The East & Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project.

Latest Stories

UN Human Rights Council – 40th regular session

Item 3: General debate   Oral statement Delivered by: Estella Kabachwezi   Mr. President, In December 2018, DefendDefenders published a report on marginalised human rights defenders (HRDs) in East Africa. The report covers the situation of indigenous, women, and LGBT+ HRDs in Uganda, Kenya and...

8 March 2019
Enhancing human rights defenders’ protection: DefendDefenders at the UN Human Rights Council

Today, the 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (“the HRC”or “the Council”) opens for four weeks in Geneva. A DefendDefenders delegation led by the Executive Director, Hassan Shire, will actively advocate for enhanced protection for human rights defenders (HRDs) across the East and...

25 February 2019
Ubuntu Hub Cities launched in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

On 14 February 2019, AfricanDefenders (the Pan-African Human Rights Defenders Network) launched the Ubuntu Hub Cities in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – an Africa-based relocation programme for human rights defenders (HRDs) at risk. “Côte d’Ivoire is the first country in Africa to have adopted and  implemented...

18 February 2019

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
“To Them, We’re Not Even Human”: Marginalised Human Rights Defenders in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania

In a new report launched at the annual Claiming Spaces forum, DefendDefenders examines the important role played by marginalised human rights defenders (HRDs) in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. While all HRDs in the East and Horn of Africa sub-region face significant challenges in their work, some are marginalised due to their geographical location, cultural identify, gender, or sexual orientation, in addition to their work. In order to better understand and address this marginalisation, “To Them, We’re Not Even Human: Marginalised Human Rights Defenders in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania,” focuses on indigenous minorities, women human rights defenders (WHRDs), and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other sexual minority (LGBT+) HRDs.

3 December 2018
Uganda’s Social Media Tax through the lens of network measurements

Today, in collaboration with OONI (Open Observatory of Network Interference), DefendDefenders co-published a new research report: “Uganda’s Social Media Tax through the lens of network measurements”. Our research report is available here. As of 1st July 2018, Uganda has introduced a new OTT (Over The Top) tax – ...

12 November 2018
Between Despair and Resilience: Burundian human rights defenders in protracted exile in Uganda and Rwanda

Despite being forced into exile after April 2015, many Burundian HRDs continue their work. A new report examines the challenges they face.

14 September 2018
Human rights defender of the month (January 2019): Yared Hailemariam

Yared Hailemariam is an Ethiopian human rights defender (HRD), and the Executive Director of the Association for Human Rights in Ethiopia (AHRE), a non-governmental and non-partisan organisation based in Brussels and Geneva, founded by activists that fled the country and other members of the Ethiopian...

11 February 2019
Human Rights Defender of the month: Joseph Parsambei

Joseph Parsambei is the founder and Executive Director of the Tanzania Pastoralist Community Forum (TPCF), a network of organisations dedicated to the protection and promotion of pastoralist and indigenous rights in Tanzania. As a lawyer, his outstanding human rights work focuses on forced displacement of marginalised...

15 January 2019
2019: End of year message

Dear friends and colleagues, As we move towards the end of 2018, it is time to reflect upon our achievements, actions, and challenges over this past year. I am grateful to say that we have enhanced our work, methodologies, strategies, and most importantly our impact...

19 December 2018

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