How does the pandemic affect human rights in developing countries? The Activists in Lockdown vlog series shows how human rights defenders work during the pandemic in East Africa and South Asia. In the vlogs, activists from organisations supported by KIOS talk about their everyday life and their work during the pandemic.

Police brutality during the pandemic

Winnie Wanjala is a human rights defender in Kenya, where a dusk to dawn curfew is set because of the pandemic. Several cases of torture or ill-treatment by police enforcing the curfew have been documented. Yusuf Juma was a young man from Winnie’s neighborhood, who was brutally assaulted on 31st March during the curfew. He died the next day in hospital. Winnie Wanjala visits his family, who believe the perpetrators are police, and demand an investigation into Yusuf’s death.

Remote work in Uganda

Human rights defender Joshua Kisawuzi shows how he is able to work in Uganda, where people are ordered to stay at home. Joshua is a community outreach officer at ISER, an organisation which works for better health care and social security in Uganda. Joshua tries to work from home, and goes to the nearby trading centre to see how the community is coping.

Mediating domestic disputes during the pandemic

KIOS partner The Social Architects (TSA) works to promote Social Accountability and create space for Meaningful Reconciliation and Just Peace after the civil war in Sri Lanka. Their daily work before the pandemic included community gatherings, trainings, legal advocacy, street theatre, and youth groups organising film events and workshops. Now the country is under lockdown and the organisation is responding to new needs caused by the pandemic.

Concern for livelihood during the pandemic

KIOS partner Buliisa Initiative for Rural Development Organisation (BIRUDO) defends the land rights of local communities in Western Uganda. BIRUDO shows us how the pandemic has affected rural communities in Uganda. Strict restrictions on movement and trade have affected the poorest people the most. The organisation is responding to new needs caused by the pandemic.