Security and safety during elections

Elections are a challenging period in many African countries. In the past ten years, many African nations have experienced pre- and post-election violence which resulted in the loss of lives, properties, and stability.

Human rights defenders (HRDs) involved in electoral processes as observers, civic educators, and monitors have in the past been targeted. They are at high risk for potential physical assaults and attacks, office break-ins, arrests and detentions, and targeted cyber-attacks. To ensure their safety, security, and wellbeing, DefendDefenders continuously engages with HRDs to enhance their capacity in security management. For reference, we developed these guidelines to strengthen HRDs’ safety, security, and wellbeing during election periods. The guidelines apply to both HRDs working in organisations and individual HRDs and are available in English, French, and Arabic.

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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.

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