Centre for Human Rights - Celebrating a quarter-century of Human Rights Education
For more information on the Centre and its activities, please visit www.chr.up.ac.za
The Centre for Human Rights is both an academic department and a non-governmental organisation, and works towards human rights education in Africa, a greater awareness of human rights, the wide dissemination of publications on human rights in Africa, and the improvement of the rights of women, people living with HIV, indigenous peoples, sexual minorities and other disadvantaged or marginalised persons or groups across the continent.
The Centre was established in the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, in 1986, as part of domestic efforts against the apartheid system of the time. Members of the Centre participated in meetings with the liberation movements outside the borders of South Africa, organised conferences and participated in efforts to promote human rights in South Africa, and, when the transition came, served as technical advisors to both the interim and final constitution writing processes.
The focus of the Centre has now broadened beyond the borders of South Africa. Over the years, it has positioned itself in an unmatched network of practising and academic lawyers, national and international civil servants and human rights practitioners across the entire continent, with a specific focus on human rights law in Africa, and international development law in general.
Today, a wide network of Centre alumni contribute in numerous ways to the advancement and strengthening of human rights and democracy all over the Africa continent, and even further afield. In 2006, the Centre for Human Rights was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education, with particular recognition for the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition and the LLM in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa. In 2012, the Centre was the recipient of the African Union Human Rights Prize.
Energetics gives new insight into the decline of cheetahs - 18/11/2014
An acclaimed international study looking into new reasons behind the dwindling numbers of cheetah in southern Africa had its inception at the University of Pretoria. Before this study, it was commonly thought that cheetah numbers were declining partly as a result of larger predators stealing their prey, thus lessening the availability of food and forcing them to expend more energy in search of food. However, a recent study offers new insight into why cheetahs may become vulnerable with regard to their energy levels, which could affect their general health and well-being and result in their ultimate decline.
Pioneering publication by UP academic - 18/11/2014
Prof Alois Mlambo, Head of the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies, recently launched his latest book, which was well received by academics, critics and readers. Entitled A history of Zimbabwe, the book is the first concise, single-volume history of Zimbabwe and provides an accessible and comprehensive synthesis of that country’s lived experience from the pre-colonial and colonial periods to recent times in independent Zimbabwe.
UP researcher finds ways to improve the well-being of wildlife - 07/11/2014
Although wild animals have been captured and chemically immobilised for years (by using a form of anaesthesia induced by drugs in a dart), very little is known about the short- and long-term consequences of capture and the effects of immobilising drugs on wild animals. Dr Leith Meyer, Veterinary Sciences Pharmacology researcher at the University of Pretoria, is committed to finding solutions to improve the well-being of wild animals. The results of his research will help wildlife veterinarians and other conservation practitioners to ensure that the best methods of capture are practised and optimal immobilising drug cocktails and treatments are used.
Giving the defenceless a voice in court - 06/11/2014
Crimes committed against people with developmental and other disabilities are similar in scope to crimes committed against women, children and the elderly, and yet the victimisation of people with disabilities remains largely unaddressed. This can be ascribed to their being perceived as voiceless and invisible members of society – a perception that makes them attractive targets for their perpetrators because they often believe that their victims will not be able to testify against them in court. Three large-scale research studies are currently under way at the University of Pretoria (UP) to change this situation.
Dr Johan van Zyl named Sunday Times Business Leader of the Year - 05/11/2014
Dr Johan van Zyl, former Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria and one of the University’s most distinguished alumni, was named Sunday Times Business Leader of the Year at a ceremony at the Sandton Convention Centre on Tuesday night, 28 October. The Sunday Times Business Leader of the Year award is a prestigious accolade bestowed on recipients voted for by executives of the top 100 companies of the previous year.