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Centre News & Events: 2017
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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