Dezember 14, 2023

Beyond a Declaration – What Rights can do

Yann Hakam

Dieser Artikel ist Teil unserer Serie anlässlich des 75. Jahrestages der Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte.

In 2023, RLS decided to create a podcast series to talk in more depth about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its 75th anniversary. Joining forces with Bubblegum Club, 4 fascinating episodes were created. Enjoy!


In the Beyond a Declaration – What Rights can do podcast, we discuss human rights, which are not just about laws and regulations but about our everyday lives and our shared humanity. Our conversations are inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was adopted in 1948 in response to the horrors of the Second World War.

The Declaration has laid the foundation for the rights and freedoms every person is entitled to today. Since 1948, numerous generations have contributed to the evolving concept of human rights. In our podcast, we explore the meaning of four key rights from the UDHR: the right to freedom of expression and opinion, the right to education, the right to work, and the right to liberty and life.

Join us as we hear from new voices that are redefining these rights in their unique contexts and ways.


About the host

Lwando Xaso is a human rights lawyer, writer, historian and promoter of democracy and constitutionalism.She came of age during South Africa’s transition from Apartheid to democracy. As a result, her political orientation has been largely shaped by Mandela’s presidency, which showed her what South Africa is capable of achieving against the greatest odds.


Episode 1: Technology and the Right to Freedom of Expression and Opinion

In authoritarian regimes, both past and present, freedom of expression and opinion is radically suppressed, particularly the voices of those who dissent. Article 19 of the UDHR provides that ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. In many parts of the world and including our online world, this right is under threat with trends of censorship such as book bans, threats to media freedom, cancel culture, shadow banning online and the use of algorithms that control the opinions and information people are exposed to. Are we heading towards a future of singularity, where technology will eclipse human intelligence, expression and opinion? How does our technology driven online culture promote and curtail freedom of expression and opinion? And what consequences does this all have on the future of human imagination and creativity?  We will explore these question and more with journalist and philosopher, William Shoki, the editor of Africa is a Country.

Released on January 4, 2024
Available on Spotify, Deezer and Google Podcasts.

Episode 2: The Right to (Trauma Informed) Education

Often education is seen as a means towards employment. But for philosophers like bell hooks and Paolo Freire, education is more than that, it is a means through which we can expand our humanity.  Their theories around the meaning of education are grounded in love which is a vital component for liberation. Article 26 of the UDHR provides that everyone has the right to education. How can we deepen this right to meet the unique challenges of the 21st century whilst also addressing the traumas of the past? More and more we are seeing calls for an education system designed to equip us with living in a poly crisis world. What would a right to education responsive to these crisis and traumas experienced in the global south experience look like? How can we create an education system that produces leaders of the future who do not act from fear or trauma but from love and wholeness? We will explore these questions and more with educator, Hatim Eltayeb and coach and therapist, Savanthika Pillay.

Released on January 11, 2024
Available on Spotify, Deezer and Google Podcasts

Episode 3: The Right to Work or not to Work

There are many trends that currently define the work landscape. Many people around the world, especially younger generations, are frustrated with the nature of work, asking big questions such as: what’s the purpose of work, leading to the rise of an anti-work movement. We have also seen a rise in people, especially women, taking on unpaid care work which limits their access to the labour market, relegating them to low-income and insecure employment. And there is the youth unemployment epidemic, with devastating consequences in many parts of the world, especially South Africa. Article 13 of UDHR states that everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. Is this right a lived reality for people? If not, what can be done to make it real? We will discuss this and more with Sharmi Surianarain, Chief Impact Officer at Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, and Kgomotso Mufamadi, Lawyer and Head of Industrial and Employee Relations, BMW Group SA.

Released on January 18, 2024
Available on Spotify, Deezer and Google Podcasts

Episode 4: Right to Life and Liberty in the midst of Oppression

Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland is considered by many to be the last absolute monarchy in Africa. Tensions have been high in Eswatini in recent years, especially since a crackdown on mass pro-democracy protests in 2021 killed dozens of people, and calls for greater transparency and real democratic reform have grown.  Respected Eswatini human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko was shot dead in January 2023 sending shock waves through the world. Maseko was a leader of Eswatini’s democracy movement fighting for liberty and better quality of life for all. His death highlighted that the universal rights declared in the UDHR are not universal.  Article 3 of the UDHR states that everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. What is the meaning of life and liberty in a place like Eswatini? We will discuss this and more with Tanele Maseko, a human rights activist in Eswatini and the wife of the late Thulani Maseko.

Released on January 25, 2024
Available on Spotify, Deezer and Google Podcasts

Dieser Artikel ist Teil unserer Serie anlässlich des 75. Jahrestages der Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte.