The EHAHRDP Advocacy Programme works to raise awareness of the challenges facing human rights defenders in the sub-region and to promote the implementation of concrete measures to improve their situation. The programme also seeks to facilitate the effective engagement of HRDs with the regional and international human rights mechanisms.
Among the major thematic issues EHAHRDP advocates on are:
- Reprisals against HRDs for their cooperation with regional or international human rights mechanisms;
- Ensuring that regional and international protection mechanisms available to human rights defenders function meaningfully and effectively;
- Highlighting issues facing most-at-risk groups of defenders. These include women human rights defenders, LGBTI human rights defenders, journalists and HRDs working in conflict zones;
- Identifying and providing analysis on emerging trends, such as HRDs working on the natural resource extractive industries.
In designing and implementing our advocacy activities, EHAHRDP works closely with Network members and partners, whose insights, information and priorities are vital. EHAHRDP encourages the active involvement of all members in the work of the Network and welcomes suggestions, comments and recommendations. At the national level, EHAHRDP works in close collaboration with the national HRD coalitions and networks where they exist to support their advocacy efforts on HRD issues.
At the regional and international level, the Advocacy Programme supports members to access the United Nations and African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR). EHAHRDP has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC status), which enables us and our members to participate in UN forums such as the Human Rights Council. We also have observer status with the ACHPR and sit as a member of the Steering Committee of the Forum on the Participation of NGOs in the Ordinary Sessions of the ACHPR (known generally as the NGO Forum).
The Research Department at EHAHRDP works with the Advocacy Programme to produce original research as well as participating in research partnerships on thematic and emergent issues. EHAHRDP seeks to provide timely, relevant and well based information and assist in providing in-depth analysis of current trends impacting on the situation of human rights defenders in the sub-region and to develop appropriate recommendations for the better protection of HRDs.