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: Veronica Almedom

Veronica Almedom is a poster child of successful immigration. A duo Eritrean and Swiss citizen, she was born in Italy, and grew up in Switzerland where she permanently resides. Her parents are some of the earliest victims of Eritrea’s cycles of violence. When Eritrea’s war of independence peaked in the early 1980s, they escaped the country as unaccompanied minors, wandering through Sudan, Saudi Arabia, before making the hazard journey across the Mediterranean into Europe. There, they crossed first to Italy, and finally, to Switzerland, where they settled first as refugees, and later, as permanent residents.