DefendDefenders (the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project) today entered a new partnership with the Embassy of Norway in Uganda. The agreement, which was signed by Arne Haug, Chargé d’affaires at the Royal Norwegian Embassy Kampala and DefendDefenders’ Executive Director, Hassan Shire at the Human Rights House in Kampala, marks the beginning of a 3-year project that will ensure the capacity of human rights defenders (HRDs) to document human rights violations and promote accountability.
This project will focus on monitoring of human rights violations in specific thematic areas, i.e. torture/inhuman/cruel treatment, women’s rights, and freedoms of expression, association, and assembly. In addition, this initiative will respond to medium and long-term needs of HRDs and civil society organisations (CSOs). Through this project, we shall protect HRDs and their rights; build their capacity; and advocate, raise awareness, and profile HRDs in the sub-region.
“Around the world, human rights defenders risk being harassed, exposed to threats and violence, and even killed. We call on all countries to support human rights defenders. Protecting human rights defenders is a main priority in Norway’s human rights policy,” Mr. Haug said, and emphasised that the overall objective is that efforts to promote and defend human rights in all parts of the world can be carried out without restrictions or threats to human rights defenders or their families.
“The commitment of the Norwegian people to promote human rights around the world is exemplary and admirable,” said Mr. Shire. “We are grateful for this opportunity to enable us continue positively impacting the lives of human rights defenders, even in this difficult time.”