Professor Kader Asmal was born in Stanger, South Africa, 1934, training as a teacher then spending 30 years in exile during the banning of the African National Congress. While in exile, he became a barrister in Britain and Ireland, studied at the London School of Economics and taught law at Trinity College, Dublin, winning the UNESCO Prize in 1983 for teaching human rights law.
He was a founder of the British and Irish Anti-Apartheid Movements and achieved a number of honours and citations in the area of human rights and social justice. He made an important contribution to the drafting of the South African Constitution, promoted equality of gender, and was made a Professor of Human Rights at the University of the Western Cape on his return to South Africa.
In 1994 he was appointed Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, spearheading an overhaul of water management, based on a sustainable approach. He was instrumental in the National Water Act of 1998, the Community Water Supply and Sanitation Program, the Working Water Program and the National Water Conservation Campaign. In  he became Minister of Education but maintained a keen interest in water and environmental management, as Chairman of the World Commission Dams, a key member of the World Water Commission for the 21st Century, and a contributor to the Stockholm Water Symposia, for instance.
He has been awarded honorary doctorates for human rights by Queen's University, Belfast, 1966, for water conservation and environmental concerns by Rhodes University, 1997, his work in civil liberties and international action against apartheid by Trinity College, Dublin, 1998, and for water conservation by the University of Cape Town, 1999. He was also given the Chair of the Ethics Subcommittee of the Houses of Parliament in South Africa.
Copy of address by Professor Asmal to the Anti-Apartheid Movement's 40th Anniversary Symposium at South Africa House, London, 26th June 1999.
The papers were brought from the Symposium on 26th June 1999.Access Conditions
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Asmal | Kader | b 1934 | Professor | anti-apartheid campaigner environmentalist politician
Anti-Apartheid movements | South Africa | Congresses
Anniversary Symposium of the Anti-Apartheid Movement (40th: 1999: London)