The Uganda Human Rights Commission’s Crispin Kaheru has underscored the need for more human rights defenders, citing several ongoing and emerging challenges in the global context. He noted that in the face of global health crises, migration issues, environmental concerns, and increasing social injustices, there is a need for more defenders to serve as advocates, watchdogs, and voices for those who may not have the means or opportunity to speak out.
Kaheru made the remarks while representing the Chairperson of the Uganda Human Rights Commission at the grand opening of the ‘DefendDefenders’ new office premises at Lotis Towers on Plot 16 Mackinnon Road, Nakasero, Kampala, on Friday, September 8, 2023.
Speaking to an audience of diplomats, development partners, and human rights activists, Kaheru recognized the important role ‘DefendDefenders’ has played in the protection and promotion of the rights of activists in Uganda and abroad over the past 18 years of the organization’s existence. “We are proud that under the leadership of Hassan Shire ‘DefendDefenders’ has made an indelible mark on the national, regional, and international scene as the go-to entity for protection and support of human rights defenders, championing advocacy, research, engagement, and strengthening collective efforts in defending human rights”, Kaheru stressed.
“Defend Defenders” is a human rights organization headquartered in Uganda with a footprint in Africa. It focuses on the protection and promotion of human rights defenders and civil society organizations in the region. The organization’s work has been critical in supporting individuals and organizations that often face risks and challenges while advocating for human rights and social justice.
‘DefendDefenders’ recently entered into a formal partnership with the Uganda Human Rights Commission to strengthen the Commission’s human rights defenders’ desk.
Kaheru noted that the Commission’s ‘defenders’ desk’ is a free space through which any controversies and suspicions that may arise between human rights activists and the Government of Uganda can be settled.