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LITIGATION INSTITUTE ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS

(03 October – 14 October 2016, Johannesburg)

BACKGROUND:

The Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) is a feminist Pan-African organisation established in 2014 with an ambitious remit: to strengthen strategic human rights litigation across the continent. ISLA is the first Africa-based and managed strategic litigation initiative with a regional focus and, expertise on women’s human rights and sexual rights.

Our work is based on the belief that strategic litigation is an immensely strong tool for social change as it helps to re-frame the understanding of entitlements before the law and challenges the legal discourse. ISLA believes that investing in local institutions and individuals is critical in sustaining momentum and expanding the pool of domestic lawyers who can do strategic litigation. ISLA works with partners to submit strategic cases on sexual rights and women’s human rights cases at the domestic and regional level. The organisation’s capacity strengthening programmes aim to transfer the skills and expertise needed for local lawyers to; select, develop and argue cases effectively.

‘VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND RIGHTS’ LITIGATION INSTITUTE:

ISLA is pleased to announce a call for applications to lawyers, from the African continent, who wish to participate in the litigation institute on ‘Violence Against Women (VAW) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR).

Through ISLA’s analysis and consultations, it has been brought to the fore that there is a skills deficit among individuals and institutions undertaking strategic litigation on VAW and SRHR. As a result, there is a critical need to provide sustained tailor-made capacity strengthening initiatives to lawyers as a means of ensuring effective strategic litigation and ultimately the development of progressive jurisprudence on VAW and SRHR.

The objective of The Institute is, therefore, to enhance the understanding amongst lawyers and activists working on VAW and SRHR of; regional and international standards available to them. In addition, it aims to strengthen the capacity of lawyers in using strategic litigation in order to achieve greater legal protection and obtain redress for victims of abuses in cases relating to VAW and SRHR.

CRITERIA FOR ELIGIBILITY:

  • The invitation is open to lawyers; working with/within an NGO that uses strategic litigation or those with an interest to use strategic litigation in addressing VAW and SRHR through the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (“ACHPR”), the Economic Community of West African States (“ECOWAS”) Treaty, East African Community Treaty (“EACJ”), Southern Africa Development Community Treaty (“SADC”), Treaty on the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (“CEDAW”) and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (“Maputo Protocol”), among others.
  • The lawyer must have working knowledge of issues relating to VAW and its intersection with SRHR
  • The lawyer must also possess knowledge of international and regional human rights law
  • The lawyer must possess an interest to undertake strategic litigation, particularly within the following themes;
    • VAW
    • SRHR
    • Women’s socio-economic rights

Please note that the institute will be held over a two- week period, participants are therefore required to be able to take time off work for full-time participation. All sessions will be held in English, therefore proficiency in English is required.

All reasonable travel and subsistence costs associated with attendance at the seminar will be covered by ISLA.

HOW TO APPLY:

Interested individuals must complete and submit the application form. The closing date for applications is Wednesday 31 August 2016, 12pm South African Time.
Only shortlisted candidates will be notified after the closing date and should be available for a telephonic interview on Tuesday 6 September 2016.

For further information on the Institute please refer to the concept note or contact Kay Mahonde at kay@the-isla.org.