The 7th Ubuntu hub will be established in Accra
The Gender Center for Empowering Development (GenCED) and African Defenders, a pan-African network of human rights defenders (HRDs), signed a memorandum of understanding to set up the 7and Ubuntu Hub in Accra.
The Hub will serve as a haven for human rights defenders and, in some cases, their families on the continent who face attacks, threats, violence and extreme pressure as a result of their human rights work. of man.
The MoU would ensure that these victims receive medical, social, educational and psychosocial support in Accra or another African country if they wish, to ensure their well-being and development.
Mr. Hassan Shire, President of African Defenders, signed on behalf of African Defenders, “DefendDefenders”, the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, while Ms. Esther Tawiah signed on behalf of GenCED.
Mr Shire said it was prudent for Africa to stay alive and support each other to bridge the gaps such as threats, torture, murmuring and crying caused by the lack of protection of its people.
A feasibility study conducted by the parties proved that Accra in Ghana was the most suitable host for the initiative as its political, security and human rights background gave the idea that the city offered a appropriate environment for the resettlement of HRDs at risk, he added. noted.
“Why do human rights defenders have to go to Finland, just to seek a safe haven, why can’t we seek one in another country on our own continent,” he said.
He explained that the cost of relocating at-risk African HRDs to another continent was prohibitive, and that HRDs often faced cultural displacement, stigma, and cultural and linguistic barriers, thus finding themselves unable to continue. actively engaged in human rights activism when displaced outside the continent.
In 2019, he said, African advocates therefore launched the Ubuntu Hub Cities, with the aim of providing at-risk African HRDs with options for safe temporary internal and external relocation without having to leave their home continent. ‘origin.
The initiative since its inception has created a Hub in Kampala, Abidjan, Tunis, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town.
Through their various local partnerships, Mr. Dire said resettlement also offers at-risk HRDs the opportunity to learn and share their experiences, so they can positively impact the host community and return. at home with strengthened capacities to protect and promote human rights.
As part of the Ubuntu Hub Cities initiative, he mentioned HRDs, journalists, writers and academics, unionized workers, human rights lawyers and artists among the groups they support.
Ms. Esther Tawiah, Executive Director of GenCED, said African leaders must remain loyal to power and give voice to the ordinary citizen who gave them the mandate.
If one woman’s voice was silenced, she said the voices of thousands were silenced and marginalized. Therefore, he expressed his optimism that the initiative would not only protect HRDs, but prevent them from continuing to speak out on behalf of the voiceless in society.
Mr. Joseph Whittal, the Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, in a speech read on his behalf, said that Accra had been chosen for the 7and Hub because Ghana has been identified as a safe space that could provide security and protection for victims.
The concept of defending human rights requires States, as obligations, to protect the rights of all people with due diligence, he said, and called on everyone to respect the rights of defenders of human rights and their works.
The Commissioner underlined the need for HRDs to operate in the right atmosphere to defend rights on gender equality, social justice, children, women, persons with disabilities and the ordinary citizen.
He reiterated the existence of risks and intimidations for HRDs, despite the democratization of many nations, regions and continents.
Mr Whittal said standing up for human rights was not a crime but a step to ensuring one achieves one’s full potential in life without distinction to make the world a better place.