Centre for Human Rights

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Centre for Human Rights
Centre for Human Rights.jpg
TypeAcademic department
Non-governmental organisation
DirectorFrans Viljoen
Location, ,
South Africa
AffiliationsUniversity of Pretoria
WebsiteCentre for Human Rights

The Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria Faculty of Law, South Africa, is an organisation dedicated to promoting human rights on the continent of Africa. The centre, founded in 1986, promotes human rights through educational outreach, including multinational conferences, seminars and publications such as Human Rights Law in Africa, The African Human Rights Law Journal, the African Human Rights Law Reports and The Constitutional Law of South Africa. The centre, which was founded during Apartheid, assisted in adapting a Bill of Rights for South Africa and contributed to creating the South African Constitution.[1] In 2006, the centre received the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education, particular recognising for the LLM in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa and the African Human Rights Moot Court Competition.[2]

Academic programmes[edit]

University of Pretoria Faculty of Law building

The centre in conjunction with the University of Pretoria Faculty of Law present the following degree courses:[3]

The Centre for Human Rights was established in 1986 by a group of teachers and local leaders who wanted to use education as a tool to combat violations of human rights. At this time the apartheid system was at its peak and this was one of the ways that the people could "fight" intellectually against things getting worst. Their main concerts were increased education of violations of human rights towards: women, people with HIV, indigenous, sexual minorities, and other Marginalized peoples . Their purpose or core value was to get closer to human rights through education in South Africa and later expanded to Africa. Members are not necessarily selected, but rather have gone through one of the undergraduate, master's or doctorate's degrees. People in the communities that are working for common causes are brought in, there doesn't appear to be a reason to not accept new people unless they are against human right advocacy or have a history of doing so. The members have an impressive background; many have taken part in liberation movements outside of South Africa, been part of constitution drafting and become international leaders and advocates. The Centre for Human Rights is fairly new and so is still gaining experience and knowledge of the proper way to get policies and government set up as well as international support. When most people[who?] think of non-governmental institutions, the Red Cross would come to mind. It seems like a monumental institution that was built out of hard times, during the apartheid and helped to end it and draft a constitution and come out to be a rather extraordinary group of people that have been a great asset to Africa. In 2006, the Centre for Human Rights received the UNESCO prize for Human Rights specifically for their democratisation in Africa and the Africa Human Rights Moot Court, which is a huge honour and shows that the international relations community is aware of them.[citation needed] In 2012, the centre was awarded the 2012 African Union Human Rights Prize, in recognition of their contribution to the work of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights in the promotion and protection of human rights in Africa.[4]

Human Rights Education Projects[edit]

  • The Advanced Human Rights Courses – series of one-week intensive and advanced short courses covering aspects of human rights
  • The African Human Rights Moot Court Competition is an international moot court competition with a special focus on human rights in Africa. The competition is organised by the Centre for Human Rights. Annually, the competition is hosted by a Law Faculty from a different African country. Since its inception in 1992, the competition has had 845 participant teams originating from 125 universities from 45 African countries.[5]
  • The Annual African Trade Moot Competition part of the LLM in International Trade and Investment Law in Africa programme. The competition is presented annually alternating between the University of Pretoria and the University of the Western Cape.

Current and former staff[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ UNESCO, Human Rights and Gender Equality Section, Division of Human Rights, Human Security and Philosophy. (2006-Dec-11) University of Pretoria's Centre for Human Rights wins 2006 UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education Archived 2 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine portal.unesco.org. Retrieved 2008-Sep-22.
  2. ^ Europe Intelligence Wire. (2003-Jan-07) UNESCO awards Czech film festival One World Retrieved 2008-Sep-22
  3. ^ "Overview". 15 July 2011. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  4. ^ "Home". Centre for Human Rights. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  5. ^ Centre for Human Rights website.
  6. ^ "Justice Johann van der Westhuizen". Constitutional Court of South Africa. Retrieved 9 November 2008.
  7. ^ a b "Johann Van Der Westhuizen | Who's Who SA". 20 September 2011. Archived from the original on 20 September 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  8. ^ Constitutional Court of South Africa profile Archived 31 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Justice Yvonne Mokgoro". Constitutional Court of South Africa. Retrieved 9 November 2008.
  10. ^ a b "Centre for Human Rights Board Members". 1 October 2011. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  11. ^ "Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions > University of Pretoria". Archived from the original on 16 November 2011. Retrieved 12 January 2012. Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Retrieved 27 June 2011
  12. ^ "Untitled Document". Archived from the original on 9 May 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2011. Prof Dire Tladi Retrieved 28 November 2011