• Equality: You cannot be discriminated against. But affirmative action and fair discrimination are allowed.


  • Human Dignity: Your dignity must be respected and protected.


  • Life: You have the right to life.


  • Freedom and security of the person: You cannot be detained without trial, tortured or punished cruelly. Domestic violence is not allowed.


  • Slavery, servitude and forced labour: Slavery and forced labour are not allowed.


  • Privacy: You cannot be searched or have your home or possessions searched.


  • Freedom of religion, belief and opinion: You can believe and think whatever you want and can follow the religion of your choice.


  • Freedom of expression: All people (including the press) can say whatever they want.


  • Assembly, demonstration, picket and petition: You can hold a demonstration, picket and present a petition. But you must do this peacefully.


  • Freedom of association: You can associate with whomever you want to.


  • Political rights: You can support the political party of your choice. If you are a citizen, and at least 18 years old, you can vote.


  • Citizenship: Your citizenship cannot be taken away from you.


  • Freedom of movement and residence: You can go and live anywhere in South Africa.


  • Freedom of trade, occupation and profession: You can do whatever work you choose.


  • Labour relations: You may join trade unions and go on strike.


  • Environment: You have the right to a healthy environment.


  • Property: Your property can only be taken away from you if the proper rules are followed.


  • Housing: The government must make sure people get access to proper housing.


  • Health care, food, water and social security: The government must make sure you have access to food and water; health care and social security.


  • Children: Children under the age of 18 have special rights, like the right not to be abused.


  • Education: You have the right to basic education, including adult basic education, in your own language (if this is possible).


  • Language and culture: You can use the language you want to and follow the culture that you choose.


  • Cultural, religious and linguistic communities: Communities can enjoy their own culture; practice their own religion; and use their own language.


  • Access to information: You have the right to any information, which the government has.


  • Just administrative action: Actions by the government must be fair.


  • Access to courts: You can have a legal problem decided by a court, or a similar structure.


  • Arrested, detained and accused persons: This right protects people who have been arrested, imprisoned or accused.


  • NOTE: All these rights can be limited if it would be fair to do so





The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1945) states in Article 2:"Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind." 


 With the increased global media attention on violent acts of torment caused on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons, a current key question before the

worldcommunity iswhether LGBTI rights are included under our basic human rights. We all have a sexual orientation and a gender identity, and this shared fact should mean that

discrimination against members of the LGBTI

community, based on sexual orientation and/ or gender identity, is an issue that transcends that community and affects all of us.

It is with that in mind the Democracy Development Program (DDP) in partnership with the Arts For Humanity (AFH) will co-host a dialogue to raise awareness around the topic,

but also have a conversation about possible advocacy actions.

In preparation for attending this forum, consider the next questions:

1. Why are African countries, especially South Africa which has one of the most liberal constitutions in the world, silent on the criminalisation of LGBTI persons?

2. Are Institutions of higher learning doing enough to integrate the various communities through security and awareness?

3. In what ways can the LGBTI community engage institutions of higher learning to enhance the appreciation of its community to ensure that LGBTI persons’ rights and needs are to be respected?

4. How can the LGBTI community mobilise and support each other more effectively against homophobia, and other rights as well as influence? 

Speaker includes:

Dr Rene Smith (Acting Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Design at DUT)

Event details:

Date: 19 March 2015

Time: 4:30 for 5:00-7:00 pm

Venue: DUT, City Campus, Room 207

RSVP: Seats are limited and restricted to those that have confirmed


Please complete the RSVP form below and send it back to us either by fax 031 306 2261 or email to before or on 9 March 2015

For general enquiries call 031 304 9305  





More than 25 000 South Africans gathered to celebrate and participate in the second annual UNITE 2.0 Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day on the 22nd of November in Tshwane.

The event, an initiative of the Department of Sports and Recreation and the Department of Arts and Culture, included 67 performers, 27 creatives and a selection of artists from various genres. The sporting events included a cycling race, a road running race, a run/walk race and a fun walk.

Among the more than 25 000 South Africans who gathered at the Union Building in Pretoria was also South African Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula who also took part in the activities. 

“The Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day is designed to bring together South Africans from all walks of life, particularly this year in its 2nd year and as we celebrate 20 years of freedom and democracy. Almost one year ago, South Africans lined the streets of Tshwane, to say our final farewell. This year, on Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day- we reclaim those very same streets to celebrate the life of this global icon,” said Mbalula.

The sporting competitions saw both amateurs and professionals competing with R2 million worth of prizes to be won and with both males and females receiving the same amounts respectively. In partnership with Cycling SA and Athletics SA, cycling and athletics were introduced this year.

The sporting events saw a 67km cycling race, which is in remembrance of the 67 years that Mandela devoted to social activism. The top three winners received R250 000, R150 000 and R100 000 respectively. The main running event was a 27km race which was in remembrance of the 27 years that Madiba spent in prison. The top three for the 27km race received R150 00, R100 000 and R50 000 respectively. The 9.4km run and walk was in honour of Nelson Mandela’s life. The 9.4km run winner received R40 000 and the winner of the 9.4km walk received R20 000.

The first Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day took place at the FNB Stadiums on the 17th of August where the Springboks played against Argentina and Bafana Bafana played against Burkina Faso. 

The event is part of the UNITE 2.0 One Man, One Nation, One Celebration campaign which honours and celebrates Madiba’s commitment to justice, equality nation building, non-racialism, social cohesion and other values that the late President Nelson Mandela stood for.

 Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa in his statement during the launch of the event echoed the significance and importance of the event saying it would promote patriotism and nation building. 

“More than just an event, the Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day expresses South Africa’s diverse cultural, artistic and linguistic heritage,” said minister Mthethwa. He also added that the campaign would serve as a lead event in the relay to Reconciliation Day celebrations.

A concert was held later during the day at the Union Building with a line-up that included 67 performers (musicians, poets, comedians, dancers, and drummers), 27 creatives (crafters, designers, technical trainees and visual artists and 5 young filmmakers.

The lineup of artists included the likes of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lira, Kurt Darren, Mzwakhe Mbuli and a host of other well respected South African artists. 


The 2014 16 Days of Activism for no Violence against Women and Children Campaign will officially be launched today by South African President Jacob Zuma in Reiger Park.

“Count me in. Together moving a non-violence South Africa Forward,” is the theme that this year’s campaign will run under. The international campaign aims to raise awareness about gender-based violence as well as highlight the negative effect that gender-based violence has on women and children.

The first day of the campaign-25 November- is also International Day on no Violence against Women and the last day-10 December- is also International Human Rights Day. Other key dates during the campaign include World Aids Day- 1 December and International Day for the Disabled- 3 December.

The campaign will be celebrating its 16th year anniversary as well as reflecting on 60 years of the women’s charter. The campaign is expected to see national and provincial dialogues driven by the Department of women.  The programme will also include a national prayer for “women and children from all walks including sex workers, abused women and children on the 6th of December as well as a Human Trafficking Indaba by the Department of Social Development. A Presidential Men’s Dialogue will be held on 10 December at the Presidential Guesthouse at the Union Building.

“Imagine living in a society where we no longer read or hear about the abuse that women and children often suffer at the hands of heartless predators,” said Minister in the Presidency for women Susan Shabangu, speaking about the campaign in parliament on Friday.

“The brutal killing of women and children despite laws having been instituted to criminalise brutal behaviour and to improve the safety of women and children, shows that there is a need to move from policy to action and to provide stronger focus than ever on prevention and early intervention to support women and children against this scourge,” she added.

The campaign will also aim to bring together various stakeholders such as governments and NGO’s to work together towards ending gender-based violence on local and international levels.


South Africa’s oldest and most recognised civic society organisation active on AIDS treatment is under threat of closure due to lack of funds.

The treatment Action Campaign (TAC) was launched 10 December 1989- International Human Rights Day- to campaign for access of AIDS treatment. TAC came at a time where South African communities were being torn apart through fear, death and stigma of HIV. Today, the organisation which represents users of public health care system in South Africa faces a risk of shutting down due to lack of funding. TAC is hoping to raise R10 million by the 1st of December, which is also World Aids Day.

World Aids Day will also mark the 10th year anniversary of the distribution of Antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, which TAC has been very instrumental in.

According to the organisation, 12% of the South African population- 6 million people- is HIV positive and for people between the age of 15 and 49, the rate is at 17%. With over 2.4 million people on ARV’s as of mid-2014, South Africa has the world’s largest AIDS treatment programme. TAC also believes that at least another 2 million people will require treatment in the next five years. The life expectancy at birth moved from 51 in 2005 to 61 in 2012.

Amongst many victories, the TAC is most popular for its victory against the South African government after they challenged the reluctant government under former president Thabo Mbeki’s leadership to make antiretroviral treatment available to South Africans. The group also engaged in a legal battle with the government where they were fighting for the prevention of mother-to-child (MTC) transmission. They were victorious and won on the basis of the guarantee of the right to health care by the South African constitution. The government was then ordered to provide MTC treatment and programs in public clinics.

The HIV/AIDS activist group has received national and international support over the years but now the group is in a crisis which could lead to it shutting down if not funded and the fight against HIV/AIDS is far from over, regardless of the progress that has been reached so far.

“If we don’t get this money, we don’t have a plan B. We’ve got plan A, and plan A is to make sure we get this money because if TAC closes, we need to understand-all of us here, that many people will die,” said TAC general secretary Anele Yawa at a press briefing held by the TAC early November in Braamfontein. 

Many of the groups’ sponsors and donors have pulled out and the TAC has turned to South Africans for assistance in maintaining the HIV/AIDS treatment campaigns and programs. The group has only one third of its 2015 budget currently.

“We are not asking for charity but for money to save lives. We are faced with a financial problem the people who were donating to us pulled out,” said TAC board member Mark Heywood during the press briefing.


“Grownups have a strange way of putting themselves in compartments and groups. They build barriers…of religion, caste, colour, party, nation, province, language, customs and of rich and poor. Fortunately, children do not know much about these barriers, which separate. They play and work with each other and it’s only when they grow up that they begin to learn about these barriers from their elders.” – Jawaharlal Nehru, the first PM of Independent India.

The 20th of November is marked to celebrate the universal Children’s Day. The day corresponds with the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adoption of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959 and the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in November 1989. It was recommended by the UN in 1959 that “all countries should introduce an annual event for children to encourage fraternity and understanding between children world-wide and it was recommended that individual member nations choose appropriate dates.

The South African government declared the first Saturday of November-01 November – as National Children’s Day. The aim of the celebration is “to highlight progress being made towards the realisation and promotion of rights of children,” according to the state.

Children’s rights are found in Chapter 22 of the Bill of Rights within the South African Constitution and they aim to protect children from harm, neglect, abuse and exploitation.

Section 28 of the South African Bill of Rights states that every child has the right to:

  • A name and a nationality from birth,
  • Family care or parental care or to appropriate alternative care when removed from the family,   
  • Basic nutrition, shelter, basic health care services and social services,
  • Be protected from maltreatment, neglect, abuse or degradation,
  • Be protected from exploitative labour practices,
  • Not be required or permitted to perform work or provide services that are inappropriate for a person of that child’s age, or place at risk the child’s well-being, education, physical or mental health or spiritual, moral or social development,
  • Not be detained except as a measure of last resort, in which case, in addition to the rights a child enjoys under sections 12 and 35, the child may be detained only for the shortest appropriate period of time, and has the right to be kept separately from detained persons over the age of 18 and is treated in a manner and kept in conditions that take account of the child’s age.
  • Have a legal practitioner assigned to the child by the state, and at the state expense in civil proceedings affecting the child, if substantial injustice would otherwise result
  • Not be used directly in armed conflict and to be protected in times of armed conflict.


“There can never be a keener revelation of a society's soul than the way it treats its children”-Nelson Mandela




The condition of controversial Sesikhona Peoples Rights Movement leader is improving at the Tygerberg Hospital after being shot four times outside his Makhaza Home in Kayelitsha on Wednesday night.

The former African National Congress (ANC) councillor and chairman of the Sesikhona Peoples Rights Movement Andile Lile was shot four times in his car on the eve of a march he was meant to lead with his movement to the ANC provincial headquarters in the Cape Town central district to stop the party from meddling politically in the affairs of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).

The shooting was labelled by the group as an attempted assassination. “There is nothing called attempted robbery here and it is a politically driven thing,” said Seskhona’s Sthembele Majova.

The movement started off as a sanitation movement and has now moved on to land and unemployment issues.  They first robbed national and international media attention in October 2013 when the group under the leadership of Lile and Loyiso Nkohla marched against the city of Cape Town’s use of portable toilets in informal settlements.  The movement took service delivery protests to the next level after they dumped faeces at the entrance of the Western Cape Legislature and at the Cape Town International Airport.

The group participated in various protests with their conduct and behaviour constantly questioned. The poo protest resulted in Lile being suspended for a year and Nkohla being removed as councillor and expulsion from the ANC. Both were reinstated as ANC members after they appealed.  

The shooting is currently being investigated by the Cape Town Police and no arrests have been made.



Art of Human Rights logo

Art for Humanity is proud to present the logo for the Art of Human Rights project which will be launched in March 2015. We are currently underway with preparations for the exhibition launch which will be at the Durban Art Gallery on the 21st of March 2015.

The exhibition will also include the Art of Human Rights publication which AFH is proud to say features short articles on the topic by 20 contributing authors. The introduction for the publication will be written by Justice Albie Sacks.

The Art of Human Rights project follows the 1996 Images of Human Rights project by AFH predecessor Artists for Human Rights. This project will see the coming together of 29 artists and 27 poets to create work that will inspire all South Africans with the values, spirit and meaning of the South African Bill of Rights.

All the art and poetry pieces have been submitted and we are now in the printing stage and signing of works by artists.

For more on the project, visit >>


By Zimasa Magudu

When Taliban gunmen asked a pick-up bus full of women “who is Malala”, before shooting her at gunpoint, little did they know that two years later she would have every right to be able to reply and say: I am Malala, recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.

17 year old Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan was announced as the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize with 60 year old Kailash Satyarthi from India, “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to an education”.

The recipients were announced by the chairman of the Nobel Peace Committee, Thorbjorn Jagland at the Nobel Institute in Oslo on October 10.

Jagland said that children should be able to go to school and not be financially exploited, he was speaking on the struggles that Malala and Kailash had been recognised for fighting against.

“It is a prerequisite for peaceful global development that the rights of children and young people be respected. In conflict ridden areas in particular, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation,” added Jagland. 

Children rights activist Satyarthi was commended for his courage and for walking in the steps of the late Nobel Peace Prize winner Mahatma Ghandi who was also from India.

“Kailash Satyarthi, maintaining Ghandi’s tradition has headed various forms of protests and demonstrations, focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain,” said Jagland emphasising that the protests were “all peaceful”. Jagland also added that Kailash has also contributed to the development of important international conventions on children’s rights.

The two laureates are not just from different countries but also different religious groups, Muslim and Hindu respectively and this was seen as an important point by the Nobel Committee that the two “join in a common struggle for education against extremism.”

“It has been calculated that there are 168 million child labourers around the world today. In 2000 the figure was 78million higher,” said Jagland, further adding that the world had come closer to the goal of eliminating child labour.  

Malala’s struggle gained worldwide attention after she was shot in 2009 by Taliban gunmen when she was returning from school. The gunmen reportedly called out “who is Malala” as they stormed into the school pickup bus before shooting her at point-blank range in the head. She was only 15 years old at that time but her bravery and yearn for an education intimidated the Taliban.

I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, is a memoire written by Malala and British veteran journalist Christina Lamb that tells Malala’s tale and is now a best seller. The books not only looks at Malala’s struggles as she was advocating for children right to an education but also reveals the support structure she had from which her father played a big part. 

Malala has presented many speeches and interviews at prestigious events and venues, prior to the release of her book she had also blogged for BBC under the pen mane Gul Makai.

“I’m proud that I’m the first Pakistani and the first young woman, or the first young person, who is getting this award,” sad Malala. “This is not the end, this is not the end of my campaign, and this is the beginning,” she added speaking in Birmingham where she currently lives.

The two laureates will be presented with their prize of $1.1 million on the 10th of December which will also be the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896.