September 15, 2018 General / Updates 0 Comment

AHRN and the Mechanism of the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to improve the working environment of HRDs in the African Great Lakes Region. It is in the mandate of the SR to cooperate and engage in dialogue with member States and recommend effective strategies to better protect HRDs. The partnership with the African Union will provide bargaining power in negotiations with governments. AHRN will work closely with the Mechanism to make sure that HRDs voices are heard and concerns are considered regarding their protection.

This is also an opportunity to establish a direct link between the African Union and the HRDs, especially those at grassroots level, providing them with extra visibility. The mechanism of the Special Rapporteur will be better strengthened, known and used. The cooperation agreement therefore ensures the sustainability of the action in the long term.

Expected results:

  • An increased visibility of the work of the Special Rapporteur in defending HRDs;
  • An increased collaboration between HRDs, Special Rapporteur and relevant State parties to the African Charter;
  • An increased awareness for the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and increasing efforts towards the creation of laws dealing with HRD/WHRD issues;
  • A decreased number of HRDs forced to stop their work in home countries;
  • A decreased number of HRDs applying for asylum status or forced to live permanently abroad