strongly suggests that crimes against humanity have been and are being committed in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon.

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      Centre for Human Rights hosts Young African Leaders (YALI) from Southern Africa

      11 June 2018 - Does violence against women matter to you? If it does, what can be done differently to prevent and end the increasing spate of violence against women in our communities? These are the questions that the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) delegates pondered on during their visit to the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria on 17 May 2018.

      The YALI delegates viewed the gripping documentary None of their business which dealswith community action on violence against women, depicting the plight of many women who face domestic violence and the deafening silence of community members who view the issue as a private matter..

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      Official Launch of the Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections in Africa

      11 June 2018 - In a landmark acknowledgement of the importance of the normative elaboration of the obligation of Member States with respect to the right of access to information in electoral processes, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission) adopted the Guidelines on Access to Information and Elections for Africa (the Guidelines) on 10 November 2017, during its 61st Ordinary Session, in Banjul, The Gambia. To celebrate this milestone, the Guidelines were officially launched during the recently concluded 62nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission, which took place from 25 April to 9 May 2018 in Nouakchott, Mauritania, in a session presided over by the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa (Special Rapporteur), Commissioner Lawrence Mute.

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      Centre for Human Rights hosts planning meeting towards Zimbabwe’s implementation of African human rights decisions

      08 June 2018 - One of the mandates of the Implementation Clinic at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is to engage with the national actors in African States towards the implementation of African human rights decisions. Having identified Zimbabwe as one of the focus countries for the year, the Centre in collaboration with some local partners in Zimbabwe are organising a national dialogue and capacity building workshop to enable the environment crucial to the implementation of human rights decisions. On 24 May 2018, the Centre hosted a planning meeting with representatives from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum (ZHRF) and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC).

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      I Am Intersex: Challenges and experiences

      05 June 2018 - This video is part of an advocacy project undertaken by HRDA students of the 2018 Advocacy Clinic Group at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. It forms part of an online campaign on the rights of intersex persons. The video captures the incredible life story of Dimakatso Sebidi, who is intersex and seeks to create awareness on intersex persons and their daily life experiences and challenges Intersex persons exist and have rights just like you and I. Join the #IAmIntersex campaign on Twitter and spread the word!

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      Call for Papers: Conference on human rights, securitisation and counter-terrorism in Africa

      04 June 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria and the School of Law, University of Ghana, Legon, in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) are pleased to announce a one-day conference on human rights, securitisation and counter-terrorism in Africa and hereby invite proposals for papers. The conference will be held as part of the 27th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition..

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      Call for Papers: 6th Annual Disability Rights Conference

      04 June 2018 - The 6th Annual African Disability Rights Conference will be held from 6 to 7 November 2018 at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria in South Africa. This year’s conference will focus on addressing the barriers to implementation of inclusive education in the African region.  

      It is anticipated that pa pers presented at this conference will be reworked by authors and submitted for consideration for publication in the 2019 volume of the  African Disability Rights Yearbook.

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      Press Statement: Southern African experts call on States to enhance the protection for older women

      1 June 2018 - Experts from across Southern Africa attended a meeting at the University Pretoria on 30 May 2018 to explore ways in which more attention can be drawn to the plight of older women in the region, and in Africa. They called for African states to follow the lead of Lesotho, which is on the verge of formalising its ratification of the African Union’s Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa. .

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      Pan African Parliament adopts a Resolution on Persons with Albinism in Africa (PAP.4/PLN/RES/05/MAY.18)

      1 June 2018 - On 18 May 2018, the Pan African Parliament (Parliament) adopted a Resolution on Persons with Albinism in Africa (Resolution). The Parliament is an organ of the African Union (AU), which was established to ensure that Africa takes full ownership and participation in the development and sustainable transformation of the continent. The Parliament sits in Midrand, South Africa and comprisesof 53 AU member states. The Parliament holds the mandate to issue resolutions and recommendations on key developmental and social issues affecting the African continent.

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      #AgeWithRights: Centre launches campaign on the Rights of Older Persons, with a particular focus on the Rights of Older Women in Africa

      24 May 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights is spearheading a campaign on the rights of older women in Africa. This campaign seeks to strengthen advocacy around the rights of older women and to advocate for States to ratify the Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons.

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      Call for Abstracts: Kéba Mbaye Conference on African approaches to international law, with a focus on international human rights law

      24 May 2018 - Following on from a two-day Round Table on ‘African Approaches to International Law’, held at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, on 3 and 4 May 2017, a two-day Conference is scheduled for 5 and 6 December 2018, in Pretoria: the ‘Kéba Mbaye Conference on African approaches to international law, with a focus on international human rights law’.

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      Press Statement: Pan African Parliament adopts landmark recommendation on the Rights of Older Persons

      24 May 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, welcomes the adoption of the Recommendation on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa by the Pan African Parliament on 17 May 2018, at its just concluded Sixth Ordinary Session.

      This Recommendation is a timely response to an unprecedented change in demographics as the population of older persons grows across Africa. It is estimated that Africa will experience an increase in the ageing population from 64.4 million in 2015 to 220 million by 2050. Persons older than 60 years old experience vulnerabilities related to a wide range of issues such as health care, disparities based on geographic location and social insurance needs. Because of pervasive misconceptions and stereotypes about ageing, older persons in many African countries are isolated, poor, abused and suffer various forms of violence and discrimination. Older persons are victims of ageism, which is a systematic stereotyping and discrimination based on age and physical appearance. As the HIV epidemic caused life expectancy decrease, many older persons, particularly older women, are left behind to raise the young generation (the grandchildren). Older women are particularly vulnerable as they face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination based on ageism, sexism, disability and the rural/urban divide.

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      Pan African Parliament takes a strong stance on violence against persons with albinism in Africa

      22 May 2018 - On 16 May 2018 Ms Ikponwosa Ero, the UN Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism addressed the Pan African Parliament during its Sixth Ordinary Session which ended on 18 May 2018.

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      Invitation to a panel discussion on protecting the rights of older women

      22 May 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria invites you to a panel discussion on the protection of the rights of older women within the framework of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa (Protocol on the Rights of Older Persons).

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      Centre for Human Rights presents annual Advanced Human Rights Course on Judicial Enforcement of Socio-Economic Rights in Africa

      21 May 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria in collaboration with Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented its annual Advanced Human Rights Course on Judicial Enforcement of Socio-Economic Rights in Africa from 14 to 18 May 2018. The course brought together over 60 participants from across Africa and Europe, mainly representing members of judiciary, civil society, National Human Rights Institutions, policy makers, government officials and academia.

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      Press Statement: Centre for Human Rights calls on African States to ratify newly adopted African disability rights treaty

      21 May 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, welcomes the adoption by the African Union Heads of State of a treaty on the rights of person with disabilities, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (African Disability Rights Protocol), on 30 January 2018.  Africa now has a continental binding legal document protecting the human rights of persons with disabilities. The adoption of the African Disability Rights Protocol marks an important step towards recognising the equal dignity of persons with disabilities on the continent.

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      Invitation: Public lecture on 'The lone wolves’ legion'

      17 May 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria and the Global Emergency and Counterterrorism Institute cordially invites you to a public lecture by Peter Knoope on the ‘The lone wolves’ legion’. 

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      Centre launches its Master's programme on Disability Rights in Africa (DRIA)

      16 May 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria is launching in 2019 a LLM/MPhil (Disability Rights in Africa) degree.  The knowledge attained from programme provides an opportunity to disability rights advocates, lawyers, researchers, social activists 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) and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Africa (the Protocol).

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      Centre for Human Rights kicks off its #AgeWithRights campaign by visiting Eersterust Welfare Organisation for the Aged

      16 May 2018 - “We teach our old people to be proud. Not to bend their head in shame or stoop because they paid to be here. They worked hard to be here!” These were the touching words from Sandra Struw, the administrator of the Eersterust Welfare Organisation for the Aged (EWOFA) on the Centre’s visit to the old age home on Friday 11 May 2018. This event marks the beginning of the Centre’s year-long campaign on the rights of older persons, specifically older women. 

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      Invitation: Panel discussion in celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia (IDAHOT)

      10 May 2018 - Please join us for a panel discussion in celebration of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia (IDAHOT). The theme for this year, Alliances for Solidarity, is a welcome reminder of the need for solidarity within the communities of sexual and gender minorities, as the rights of one specific group cannot be solidly secured if the rights of other groups are left unchallenged. 

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      Centre for Human Rights attends the opening ceremony of the Pan-African Parliament

      10 May 2018 - The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) is an organ of the African Union (AU), which was established to ensure that Africa takes full ownership and participation in the development and sustainable transformation of the continent. PAP essentially operates in a consultative and advisory role mandated by the African Union.The Centre for Human Rights established a partnership with PAP through a Memorandum of Understanding which was signed on 27 October 2017. Key among the objectives of the partnership are the promotion of capacity building on human rights and democratisation in Africa, the increased visibility of PAP and the fostering of a strong interaction between PAP and Civil Society Organisations on the continent.


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      PULP launches book on Mandela-appointed Constitutional Court Judges

      10 May 2018 - The Pretoria University Law Press (PULP) recently launched a collection of essays dealing with the lives and judgments of some of the first Constitutional Court Judges who were also all appointed by then President Nelson Mandela.The book, Making the road by walkingwas launched at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria (UP), on 18 April 2018, as South Africa and the rest of the world honour the birth-year of the iconic Nelson Mandela 100 years ago. A panel discussion took place under the banner: “Mandela’s legacy (re)considered: Historical and current perspectives of the Chaskalson Court”.

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      Queer Space Collective Book Drive: Call for donation of queer literature

      9 May 2018 - The Queer Space Collective calls on you to participate in fostering the creation, telling, re-telling, archiving and accessibility of queer books and stories by donating used or brand new queer literature to the Queer Library for use by members of the University of Pretoria community.

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      Centre for Human Rights visits African human rights icon Dr Vera Chirwa

      9 May 2018 - Students on the Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) programme at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, recently visited the African human rights icon Dr Vera Chirwa.

      On 15 April 2018, Professor Frans Viljoen (Director), Johannes Buabeng-Baidoo (HRDA Programme Coordinator) and three students on the HRDA programme (Hawi Asfaw fromEthiopia, Reshoketswe Mapokgole from South Africa and Urerimam Raymond Shamaki from Nigeria), paid a courtesy visit to the home of Dr Vera Mlangazua Chirwa in commemoration of her selfless service to human rights in Africa as well as her support to the Centre.

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      Invitation: Panel discussion on Technology and Democracy

      7 May 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a panel discussion on technology and democracy.

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      Eritrea: UN rights expert urges end to crippling media restrictions

      3 May 2018 - GENEVA  (2 May 2018) –  As the world marks Press Freedom Day on 3 May 2018, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, Sheila B Keetharuth, has called on the Government to end its crippling restrictions on freedom of the press.

      “Journalists remain at risk of arbitrary arrest, imprisonment and enforced disappearance in efforts to intimidate and control them, and these human rights violations happen with total disregard for the fundamental right to freedom of expression and information, as well as individual rights,” said Ms. Keetharuth.

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      Official launch of the Joint General Comment on Ending Child Marriage and the Report on Child Marriage in Africa

      3 May 2018 - On 30 April 2018, at the 62nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Commission), the Joint General Comment to Ending Child Marriage and the Report on Child Marriage in Africa were officially launched.

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      High level panel on advancing the human rights of African women on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Maputo Protocol

      3 May 2018 - The high level panel on the 15th Anniversary of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women (Maputo Protocol) took place on 2 May 2018 at the 62nd Ordinary Session of the African Commission. The panel consisted of Hon. Commissioner Soyata Maiga, Chairperson of the Commission; Hon. Kongbelet Zingasof the Central African Republic (Pan African Parliament); Pacharo Kayira, Government of Malawi; Esther Waweru, SOAWR Network (Equality Now); Patience Mungwari, Mpani, Centre for Human Rights; and Edigah Kavulavu, International Commission of Jurists Kenya.

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      Statement: Centre for Human Rights calls for autonomy and independence of the African Commission to be reaffirmed; and for action on Cameroon and Eritrea

      28 April 2018 - Statement by the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, at its 62nd ordinary session, Nouakchott, Mauritania, 28 April 2018, on the situation of human rights in Africa

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      Call for participation: Whipping up a storm of trans-inclusivity

      2 May 2018 - In commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol), the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is developing a photo exhibition and short video on the theme ‘Transwomen are women’. The exhibition and video will focus on the strength of Article 1(k) of the Maputo Protocol which provides that 'Women means persons of female gender, including girls'.

      Being a transgender woman is a blessing. You do not choose to be trans, you are born trans. It is a process as well because you have to go through a certain process to have the image you want, look how you want, feel how you want.- Dimpho Tsotetsi 

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      Invitation: High Level Panel on advancing the human rights of African women on the occasion of the Anniversary of the Maputo Protocol

      2 May 2018 - July 2018 marks the fifteenth anniversary of the adoption of the ground-breaking human rights instrument, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol). As of April 2018, it has been ratified by 40 countries.

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      Centre for Human Rights co-hosts panel discussion on the Report on Child Marriage and the recently adopted Joint General Comment to End Child Marriages at the 62nd Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights

      26 April 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights (the Centre) in partnership with Equality Now, Girls not Brides, Human Rights Watch and Plan International hosted a panel discussion on the recently adopted Joint General Comment to End Child Marriages and the Report on Child Marriage, commissioned by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (African Commission). 

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      Statement on the rights and welfare of the child at the 31st Ordinary Session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

      Bamako, Mali, 24 April 2018

      Honourable Chairperson and members of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, I thank you for this opportunity to address you on the occasion of the 31st Ordinary Session of this honourable Committee. The Centre for Human Rights conveys its gratitude to the Committee for granting our application for observer status during the 30th Ordinary Session in Khartoum, Sudan in December 2017. We are pleased that granting us observer status will further facilitate our engagement with the Committee for the promotion and protection of children’s rights on the continent, especially through the full, effective and efficient implementation of the provisions of African Children’s Charter. 

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      Launch of Joint General Comment on Ending Child Marriage and Report on Child Marriage in Africa

      24 April 2018 - The Launch of both the Joint General Comment on Ending Child Marriage and the Report on Child Marriage in Africa will take place at the 62nd Session of the African Commission in Mauritania.

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      Press Statement: Centre for Human Rights celebrates Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s life as an African woman activist

      12 April 2018 - As South Africans, fellow Africans, and the world, finally bid farewell to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, we at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, join to honour the life of this remarkable woman. While it is a time of sadness, it is also a time of celebration. 

      We celebrate Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in solidarity with all other Africans. Few figures in modern Africa have had the power to unite and inspire as she had. Standing tall and proud, she made visible South Africans’ struggle for dignity, and ignited a common sense of purpose among Africans in all corners of the continent.  

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      Symbolic signing of Grant Agreement between Norway (through its Embassy in Pretoria) and University of Pretoria (UP), 10 April 2018, 1300-1330, Kaya Rosa, UP Campus

      10 April 2018 - The Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Pretoria, Ambassador Trine Skymoen, and the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria (UP), Prof Cheryl de la Rey, today (10 April 2018) renewed the long-standing collaborative partnership between Norway and UP. Building on two previous periods of support, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its Embassy in Pretoria, provided a three-year grant to the University’s Centre for Human Rights, covering 2018 to 2020.

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      Press Statement: In response to alleged abuse in an old age home, Centre for Human Rights calls upon South African government to ratify the AU protocol on older persons

      6 April 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, is gravely concerned by recent allegations of precarious living conditions in certain residential homes for older persons. Reports of alleged abuse of older persons in the Lodewyk Spies Home, located in Pretoria, places a spotlight on some of the human rights violations that older persons face in residential care. The old age home is accused of neglecting residents, controlling the residents’ social grants cards, and depriving the residents of nutritious food. Older persons, inside and outside of residential care, face discrimination which has an impact on their prospects for employment, their healthcare treatment and their ability to make decisions about their own lives. The Centre calls upon the Department of Social Development to conduct regular investigations of all older person residential care facilities, as mandated by section 22 of South Africa’s Older Persons Act 13 of 2006.

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      Invitation: PULP Book launch and panel discussion - Making the Road by Walking

      6 April 2018 - A recent PULP publication, Making the road by walking, considers the contribution of eight of the Judges who served on the Constitutional Court headed by Chief Justice Arthur Chaskalson, and who were still alive and no longer served on the Court in 2013. They are Justices Ackermann, Goldstone, Kriegler, Mokgoro, O’Regan, Sachs, Skweyiya and Yacoob. They were all appointed by President Nelson Mandela. Making the road by walking is edited by three members of the Human Sciences Research Council’s Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery Programme (Narnia Bohler-Muller, Michael Cosser and Gary Pienaar). 

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      Advanced Human Rights Short Course on Women’s Rights in Africa, 26 – 29 March 2018

      29 March 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria held a one-week intensive short course on Women’s Rights in Africa from 26 to 29 March 2018. The course is part of a series of Advanced Human Rights Short Courses the Centre organises and offers to the members of the public. The course was attended by students of the Masters in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa as well as practitioners from government officials, women’s rights advocates and activists, members of civil society and researchers. The course has also attracted and proved useful for cross-discipline practitioners such as medical doctors who often encounter various women’s rights concerns in their work. 

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      Press Statement: Centre for Human Rights calls on the government of Mozambique, the African Union and United Nations to take action on the attack against Ericino de Salema

      28 March 2018

      The Centre for Human Rights has learnt with grave concern reports of the attack against Mr Ericino de Salema, a journalist and political commentator in Mozambique. According to reports, Mr de Salema was abducted on Tuesday 27 March 2018 and later found severely beaten and unconscious at a ring road in the Mutanhane area of the Maputo province in Mozambique. It is reported that his legs where repeatedly hit with an iron rod, in an apparent effort to break them. It is believed he remains unconscious and that he sustained multiple fractures to his feet, femur and arms. Mr De Salema’s abduction appears to be connected to his regular feature as a political commentator on Soico Televisão (STV) Sunday Programme ‘Ponto de Vista. In recent times, Mr de Salema has expressed views on a wide variety of politically sensitive issues.


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      Centre for Human Rights celebrates human rights at the inaugural Human Rights Festival

      28 March 2018 - From 23 to 25 March 2018, Constitution Hill in partnership with the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, alongside other civil society organisations presented the first edition of the Human Rights Festival. The Human Rights Festival was held in celebration of South African Human Rights Day (21 March), 21 years since the coming into effect of the South African Constitution and 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations.

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      Annual short course on ‘Disability Rights in the African context’ highlights the need for the promotion and the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities

      26 March 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria held a one-week intensive short course on Disability Rights in the African context from 12 to 16 March 2018. The course is part of a series of Advanced Human Rights Short Courses the Centre organises and offers to the members of the public. Over 60 participants from over 20 African countries enrolled and attended this year’s course. The participants included: persons with disabilities working in human rights, LLM/MPhil human rights students, Doctoral candidates working on disability rights, human rights activists, government officials, police officers, policy makers and distinguished Professors.

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      Call for Papers: African Human Rights Yearbook Volume 2 (2018)

      23 March 2018 - 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 articles for the Second Edition of the African Human Rights Yearbook (AHRY). The First Edition, which was published at the end of 2017, comprised 17 articles. This joint publication, which contains contributions in English and French, is initiated in the framework of the complementarity relationships between the three institutions. We are inviting abstracts for papers and case discussions that will propose groundbreaking academic contributions to the human rights discourse in Africa.

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      Women’s Rights Unit presents capacity building workshop on state reporting on the African Charter and the Maputo Protocol in Abuja, Nigeria

      22 March 2018 - The Women’s Rights Unit of the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria in collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission, Nigeria, organised a capacity building workshop on state reporting under the African Charter and the Maputo Protocol, from 12 to 14 March 2018, at Bolton White Hotel, Abuja. Participants at the workshop included representatives from ministries and agencies of government, as well as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Nigeria.

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      Call for Applications: Advanced Human Rights Course - Race and Common Citizenship in a South African context

      19 March 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, will host a one-week intensive short course on Race and Common Citizenship in a South African context from 9 to 12 April 2018.

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      Invitation: Debate on democracy and economic development

      19 March 2018 - On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Republic of Mauritius, the Mauritius High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa, in collaboration with the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, cordially invites you to a debate on the topic ‘Democracy is necessary for economic development’, presented by students of the Master’s in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA).

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      Centre welcomes 58 human rights students at its annual Master’s Programmes Welcoming Ceremony

      19 March 2018 - On Friday 16 March 2018 the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria welcomed the 2018 cohort of its Master’s degree students. The welcoming ceremony included the launch of the highly anticipated Alumni Diaries, a colourful chronicle of the journey and impact of the Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) programme and its alumni from its inception in 2000 until 2017.

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      Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa alumnus appointed as Dean of Faculty of Law, University of Zimbabwe

      14 March 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights congratulates Dr Innocent Maja on his recent appointment as Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Zimbabwe effective from 1 April 2018 and running for a period of four years.

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      Africa’s parliamentarians called on to concretely deal with the continuing violence against persons with albinism

      13 March 2018 - The continued attacks perpetrated against persons with albinism on the continent has prompted the Centre for Human Rights in collaboration with the office of the United Nations Independent Expert on the enjoyment of human rights by persons with albinism and several organisations representing persons with albinism to appeal to the Pan-African Parliament to prioritize the rights of persons with albinism on the continent.

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      Celebrating International Women’s Day 2018: Film screening and ‘I am Woman’ photo exhibition

      9 March 2018 - In celebration of International Women’s Day 2018, the Women’s Rights unit of the Centre for Human Rights in collaboration with the Department of Library Services, University of Pretoria collaborated to screen the film, Queen of Katwe, and also revealed the ‘I Am Woman’ photo exhibition. The Centre’s Assistant Director, Norman Taku, opened the event by discussing the historical context in which we celebrate International Women’s Day. He shared his thoughts on how women persevere and prevail in a world designed to challenge them at every opportunity, and called on participants to fight for women’s rights, not only on International Women’s Day, but on every day of the year.

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      Centre for Human Rights presents its annual short course on the human rights of sexual and gender minorities in Africa

      7 March 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights hosted the annual Advanced Human Rights Course on Sexual Minorities in Africa from 26 February 2018 to 2 March 2018 at the University of Pretoria, Hatfield campus. This course, which is sponsored by the Flemish Government, was attended by 61 participants from 17 African countries, as well as participants representing the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. Participants included LLM/MPhil students, lawyers, magistrates, members of the civil society and staff from State departments.

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      Women’s Rights Unit provides technical support for the Lesotho State Party Report on the African Charter and the Maputo Protocol

      7 March 2018 - On Wednesday 21 February and Thursday 22 February 2018, the Women's Rights Unit of the Centre for Human Rights took part in a 2-day validation workshop for the Lesotho State Party Report to the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, on the African Charter on Human and Peoples (African Charter) and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol).  The meeting was hosted by the Ministry of Law, Constitutional Affairs and Human Rights in Lesotho in collaboration with Centre for Human Rights.

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      Press Statement: Centre for Human Rights calls on SA government to appoint trained professionals to process applications dealing with asylum seekers on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity

      5 March 2018

      Granting asylum seekers refugee status on the basis of persecution on the grounds of sexual orientation in Africa – best practice or just best laws from South Africa? 

      Following a seminar organised by the Centre for Human Rights, which revealed the difficulties of asylum seekers in South Africa applying for refugee status on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, the Centre calls on the South African government to appoint trained professionals to process applications in a sensitive manner and in an environment that protects the privacy and dignity of applicants, with a view to achieving a humane yet thorough and expedited process. 


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      Invitation: Centre for Human Rights Master’s Programmes Welcoming Ceremony

      5 March 2018 -  You are cordially invited to Centre for Human Rights Master’s Programmes Welcoming Ceremony. 

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      4th Global Campus Visual Contest: Open call to photographers and video-makers

      1 March 2018 - The Global Campus of Human Rights is glad to announce the launch of the fourth edition of the GC Visual Contest, open to photographers and video-makers, professionals and amateurs, from any part of the world.

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

      1 March 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, is convening a colloquium on 2 - 3 August 2018 and is calling for abstracts on non-heteronormative African sexualities and genders. 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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      University of Pretoria: Opportunity for doctoral studies on the impact of the United Nations human rights treaties on the domestic level

      27 February 2018 - The Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, invites applications from individuals interested in pursuing a doctorate degree in law, specifically on the topic of the impact of the United Nations human rights treaties on the domestic level.

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      Invitation: International Women's Day - Film screening and photo exhibition

      26 February 2018 - In celebration of International Women’s Day, the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, in collaboration with the Department of Library Services, cordially invites you to a screening of the film Queen of Katwe and the I am Woman photo exhibition.

      Read more...
       
      University of Pretoria students engage in digital verification

      20 February 2018 - Undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Pretoria were exposed to the world of digital verification from 13 to 15 February 2018. Sam Dubberley, Manager of Amnesty International’s Digital Verification Corps (DVC) programme, facilitated a training, which was organised by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. The sole purpose was to open up the verification work to a multi-disciplinary group of students who will then become part of a global team assisting researchers at Amnesty International to advance accountability for human rights violations.

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      Invitation: Panel discussion on sexual orientation and gender identity as a basis for asylum and refugee status

      19 February 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria cordially invites you to a Panel discussion - Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity as a basis for asylum and refugee status
       

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      Vacancy at the Centre for Human Rights: Internship (Disability Rights Unit)

      19 February 2018 - The Disability Rights Unit at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria wishes to invite applications for the following vacancy at the Centre for Human Rights (an academic department and a non-governmental organisation at the University):

      CALL FOR APPLICATIONS:
      Internship, Disability Rights Unit - (One post) (9 month contract appointment) - Centre for Human Rights

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      Invitation: Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition / Concours Mondial de Procès Simulé des Droits de l'Homme Nelson Mandela

      16 February 2018 - Students from all universities in the world are invited to participate in the prestigious Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition in 2018. Les étudiants de toutes les universités du monde sont invités à participer au prestigieux Concours Mondial de Procès Simulé des Droits de l’Homme Nelson Mandela de 2018.

      Invitations in all six of the official UN languages

       

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      Invitation: Briefing on the new Policing Law database

      15 February 2018 - International collaboration opportunity for students on #PolicingLaw to engage in an international effort to collect national legislation on the use of force.

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      Prof Makau Mutua questions the feasibility of human rights as an instrument for social transformation

      14 February 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria hosted a public lecture by renowned legal scholar Professor Makau Mutua on 12 February 2018. Prof Mutua is a distinguished Professor at the Floyd H. and Hilda L. Hurst Faculty Scholar at the State University of New York Buffalo Law School. The public lecture raised the question whether the age of human rights is over. It was premised on the central argument that while human rights and the use of the ‘language of rights’ have been a phenomenal success, it has lost the ability to coalesce action against human rights atrocities. Unfortunately, no new discourses have emerged to take the place of human rights. What is needed is a new moral language to fill the vacuum left by human rights.

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      Press Statement: Centre for Human Rights welcomes the adoption of the Joint General Comment on Ending Child Marriage

      12 February 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights welcomes the adoption of the Joint General Comment on Ending Child Marriage by both the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Committee of Experts on the Rights of the Child. 

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      Press statement: University of Pretoria's Centre for Human Rights announces new study with United Nations on the global human rights system

      6 February 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria is pleased to announce the start of a comprehensive study into the impact of the United Nations (UN) human rights treaty system in 20 countries around the world.

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      Invitation: Public Lecture - Is the age of human rights over?

      06 February 2018 - The Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria cordially invites you to a Public Lecture under the theme - "Is the age for human rights over?"

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      27th African Human Rights Moot Court Competition will be hosted and held at the University of Ghana in Accra

      06 February 2018 - 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. 

       

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      Become part of the Digital Verification Corps (DVC)

      1 February 2018 - Join a global team of volunteers working to hold governments accountable.

      Learn skills that will enable you to  authenticate social media posts, separating truth from lies.

      Read more...
       
      Centre hosts colloquium on academic writing in the disability rights field

      30 January 2018 - On 29 and 30 January 2018, the Centre for Human Rights, Disability Rights Unit convened a two-day colloquium for emerging scholars in the disability rights field. In his welcoming address, Professor Frans Viljoen stated that the focus of the colloquium, was on developing theoretical and practical skills for academic writing in disability rights as they apply to the African region. Further explaining the rationale behind the colloquium Professor Charles Ngwena, said that the colloquium was aimed at providing emerging scholars in the disability rights field with a forum for developing a paper in progress into a publishable article for submission to African Disability Rights Yearbook (Yearbook).

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      Centre hosts YALI scholars for training on women’s rights and sexual minority rights

      30 January 2018 - On 25 January 2018, 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.

      The discussion started with introductions from Ms Patience Mungwari Mpani, Manager of the Women’s Rights Unit and Mr Geoffrey Ogwaro, Manager of the SOGIE Unit, on the work of their respective units.

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      Alumna appointed to UN Working Group

      30 January 2018 -  The Centre for Human Rights wishes to congratulate Ms Meskerem Geset Techane, an alumna of the Class of 2011 of the LLM/MPhil in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) programme, who was recently appointed into the United Nations Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice (Working Group). She is among four other experts that make up the Working Group.

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      Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa Alumnae receive the 2017 Vera Chirwa Award for groundbreaking work in South Africa and The Gambia

      23 January 2018 -  Every year, the Vera Chirwa award is given to an alumnus or alumna of the LLM/MPhil in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA) programme in recognition of their contributions to the advancement of human rights. 


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      Call for Abstracts: 6th Stellenbosch Annual Seminar on Constitutionalism in Africa 2018: Democracy, elections and constitutionalism in Africa 4-7 September 2018

      16 January 2018 - The Organisers of the Stellenbosch Annual Seminar on Constitutionalism in Africa (SASCA) are pleased to announce the call for papers for the Sixth Stellenbosch Annual Seminar on Constitutionalism in Africa (SASCA 2018) which will be held in Stellenbosch (South Africa) from 4 -7 September 2018.

      A. Theme

      The theme for the 2018 SASCA seminar is, Democracy, elections and constitutionalism in Africa.

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      Press Statement: Centre for Human Rights granted observer status with African Children’s Committee

      15 January 2018 - During the 30th session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (African Children’s Committee) held in Khartoum, Sudan, from 6 to 16 December 2017, the African Children’s Committee granted observer status to the Centre for Human Rights.

       
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      Free Legal Assistance: Filing cases before the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

      12 January 2018 - The pro-bono International Human Rights Clinic at the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice (UK) is accepting submissions from human rights activists who would like assistance filing a case before the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. 

       

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      Vacancy at the Centre for Human Rights: Project Co-ordinator / Researcher (Democracy and Transparency Unit)

      11 January 2018 - The University of Pretoria wishes to invite applications for the following vacancy at the Centre for Human Rights (an academic department and a non-governmental organisation at the University):

      CALL FOR APPLICATIONS:
      Project Co-ordinator / Researcher, Democracy and Transpartency Unit - (One post) (12 month contract appointment) - Centre for Human Rights

      Read more...
       


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