Centre for Human Rights launches a glossary of human rights terms in Tigrinya

Posted on July 30, 2015

The Centre for Human Rights (CHR) at the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Law, in collaboration with a group of Eritrean human rights lawyers, launched a glossary of human rights terms in Tigrinya in June this year. This is in line with one of the CHR’s main objectives, namely to facilitate a wider dissemination of publications on human rights in Africa.

The glossary, published as the Eritrean government is undergoing close scrutiny by the United Nations-mandated Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea (COIE), represents a timely initiative. Its main objective is to familiarise key human rights terms in the Tigrinya language. The publication is also seen as part of the CHR’s long-standing commitment to the advancement of human rights in Eritrea.

A glossary, as it is most commonly understood, is an alphabetical list of words or terms relating to a specific subject, with explanations of the meanings of those words.

The importance of such a glossary became evident during the translation of the first two reports by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Eritrea. As the lead actor in the translation of these documents, the CHR experienced difficulty in finding equivalent Tigrinya words for certain terms. Thus the idea of preparing a Tigrinya glossary was born out of this process. The glossary is the first of its kind in Tigrinya. It is intended for use by lawyers, scholars, practitioners and the broader public.

The glossary is also intended as a stepping-stone for a more systematic work to advance a human rights language in Tigrinya. The CHR will support this project by providing periodic updates. They look forward to cooperating with other stakeholders who are interested in the advancement of human rights literature in indigenous African languages.

The glossary will be published on the CHR’s website, as well as on other websites that are frequently visited by Eritreans.


Download the glossary in PDF


- Author Centre for Human Rights

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