Human rights defenders in need of defense: A field report on the protection and effectiveness of Human-rights defenders in West and East Africa and the Horn (2005)

The African Human Rights Defenders Project is designed to strengthen the work of human rights defenders in Africa by reducing their vulnerability to the risk of persecution and by enhancing their capacity for effectiveness in defending human rights. It focuses on West Africa, East Africa and the Horn. The current report covers the first, exploratory stage of the project. This stage of the project was carried out through field trips in March and April 2004 to the two regions. They involved extensive consultations with a wide range of human-rights defenders as well as several public officials. It was conducted under the auspices of the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University in partnership with Amnesty International and with the support of International Development Research Centre and Inter Pares.


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.