The East & Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project.

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HRC39: Address crackdown on civic space in Tanzania

To Permanent Representatives of Member and Observer States of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland Tanzania: Open letter to States for joint action to address crackdown on civic space and prevent a further deterioration of the situation Excellency, Ahead of the 39th regular...

16 August 2018
DefendDefenders renews partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Uganda

DefendDefenders (the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project) today renewed its partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Uganda. The contract, which was signed by H.E. Henk Jan Bakker and DefendDefenders’ Executive Director, Hassan Shire at the Human...

10 August 2018
HRC39: Call to renew the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi

Version française ci-dessous To Permanent Representatives of Member and Observer States of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland Burundi: Call to renew the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry   Excellencies, Ahead of the 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council (“HRC”...

8 August 2018

We are DefendDefenders

DefendDefenders is the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project. We seek to strengthen the work of human rights defenders HRDs throughout the region by reducing their vulnerability to the risk of persecution and by enhancing their capacity to effectively defend human rights. DefendDefenders works in Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia (together with Somaliland), South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Featured Articles

Spreading Fear, Asserting Control: Tanzania’s assault on civic space

DefendDefenders raises the alarm about a growing human rights crisis in Tanzania

26 June 2018
“This Is Our Freedom. These Are Our Rights” Human rights defenders in South Sudan since July 2016

DefendDefenders examines the state of human rights defenders in South Sudan.

26 April 2018
DefendDefenders opens permanent office in Geneva

DefendDefenders becomes first Sub-Saharan regional civil society organisation to establish permanent representation to the UN in Geneva.

5 March 2018
Headlong Rush: Burundi’s behaviour as a member of the UN Human Rights Council

DefendDefenders examines Burundi's abysmal record as a member of the UN Human Rights Council.

25 July 2018
Spreading Fear, Asserting Control: Tanzania’s assault on civic space

DefendDefenders raises the alarm about a growing human rights crisis in Tanzania

26 June 2018
“This Is Our Freedom. These Are Our Rights” Human rights defenders in South Sudan since July 2016

DefendDefenders examines the state of human rights defenders in South Sudan.

26 April 2018
Defender of the month: Mohamed Farah

Mohamed Farah, 34, is a Somali human rights defender. He is the founder and chairperson of the Somali Disability Empowerment Network (SODEN). In addition to his work with the Somali Coalition of Human Rights Defenders as a steering committee member and Disabled Peoples’ International, Farah...

1 August 2018
Defender of the month: Vicky Ntetema

Vicky Ntetema is a former journalist and human rights defenders (HRDs) from Tanzania whose work spans more than two decades. In light of her home country’s recent crackdown on civic space, she has begun focusing her efforts towards full-time advocacy, bringing greater attention to human...

5 July 2018
Defender of the month: Dinah Nakuwa

Dinah Nakuwa works with the Loima Women Empowerment Initiative (LOWEI), a small organisation of some 60 women founded in 2010 to address social issues in the Turkana region of Northern Kenya. In this arid hinterland, geographically and traditionally on the fringes of Kenyan politics, civil...

14 June 2018

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DefendDefenders today renewed its partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Uganda. The contract, which was signed by H.E. Henk Jan Bakker and DefendDefenders’ Executive Director, Hassan Shire at the Human Rights House in Kampala, ensures continuity of “Protection and Safety for Human Rights Defenders in Uganda,” a project that started in December 2014.

The previous project sought to enhance the protection of human rights defenders in Uganda through enhanced safety and security. The project responded to a changing context where space for human rights defenders to accomplish their work was fraught with risks especially in light of the increased cases of office break-ins and violations on freedom of association, expression and peaceful assembly among others. The project strengthened the capacity of human rights defenders to protect themselves through physical and digital safety trainings and by mitigating direct threats to human rights defenders through our emergency protection support. The project also supported the institutionalization of the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders Uganda (NCHRD-U).

The new project “Protect Human Rights Defenders in Uganda” (2018-2021) builds upon the previous project and seeks to expand the scope and impact of the work of DefendDefenders. It aims to build on these successes, to further increase the safety and operational space of human rights defenders in Uganda; build the capacity of human rights defenders to document human rights violations and disseminate evidence-based material; and sustenance of the NCHRD-U through continual mentorship. The contribution from the Netherlands Government amounts to around UGX 6.8 billion.

“The commitment of the Dutch people to promote human rights around the world is exemplary and admirable. With their support, DefendDefenders has been able to positively impact the lives of human rights defenders in Uganda,” said Mr. Shire. “We are grateful for the opportunity to continue working together.”

Ambassador Bakker commended the work of DefendDefenders, not only in Uganda but also in other parts of Africa, and concluded with the following remarks “Human Rights Defenders are indispensable to safeguard democratic values and principles; their protection and safety, therefore, is more than ever before a joint responsibility of the world community”.
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