Protection and emergency response for WHRDs at risk
WHRDs face different types of risks in their work, of different intensity and levels, which is why the risk assessment and ensuring tailored by support services such legal, medical, counselling, temporary relocation, etc from WHRDN-U is crucial for their safety and wellbeing. The focus of this strategy is to build conditions and mechanisms of protection and care for WHRDs at risk (individual and collective), their families and organizations, as needed, in order to safe guard their lives, their physical, mental and emotional health so that they can continue their human rights work.
WHRDS TRAINED TO USE VISIBILITY FOR PROTECTION AGAINST VIOLENCE.
From 21st to 25th September 2021, Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda (WHRDN-U), in partnership with Frontline defenders, conducted a workshop on visibility for protection of 21 WHRDS at Sky’s Hotel in Kampala. The specific objectives were to reflect on the multi-layered aspects of visibility and the protection methodologies for WHRDS. Read more here.
FEMALE JOURNALISTS WHRDS TRAINED IN ONLINE VIOLENCE AND DIGITAL SECURITY MANAGEMENT.
Female journalists WHRDS were asked to consider digital security crucial as a means to protect themselves from online attacks. This was during a two-day training of 20 female journalists from different media houses, organised by Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda (WHRDN-U) at Eureka hotel in Ntinda, on 21th to 22nd October 2021. Read more here.
LBQT AND FEMALE SEX WORKERS DEFENDERS TRAINED IN ONLINE VIOLENCE AND DIGITAL SECURITY MANAGEMENT.
On 19th and 20th October 2021, Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda (WHRDN-U) held a training on online gender-based violence and digital security management for 20 LBQT and female sex workers defenders, at Eureka Hotel, in Ntinda. Read more here
DISTRICT FOCAL PERSONS WHRDS TRAINED IN ONLINE GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE AND DIGITAL SECURITY MANAGEMENT.
20 district focal persons from Karamoja, Albertine, Rwenzori, West Nile, and Acholi regions of Uganda acquired skills on online gender-based violence and digital security management as a mean to protect themselves against online gender threats in their work. This was during a two-day training, organized by Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda (WHRDN-U) at Eureka hotel in Ntinda, on 28th to 29th October 2021. Read more here.
The WHRDNU on 19th June 2020 provided relief support to 27 WHRDs from various regions basing on the needs assessment conducted to find out what support they needed to continue doing their work even under lockdown restrictions.
There were restrictions on freedom of association, speech, transport, and unfavorable curfew times that infringed on their right to do Human Rights work. Therefore it was imperative that the network steps in to offer support in terms of funding to allow the WHRDs to facilitate their transport in order to follow up on their cases. A sum of 200,000/= was disbursed to each WHRD to enable them purchase masks, sanitizers and also pay for their transport to promote a safe working environment.
The WHRDs were grateful for the support as they were able to continue with their human rights work. For instance one WHRD from Kisoro district used the funds to follow up on assault cases of the Batwa women she was handling, the Woman defender for rights of sex workers reached out to sex workers who were arrested during the lockdown and provided refills for those who were on prescribed drugs like ART.
The WHRDs were also able to communicate effectively to check in with their counterparts which enabled them to work remotely. For instance two WHRDs for environmental justice & Land Rights and Human Rights respectively reached out to their upcountry teams making follow ups as well as capturing human rights violations taking place in the different areas.
They equally purchased masks, sanitizers which they used to protect themselves from contracting COVID-19 during their field visits and community awareness meetings with their area people. The community awareness was done to tackle and support women and girls dealing with gender based violence during lockdown.
With the above mentioned, we are glad as WHRDNU to have been of help to support the women defenders in continuing to do their Human Rights work in different regions of the country.
WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS NETWORK UGANDA PROMOTES THE SAFETY OF WHRDS IN THE CONTEXT OF COVID 19.
Thanks to the support of Mama Cash, 85 women human rights defenders of Uganda feel safe and secure in the COVID-19 crisis. In 2021 “The COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Fund” allowed us to respond to specific needs of WHRDs, we promoted well-being, and the resources (cash transfers) enabled:
- WHRDs purchased food to deal with food insecurity and basic necessities for themselves and their families.
- WHRDs Purchased of credit for mobile phones because of confinement measures.
- Resources allowed defenders to hire local transport to access health facilities and attend to their health needs and their families.
Read below from some of our WHRDs responses to covid-19 response support.
15 female journalists trained on the protection measures at a workshop organized by Women Human Rights Defenders Network Uganda (WHRDN-U) on 15th/01/2022 at Arch Apartments in Kampala.
On 5th/May 2022, a delegation of WHRDN-U participated in the solidarity visit to RELLA foundation