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The project – Cooperation to support human rights defenders in Uganda

A virtual space but a real commitment as a sign of cooperation. The online project is on the www.hrduganda.org, website, an Italian-language platform developed to inform users of the difficulties and successes of the defenders of human rights in Uganda by making available files, videos, photos and other analytic material. The hrduganda.org website is managed by the humanitarian organisation Soleterre- Peace-building Strategies and is part of the project called “Supporting Human Rights Defenders in Uganda” (“Al fianco dei difensori dei diritti umani in Uganda”), financed by Italian Development Cooperation, which has been in operation in Uganda for over a year. The site offers to the defenders of human rights a virtual space in which they can voice their stories and battles as a means of providing information and raising awareness. “One of the best ways of supporting and protecting the work of the defenders of human rights is to echo their voices and tell their stories and the abuse and discrimination they are obliged to suffer,” Damiano Rizzi, the president of Solterre wrote in a note. He went on: “Giving them visibility means giving them more possibilities to carry on with their activities and protecting them against strong powers and local media, which often discredit and slander them because of what they do to protect the rights of the weakest. Informing and awareness-raising is a necessary activity both in Uganda and in Europe and this is why Soleterre included in its project the provision and dissemination of material that can help to better understand what is going on and contribute to improving the situation.” The organisations and the single activists who dedicate continuing efforts to defending human rights in the Country are often obliged to work in a hostile environment and to frequently face threats, abuse and discrimination. Particularly exposed are journalists, women, activists and associations working to combat corruption and to defend local environmental resources and minorities, including the LGBTI.