Video: A History of Supporting Human Rights Defenders in Africa


https://vimeo.com/142100987
As the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP) gears up to celebrate its ten years of supporting human rights defenders, we will be releasing a series of videos highlighting the work we have been doing, and the rich history behind it.

Hassan Shire established the organization in 2005, after being forced into exile for his human rights work in Somalia. “I realized that many others shared the pain that I felt at having been forced away from my country and the sub-region,” says Mr Shire, the Executive Director of EHAHRDP. “I began developing a project that would allow endangered human right defenders to continue their valuable work while safely staying in the region.”

A decade later EHAHRDP has grown into an organization with 25 full time staff dedicated to protecting human rights defenders throughout the region. Through capacity building and advocacy, EHAHRDP continues to empower defenders and strengthen their work, while ensuring their safety through its protection team and its network of national coalitions it established in the region.

As EHAHRDP reaches this important milestone, our organisation will be focusing its energy on preventative measures, ranging from capacity building in digital and physical security to strengthening protection mechanisms in place to allow human rights defenders to mitigate the risks with which they are faced.

However, all these achievements trace back to one common experience. EHAHRDP was established based on a shared understanding: the challenges and hardship that come from standing up for human rights. This video explores the roots of EHAHRDP: how the idea of one human rights activist who was forced to leave Somalia became a fully functional support structure for human rights defenders across the sub-region.

Production of these videos has been made possible with the generous support of the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and Austrian Development Cooperation.

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