The Defenders Coalition is the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders in Kenya, a national membership organization established in 2007 and registered under Kenyan law as a Trust to champion the safety, security and wellbeing of human rights defenders (HRDs). The Defenders Coalition works primarily for the protection of HRDs in Kenya. Among others, the…
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The Ivorian Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (CIDDH) is a network of apolitical non-confesional organisations. The CIDDH was founded to respond to the problem of the safety of human rights defenders in Côte d’Ivoire.
Safety of the human rights defenders is a priority for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The purpose of this handbook is to share information to make sure that human rights defenders will understand the risks they could face due their engagement in the promotion of human rights, and what means are available to protect themselves in case of intimidation and reprisals.
Grant programs are an important element of many organizations’ response efforts. Grants have been used to: improve security (through the provision of surveillance cameras, bars on windows, security guards, etc.); to purchase equipment (radios, computers, mobile phones); to provide safe transport to meetings or court hearings; to pay for legal and medical fees; to support evacuations to safe houses or; to support temporary relocation for a women human rights defender (WHRD) and her family to another city or country. The following is a list of organizations sorted by region, that will perform grants and relief programs.
Given the risk of attacks and threats suffered by WHRDs as a direct result of their work and by changes in the context in which this is performed, specialized training on various aspects of safety and protection when facing emergency situations is essential to save their lives and avoid further aggressions. Trainings are intended to build or strengthen the capacity of WHRDs to respond or prevent attacks, as well as other aspects related to comprehensive safety measures, risks assessments, protection strategies, documentation, digital security, among others. The following is a list of organizations sorted by trainings.
The internet can represent an open door for many kinds of violations to the integrity of women’s human rights advocates if security measures are not adopted. Women defenders in particular face many unique threats and obstacles both offline and online. Technology-related violence against women in particular, is a frightening new reality. The following list of organizations are involved in training, support and advice in relation to digital security, women’s rights and safety online and human rights on the internet.
The Dignity for All: LGBTI Assistance Program provides emergency assistance; security, opportunity, and advocacy rapid response grants (SOAR grants); and security assessment and training to human rights defenders (HRDs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) under threat or attack due to their work for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) human rights.
Protective accompaniment is a strategy inspired by Gandhi and other non-violent traditions that seeks to protect defenders and communities whose lives and work are threatened by violence and repression. Accompaniment ranges from volunteers standing side by side with highly threatened human rights defenders as they go about their work, to regular phone calls to organizations to check on their safety. The following is a list of organizations sorted by region, that will perform protective accompaniment, solidarity and monitoring visits.
Some organizations provide some form of temporary relocation for human rights defenders at risk, intended to help them escape from dangerous situations or continuous persecution. Emergency hotlines provide an instant and effective mechanism for human rights defenders at immediate risk to contact means for assistance. They are intended to mobilize rapid international support and action. The following is a list of organizations sorted by region, that will perform temporary relocation and emergency hotline.
The most effective security lessons come from defenders themselves – from their daily experiences and the tactics and strategies they develop over time in order to protect others and their own working environments. This manual must therefore be understood as a work in progress which will need to be updated and adapted as we gather more input from human rights defenders working on the front line. There are also lessons to be learned from international humanitarian NGOs, who have recently started to develop their own rules and procedures to maintain staff security. These manuals were written largely based on the work of PBI.