South Africa human rights

African Human Security Initiative
One-year project for seven established African Non-Governmental Organisations "to embark upon a process of benchmarking the performance of key African governments in respect of human security issues, measured against the commitments taken at the level at OAU/AU heads of state meetings." The eight countries being evaluated are Algeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda. Full text Project and Background Papers. Full text Monographs and Research Reports.

Amy Biehl Foundation
Non profit, established in memory of Stanford student, Amy Biehl, who was killed in 1993 in a Cape Town township.  Works with South African township youth through after school programs. Also  "Two of the four men convicted for Biehl's murder, Easy Nofemela and Ntobeko Peni, have since reconciled with her parents, and are now working for the Foundation in South Africa." Based in Cape Town, South Africa.

Amy Biehl Foundation - Facebook Page

Behind the Mask
E-magazine on Lesbian and Gay issues in Africa. News on human rights issues in each country. Arts and culture section (poetry, photography, stories, sports, travel, etc.), women's section, picture gallery. Based in South Africa.

Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation
The Centre is a South African NGO which began operations in 1989. Has the full-text of short articles on prisons, crime, rape, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, human rights in Zimbabwe, Pagad Killing of Rashaad Staggie, their annual report, etc. Based in Johannesburg.

Children's Charter of South Africa
Passed by the "International Summit on The Rights of Children in South Africa", ......27th May to 1st June 1992 in....Cape Town." "The summit brought together over 200 children, between the ages of 12 and 16 years. Children came from 20 different regions all over South Africa and were representative of race, class gender and disability. At the summit children discussed the problems facing them and spoke out about the continuing violations of human rights."
See also at

Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, - Apartheid Litigation. Khulumani et al. V. Barclays et al.
Cohen, Milstein......, along with other firms in the United States, joined with the South African firm, Abrahams Kiewitz, in filing a complaint which "seeks to hold businesses responsible for aiding and abetting the apartheid regime in South Africa...." "Twenty-two businesses, representing six industry types, have been named as defendants in the suit. The complaint seeks to hold those businesses,...responsible. For example: "IBM and ICL provided the computers that enabled South Africa to create the hated “pass book system” and to control the black South African population. Car manufacturers provided the armored vehicles that were used to patrol the townships. Arms manufacturers violated the embargoes on sales to South Africa, as did the oil companies. The banks provided the funding that enabled South Africa to expand its police and security apparatus."
Cohen, Milstein....also participated in a case regarding lung disease, silicosis, in South African miners.

Conference - International Conference on a Decade of Freedom: Celebrating the Role of the International Anti-Apartheid Movement, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 10-13 October 2004

"...independent documentary production company – was formed by Craig Matthew and Joëlle Chesselet in 1987 when South Africa was still governed by the apartheid system." Films include Katjira’s Dream on the Himba people’s contemporary challenges, Ochre and Water on the threat to the Himba of a new dam (includes music audio sample), Narrative of Betrayal on Angola, This crazy thing called Grace on the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Based in Cape Town, South Africa.

Facing the Truth with Bill Moyers
Two hour documentary on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, produced by Public Affairs Television, Inc. "Interviews with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, apartheid victims, former officers of state security, freedom fighters, journalists, and eyewitnesses reveal the difficulties of mending a nation bitterly divided by race and oppression." Has an educator's guide and organizations guide in Adobe .pdf format. Video available from Films for the Humanities and Sciences at 1-800-257-5126. $44.95 for the two videocassettes.

Freedom of Expression Institute, FXI (Johannesburg)
Issues Action Alerts and Press Releases, describes their campaigns. FXI was formed in 1994 from a merger of the Campaign for Open Media (COM) and the Anti-Censorship Action Group (ACAG).

Goldstone, Richard J. - "Law and the Search for Justice" (April 1997)
Justice Goldstone is a member of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. He is the former Chief Prosecutor for the International Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia." Discusses his background, apartheid, the Goldstone Commission, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the International Tribunal for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, includes an internet chat with high school students. Part of the Conversations with History series from the Institute of International Studies, Univ. of California, Berkeley.

Helen Suzman Foundation
Promotes liberal constitutional democracy, conducts public policy research, founded 1993. Full text documents - memorial lectures, roundtable series, symposium series, the newsletter Focus, briefs, human rights dialogue, pharmaceuticals in South Africa, universal health coverage. Based in Johannesburg, South Africa. [KF]

Human Rights Committee of South Africa
Site has closed. "...a non-governmental organization....Its objective is to monitor, research, report, and advocate around human rights issues," Has Legislative Updates, monthly reports, etc. Based in Johannesburg.

Human Rights Watch - "Keep Your Head Down": Unprotected Migrants in South Africa
Full text report, pub. 2007. An investigation of abuses regarding migrant farm workers (from Mozambique and from Zimbabwe) in South Africa.

Human Rights Watch - "Prohibited Persons: Abuse of Undocumented Migrants, Asylum-Seekers, and Refugees in South Africa"
Full text. 236 pages (New York: 1998).

IFEX, International Freedom of Expression Exchange Clearing House (Toronto, Canada)
Issues Actions Alerts, tracks threats to freedom of the press, radio. Use the Search by country to retrieve reports about media-related civil liberties issues. Has past alerts from 1995 to date.

Legal Aid Board of South Africa
"The Legal Aid Board is one of the institutions earmarked to make the constitutional promise of justice for all a reality in South Africa." Their Justice Centres provide legal representation to the indigent. Information such as How the Justice System works in South Africa, Types of Courts and Proceedings. Based in Johannesburg. [KF]

Long Night's Journey Into Day
Won the 2000 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for "Best Documentary Film." About South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Follows four cases before the Commission (Cradock Four, Guguletu 7, Amy Biehl, and Magoo's Bar Bombing). Directed by Frances Reid & Deborah Hoffmann of Iris Films, Berkeley, CA.

"Perspectives on Refugee Protection in South Africa"
- Edited by Jeff Handmaker, Lee Anne de la Hunt, and Jonathan Klaaren. Full text. Pub. 2001. Published by Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), Pretoria, South Africa.

Research and Teaching on Human Rights, Gender Issues and Democracy in Southern Africa
From the Human Rights and Documentation Centre at the University of Namibia, UNESCO, and Human Rights Internet. Publishes the Namibian Human Rights On-line Journal. Has country Profiles with basic facts, historical background, political system, human rights, gender issues, democracy, institutions & organizations directory. Site covers the 14 member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). [KF]

Resources Aimed at the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, RAPCAN
Campaigns and lobbies around "issues such as child labour or sexual exploitation, children infected and affected by HIV / AIDS, and the safety of children as pedestrians." Copies of their submissions concerning legislation. Annual reports, articles, links to related sites. [KF]

Site for the NGO sector in South Africa. Has an NGO directory, PRODDER. Provides Website Design, Hosting, Database Design for civil society organizations. Offers internet training, information communication technology (ICT) strategic planning, linux local area networks setup. Based in Johannesburg.

Six Degrees (Stanford, California)
Produced by Stanford University students. The Winter 2004 issue, in PDF, has an article on Gender Inequality and Child Abuse in South Africa, by Maya Adam. Fall 2003, in PDF, has an article on Liberian refugees in the Ivory Coast, by Nicolai Lidow; an article on violence against women in Cape Verde, by Teal Pfeifer, gender based violence during political conflicts, by Lisa Ehrlich. Based in Palo Alto, California. [KF]

Social Justice Coalition
Based in Cape Town, South Africa.

South African Broadcasting Corp - South Africa's Human Spirit, An Oral Memoir of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
The SABC produced a radio series on the Truth and Reconciliation. Five cds were produced from the program. The web site has the script for the broadcasts and a description and photographs of the April 2000 launch of the cd set. The CD set is in the Stanford Univ. Library and other libraries. [KF]

South African Human Rights Commission (Johannesburg)
"...the national institution established to entrench constitutional democracy." Has the full text of their 1998 national action plan, outlines their complaints procedure ("The SAHRC will help you if any of your rights in the Bill Of Rights have been violated or abused.)," has a simplified version of the Bill of Rights.
Has full text reports in Adobe .pdf format; reports are over 100 pages long.

  • School Racism Report (596KB)
  • Race and the Media Report Part 1 - Inquiry into Race and the Media (401KB)
  • Race and the Media Report Part 2 - The News in Black and White: An Investigation Into Racial Stereotyping in the Media (158KB)
  • Race and the Media Report Part 3 - Interim Report Media Inquiry (46KB)

South African Journal on Human Rights (Wits)
Has the table of contents. Published by the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg and Juta & Co, Cape Town.

South African National Editors' Forum
Has a Documents Library. Media ethics. Full text online of the reports "So this is democracy? State of media freedom in
Southern Africa". Based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Traces of Truth. Documents Relating to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, TRC
Selected full text online documents. Full text papers - TRC background, case studies of human rights violations, amnesty debates, reparations, etc. Links to related sites. "The Preservation and Access to Records and Stories relating to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is a joint Historical Papers (The Library, University of the Witwatersrand) and the South African History Archives Project." Based at the William Cullen Library, University of the Witwatersrand. [KF]

Transformative Human Rights Unit, THRU
An "all female NGO", ......"THRU supports the human rights theory developed by Professor Costas Douzinas called an Ethical Approach to Human Rights." Uses comic strips to promote human rights, produces bill of rights training manuals, advocates on issues. Examples of court cases. Fights discrimination against those living with AIDS. Projects for South Africa, Kenya, Malawi. Has internships. Based in Cape Town, South Africa.

Triangle Project
"To contribute towards eradicating discrimination against and within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, and to provide defined services to the LGBT community..." Has posters (downloadable). Links to related sites. Based in Mowbray, South Africa.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Has the full-text of the 5-vol. Final Report, background documents, photos of the 17 commissioners, press releases from Nov. 30, 1995 to date, wire stories from the South African Press Assoc. (SAPA) from April 22, 1996 to date. One can register to receive their updates by e-mail. Has submissions from political parties, transcripts concerning Stephen Biko, Ahmed Timol, Amy Biehl, the Mandela United Football Club, and others.  Hosted by the South Africa Dept. of Justice and Constitutional Development.
See also Truth and Reconciliation Commission, South Africa: final report:
Stanford students please see the Documents section of Prof. Joel Samoff's class for Vols. 1-6 of the Commission Reports.

U.S. Department of State. Reports on Human Rights Practices
Reports for African countries from 1993 and following.

University of Pretoria. Faculty of Law. Centre for Human Rights
Offers masters degrees, short courses. Publishes Human Rights Law in Africa; with an extensive online bibliography covering African countries and specific issues (Rwanda Tribunal, etc.). Has links to related sites.

  • African Human Rights System (full text, includes regional treaties)
  • African Human Rights Documents (full text)
  • Occasional Papers (full text)
  • Has the full text or extracts of Constitutions for Algeria -- Angola -- Benin (French) -- Burkina Faso (French) --Cameroon --Cape Verde -- Central African Republic (French) -- Chad (French) -- Comoros (French) -- Congo (French) -- Côte d'Ivoire (French) -- Djibouti (French) -- Egypt -- Eritrea -- Ethiopia -- Gabon (French) -- Ghana -- Guinea (French) -- Kenya -- Liberia -- Libya -- Mali -- Mauritania -- Mauritius -- Morocco -- Mozambique -- Namibia -- Niger (French) -- Nigeria -- Rwanda -- Senegal -- Sierra Leone -- Tanzania -- Togo (French) -- Uganda -- Zimbabwe.
  • Publishes African Human Rights Law Journal and the African Human Rights Law Reports.

World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia & Related Intolerance, Durban, South Africa, Aug. 31 - Sept. 7, 2001
Official site.

World Conference Against Racism. NGO Forum, 28 August - 1 September 2001 Durban, South Africa

Yale Law School - South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission Videotape Collection
"...features 84 episodes of news broadcasts assembled by journalist Max Du Preez, covering the history and activities of the Commission. The site features finding aids to the collection, summaries of each tape, ...." Watch videos of news reports on human rights abuses (requires soundcard, speakers, fast connection). Index of People, Places, Incidents, Concepts, Events, Groups, Political Organizations. List of "Good Teaching Episodes". [KF]