Hope for Girls and Women in Tanzania Director, Rhobi Samwelly recently attended a conference to mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the French capital of Paris, that aimed to reaffirm the UN declaration as the common foundation for universal, indivisible and independent rights and the values of freedom, peace and justice for all.
Rhobi, a recipient of the prestigious Marianne Human Rights Defenders Initiative, bestowed on her by the French President Emmanuel Macron last year, runs Safe Houses in Serengeti and Butiama districts, Mara Region, which shelter and give basic needs to young girls fleeing their homes for fear of being subjected to FGM and other forms of GBV.
In the run-up to the Paris conference, participants which included national and international civil society, academics, human rights defenders and development stakeholders attended a three- day workshop dwelling on pertinent issues of human rights, according to Rhobi.
Organized by the French government, the conference focused on three round tables, including Supporting human rights defenders, Exploring new frontiers for rights and Fighting impunity, particularly in the context of armed conflicts and terrorism.
Rhobi, a defender of the rights of girls and women in a community where FGM and child marriages are deeply entrenched in the people’s traditional practices, was crowned as power queen by Clouds Media in 2019 for her relentless fight against GBV.