Featured Publication

Defending Human Rights: A Resource Book for Human Rights Defenders (2nd Ed.)

Available below in Arabic, Amharic, English, French, Somali, and Swahili.

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Table of contents:

  • Acknowledgements
  • Foreword
  • International and Regional instruments for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
  • Human Rights Defenders under Threat: A Field Security Approach to their Work
  • Trauma and Coping Strategies for Human Rights Defenders
  • Advocacy Campaigns for Human Rights Defenders
  • Social Media for Campaigning
  • Women Human Rights Defenders – Need for Strategic Activism
  • Defending Sexual Minorities
  • Annex 1: International and Regional Documents on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
    • Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
    • African Commission Resolution on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders in Africa
    • European Union Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders
  • Annex 2: Resources on International Mechanisms
  • Annex 3: Resources for Human Rights Defenders
  • Annex 4: Organizations working with Human Rights Defenders

Defending Human Rights: A Resource Book for Human Rights Defenders (English PDF)

Défense des Droits Humains: Un Livre Ressource pour les Défenseurs des Droits Humains (French PDF)

Kutetea Haki za Binadamu: Kitabu cha Marejeo kwa watetezi wa Haki za Binadamu (Kiswahili PDF)

Difaaca Xuquuqda Aadanaha: Buug Xambaarsan Macluumaad loogu Talogalay Difaacayaasha Xuquuqda Aadanaha (Somali PDF)

ስለሰብአዊ መብቶች መሟገት: ለሰብአዊ መብት ተሟጋቾች የተዘጋጀ የመረጃ ምንጭ መጽሃፍ (Amharic PDF)

الدفاع عن حقوق الانسان :كتاب الموارد للمدافعين عن حقوق الانسان (Arabic PDF)

“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
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
Don’t Shoot the Messenger! Journalists as Human Rights Defenders in the East and Horn of Africa

DefendDefenders examines the challenges journalists face, and provides an overview of the various strategies they have used to circumvent and continue their work amid these restrictions

2 November 2017
STAND UP! Security manual for African human rights defenders

Our security manual provides key strategies that human rights defenders and civil society organisations can use to immediately improve their safety.

6 May 2017
Safeguarding Civil Society

A joint report with contributions from DefendDefenders' Technology team assesses Internet freedom and the digital resilience of civil society.

17 March 2017
Exiled and in Limbo: Support mechanisms for human rights defenders in exile in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda

DefendDefenders examines the situation of HRDs living and working in exile, and provides a resource guide of the various support mechanisms available to them.

20 June 2016
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Somali human rights defenders and media workers caught in the crossfire

Somali human right defenders, including journalists, face worsening patterns of attacks on their rights to life, security of person, and freedom from arbitrary arrests and detention.

16 February 2016
10 Year Anniversary Publication

On 27th October 2015, the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP) celebrated ten years of defending human right activists throughout the East and Horn of Africa. To mark this occasion, EHAHRDP has produced an anniversary publication.    

27 October 2015
Caught up in Bitter Contests: report on human rights defenders working in the context of elections

The report details the tactics used by the Sudanese, Ethiopian, Burundian and Ugandan governments to limit the operating environment for civil society in advance of elections.

30 September 2015
2015: Burundi at a turning point

DefendDefenders details extensively how the relationship between civil society and Burundian state authorities dramatically deteriorated ahead of the April 2015 Presidential elections.

2 February 2015
For us Silence is not an Option: human rights defenders and the South Sudan civil war

This addendum to the 2013 report, “Change will not come until we talk about reality" contains additional research since including additional research conducted since the outbrak of the South Sudan Civil War.

14 December 2014
Human Rights Defenders: A key to fighting sexual violence in African conflicts.

A briefing paper by DefendDefenders outlining the pivotal role of human rights defenders in advocating for justice, accountability, and the rights of victims of sexual violence.

9 June 2014
South Sudan: Report Highlights Persistent Pattern of Attacks against Human Rights Defenders

Human rights defenders in South Sudan are facing increasingly grave risks in undertaking human rights monitoring and reporting, finds a new report published today by the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP). The report, entitled “Change will not come until we...

9 December 2013
Only the Brave Talk About Oil: Human rights defenders and the resource extraction industries in Uganda and Tanzania

DefendDefenders examines the situation of human rights defenders engaging Uganda and Tanzania's rapidly growing resource extraction industries.

3 December 2012
Ernest Manirumva: A lost light, a derailed trial, and an embattled civil society

The report provides background to the murder Ernest Manirumva, as well as an account of the hearing of 15 June 2011, and information on the climate for human rights defenders working in Burundi.

26 October 2011
Report: Promoting the Rights of Human Rights Defenders in the East and Horn of Africa

The report, based on over 100 interviews, provides a thorough analysis of the current situation facing HRDs and, drawing on key findings, makes specific recommendation.

31 December 2009
East Africa and the Horn of Africa – “Defending the Defenders”: a Human Rights Defenders Conference

This is a report of a Human Rights Defenders Conference held in Entebbe, Uganda, from 30 October to 4 November 2005. It provided a unique opportunity for human rights defenders from East Africa and the Horn of Africa to share their experiences, exchange ideas and build networks to support each other. The conference was jointly organized by Amnesty International and the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defender Project (EHAHRDP), based in Kampala. It brought together 43 human rights defenders, including 19 women defenders, from Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Somaliland, Sudan (including South Sudan), Tanzania (including Zanzibar), and Uganda. The conference culminated in the launching of a new Human Rights Defenders Network linking organizations working for human rights in East Africa and the Horn, and the adoption of a Plan of Action.

18 July 2006
Human rights defenders in need of defense: A field report on the protection and effectiveness of Human-rights defenders in West and East Africa and the Horn (2005)

The African Human Rights Defenders Project is designed to strengthen the work of human rights defenders in Africa by reducing their vulnerability to the risk of persecution and by enhancing their capacity for effectiveness in defending human rights. It focuses on West Africa, East Africa...

29 September 2005