Winner of the EU Human Rights Defenders’ Award 2017
EU Ambassadors, the Ambassador of Norway and the EU Delegation Representative with Pamela Judith Angwech (seated).
(© EU Delegation to Uganda)
Pamela Judith Angwech is the winner of the EU Human Rights Defenders' Award 2017. The award was announced at the Residence of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kampala yesterday. Pamela Judith Angwech is the founder of Gulu Women’s Economic Development and Globalization (GWED-G), the region’s largest grassroots human rights organization, focused on women and youth and founded in 2004. GWED-G has programs in a number of domains, including health, human rights, peace building, economic empowerment and livelihoods, psychosocial support and counseling, and research and advocacy.
Enlarge image Henk Jan Bakker, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Uganda (Embassy of the Netherlands in Uganda) congratulating the award winner Pamela Judith Angwech. (© EU Delegation to Uganda) Ms Angwench is passionate about peacebuilding and conflict resolution and is involved in various human rights platforms. The Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. Henk Jan Bakker, officially handed over the award and congratulated Ms Angwech. In his speech, he said: “It was the start of a long journey of more than 10 years, without knowing where it would bring you. And it seems to me that you knew very well that the road you took is not important, but the traces you leave behind. And you’ve left many, many traces behind, showing the way forward. Your voice is loud and clear, not only in Northern Uganda but also in various human rights platforms in Uganda and abroad. We, your European allies, are listening to you and we remain committed as your diplomatic Human Rights Defenders advocates.”
The annual European Union Human Rights Defenders Award is now in its sixth year. It is granted by the EU Member States, Norway and the EU Delegation in Uganda to recognise the achievements of Human Rights Defenders in Uganda.
Four other human rights defenders were recognised as finalists: Ms Rose Mary Jane Nangobi, Founder and Director of Slum Women's Initiative for Development in Jinja; Mr Adrian Jjuko, Ugandan lawyer and Executive Director of the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF); Mr Crispin Kaheru, a human rights defender and coordinator of CEDDU, Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda; Mr Gard Benda Ntegyereize, Executive Director of World Voices Uganda (WVU).
Human Rights Defenders are individuals that promote and protect universally recognised human rights and fundamental freedoms. These include civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights. The work of Human Rights Defenders has a positive impact on a country’s development and is essential for encouraging the respect for human rights as recognised by international human rights standards and agreements. Human Rights Defenders need to be protected from interference and reprisals while executing their work. In addition, their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly need to be safeguarded to enable them to defend others.
An individual eligible for the EU Human Rights Defenders’ Award is nominated by another individual or organization. Human Rights organizations active in Uganda were invited to nominate candidates for the award. Candidates were assessed by a jury composed of human rights experts of different European Embassies and the EU Heads of Mission.