» Archive for: February, 2013

The United Nations and Human Rights: a Cause for Optimism?

1 March 2012, 4-6 pm, ISS (Small Aula A)

This Social Justice Perspectives (SJP) Special Seminar will feature a lecture and discussion with Cees Flinterman, Professor of International Law and Human Rights, currently a Member of the United Nations Committee on Human Rights and formerly a Member of the Commitee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

In his presentation, Professor Flinterman will focus on his experiences within the United Nations in the field of human rights in both of these UN Committees.

A brief bio is available here.


26 March 2013, 13.30

Theater aan ‘t Spui, The Hague (Free, in English)

Source for more info


Politics of the Vote “Yes” Campaign: Prognosis of Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Referendum (Edited Version)

Gift Mwonzora

Democratic constitution making is critical to the strength, acceptability, and legitimacy of the final product.” (Julius Ivonhbere).

The Constitution Parliamentary Select Committee (COPAC), the body responsible for authoring the Zimbabwean constitution, took close to 4 years to produce a consolidated draft constitution. The draft charter came at a total cost of USD 50 million.  In justifying such huge sums of money from both the government and the donor world, the politicians argued that democracy is expensive. It took many years of political haggling and intense debate over the contents and wording of the text to be included in the constitutional draft.

The three political parties in the Government of National Unity (GNU) in Zimbabwe, namely ZANU PF, MDC-T and MDC-N, recently agreed on a constitutional draft. This means that the draft charter with all its imperfections will now go for a Referendum slated on the 16th of March 2013. However, some have viewed the constitution draft as resembling the ‘good, bad and the ugly’. The referendum will give citizens the opportunity to endorse or reject the draft by voting for or against it. It seems from the look of things that Zimbabweans will turn out in their numbers to vote for an overwhelming ‘YES’ Vote. However, there are a number of possible scenarios as Zimbabweans go for the referendum.


University Campus

Johannesburg, South Africa

The International Human Rights Exchange (IHRE) is the world’s only full-semester, multidisciplinary program in human rights for undergraduate students. The program is based at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa and is a joint venture with Bard College. Each semester students and faculty from Africa and North America come together to participate in a deep and multifaceted intellectual engagement in human rights. In addition to a core course, students choose from 12 or more electives exploring human rights from the perspective of a variety of academic disciplines.


In 2013-14 the Master’s Programme of the prestigious Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law will be in its 24th year. The Institute have assembled an excellent group of teachers, leading scholars in their  field, to  deliver what they consider to be a unique and outstanding International programme in socio-legal studies.

For more info, see: http://rechtensamenlevingdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/brochure2013-14_leaflet_qr.pdf

International Institute of Social Studies

Human Rights is a specialization within the Human Rights, Conflict and Gender Studies MA Major in Development Studies. This blog provides a platform for discussion for researchers, students and others interested in this field of studies. The blog is administered by the Human Rights teaching team.