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The week in civil society: Autism, African roll-outs an...

Maverick Citizen

CIVIL SOCIETY WATCH 29 MARCH – 4 APRIL

The week in civil society: Autism, African roll-outs and ‘building back better’

Some refugees say they have been told that their only hope of renewal is to bribe people who “have connections” with Home Affairs officers, for up to R1,500. (Photo: Gallo Images/Alet Pretorius)

This week, civil society remains focused on Covid-19 vaccine access but shines the spotlight on the roll-out in African countries. The Constitution Hill Human Rights Festival continues with webinars addressing LGBTQ+ rights and the rights of migrants, refugees and children. This week also marks World Autism Awareness Day.

On Monday, 29 March, the life of anti-apartheid activist Dulcie September will be commemorated. The human rights activist was the ANC’s representative in France, Switzerland and Luxembourg. She was assassinated in Paris on this day in 1988. Among the speakers will be a representative of the September family, as well as fellow activists who worked alongside her in Europe. Attend the virtual memorial here at 3pm.

The human rights conversation continues with the eighth dialogue in Constitution Hill’s Human Rights Festival. At 7pm, the plight of migrants and refugees in the face of Covid-19 will be unpacked, as well as South Africa’s migration policy and practice. Attend here.

On Tuesday, 30 March, Corruption Watch and Open Cities Lab will present and discuss their latest research on the state of transparency of health procurement data in South Africa. Tune in here at 11am.

A group of refugees living on the pavement near the Cape Town Central police station during lockdown on March 27 2020. Photo: Nardus Engelbrecht/Gallo Images)
An elderly man receives Covid-19 vaccine in Rabat, Morocco, on 29 January 2021. (Photo: EPA-EFE/JALAL MORCHIDI)

At 2pm that day, the Africa Judges and Jurists Forum will launch its study on access to justice under lockdown in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi and Botswana. Attend the virtual launch here.

At 4pm, the Nigerian civic tech organisation BudgIT will host a webinar to discuss equity and social justice in the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines in Africa. On the panel will be Dr Marlise Richter, a senior researcher at the South African organisation the Health Justice Initiative, and Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. Tune in here.

That evening, the Human Rights Festival turns the spotlight on LGBTQ+ rights. Join the discussion at 7pm here.

This week marks World Autism Awareness Day. (Photo: Shutterstock/Wikipedia)

On Wednesday, 31 March, members of the Constitutional Debating League will join constitutional experts to discuss pressing issues, including the state of South Africa’s education system. Join here at 2pm.

The same day, Columbia University’s Pandemic Research Center will present two recent studies on the agency and impact of community organisation on the Covid-19 response in Africa. It will have a particular focus on vaccine uptake in African countries. Register here for the panel discussion at 2.30pm.

World Autism Day will be commemorated on Friday, 2 April. This year’s theme focuses on inclusion in the workplace, particularly in a post-pandemic world of work. The United Nations has organised an online discussion between individuals on the autism spectrum to unpack discrimination in the workplace and how the world can “build back better” to be more inclusive. Join the event here at 4pm. DM/MC

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