Making technology work for human rights defenders in East & Horn of Africa

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No lasting peace without justice, UN rights council tells South Sudan

By adopting a strong resolution on the human rights situ­a­tion in South Sudan, the UN Human Rights Coun­cil (“Council”) sends a message to the South Sudanese government and all parties to the conflict that there will be no lasting peace without justice. The resolution adopted...

22 March 2019
Environmental rights defenders are key to sustainable development, UN asserts

There can be no environ­men­tal protection and, ultimately, no sustainable development without respect for environmental human rights defenders (HRDs), the UN Human Rights Coun­cil (“Coun­cil”) warned today through the adoption of a strong, sub­stantive resolution on the pro­tection of environmental HRDs. As the negative effects...

21 March 2019
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

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

Call for applications: Training of Trainers and Cyberwoman Forum

Apply by 1 June.

Join us! Announcing the 2018 DefendersTech Professionals Fellowship

Get away from it all but bring your skills with you. The DefendersTech Program at DefendDefenders is looking for technology professionals to join our team. On this short, costs-covered, secondment to Kampala, Uganda you will help human rights defenders working in the dynamic but turbulent countries of East and Horn of Africa to use technology safely and effectively. You will support and develop the ragtag team of trainers and technologists at DefendDefenders by contributing your unique expertise to our existing projects or begin the development of new ones.

Apply now: DOC-it

DOC-it is a program run by DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project) to support human rights organisations in collecting, analyzing and visualizing data by implementing or improving electronic documentation systems for human rights monitoring and related advocacy activities in Uganda. Reliable, comprehensive...

Postuler à la formation juste à temps: Formation des formateurs en sécurité numérique

Les défenseurs des droits de l'homme et les journalistes font de plus en plus leur travail en ligne et sur les appareils numériques, mais ils manquent souvent des compétences techniques pour utiliser ces outils de manière efficace et sécurisée. DefendersTech (un projet de DefendDefenders) organise...

“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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