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Comments Off on INVITATION!!! :Launch of three months findings enabling environment for civil society in south Africa

The Research Study examined the state of implementation of Freedom of Association, Assembly, Expression, Access to Information & Effective Civil Society Partnerships in South Africa as provided by United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 16:10 & 17:17.

Speakers include Prof Fikeni Samadoda, Mrs Thoko Mpumlwana, Ms Jayshree Pather, Dr Zonke Majodina, Moray Hathorn & Ms Corlett Letlojane

  • Date: Tuesday, 03 July 2018
  • Venue :Webber Wentzel, 90 Rivonia Road, Sandton, Johannesburg
  • Time: 08:30 to 13:30
  • RSVP: By 25 June to Mamphule Ntladi; mamphule@hurisa.org.za, or
  • Tshepo Legodi; tshepo@hurisa.org.za

June 2018

June 16 is a historical and a very significant day for the people of South Africa, particularly the youth. This is a day to reflect and honour the youth that was ambushed by the apartheid regime police in Soweto on 16 June 1976 whose human dignity was stripped off brutally, because it was on this day that they took to the streets to protest against the enforcement of the use of Afrikaans language as a medium of instruction for teaching and learning in schools, which was imposed by the apartheid regime.

The 1976 Soweto Uprising is now regarded as a turning point of youth in South Africa because this era marked the beginning of various youth organisations including the Black Consciousness Movement, and many other organisations that played a critical role and became active in the 1980s. This again, is an important reminder that Youth Day serves not only as a reminder of the role of the youth in the liberation struggle, but also of the critical importance of young people as agents of change in the country.

The events of 16 June 1976 highlight a few individuals who took part in the Soweto Uprising. Therefore as we commemorate this day, we acknowledge the challenges that the youth of today still struggle with, because they continue to occupy a special space in our history. In 2015, we have witnessed university students launched a movement called ‘Fees Must Fall’ highlighting the financial constraints they go through at their institutions of learning. The movement became a international ideology and attracted even students from countries such as UK at the Oxford University to also raise their concerns at their own institutions of learning. So essentially, the youth of 1976 was fighting against the Bantu Education, which was inferior policy in schools. Now we see the youth of today fighting against fees and exclusion of learning. And in the midst of all these, we have also seen so many violations of the rights of these students by the police and also by the universities themselves. Students could not express themselves and assemble around their campuses; and therefore it is worrying that the constitution has safeguarded these principles and rights on paper, but it becomes a challenge when they must be practiced. For example, the constitution is explicit about duty of the government to secure the well-being of the people of the Republic of South Africa, section 41 (b) , be loyal to the Constitution, the Republic and its people (d).

42 years since the Soweto uprisings, critical issue among the youth include socioeconomic challenges. Young people still struggle with getting education, which is the most important asset they should acquire. Unemployment, inequality, gender-based violence and social security; and they also experience threats and brutal attacks when they form and/or join civil society organisations, trade unions of their choice or aligning themselves with political issues and raising their concerns on maladministration in governance. And until these issues are addressed and protection provided for the youth, they remain disempowered and demotivated to become the forces of change and development in this country.  This generation of youth stands at the border-line of oppression and transformation, and until their social and economic needs are fulfilled then the transformation and reconstruction will not be sustained. The task of improving young people’s lives in the rural areas, townships, informal settlements must remain a collective commitment by all in South Africa, including state institutions, communities, corporations, traditional and religious sectors. Young people in townships, informal settlements and rural communities still live in inhuman and degrading conditions that defy description. Issues of crime, drug abuse and scourge of violence are what young people deal with on a daily basis in disadvantaged communities; and these are people that need to be prioritised on better living conditions if they are to shape the future of this country. Informal settlements such as Zandspruit and Diepsloot in North of Johannesburg, Tshepisong location in the West Rand continue to face a myriad social and economic challenges; and the most significant issues in informal settlements are abject poverty, quality health care, sanitation, sexual violence, teenage pregnancy, lack of skills, access to capital and social security. National institutions such as Chapter 9 Institutions, NYDA, SALGA, Department of Women, Department of Social Development need to find multidimensional strategies for sustainable measures to deal with these human and societal problems persisting amongst the youth.

 

For further discussion, contact Mamphule Ntladi

HURISA Assistant Programme Officer: mamphule@hurisa.org.za

072 836 4654

Category: press releases

SEASONS GREETINGS


SEASON’S GREETINGS

&

BEST WISHES FOR 2018!!!

HURISA BOARD of directors & STAFF WISH to EXPRESS DEEP GRATITUDE TO ALL OUR PARTNERS AND DONORS FOR SUPPORT  & FRUITFUL COLLABORATIONS IN 2017!!!

WE LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING TOGETHER AGAIN & TAKE HUMAN RIGHTS ACCOUNTABILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY TO

HIGHER LEVELS IN 2018!!!

 OUR OFFICE IS CLOSED FROM 22 DECEMBER 2017

& RE-OPENS ON 8 JANUARY 2018!!!

 

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS DAY


Human Rights Institute of South Africa for release on
10 December 2017- International Human Rights Day*

Despite driving a human rights and anti-racism agenda, South Africa is failing to practically ensure citizens enjoy the rights reflected in our constitution and legislation Looking back since 1996, South Africa has made strides in acceding to numerous international human rights instruments that affirmed the country’s commitment to promotion and protection of human rights. There are several international processes which were South African driven and reflective of our progressive human rights values that made the people of this country very proud.

The World Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, was hosted in South Africa on 31 August 2001, in Durban, KwaZulu Natal Province. The conference, adopted the Durban Declaration Programme of Action. The country remains a key leader in putting forward positive strategies to the international community to combat racisms and encourage develop National Action Plans including road maps on how to address the scourge.

Despite this contribution, South Africa itself has dragged progress in this area as it is sixteen years (16yrs) since the WACAR and it still has no NAP. Racism remains a deep rooted problem notwithstanding the demise of apartheid policy. This is in spite of laws created to prevent racism such as the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act. The manifestation of racism in people’s daily lives is rampant.

The Durban Declaration and Programme of Action requires States to develop and implement national policies without delay to address discrimination. During South Africa’s 3rd cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, over 30 recommendations were passed by peer states after raising serious concerns about persistence of racism, xenophobia and related intolerance. South Africa was urged to expedite drafting of a NAP for approval and allocation of adequate resources for proper implementation. The delay in outstanding legislation for addressing racism not only impacts negatively on the society, but contradicts South Africa’s role under the DDPA to encourage the international community to implement the NAPs for effective eradication of racism.

Beyond the issue of racism and discrimination, the third UPR cycle has also left South Africa with a total of 243 recommendations passed by peer states.
These relate to
 The existence of torture,
 Statelessness

 Disappearances,
 Discrimination, poverty, inequality
 Sexual and gender based violence,

 Racism, xenophobia and related intolerance;
 Protection of minority rights, vulnerable groups including, migrants, LGBTI, people with albinism, people with disabilities, by acceleration of adoption of hate crime, hate speech legislation for prosecution of perpetrators.

South Africa was also encouraged to ratify key human rights instruments where ratification remains outstanding,including the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, the Optional Protocol on the Convention Against Torture and the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, among others.

The HRC also recommended South Africa continue enhancing the realization of the human rights to water and sanitation, to ensure that all homes, health centers and educational establishments have safe drinking water and improved sanitation facilities. South Africa was also requested to reconsider its withdrawal from the RomeStatute of the International Criminal Court by upholding its commitment under those obligations.

South Africa has confirmed 187 recommendations were accepted and indicated that government is committed to working with CSOs and key national human rights institutions. This is a positive step considering that the first and second period reports submitted in 2008 & 2012 respectively did not follow the required standard for consultation with CSOs. The government has begun this process in engaging key stakeholders. However, the current form in which the 187 recommendations is arranged is very confusing. Should this remain it will be difficult to implement as monitoring and evaluation of outcome of the UPR is key. It is also important to assess the reasons for noting other recommendations instead of accepting the 243 recommendations. The other important consideration to be made by South Africa is the establishment of an inter-ministerial committee for
coordination of recommendations obtained from international and regional human rights treaty bodies that monitor’s implementation of human rights instruments, including ensuring South Africa’s regular and timeous submission of periodic reports.

Drawing lessons from past UPR processes and the submission of periodic reports will improve relations between government and CSOs, whose role is imperative for monitoring compliance with the UPR. It is therefore very important that the environment is conducive for functioning of CSOs. The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa have passed recommendations and tools for State Parties to facilitate enabling environments for sustainability of CSOs. UN Resolution 27/31 April 2016 & ACHRP Resolutions 69, 273 are source of reference for improving accountability and ending impunity against human rights protection. South Africa should consider developing a law for promotion and protection of Human Rights Defenders. These
recommendations heightens the country’s progressive human rights framework which emphasize a duty on the state to care for the well-being of the people; as well as being effective, transparent, accountable, consistent and
loyal to people.

For more information contact Tshepo Legodi: 011 402 1103, 079 444 3171
www.hurisa.org.za
* The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948. South Africa was among eight (8) countries that abstained from acknowledging this day as International Human Rights Day. It was only in 1996 that the former President Nelson Mandela recognised the UDHR.

Category: press releases

Commemoration of WHRDs


As we commemorate INTERNATIONAL WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS DAY on 29 November, Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) and Tshwaranang Legal advocacy Centre (TLAC) are saddened by and deeply mourn the passing on of Beloved Friend, South African Woman Human Rights Defender, Lucrecia Seafield. Words cannot express our profound despair and sorrow. She was devoted stalwart to the struggles and work of Women Human Rights Defenders who continue to face hostilities and operate in grave violent environments for women and children. She will be painfully missed for defending the human rights of all the people indiscriminately, with exceptional integrity, virtuously and professionally in South Africa and across the globe.

She was humble, accessible especially to the Grassroot Communities, women groups, youth formations, child rights advocates, LGBTI activists, refugees and migrants. She demonstrated her passion, compassion, love and care for all people throughout her life. As a sector we have lost a dear friend and words cannot express our pain – an honest human being with a very big heart. She supported all needs of all local CSO’s and Community Based Organisations to advancement of Woman Human Rights defenders.
We Salute You Lucrecia! Your Heroisms will remain in us! We thank you for assisting the Women in South Africa the broader SADC region to push for promotion and protection of Women Peace and Security and the serious strides in pushing Agenda for consolidation of National Action Plan for promotion of Women, Peace and Security in South Africa.
May Your Soul Rest in Peace our Dear Beloved Lucrecia.Lala Kahle Lucrecia Seafield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Category: press releases

Comments Off on Press Release on the Implication of the Same Sex Marriage [Prohibition] Act 2013 on Human Rights Defenders in Nigeria

The Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa, Mrs Reine Alapini-Gansou, has taken note of the promulgation on 13 January 2014 in Nigeria of the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, and is deeply concerned about the consequences this law may have on sexual minorities who are already vulnerable as a result of social prejudice.

The Special Rapporteur is concerned by some provisions of the Act, in particular Sections 4(1) and 5(2) which prohibit and provide for penalties against defenders of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. These provisions undermine the work of human rights defenders and are against any public debate on this crucial issue.

The Special Rapporteur is concerned by the increase, following the enactment of the law, in cases of physical violence, aggression, arbitrary detention and harassment carried out against human rights defenders dealing with sexual minority rights issues.

The Special Rapporteur strongly condemns such acts which are a violation of the right to life, physical integrity, and freedom of expression and assembly of human rights defenders.

The Special Rapporteur would like to remind the Government of Nigeria of its international obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.

The Special Rapporteur calls on the Government of Nigeria to ensure that human rights defenders are able to conduct their activities in an enabling environment that is free of stigma and reprisals.

The Special Rapporteur would also like to encourage the Nigerian political authorities to continue their efforts towards ensuring the physical integrity and safety of human rights defenders in Nigeria.

Banjul, 05February2014

Category: press releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Comments Off on FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
23rd January 2014

“CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM ON SUDAN AND SOUTH SUDAN”
Third Session, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 20th – 22nd, 2014

This week, over 100 civil society activists and advocates from all over the world
attended the Third Session of the Civil Society Forum on Sudan and South Sudan. The
Forum was held at Bole Ambassador Hotel in Addis Ababa during the period 20 to 22
January 2014. The three-day forum covered a wide variety of issues plaguing Sudan,
South Sudan and the surrounding region. Advocates in attendance were experts from
Sudan, South Sudan, Africa and the rest of the world. The Forum culminated in rich
intellectual discourse, recommendations for future advocacy work, and civil society
resolutions as a pre-summit contribution to the 22nd Ordinary Session of the African
Union (AU) Assembly of Heads of State and Government.
The Third Session of the Forum consisted of panel discussions, open sessions of
questions and comments, and special presentations. While calling for an immediate end
to the suffering of civilians and the expeditious signing of a ceasefire arrangement in
South Sudan, the Forum also recommended that the IGAD Secretariat and the
Chairperson of the AU Commission strengthen oversight and reduce ambiguity in the
Final Draft Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities Between the Government of the
Republic of South Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army In
Opposition.
The Forum’s panel topics included: A discussion of stakeholders in peace, particularly
focused on the AU and civil society; Civil society’s role in the technical assistance of
Sudan; An update of the humanitarian situations in South and West Kordofan States,
Blue Nile State, and Darfur; An update of the situation in South Sudan; Conflict analysis
and the building of peace within the region; Opportunities on future civil society
advocacy work on Sudan and South Sudan within the AU and IGAD; and Special
advocacy and awareness projects. Speakers included world-renowned peace activists
and experts on the two countries including Dr. Suliman Baldo, Professor Mukesh Kapila,
Mr. David Deng, Mr. Abdul Mohamed, Professor. Mashood A. Baderin.
At the end of the discussions, the Forum adopted 10 resolutions to be presented before
the 22nd Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly (January 30th – 31st 2014). Resolutions
were adopted on different topics including: the armed conflict in South Sudan, State-
Building and Reconciliation in South Sudan, the Critical Situation of Women in Sudan
and South Sudan, Refugees and IDPs in the Two Sudans, Press Freedom in the Two
Sudans, the Role of the United Nations in Sudan, South Sudan, and the Disputed
Territory of Abyei, Civil Rights and Political Freedoms in Sudan, the Situation in Darfur,
the Situation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile, and Democratization in Sudan. Forum
contributors trust that adoption of the proposed resolutions will help assist, protect, and
serve the people of Sudan and South Sudan.
The Third Session of the Forum also witnessed the official launching of the People To
People Initiative on Sudan.
Participants and observers, including AU-accredited ambassadors and officials
expressed the views that “this gathering of bright and enthusiastic experts and peace
advocates has again produced high-quality materials for contribution to the AU work on
Sudan and South Sudan. Future forums of this kind are encouraged to continue to be
convened in order to enhance advocacy, raise awareness and mobilize the public
opinion of African policy decision-makers on matters concerning Sudan and South
Sudan. There is need for continued civil society commitment to fight for peace,
democracy, good governance and prosperity for the people of Sudan and South
Sudan.”
Contact: Ms. Brenda Prempeh, Programme Manager, Advocacy, Darfur Relief and
Documentation Centre (DRDC) brenda@darfurcentre.ch Cell phone in Addis Ababa,
+251919904345

Download PDF: Sudan Civil Society Forum Press Release Jan 2014