14 episodes

Africa Rights Talk is a Centre for Human Rights podcast exploring human rights through conversations with academics, practitioners and activists. Each episode offers insight into the African human rights system and the state of human rights in Africa, and globally.

Africa Rights Talk africarightstalk

    • Education

Africa Rights Talk is a Centre for Human Rights podcast exploring human rights through conversations with academics, practitioners and activists. Each episode offers insight into the African human rights system and the state of human rights in Africa, and globally.

    S2 E1: Journey to becoming the Chairperson of the African Commission - Dr Solomon Dersso

    S2 E1: Journey to becoming the Chairperson of the African Commission - Dr Solomon Dersso

    In conversation with Dr Solomon Dersso
    In 2019, the Centre for Human Rights celebrated the 20th anniversary of its Master's programme in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa (HRDA). The Centre hosted a number of HRDA alumni at the University of Pretoria in a series of events to highlight the programmme's past achievements and to investigate how the programme can be enhanced to respond better to human rights challenges on the continent.
    The second season of Africa Rights Talk kicks off with an interview with an HRDA alumnus of the Centre and current Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, Dr Solomon Dersso. He narrates his journey from the time he studied on the HRDA programme to the time he was appointed as the Chairperson of the African Commission. Dr Dersso describes and explains the nature of the work of the African Commission and gives an insight on his mandates and areas of priority for engagement during his tenure as Chairperson.
    This conversation was recorded on 9 December 2019.
    Music: Inner Peace by Mike Chino https://soundcloud.com/mike-chino Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b... Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/0nI6qJeqFcc

    • 32 min
    S1 E13: Exploring issues affecting migrants in South Africa - Ms Abigail Dawson

    S1 E13: Exploring issues affecting migrants in South Africa - Ms Abigail Dawson

    In conversation with Ms Abigail Dawson
    Throughout its history, Africa has experienced migratory movements that are both voluntary and forced and this have contributed to its contemporary demographic landscape. In many parts of the continent, communities bound together by languages, history and tradition are spread across two or three nation states, and movement is often not limited by political boundaries. Migration in Africa is a result of a number of factors, which include the need for improved socio-economic conditions through employment, environmental factors, as well as fleeing from political instability, conflict and civil strife.
    The 2019 African Union theme speaks to forced displacement, which is a major issue confronting the African continent. More than a third of the world’s forcibly displaced people are in Africa: this include 6.3 million refugees and asylum-seekers, and 14.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). The Africa Union theme ‘Year of Refugees, Returnees and IDPs: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in Africa’ urges leaders and civil society to act promptly to protect migrants. With the wave of xenophobic violence and other intolerances in many parts of the continent, the need to protect migrants has increasingly become important. In pursuit of protecting the rights of migrants, this conversation aims to addresses the challenge of xenophobia and to monitor and promote the daily experiences of migrants living in South Africa. The hope is to promote a culture that prevents discrimination of other people based on their nationality as well to enhance a culture of diversity.
    In this episode, Abigail Dawson talks about the challenges that migrants face in South Africa. She is a qualified social worker and offers voluntary counselling for migrant women and children. She is the Communications and Media Officer of the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) which is a national network of organisations working with asylum seekers, refugees and international migrants in South Africa. Its main objectives are the promotion and protection of the rights of asylum seekers, refugees and international migrants. CoRMSA operates at the national, regional and global level with strategic support to members at local and provincial levels.
    This conversation was recorded on 21 October 2019.
    Music: Inner Peace by Mike Chino https://soundcloud.com/mike-chino Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b... Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/0nI6qJeqFcc

    • 33 min
    S1 E12: Mental health as a human right - Dr Linda Blokland

    S1 E12: Mental health as a human right - Dr Linda Blokland

    In conversation with Dr Linda Blokland
    October is Mental Health Awareness Month and a number of initiatives and campaigns were launched to raise awareness around issues of mental health. Good health is one of the most fundamental aspects that are crucial to our well-being, and transcends age, sex or socio-economic backgrounds. But health should be approached holistically - we can not look at health without looking at mental health. Yet government institutions and other stakeholders do not adequately address mental health issues in their policies. 
    In this episode, Dr Linda Blokland explores mental health and addresses the causes of stigma around mental health issues. She explains what mental health really means and advocates for access to adequate mental healthcare.
    This conversation was recorded on 17 October 2019.
    Music: Inner Peace by Mike Chino https://soundcloud.com/mike-chino Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b... Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/0nI6qJeqFcc

    • 25 min
    S1 E11: What is Africanness? - Prof Charles Ngwena

    S1 E11: What is Africanness? - Prof Charles Ngwena

    In conversation with Prof Charles Ngwena
    Professor Charles Ngwena is a renowned expert on human rights law at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. In this episode, Adebayo Okeowo talks to Prof Ngwena about his book What is Africanness? Contesting nativism in race, culture and sexualities, a visionary philosophical inquiry into the contentious issue of African identity politics. Prof Ngwena speaks about how the book explores the historical and cultural contexts in which Africans are perceived and how they perceive themselves in terms of race, culture and sexuality. He stresses the fact that identity is a concept that is not static but fluid and always changing. Prof Ngwena argues that 'Africanness' is a heterogeneous concept that accommodates difference and shows respect for diversity.
    About What is Africanness? Contesting nativism in race, culture and sexualities
    Stuart Hall, the cultural theorist and other deconstructive theorists have given us a rich theoretical template for unpacking identities as complex formations of representation. Even when we accept, as a point of departure, that identities are real and that it is not their falsity or genuineness that matters, if problematised, identities cease to be neat, singular, self-standing and static packages that speak to an integral and unified identity. The identities we take for granted, especially those that we ourselves proclaim to mark our exclusive identitarian spheres and which we invest with closures of solidarity and allegiance, are better understood as specific enunciations.
    Identities are always situated and always in the making. They are neither fixed nor closed but always lodged in historical contingency. In the end, identities signify how we have been positioned by, or how we position ourselves within, discourse. And so it is with African identity.
    Focusing on race, culture and sexuality, What is Africanness develops an interpretive method or hermeneutics for deconstructing African identity in ways that part company with discourses of reductive sameness – which I call ‘nativism – which have dominated the imagination of African identity not just during the eras of slavery, colonialism and apartheid but also in the aftermath of these historical events. The hermeneutics that What is Africanness develops are intended as transformative theoretical tools for dismantling hierarchical systems of thought and unmasking gaps and contradictions in the imagination of African identity. Ultimately, the book develops a roadmap for the recognition of heterogeneous African identity in a plural universe. It is an identity that is constantly unfolding and speaks to a multiplicity of ancestries together with their complexities, fluidity and difference. The book’s arguments should not be misunderstood as asking Africans to renounce any claim to an authentic African identity. Rather, the arguments call for authenticity to be reimagined in ways that are transformative as to capture not only our past but also our present and future Africanness.
    What is Africanness? Contesting nativism in race, culture and sexualities by Charles Ngwena (2018)Published by the Pretoria University Law Press (PULP)ISBN: 978-1-920538-82-8Pages: 306
    This conversation was recorded on 19 August 2019.
    Music: Inner Peace by Mike Chino https://soundcloud.com/mike-chino Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b... Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/0nI6qJeqFcc

    • 25 min
    S1 E10: Forced sterilisation and the status of women in society - Ms Saoyo Tabitha Griffith

    S1 E10: Forced sterilisation and the status of women in society - Ms Saoyo Tabitha Griffith

    In conversation with Ms Saoyo Tabitha Griffith
    The issue of forced sterilisation is a little-known matter as women are generally reluctant to discuss their experience. Stemming from the social stigma attached to women unable to have children, many women suffer in silence. Ms Saoyo Tabitha Griffith (Deputy Executive Director, KELIN) sheds light on the challenges and continued battle against the ongoing forced sterilisations in Kenya. The issue of informed consent and the demographic of women who are disproportionately affected are explored. 
    In terms of who can consent, what type of consent is required, and the lack of emergency surrounding the procedure raise significant questions over the current practice of medical professionals. Despite the discussion focusing on Kenyan examples, the practice is wide spread, including in Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Uganda.
    While reproductive rights tend to focus on women who want children, the Maputo Protocol and accompanying protections cover sexual and reproductive rights and speak to all women, both those who want and do not want children. The importance of such rights is explained through the associated societal benefits that accompany the empowerment of women, highlighting that the time for investing in women is now. The conversation ends with a roundup of some basic sexual and reproductive rights every women (and man) should be aware before seeking medical assistance.
    This conversation was recorded on 27 March 2019.
    Music: Inner Peace by Mike Chino https://soundcloud.com/mike-chino Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b... Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/0nI6qJeqFcc

    • 32 min
    S1 E9: Securing family and women's rights through an African response - Prof Fareda Banda

    S1 E9: Securing family and women's rights through an African response - Prof Fareda Banda

    In conversation with Prof Fareda Banda
    Experience has shown the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to be insufficient in addressing certain challenges faced by women across the African continent. Through the discussion with Prof Fareda Banda (SOAS, University of London) the background to the Maputo Protocol (Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa) and distinctions between it and CEDAW are explored.
    Through building on the international framework, the Maputo Protocol reflects developments in the areas of: intersectionality; the specificities of the African women; decoupling women’s rights from the husband; and in reproductive rights, including access to safe abortions. We discuss how cultural practices can be used as justification for discrimination, whereby Prof Banda explains the cultural recognition within the Protocol and the requirement for women’s participation in their construction. She highlights the positive cultural practices of the continent and the importance of placing them within the treaty framework.
    We then move to exploring family rights and the protections the Maputo Protocol has ushered in. Prof Banda delves into the provisions on marriage and inheritance and how the new African constitutions are removing discriminatory laws and no longer ringfence customary law from scrutiny. Whether the developments have occurred solely due to the laws in place is considered. Rounding off the discussion, the importance of knowing the African treaty is stressed to facilitate its broader use and in taking ownership of it.
    This conversation was recorded on 26 March 2019. 
    Music: Inner Peace by Mike Chino https://soundcloud.com/mike-chinoCreative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b...Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/0nI6qJeqFcc 

    • 24 min

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