Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) with the support of the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human rights- East African Regional Office has organized the first East African Lawyers Conference on Human Rights in Addis Ababa, Skylight Hotel.
LHR believes meaningful involvement of lawyers in the protection and promotion of human rights through advocacy and litigation. Eastern Africa countries should consider both challenges and achievements pertaining to the promotion and judicial enforcement of human rights in the Region. Hence, the conference enables sharing the of varied experiences among lawyers in East Africa.
The participants of the event included practicing lawyers from Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, and South Sudan as well as renowned lawyers invited from across Ethiopia including representatives from regional states.
The Conference discusses topics such as the role of lawyers in the protection of human rights, the role of courts in enforcing human rights provisions of the FDRE Constitution, and opportunities and challenges facing lawyers in the protection and promotion of human rights.
Mr. Ameha Mekonnen, the Executive Director of Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) received an award from the Board of Directors of the Organization at the East African Lawyers Conference on Human Rights held on December 13, 2022, for his extraordinary contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights in general.
A Steering committee is established and made functional at the first East African Lawyers Conference on Human Rights organized by Lawyers for Human Rights in collaboration with the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human rights- East African Regional Office on December 13, 2022. This first Committee consists of the head of LHR Secretariat, Chair Person of the board, and one practicing lawyer from each East African country that has been participating in the conference. The committee has been established with the aim of among other things to ensure the sustainability of the conference and advising the LHR secretariats in organizing and articulating the general aims of subsequent sub-regional lawyers Conference and establishing linkage/ networks with the wider legal community, legal associations, and stakeholders among East African Countries. The members of the steering committee are Mr. Ameha Mekonnen representing LHR Secretariat, Mr. Metassebia Hailua practicing lawyer from Ethiopia in an individual capacity, Mr. Mwaura Kabata from Kenya in an individual capacity, Ms. Anne Kalungi from Uganda in an individual capacity, Ms. Noon Kashkosh from Sudan in an individual capacity and Taban Clement from South Sudan in an individual capacity.
Lawyers for Human Rights Executive Director Makes an interview with media institutions at the East African Lawyers Conference held on December 13, 2022. The Director in his interview with the Journalist expressed LHR’s readiness to contribute to the efforts towards the accountability of perpetrators of human rights abuse in the conflict in the Northern Parts of the country through awareness raising, building capacities of justice institutions on the investigation, prosecution and trial of international crimes and participating in legal and policy reform initiatives. He remarked that Lawyers have a responsibility to ensure everything is done in accordance with the law; preach peace in any place and time; be independent; raise their voice equally at any time and in any place where there are human rights violations, and teach the new generation rule of law. The director also explains how LHR is playing its role in ending the impunity of human rights abuse perpetrators so far through strategic litigation of human rights abuses before courts and involvement in peace-building efforts in the Northern Conflict through making peace calls together with other civil society organizations.