The Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria is both an academic department and a non-governmental organization, which was founded in 1986 as part of domestic efforts against the apartheid system of that time. Its work mainly focuses on human rights awareness and education in Africa, as well as on the promotion and protection of the rights of women, indigenous peoples, and other disadvantaged and marginalized persons or groups across the continent.
In virtue of shared values and goals, the Geneva Centre and the Centre for Human Rights of the University of Pretoria signed a Memorandum of Understanding, under which the two parties determined specific areas of cooperation as follows: 1) dissemination of human rights law and practice of universal and regional human rights mechanisms; 2) logistical assistance on projects and policy activities; 3) joint organization of conferences and other related activities.
Accordingly, the Geneva Centre and the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Human Rights will promote each other’s activities related to civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, with a special emphasis on the rights of marginalized groups in Sub-Saharan Africa and the MENA region. The Geneva Centre and the Pretoria Centre will also consider collaborating on the organization of conferences or other events related to human rights and global dialogue, notably in regions of common interest, and will provide each other with lectures on the above-mentioned topics as well as with logistical assistance to promote mutually beneficial project outcomes.
Furthermore, the Geneva Centre will consider the possibility to provide Pretoria Centre’s students with internship opportunities, and will explore the possibility of collaborating to conduct research on human rights promotion and protection through, inter alia, UN human rights instruments and regional mechanisms established within the framework of the African Union, the League of Arab States and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
The two entities finally signed a partnership agreement for the organization of the next World Human Rights Moot Court Competition, to be held in Geneva from 8th to 10th December 2014, in collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Headquarters in Geneva (OHCHR) and the Regional Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Southern Africa (ROSA). Our contribution to such a significant event will represent the first concrete step towards a long-term alliance between the two institutions.