Pan-African Human Rights Defenders make visit to UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Margaret Sekaggya


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Secretariat staff and Chairperson of the Pan African Human Rights Defenders Network (PAHRD-Net) paid a Valentines Day visit to UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Margaret Sekkagya at her offices of the Human Rights Centre in Kampala. Madam Sekaggya was presented with flowers and a ‘Pan-African Defender’ shield made for her a week prior at a project launch of the Pan African Human Rights Defenders Network.

Madam Sekaggya has been the mandate holder of Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders at the United Nations since 2008. In that time she has consolidated the mandate through consistent constructive engagement with states and civil society. The Special Rapporteur will present her latest report focusing on human rights defenders and national human rights institutions at the 22nd ordinary session of the Human Rights Council in March 2013. Her presentation will be streamed live online at http://www.un.org/webcast/unhrc/

PAHRD-Net Chairperson Hassan Shire Sheikh briefed the Special Rapporteur on the activities of the Network as well as those of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project.

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Human Rights Defender of the month: Kasale Maleton Mwaana

Kasale’s human rights activism precedes his years. The son of pastoralist parents from Ngorongoro district in northern Tanzania, he grew up seeing his parents and entire community having to defend their land and way of life against authorities who thought their lands could be put to better use. Now, at 25, Kasale is already one of the most recognizable advocates of his people’s cause, much to the ire of Tanzanian authorities.
“Our people’s struggle goes back many generations. It started with the pushing out of our forefathers from Serengeti to gazette Serengeti National Park in 1959, and then further evictions from the Ngorongoro crater to gazette the Ngorongoro conservation area in 1975. Since then, every generation has had to resist further evictions. It’s now my generation’s turn,” he says.

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