The National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders – Kenya (NCHRD-K) is a national organization incorporated in the Republic of Kenya as a Trust. Its mission is to strengthen the capacity of human rights defenders (HRDs) to work effectively in the country and to reduce their vulnerability to the risk of persecution, including by advocating for a favourable legal and policy environment in Kenya. Established in 2007, NCHRD-K is the only national organisation that works primarily for the protection of HRDs.
NCHRD-K is managed by firmly committed and capable professionals. These include its staff, Board of Trustees and a team of volunteer regional representatives. The NCHRD-K has a track record in advocacy and protection of the rights of human rights defenders (HRDs).
A safe and conducive working environment for human rights defenders.
To be the leading human rights organization in Kenya that addresses human rights defenders’ needs and challenges through protection, capacity building, awareness-raising and advocacy.
1. Respect for human rights
NCHRD-K shall fully respect the human rights, dignity and worth of all persons and shall act with understanding, tolerance, sensitivity and respect for diversity and without discrimination of any kind.
NCHRD-K shall maintain the highest standards of honesty, fairness and incorruptibility.
The NCHRD-K will undertake all its activities and obligations, and disclose the results in a transparent manner, and accept responsibility for them.
4. Confidentiality of information
The NCHRD-K will not at any time disclose any confidential information collected from its members and clients without prior consent.
5. Impartiality and non-discrimination
NCHRD-K will treat all people and groups equally without discrimination on the basis of race, colour, sex or gender, language, religion, social origin or any other characteristic.
6. Respect for the rule of law
NCHRD-K shall conduct all its programmes and activities with full knowledge and respect for the relevant just laws.
At NCHRD-K we are passionate about and fully committed to making a real difference in the safety of HRDs and their ability to carry out their work for the benefit of all Kenyan citizens.
NCHRD-K shall not employ or endorse any violent means to carry out human rights or other work.
NCHRD-K shall carry out its work according to the highest standards of professionalism, and shall endeavour to develop the ability of its members and clients to work according to equally high standards.
In November of 2007 East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, carried out a capacity building training for HRDs in Kenya, with the aim to reduce their vulnerability to the risk of persecution and to enhance their capacity for self-protection. One of the outcome of the convening was the need to create a viable national coalition of HRDs in Kenya that would strengthen the voice of individual HRDs and provide protection in situations of immediate threat.
The meeting resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding for the formation of The National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders and an action plan for the subsequent years. Between 2007 and 2011, the NCHRD-K was housed by the Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU), and the Kenya Human Rights Commission, both of which greatly contributed to its growth. Rights Promotion and Protection Centre, formerly Release Political Prisoners (RPP) implemented a public awareness project of the NCHRD-K in 2010-1.
In February 2011, a national meeting was convened to take stock of developments made since 2007 and further strategize for the future. The conference brought together seventy-six (76) participants, more than half of which were HRDs representing various counties in Kenya, in addition to representatives from other human rights organizations, organisations working for the protection of HRDs, foreign embassies and funding partners. Delegates identified the challenges facing NCHRD-K and developed a plan of action aimed at putting in place relevant structures, programmes and resources needed for an effective implementation of NCHRD-K’s mandate on the short and long term. The need to institutionalise the organization was key among priorities established. A technical committee was formed to oversee the transitioning into a fully functional Secretariat The NCHRD-K was officially launched on 30th March 2012 by H.E. Ann Dismorr, the then Swedish Ambassador. Two staff (Executive Coordinator and Protection Officer) were recruited by the board of Trustees to offer protection support for HRDs and engage in fund-raising to implement emerging programmes, which included protection, training and advocacy.
The Board of Trustees consists of six members who in additional to professional track record, have great passion for human rights. Members provide advice and programme direction to the organization for a three-year term, renewable for a maximum of two consecutive terms.
The Advisory Council is made up of volunteer HRDs selected by HRD networks in the Counties at each of the eight geographical regions of Kenya: Western, Nyanza, North Eastern, Rift valley, Coast, Eastern, Nairobi and Central. In addition there are four special representatives in the Advisory Board representing key thematic areas of concern to the NCHRD-K namely Indigenous Communities, Women Human Rights Defenders, people with physical disabilities including those living with albinism, and sexual minority groups (LGBTI groups). The mandate of the advisory council is reviewed at the annual General Assembly.
The National Secretariat The Programmes Coordinator/Executive Director coordinate the day-to-day implementation of NCHRD-K’s activities. The NCHRD-K programmes are implemented by programme staff that include , Protection Officer, Advocacy Officer, and Capacity-Building Officer. The team is supported by Finance and Administration Officer and interns, research fellows and volunteers