Posted on March 20, 2020
As South Africa continues to evolve nearly 26 years into its democratic era, special occasions such as Human Rights Day on 21 March are a sobering reminder of the struggle and sacrifice that so many undertook for the benefit of all.
Human Rights Day memorialises the 69 people killed and 180 injured during the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960, which followed a march by ordinary people demonstrating against unjust pass laws which infringed on their right to freedom of movement.
Fifty years after this tragedy, South Africans rightly celebrate a democratic ethos built on a culture of human rights, freedom, and dignity for all.
The University of Pretoria is proud to be part of building the South Africa envisioned in our Constitution, in ways reflected in our outlook, culture, policy, vision and mission. When we look back upon an inhumane history which has resulted in a systematically unequal society, UP seeks to address these matters for future generations. Equitable access to a high quality of education produces graduates who are creative and critical thinkers; leaders who excel in the world beyond university; innovative research which has an impact on society and transforms lives; and a deep desire to have an impact on the future of our continent and world by making today and every day matter.
New research (available on our Research Matters website) highlights just how seriously UP takes human rights. The research, conducted by our Centre for Human Rights (CHR), shows how UP takes a stand even when we believe that local laws should be repealed or amended if they violate the constitutional freedoms and rights of society’s most vulnerable people.
UP is proud to be the home of the CHR, whose academics were closely involved with drafting South Africa’s Constitution, a founding document regarded as one of the most progressive, liberal and protective of human rights in the world.
We are equally proud of all the other ways in which we contribute to human rights in South Africa through these and other research initiatives:
We envisage the University of Pretoria as an inclusive institution which has an affirming and transformed institutional culture, curriculum, campus and residence life. I strongly urge staff and students to read our Anti-Discrimination Policy for greater detail, and to be aware of the provisions and the manual that goes with the policy.
We do not tolerate the following and are committed to eradicating:
On this Human Rights Day, take a moment to consider how we can all carry a culture of human rights further in our personal and professional lives. Treating all people with respect, dignity, kindness and upholding the human rights of all is THE UP WAY.
Professor Tawana Kupe
Vice-Chancellor and Principal
Copyright © University of Pretoria 2023. All rights reserved.
COVID-19 Corona Virus South African Resource Portal
To contact the University during the COVID-19 lockdown, please send an email to [email protected]
Get Social With Us
Download the UP Mobile App