DefendDefenders has established and continues to support national coalitions of human rights defenders (HRDs) in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania, Somalia, and Uganda. The coalitions form part of a network across the East and Horn of Africa through which HRDs can come together and claim their rights at the national level.
As national mechanisms, they are in a unique position to reach HRDs working in remote areas, who often lack access to support systems and are most vulnerable. The national coalitions play a vital role in implementing capacity building activities and providing protection for HRDs across the sub-region.
The Ethiopian Human Rights Defenders Centre (EHRDC) was established in December 2019, after more than 60 HRDs and human rights organisations representatives met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the Claiming Space forum from 9 to 13 December 2019, organised by DefendDefenders in collaboration with local CSOs. EHRDC was established with the aim to have a strong national human rights defenders network, dedicated to protecting and defending Ethiopian human rights defenders.
The Defenders Coalition is the first coalition founded by DefendDefenders and now serves as a successful model for new coalitions across the East and Horn of Africa. It was created out of a need for a viable mechanism at the national level to strengthen the voices of individual HRDs and provide protection in situations of imminent threat.
Somalia continues to be one of the most dangerous places in the world to work for HRDs. The NCHRD-S was founded in 2015 with the support of both DefendDefenders and other national coalitions to provide a strong platform to protect HRDs and advocate on their behalf.
HRDs in South Sudan continue to face threats, intimidation, kidnappings, and torture, combined with an extreme volatile political situation. The SSHRDN connects HRDs across to country and works closely together with DefendDefenders to help them mitigate these risks.
The THRDC started initially as a loose network of 14 human rights organisations and was formally established in 2012 as an umbrella organisation with a current membership of 115 individual and organisational members. Together, they work to ensure the safety of about 6,000 HRDs in Tanzania.
Tel: +255 769 642 208 (regular) or +255 713 088 135 (emergency)
Email: [email protected]
NCHRD-U was established in 2013 with 58 members. The coalition has nearly doubled in size since then, and now consists of 149 individual and organisational members from across the human rights sector in Uganda.
ProtectDefenders.eu is a comprehensive European Union mechanism, established to protect HRDs worldwide. Through a network of twelve civil society organisations, ProtectDefenders.eu provides stable, comprehensive, and gender-sensitive support to individual and local actors who strive to promote and defend human rights.
ProtectDefenders.eu provides emergency grants and immediate support to HRDs at risk, but also works to build capacity, strengthen local human rights organisations, and improve public awareness and ensure enhanced visibility on the situation of HRDs worldwide.