Civil Society Education Conference
"Realising Basic Education as a Socio-Economic Right: How far have we come and where are we going?"
On 14 and 15 November 2012 the Centre for Child Law, the Legal Resources Centre, Equal Education, Section27 and the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, organised and hosted an education conference.
The organisations were motivated by their common concern about the way in which education is currently provided, and the difficulties in ensuring that the right to education is realised. The aim of the conference was to initiate a dialogue with other groups and organisations in order to enrich and advance efforts to address the challenges in education.
Other aims of the conference were to analyse the outcomes of litigation that has been undertaken and the implementation of policy and law reform; facilitate discussions on non-legal initiatives being pursued to advance the right to basic education and inform better collaboration and understanding between legal and non-legal initiatives and how such collaboration can impact positively on the fullfilment of the right to basic education.
The conference was attended by a number of important stakeholders, from civil society and government, seeking to ensure that the right to basic education is properly implemented in South Africa. Following the conference a report was put together that details all the presentations made.
Download the conference report
Seminar on child rights litigation in Eastern and Southern Africa
The Centre together with Save the Children Sweden hosted a seminar on Strategic Impact Litigation on Children’s Rights in Eastern and Southern Africa. The seminar was held over a 3 day period, from the 31st of October to the 2nd of November 2011. Participants invited to attend the seminar were from a number of southern and eastern African countries. These participants were representative of various civil society organizations and legal practitioners all interested in and working towards the advancement and enforcement of children’s rights.
Seminar on Strategic Impact Litigation on Children’s Rights in Eastern and Southern Africa
Strategic impact litigation, as a tool to advance and protect children’s rights, is used by very few practitioners and is not widely known and understood. The aim of the seminar was increase the participants’ awareness and understanding of strategic impact litigation as a tool to advance the rights of children in their respective countries.
A number of speakers gave presentations at the seminar, giving our participants an overview of different elements of strategic litigation could be used in relation to children’s rights. Ann Skelton and Karabo Ngidi gave presentations on the first day on the nature of strategic impact litigation, such as:
- The ideal socio-political environment
- Timing: mootness and ripeness
- Choosing the right cases and clients
- Legal representation of children: Protection v participation
The second day of the seminar was spent in Johannesburg with Justice Albie Sachs. The former judge of the Constitutional Court gave the seminar participants a guided tour of the Constitutional Court and a talk on children’s rights litigation from a judge’s perspective. Thereafter Advocate Steven Budlender of the Johannesburg Bar discussed the kinds of remedies available in litigation. Lastly Nicole Fritz and Abede Bhamjee from the Southern African Litigation Centre discussed strategic impact litigation in Southern Africa with particular reference to the Moyo case, a case that they were involved in.
On the last day of the seminar, Professor Michelo Hansungule of the Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria discussed the different ways in which African regional mechanisms can be used to protect and enforce children’s rights. Partick Geary from the Child Rights Information Network (based in London), gave a presentation on an international database of decisions that refer to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The seminar ended with participants discussing a plan and exchanging ideas on what cases might be brought in their respective countries.