This week, Sonke Gender Justice‘s Refugee Health and Rights Coordinator, Micheline Muzaneza participated in a United Nations regional consultation with human right defenders in Kampala, Uganda. The consultation was convened by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders in cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to bring together approximately 45 human rights defenders from local and regional NGOs, associations and communities in Africa to share experiences and insights on important topics related to human rights defenders.
Micheline is on the steering committee of Survivors United for Action, the first-ever global movement of sexual violence survivors focused on ending rape & gender violence in conflict, and was part of a three-day dialogue last month with Nobel Women’s Initiative on “Building Global Support for Women Human Right Defenders.”
This week’s consultation in Uganda seeks to encourage experience-sharing, while identifying challenges and promoting good practices relating to the integrated components of the mandate of the special rapporteur, including “to integrate a gender perspective throughout the work of his/her mandate, paying particular attention to the situation of women human rights defenders.”
The expected outcomes of the consultation are:
- The establishment of a dialogue between the Special Rapporteur and NGOs, human rights institutions, and communities;
- Increased awareness among defenders and representatives of civil society and communities concerning the Special Rapporteur’s mandate;
- An enhanced understanding of the current situation of human rights defenders in the region, which will help the Special Rapporteur identify priorities for his thematic reports and/or country visits.