The overarching objective of the Human Rights programme is to promote respect for human rights in South Africa, with a particular focus on bringing the voices of women and children to the UN. UNASA makes use of international human rights mechanisms, such as the Universal Periodic Review, to promote human rights standards and address human rights issues in South Africa.
1) To raise awareness of human rights and encourage advocacy among chapter members
2) To facilitate human rights projects through the national office and UNASA chapters for the chapter members and local communities
3) To build strong civil society partnerships to promote and protect human rights
4) To engage academia, civil society, and the media to advocate for and raise awareness of fundamental human rights
UNASA's projects are aimed at enhancing understanding and knowledge of human rights and fostering positive civil engagement and participation.
UNASA organises human rights workshops titled "My Rights and Responsibilities" for children in marginalised communities. The human rights sub-committees of UNASA's university chapters facilitate the workshops. These workshops are aimed to be fun and to encourage the building of trust between children and facilitators. Topics covered during the workshops include: human dignity, the Convention of the Rights of the Child, the meaning of human rights and human rights violations, among others.
Poetry workshops are held at Artscape theatre in Cape Town for victims of gender-based violence (women, girls and children from the Cape Town area). These workshops will provide a medium of expression of the effects of gender-based violence, real experiences, pain and suffering, and will be an attempt to provide healing and hope to the participants. Topics addressed at the workshops include: domestic violence, effects of gender-based violence, and responses to gender-based violence.
WFUNA (World Federation of United Nations Associations) trainers facilitate regular trainings on international human rights mechanisms and instruments at UNASA university chapters. The target group are university students who will be capacitated to understand how to use advocacy on an international level to impact human rights at a local and nation level.
UNASA conducts research on human rights for submission to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report, in collaboration with our human rights partner, the Community Law Centre (CLC) at the University of the Western Cape. The study looks at the current prevalence of gender-based violence against women, girls and children, as well as its effects, causes, and possible solutions. The research is part of UNASA's efforts to "take the voice of the voiceless to the United Nations." The objective of this project is to work towards the promotion and protection of the fundamental human rights of victims of gender-based violence in South Africa.