CIVIL SOCIETY WATCH 1-5 MAY
This week – 30th World Press Freedom Day and talk on reparatory justice for people of African descent
The 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day will mark three decades of progress towards achieving a free press; the 32nd session of the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent will discuss ‘Reparatory Justice for People of African Descent’; and Constitution Hill in Johannesburg will launch ‘The Movement Store’.
Monday 1 May is Workers’ Day.
Workers’ Day has been recognised and observed since the first democratic elections in 1994.
“The holiday serves both as a celebration of workers’ rights and as a reminder of the critical role that trade unions, the Communist Party and other labour organisations played in the fight against apartheid,” according to the South African government’s information page on the event.
“Because South Africa’s working classes were those most oppressed by apartheid, the struggle for better working conditions and the struggle to overthrow systemic segregation became closely linked. Before the elections of 1994, labour and trade groups often used Workers’ Day as a symbol to rally the population against the segregation and oppression of the Apartheid system, organising demonstrations and encouraging widespread resistance.”
Wednesday 3 May is World Press Freedom Day.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day. The past three decades have seen substantial progress towards achieving a free press and freedom of expression around the world.
“The proliferation of independent media in many countries and the rise of digital technologies have enabled the free flow of information. However, media freedom, safety of journalists and freedom of expression are increasingly under attack, which impacts the fulfillment of other human rights,” according to the United Nations information page on the event.
“This year’s special 30th anniversary celebration of World Press Freedom Day is… a call to recentre press freedom, as well as independent, pluralistic and diverse media, as key to the enjoyment of all other human rights.”
On Thursday, 4 May, at 10am, the 32nd session of the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent will discuss the topic, “From Rhetoric to Reality: Reparatory Justice for People of African Descent”.
Speakers include Amara Enyia, two-time Chicago mayoral candidate; Sonita Alleyne, Master of Jesus College, Cambridge University; and Catherine S Namakula, current chair rapporteur of the Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent of the Human Rights Council.
The discussion will be livestreamed on UN web TV.
Find out more about the session here.
On Friday, 5 May, at 4pm, Constitution Hill is launching “The Movement Store”. The store will be an official retail outlet for the Creative Uprising Hub at Constitution Hill, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
The hub is a “creative and cultural space”. Since its inception in 2020, multiple development programmes have seen the hub incubate more than 50 creative businesses that have generated various “bespoke products”, according to the launch description.
The launch will take place at the Conhill Visitor Centre in Constitution Square, outside the Constitutional Court.
The Stellenbosch University (SU) Law Faculty will be running a “Social Justice and the Law Trainers’ Course” from 10 to 12 May.
It is a three-unit short course, “designed to foster a common approach to social justice teaching and training through conceptual clarity and shared appreciation of constitutional and international obligations to social justice”, according to the course description.
The facilitator is Professor Thuli Madonsela, Law Trust Chair in Social Justice at SU. The course will take place virtually, via Microsoft Teams.
For more information, contact Marna Lourens on [email protected]. DM/MC