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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

UFS law researcher part of international project to produce human trafficking reference book
2017-03-17

Description: Human trafficking reference book Tags: Human trafficking reference book


Trafficking in Persons has been in the spotlight as an ever-growing crime around the world. Research being done in South Africa by various universities over the years has yielded results that are internationally recognised.

Part of this work has been done by Prof Beatri Kruger, Research Associate at the Centre for Human Rights at the University of the Free State (UFS), who has been involved in research that has created awareness around the world on various methods of human trafficking in Africa. She is currently working on co-authoring a chapter in the International Handbook on Human Trafficking to be published by Palgrave, the first of its kind and a major reference work in this field, with Marcel van der Watt, a lecturer at the University of South Africa (Unisa) Department of Police Practice. The reference book is a massive international project that will have more than 60 international contributors and will be published in 2018.

Contribution to international research
The chapter is titled: Breaking bondages: Methods to control victims, ‘Juju’ and human trafficking. It explores the methods used by Nigerian and other West African traffickers, namely “juju” rituals, to subdue their victims for sexual exploitation in various parts of the world. The chapter further charts various physical, financial and the psychological control mechanisms, essential in establishing an informed counter-trafficking global response.

The book and other research being done is a step in the right direction in further understanding specific practices, and can be used to augment international research, support the work of NGOs, law enforcement agencies and individuals who work with victims worldwide, to be able to understand the tools used by perpetrators, and to stop the crime from growing.

Prof Kruger said there were new opportunities at the research division of the UFS Centre for Human Rights to explore human rights violations that occur in human-trafficking scenarios, thus contributing towards more efficient strategies to combat this crime.

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