Defend Defenders: an inside look

Many countries in the East and Horn of Africa sub-region have experienced massive human rights abuses, long-term and large-scale impunity, single-party and military dictatorships, civil wars, and in the case of Somalia, a collapsed state. Such situations and contexts endanger both the work and lives of human rights defenders (HRDs).

The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP) seeks to strengthen the work of HRDs throughout the region by reducing their vulnerability to the risk of persecution and by enhancing their capacity to effectively defend human rights. EHAHRDP focuses its work on Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia (together with Somaliland), South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

EHAHRDP works to support HRDs by building their capacity, providing emergency protection and digital security trainings, and by elevating the voices of HRDs to regional and international platforms.

Take an inside look on how we help defend defenders.

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Human Rights Defender of the month: Alex Njenga John

Alex Njenga has always believed in egalitarianism both as a principle and as a tool for justice. As a result, he has always been suspicious of, and at times hostile to social prejudices that treat some people as “more equal than others,” – to use a line from George Orwell’s famed political fable, Animal Farm.

Some of the experiences that have shaped his social and political outlook have been personal. As an adolescent in Kenya’s Uasin Gishu County, Alex was stigmatised and denied healthcare after he identified himself as belonging to Kenya’s sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) community.

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