Advocacy, Research, and Communication.

Giving a Voice to HRDs from East and Horn of Africa at regional and international level

Collect information and raise awareness about the situation for human rights defenders (HRDs) in the East and Horn of Africa sub-region, and promote the implementation of concrete measures to enhance their protection and support at national, regional, and international level. 


Structured advocacy at national, regional, and international level is essential to ensure human rights for all. By directing our advocacy towards governments, and regional and international platforms, we seek to strengthen the protection of activists, and ensure justice and accountability.

There is a disconnect between the human rights work and violations experienced by HRDs on the ground, and the work taking place at regional and international level. One of the ways we decrease this gap is bring HRDs from the sub-region to the Human Rights Council and African Commission of Human and Peoples Rights.”

- Senior Advocacy Officer, DefendDefenders

United Nation Human Rights Council

As the leading human rights mechanism, advocacy towards the United Nation Human Rights Council (UN HRC) is a vital part of our work. DefendDefenders has a Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC status), which enables us and our members to participate in the HRC, and other UN forums.

In 2018, DefendDefenders opened a permanent office in Geneva, which has enhanced our impact at the HRC, and our coordination and cooperation with UN mechanisms and like-minded human rights organisations.

See news about the Human Rights Council

The African Commission of Human and Peoples’ Rights

The African Commission of Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) is the main human rights body on the African continent, and therefore an important fora to advocate for the protection of HRDs. We hold an observer status with the ACHPR, and sit as a member of the Steering Committee of the Forum on the Participation of NGOs in the Ordinary Sessions of the ACHPR (known generally as the NGO Forum).

See news about the African Commission of Human and Peoples Rights.


In order to protect, support, and raise awareness about HRDs from the East and Horn of Africa, DefendDefenders produces original research through in-depth analysis thematic and country specific human rights trends, in coordination with human rights partners at local and national level. Our report findings are further used as a baseline for advocacy at national, regional, and international level. 


DefendDefenders communication function aims to raise the profile of our work, and the work of HRDs in the sub-region – online and offline. This includes sharing stories of HRDs from our sub-region, conducting online campaigns, and developing of promotion videos, infographics, and photos.

Do you wish to get a peak of the human rights work conducted by HRDs from the East and Horn of Africa?

Check out our HRDs of the month!

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