Austria and Netherlands pledge €1.35 million to African human rights defenders

February 16, 2015

World Bulletin News (from Turkey) reports on 13 February about the Dutch and Austrian governments funding a three-year project to support African human rights defenders. One always wonders why this kind of information pops up in one news source but not in others.

At a meeting in Ugandan capital Kampala, diplomats from both countries announced that their governments would provide 1.35 million euros to finance a three-year project devoted to “the protection and safety of human rights defenders in Uganda and Africa.” Simone Knapp, head of development and cooperation at the Austrian embassy in Kampala, said the funding would go towards supporting human rights initiatives and rights-related NGOs. “The possibility for human rights defenders to interact and come out with their grievances is limited in certain countries, so we feel they really need more support,” she added. Hassan Shire, who heads the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, asserted: “The space available for rights defenders is shrinking; this is a global phenomenon and Uganda is no exception.” Shire highlighted the challenges facing rights advocates, including restrictive legislation, noting that state and non-state actors often took matters into their own hands and lacked awareness about rights advocates’ rights.

Theo Oltheten, first secretary for rule of law and political affairs at the Dutch embassy in Uganda said: “The safety and protection of human rights defenders needs to remain a top priority on the human rights agenda.”..“We need to help them do an even better job now and be well prepared to deal with the new challenges ahead of us in 2015 and beyond.”


Austria, Holland pledge €1.35mn to Africa rights advocates | Europe | Worldbulletin News.

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