The Free State Centre for Human Rights is a critical, interdisciplinary, and contextually engaged research, advocacy, and legal-practice institution, focusing in its work on the relationship between human rights and transformation.
Established in January 2016, the Centre’s genesis was the 2007 incident of racial discrimination at the Reitz student residence on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus. Following this incident an agreement was reached between the UFS and the South African Human Rights Commission that a centre for human rights would be established, with the mandate to work toward the transformation of the UFS campus and campus community.
Given this background, the Centre’s broad focus is not on human rights in the abstract, but on the relationship between human rights and our actual mandate, transformation.
This inevitably means that the Centre’s work and its research community is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing on a range of different disciplines and combining insights and wisdom from a variety of disciplines. The Centre participates in its research and other activities with the whole UFS community, be it through teaching in the Centre’s Interdisciplinary Master’s Degree in Human Rights; co-supervision of postgraduate students; participation in research projects; or simply involvement in the Centre’s research discussions and events.
Although the Centre is primarily an academic research institution, its work is contextually engaged. A