The Human Rights Cycle Tour, through the work of the Human Rights Centre, is an event that goes beyond the memorialisation of the heroic struggles of the past. It also foregrounds the contemporary global human rights agenda.
Set your heart racing – ride for human rights
Set your heart racing – ride for human rights. This is our official theme for the Human Rights Cycle Tour (HRCT). Cycling is a centuries-long mode of transport, an excellent form of exercise and, above all, a symbol of freedom through movement. Its symbolism is significantly enhanced by the rich history of struggle for human rights in South Africa. The HRCT route is a ± 85km event and traverses major human rights memorials and landmarks, including the Cape Town Parade, the Castle of Good Hope, the Slave Route, to the site of the Trojan Horse massacre in Athlone where blood was shed in the quest for justice, equality and dignity for all. However, the HRCT, through the work of the Human Rights Centre, is an event that goes beyond the memorialisation of the heroic struggles of the past. It also foregrounds the contemporary global human rights agenda.
Why take part on the Human Rights Cycle Tour?
Upholding human rights and human dignity is the concern of every human being and includes the right to freedom of social interaction. Similarly, enjoying sport is also the right of every human being and includes the right to a healthy lifestyle through sport. The two rights are universal and converge naturally. Cycling is a global phenomenon as a mode of transport, a leisure activity and as a serious sport. The pre-eminence of human rights and the merits of cycling are undisputed.
So, you need NOT be a cyclist to support the HRCT. The sole qualification is to be human, for human beings are naturally concerned about the right to basic freedoms such as health through leisure and sport.
Above all, the theme of the HRCT places every human being at the centre of its core agenda. Our vibrant tagline: Set your heart racing – ride for human rights exemplifies our vision of an inclusive event that at once advocates a fundamental human impulse and one that builds social cohesion.
Human Rights Centre
The origins of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) date back to 2009. It is a unique institution pioneered by the Kaaf Trust, headed by Dr Anwah Nagia, a renowned human rights activist. Part of the work of the trust is to support local writers with publishing their work. To date twenty books by local authors on diverse subjects have been published.
The Human Rights Centre’s vision is to posit a memory and a narrative of injustice in the interests of social justice. Its mission is to build an institutional platform to deliver diverse public services in order to memorialise, uphold and contribute to a legacy of information and knowledge production and dissemination based on universal values and social justice.
The first of its kind in Africa, the centre is located between the portal to the Cape Town City centre and the landscape adjacent to District Six, the space where one of apartheid South Africa’s grossest human rights violations had occurred. These features of the centre are designed for the recognition of human rights with an emphasis on economic, political, social and cultural rights. It also contributes to an appreciation of the ideals of freedom, equality and human advancement by foregrounding their antithesis, especially in the form of racism, xenophobia, religious intolerance and colonialism.
The centre accomplishes a functional and aesthetic convergence of human rights education, activism memorialization and celebration through all these features.
The Centre houses:
- A place of prayer for the world’s three major religions. This includes a chapel, a synagogue and a mosque, reflecting the broad interfaith policy of the Centre. The Centre embraces all faiths and their essence of goodness on earth for the sake of God.
- Exhibitions and displays that, inter alia, memorialise a narrative of human rights. The exhibitions provide a platform for the work of local and international artists.
- The Palestine Museum exhibition – This reflects a 6000-year history with the key objective of conveying the true narrative of the Palestinian land, its people, their culture and civilisation.
- A lecture theatre with a seating capacity of 300 for the purpose of hosting talks by leading and local international human rights advocates.
- A specialist open-public library, with a division dedicated to postgraduate research and the production of knowledge and information on human rights by and for academics. To date the library has received over 60 000 books, many of which are from the private collection of human rights activists.
- A Media Centre which will primarily focus on both the production and distribution of content on human rights via all platforms, including print, radio and electronic media.
- An on-site medical clinic for the aged and a legal clinic offering services of medical, legal and mental health professionals. These services are offered on a voluntary basis for the benefit of people unable to afford professional fees and whose access to these services are compromised.
- A multipurpose space dedicated to training and integrated study on human rights and supported by the expertise of suitably qualified academics.
- A restaurant called “The Wall” – This will be a source of revenue for the Centre and will feature and celebrate particularly the cuisine of nations whose history bear the legacy of walls of separation of people, namely Palestine, Mexico, Berlin, China and Korea.
- The Peace Garden Roof Top – This is a memorial to martyrs over the globe who fell in their struggle for justice. It is also an aesthetic tribute to their memory.