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The Constitutional Hill Human Rights Festival

The Constitutional Hill Human Rights Festival

This 6th edition of the Constitution Hill Human Rights festival takes place at a time when our country is in crisis and our Constitutional vision of social justice and human rights is being stretched to breaking point. For this reason, the theme of the festival is Seize the Power!

The festival is FREE for all and gates open at 10am on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd and 6am for the iconic We, The People Walk on Sunday the 24th.

Each year the festival unites NGOs, social justice organizations, think tanks media partners, and more around human rights issues. The event presents two jam-packed days of conversations, exhibitions; art, film, and live performances.

The festival aims to build greater awareness and knowledge around human rights and to promote the importance of an active citizenry. It aims to build social cohesion, and tolerance of difference and heal divisions in our communities. The festival was conceptualised to commemorate those heroes who took a stand for their rights in the Sharpeville 1960 massacre, those who taught us stand up for the power and relevance of human rights for all.

“In this safe and special space, people will be able to discuss challenges facing our country and the world, and how best we, the people, can coordinate our efforts to bring about lasting and consequential change based on social justice and human rights,” said Acting CEO Siyabonga Hlongwane.

This year’s human rights festival coincides with the 30th anniversary of South Africa’s Democracy. This milestone is an opportunity for everyone to recommit to the values of our constitution and uphold them to foster equality, dignity, freedom and justice for all.

“The debates, workshops and seminars at the festival are all pointing us to look towards human rights as a catalyst for workable and sustainable solutions for the challenges we face,” said Abigail Noko, Regional Representative of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Civil society organisations have worked with Constitution Hill to shape a unique programme.

On the apron of the Constitutional Court and using venues in the Old Fort and Women’s Jail. "The GBVF Response Fund is honoured to collaborate with Constitution Hill for the upcoming Human Rights Festival. This partnership is crucial given the urgent need to address Gender-Based Violence (GBVF) and its impact on human rights. Violence undermines the principles of human dignity and equality, making it imperative to shed light on ongoing efforts and pressing needs in combating this scourge. As a catalytic partner in the fight against GBVF and other human rights violations, we recognise the festival as a vital platform for fostering dialogue, raising awareness, and mobilising collective action towards a society free from violence. Our participation underscores our dedication to promoting a culture of respect and upholding human rights principles.” Festival sponsor and GVBF Fund CEO, Sazini Mojapelo.

The Festival will bring together community-based organisations, social movements, non-governmental organisations, and international non-governmental organisations.

"Queer persons are asked to solve for X in the next democratic election. We make our mark on the ballot hoping that our confidence in a party will not be taken for granted. For far too long we've been co-opted without service delivery that translates to our everyday lives. This dialogue asks political parties to make valid their seduction of the queer vote, and it is about time too!" Says Thami Dish of The Thami Dish Foundation.

This year’s film festival is set to be iconic! Curated by Mmabatho Montsho, attendees can look forward to a variety international and home-grown productions in the realm of human rights activism and social justice. “It’s an honour to be invited by ConHill to be at the helm of the 2024 Human Rights Film Festival. My role has included sourcing and curating films, panel discussions, workshops, fundraising and initiating long term relationships with relevant partners. Together with ConHill, I look forward to growing the festival and establishing it as one of the defining festivals for filmmakers in Africa in the coming years” said Mmabatho.

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