“Human rights education is much more than a lesson in school or a theme for a day; it is designed to provide new generations with the knowledge of their inalienable rights, and the means to exercise the rights and to defend them.”
Katherine Liao, Deputy Regional Representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Regional Office for Southern Africa stressed this sentiment in her address opening a Human Rights Resource Centre on 30 July 2014, which will be housed at the Law Library of the School of Law at the University of Venda.
The University, located in Thohoyandou in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, will – through the Resource Centre – give free access to publications, covering various human rights issues, to students, academics, researchers, representatives of civil society and the public at large. It will also serve as de facto reference library for official OHCHR publications.
In addition to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Information Centre and UNAIDS have also contributed publications. A total of over 400 copies of publications was handed over to establish the Human Rights Resource Centre. To complement the donation of publications, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay also donated to the University a part of her personal collection of law books.
The establishment of this Human Rights Resource Centre is part of a larger project whereby the OHCHR Regional Office for Southern Africa seeks to establish such centres in all 14 countries that it covers. The Resource Centres at the University of Venda is the second in South Africa. There is also a Resource Centre at the University of Pretoria. In the sub-region, Human Rights Resource Centres have been established in Malawi and Mozambique.
OHCHR publications can also be accessed online from: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/PublicationsResources/Pages/Publications.aspx