Newsletter 09/10

Dynamic relations between South Africa and Brazil

During the last World Cup, the honourable results of the South-African team, led by its Brazilian coach Carlos Pereira, was highlighted. The link between these countries thus appears to be strong as far as football is concerned, since Brazil will succeed to South Africa as host of the World Cup in 2014.

It seems obvious that bilateral relations are not confined to sports. Brazil is the main trade partner of South Africa in Latin America. Moreover, strengthening ties through football only reflects a common will to enhance political and economical cooperation.

On July 9th of the current year, President Lula paid an official visit to South Africa, in return to Jacob Zuma's visit of October 2009.

The cooperation is also related to IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa). The scope of this alliance, created in 2003, is to strengthen trilateral relations, but also to impose itself in global issues as a representative of emerging countries. According to President Lula, IBSA constitutes "the public assessment that we believe in South-South relations".


Strong criticism upon a Bill likely to unsettle freedom of press in South Africa

While Desmond Tutu, who received a Nobel Prize for peace, declared that the recently considered measures on press were not to be admitted, a petition, supported by hundreds of intellectuals, was signed by Nadine Gordimer and André Brink on August 20th, 2010.

They are opposed to the creation of a Court specialized in matters of press (Media Tribunal), which they believe could in fact act as a censorship organ. The new jurisdiction would thus be enabled to sentence journalists up to 25 years of imprisonment, based on new types of wide-range incriminations, contained in a bill named " Protection of information Bill. ".

On August 8th, 2010, the main press editors warned against such measures that would be contrary to the freedom of press.

Here, it must be highlighted that South- African press is organized within a professional organ (Press council), has an Ombudsman and a conduct code regulating independently the profession.

The fragilised situation of Roms in Europe

Roms, whose presence in Eastern and Central Europe had been hidden during the Cold War period, are nowadays confronted with ostensibly discriminatory measures and practices.

Furthermore, recently in France, decisions of expulsion have been implemented, which is all the more surprising as this country is well- known for being a receiving one. This goes against the fundamental freedoms of movement and establishment that are supposed to prevail within the European Union.

The European Commission has thus expressed worries on this matter.

Economical and social programs led by the EU in favour of Roms will have to be deeply re-examined in order to reach their goals. Barriers to freedom of movement will also have to be lifted.

The annual report of the Pretoria Centre for Children's Rights

The " Centre for child Law " of the University of Pretoria acts for the complete academic recognition of Children' Rights, intervenes before Courts in favour of children and transmits its suggestions to South-African authorities in order to obtain improvements in the current legislation. It resorts to an average of 20 jurists to follow cases by South-African jurisdictions.

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