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25 April 2019 | Story Mamosa Makaya

Since 2016, the University of the Free State Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS) has received a grant from First National Bank worth R2 498 000, which supports tertiary bursaries for students with disabilities. Bursary holders are funded through CUADS, as the administrator of the bursaries.
  
These are students enrolled for various academic programmes who require academic assistance and/or assistive devices such as electronic handheld magnifiers, laptops, and hearing aids. The FNB grant also covers tuition, accommodation, study material and books, and meals.  The success of the grant is already evident, with one of the recipients having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in December 2018. A second student was capped at the April 2019 graduations with a BSc Honours in Quantity Surveying.
 
Supporting the principles of the ITP

The UFS received the grant from FNB in instalments, starting in the 2016 academic year to date, supporting the needs of 40 disabled students. This grant and the work of CUADS speaks to and supports the principles of the Integrated Transformation Plan (ITP), namely inclusivity, transformation, and diversity. The vision of the Universal Access work stream is to enable the UFS to create an environment where students with disabilities can experience all aspects of student life equal to their non-disabled peers. The ITP provides for the recognition of the rights of people with disabilities as an important lesson in social justice and an opportunity to reinforce university values.

The successful administration of the grant to benefit past and present students is a ‘feather in the cap’ of CUADS, and is a shining example of the impact of public private investment and the endless possibilities that open up when there is a commitment to developing future leaders in academic spaces, allowing them to thrive by creating a learning environment that is welcoming and empowering. 



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Human Trafficking in Africa presented at Cambridge Counter Trafficking Summer School
2016-08-22

Description: Beatri Kruger Tags: Beatri Kruger

Prof Beatri Kruger

The Cambridge Centre for Applied Research in Human Trafficking (CCARHT) presented the Counter Trafficking Summer School programme from 31 July to 6 August 2016 in Cambridge, England. The Summer School was based on the 2020MDS vision for graduates and young professionals in law, finance, public policy and development.

 During the week-long programme, Prof Beatri Kruger, Adjunct Professor in Public Law at the University of the Free State and renowned researcher in human trafficking in South Africa, presented via Skype, some of the burning issues of human trafficking and developments in the Africa region. Her perspectives come at a crucial time in the development of research in the field, especially concerning practices that are unique to Africa and Southern Africa in particular.

Her presentation titled: Celebrations and challenges en route to #2020HTvision: Southern Africa perspective explores the significant progress made by African countries in implementing the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) legislations with some convictions and action plans to combat this heinous crime. In her lecture, Prof Kruger shared some of the controls used by traffickers over their victims.   She explained that these controls range from violence to financial and psychological measures. A strong psychological control method is the use of traditional rituals, termed “Juju” or witchcraft, by Nigerian traffickers, where fear is instilled in the victim to pledge loyalty to their captors.  Traffickers are generally known to also use drugs and alcohol to control victims.

Prof Kruger indicated that there is a significant number of human trafficking cases recorded in South Africa. However her particular focus is on the regional tradition of Ukuthwala. This tradition was  seen as a romantic game to expedite marriage negotiations, but recently the tradition is often abused to traffic young girls into forced marriages. 

She mentioned that some countries in Africa such as Zambia have made significant progress with enforcing laws that criminalise the use of traditions violating human rights. Prof Kruger presented her research to various other researchers and students from regions across the globe, including Asia, the Middle East, America and Europe.  This research will be published in the South African Review of Sociology in the coming months and in an international handbook on human trafficking in 2017.

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