We Protect Human Rights Defenders

Promote sustainable development goal 16

Defenders of Human Rights and Activists of Democracy play a unique role in monitoring the compliance of States with international human rights instruments, imperatives of democratic reforms and promotion of sustainable development. Although the latter is largely dependent on the first two, it should be noted that approaches that exclude full consideration of Sustainable Development Goals, specifically goal 16 and 17 have not been effective enough to solve or propose a model leading to the active participation of African countries in achieving these objectives in the medium and long term.

 At the root of these challenges is inadequate support for human rights defenders and democracy activists, who, using socially and internationally developed procedures, closely monitor the actions of state and non-state actors which culminate in the violation of universally recognized human rights and fundamental laws. The work of human rights defenders and democracy activists exposes them to risks likely to compromise the physical integrity or expose them to death. The perpetrators of violations of the rights of human rights defenders use threats as a tool to suffocate efforts for reforms needed by the people to be able to participate in local, national and global development. Threats against Human Rights Defenders and Democracy Activists contribute largely to the disintegration of the region and serve as impediment factors to the achievement of the national agenda for sustainable development goals. The geopolitical situation of the Democratic Republic of Congo, its natural resources and the nature of its public institutions greatly influence the working environment of human rights defenders in the region, and more specifically in its nine border countries, including Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Angola, Zambia, Central African Republic and Congo Brazzaville. These 9 countries include a similar history of oppression of democratic values ​​and human rights and violations of the rights of human rights defenders set out in the 1998 Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and Democracy Activists, often victims of their determination to promote the respect and protection of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments duly ratified by the Countries cited above.


It should be noted that the lack of an integrated program for the protection of human rights defenders has led many to choose between exile and death at the expense of human rights progress, and in turn has slowed down the speed at which targets of goal 16 on the list of Sustainable Development Goals have been pursued. Threats against Human Rights Defenders widened due to lack of partnership with other civil society entities and state departments, lack of knowledge of security management, lack of openness to international human rights mechanisms, lack of integrated research on the protection of human rights defenders and lack of exchange programs of experience between Human Rights Defenders and Democracy Activists operating in DR Congo and the ones operating in  the neighboring Countries of DR Congo, including exiled Human Rights Defenders whose passion for Human Rights should not be erased by the fact of being in exile.

Organizational System

Protection Department

  • capacity building
  • Advocacy and legal aid
  • Urgent interventions

Information Technology Department

  • Visibility and documentation (management of the website, publication of HRD actions and visibility of the organization)
  • Digital security, technical support and technological innovations
  • Development and management of the database

Organizational Management Department

  • Planning, monitoring and evaluation of projects
  • Human Resource administration
  • Finance and logistics

Research and Partnership Department

  • Reform of the justice sector
  • Research in HRD rights and public policies
  • Coordination of pan-African partnerships of HRDs and citizens movements