Human rights refer to the basic rights and freedoms that are granted to all people, often seen as the right to life, to freedom, to freedom of thought, expression and equality.

The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

The Bill of Rights (Chapter 2 of the Constitution), in which all human rights are protected, is seen as the cornerstone of the South African democracy. Most countries believe that the ideal state is one with a culture where everybody is aware and informed about their rights, and where every person’s human rights are protected. This definitely is the case in South Africa. Our Constitution confirms that a human rights culture should be established, and that respect for human rights should be promoted. This is a worthy goal, and to achieve this it is important that we, as a university community, take ownership of this idea and put some guideline in place to further grown and teach this culture of human rights.

The North-West University already took ownership of this concept by establishing a human rights policy to which all personnel and students are subjected. This policy stipulates that all of the fundamental values and rights described in the Constitution should be enforced and respected.

Any person who believes their fundamental rights are being violated or threatened should lay a charge with the North-West University’s Human Rights Committee. This is an independent, impartial committee that operates in good faith and without fear, favour, partiality, or bias.

Complaints can be submitted in writing to the chairperson of the NWU Human Rights Committee by e-mailing humanrrights@nwu.ac.za.

You can also use the following link to lay an electronic complaint.

http://services.nwu.ac.za/human-rights/human-rights-committee-complaint-form

Your complaint will be studied by all members of the committee. Within seven days of the committee making their decision, the complainant will be notified whether the complaint was rejected or whether it was referred for formal investigation.

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