HURISA was founded in June 1993 as an Institute for the Study of Public Violence and served as the research and documentation arm of the Commission of Inquiry into public violence chaired by Retired Judge, Judge Richard Goldstone. When Mr. Mandela visited Norway in 1992, he requested assistance from the Norwegian Government for effective monitoring of the politically based public violence that was threatening the transformation process from apartheid to multiracial democracy in South Africa.  That would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of President Nelson Mandela, the father of our democracy.  The organisation envisage a society in which all people are aware of their human rights, how their human rights can be realised and redress mechanisms can be accessed. To this end the organisation provide as much human rights education as possibly primarily in South Africa, but also in the region and Continent as whole, especially in terms of human rights as a philosophy, understanding human rights system, accessing socio-economic rights and learning skills to train others to promote human rights and provide support to NGOs in neighbouring states.

When the Goldstone Commission’s mandate ended in 1994, the name of the organisation was changed to the Human Rights Institute of South Africa.  Since then, HURISA has transformed itself into a human rights training organisation. Within South Africa a wide number of NGOs and community-based organisations have been provided training as well as government officials, lawyers, students, educators and learners. HURISA seeks to strengthen the systems of human rights, namely the Human Rights Council (HRC), African Union (AU) at continental as well as sub-regional (SADC) and national human rights bodies

To this end the organisation provide as much human rights education as possibly, primarily in South Africa, but also in the region and Continent as whole for women, children and youth’s to play roles in delivery of economic and social rights. Communities in rural areas have been targeted, including poor villages and informal settlements in urban areas. The organisation engenders women, men, people with disabilities, people with albinism, sexual orientation and gender identity with partners on women and gender based violence organisations. South Africa is a state party to numerous international and regional human rights mechanisms promoting women, youth and children’s rights. The organisation has identified the need to monitor implementation of human rights instruments and translation of policy into acceptable human rights standards for effective transformation of the living realities of communities, especially in the poor rural communities of our country

HURISA is a member of South Africa National Committee on Racism, Racial Discrimination Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, established by Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. A member of a Steering Committee for development of a National Action Plan for Peace & Security under UN Resolution 1325. HURISA coordinates, a campaign Her-Voice-Her- Peace- She-Matters, for promotion of women’s voice & participation in peace and security situations. The organisation also coordinates a Learning Exchange Programme for Youth in South Africa & Kenya. Civil Society in BRICS and promotes Enabling Environment National Assessments for Civil Society Organisations. HURISA has observer status with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, an African Union Human Rights apex promoting implementation of the African human rights instruments at national and regional levels.

HURISA is a Study Group Member on Freedom of Association and Assembly established by the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, to support the Special the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa. The organisation also serves on a Reference Group Member that supported the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defender’s in Africa to write a study report on the situation of women human rights defenders in Africa

HURISA provides technical support to assist NGOs apply for observer status with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.  HURISA is a founding Member of the Coalition of an Effective African Human Rights Court, as well as the Coalition for Effective Southern Africa Tribunal


We look forward to a society in which all people are aware of and enjoy their human rights. A society where human rights of peoples are promoted, protected and fulfilled. A society in which government is held accountable and provide mechanisms to redress any human rights violations thereof, which mechanism must be transparent and accessible to all without discrimination


  • To provide effective professional
  • Promote a veritable human rights culture, peace and democracy in South Africa, in the Africa continent and in the World at large.
  • Provide training and information on human rights instruments and standards.
  • Provide communities with an understanding of states obligations and level of compliance with human rights instruments
  • Provide governments with necessary information on how to comply with their international and national obligations.
  • Capacity building of human rights defenders
  • Conduct research and advocacy on contemporary human rights issues

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *