The theme for this year’s Annual Assembly “Reflecting on Resilience and coping mechanisms for Human Rights Defenders in challenging times” held on the 28th August,2020 both physically and online attracted 160 member organisations. Key note address was delivered by Mr. Joris Van Bommel, Charge d’Affaires of the Netherlands Embassy to Uganda. In applauding the coalition for the good work, he stated “by respecting human rights in this time of crisis, we will build more effective and inclusive solutions for the emergency of today and the recovery for tomorrow.
He further noted that the Netherlands government supports human rights defenders and their organizations that promote human rights. For those not in the know, the Justice and Peace Nederland Shelter City program is a platform where HRDs find safe spaces where they can re-energise, receive tailor made support and engage with allies. The short stay in these shelter cities, enables HRDs to build their resilience and reinforce their local actions for change on return to their countries.
The Dutch government also offers support to the human rights agenda through the Democratic Governance Facility, the JLOS and the DefendDefenders project. The National Coalition for Human Rights Defenders is a beneficiary of our support through a grant we give DefendDefenders as well as through the DGF. From Reports we receive, we greatly appreciate the work you do towards the protection of human rights defenders.
But it is not all about money. To raise the visibility and promote the vital work of human rights defenders, we also need to offer moral and technical support to Human Rights Defenders and listen and advocate for them” concluded Mr.Joris
Chairperson of the NCHRD-U Board Ms.Sekaggya retaliated the need for synergy and networking as a useful tool for Human Rights defenders protection.
As we all know, we are holding this year’s AGA in the same year the country goes to the polls. Very interesting developments to the freedoms to associate, assemble and ultimately expression. We see an increase in police brutality but also dissemination of mis-information. As HRDs, we need to be pro-active stated Ms.Sekaggya
In Uganda, and as highlighted in the findings of the report by the NCHRD-U, “Democracy on Trial” HRDs rights to assembly and association continue to come under sharp attack. It is important to work in harmony and collectively with others to push back to these threats.
Chairperson Pan Africa Defenders Hassan Shire encouraged #HRDS to pro-actively explore continental action towards their protection. He expressed solidarity with the Tanzanian coalition currently under pressure from the government of Tanzania.
Executive Director Robert Kirenga presented the Annual report :”Turning the Tide” which was received by members.
The successfully organized Annual General Assembly is the 3rd since inception of the coalition and has been possible with the generous support of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Uganda.