DefendDefenders’ Advocacy Program works to raise awareness of the challenges facing human rights defenders (HRDs) in the East and Horn of Africa and to promote the implementation of concrete measures to improve their situation. The program also seeks to facilitate the effective engagement of HRDs with the regional and international human rights mechanisms.
In designing and implementing our advocacy activities, DefendDefenders works closely with EHAHRD-Net members, partners, whose insights, information and priorities are vital. At the national level, DefendDefenders works in close collaboration with national HRD coalitions and human rights networks to support their advocacy efforts on relevant 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). DefendDefenders 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).
DefendDefenders produces original research and participates in research partnerships on thematic and emergent issues. We seek to provide timely, relevant and verified information and assist in providing in-depth analysis of current trends impacting the situation of HRDs in the sub-region and to develop appropriate recommendations to better protect them.