As the country gets into 2017 General Elections scheduled to take place on 8th August 2017, the human rights community is keen to play a critical role in ensuring the elections credible, free and peaceful and that the outcome represent the aspiration of people living in a democratic state.
The traditional contribution of Human Rights Defenders in such a process is to ensure that citizens are sufficiently sensitized to play their civic duty to elect their leaders, monitor the election process ensure it meets international standards and document malpractices and human rights violations to facilitate timely intervention and hold violators to account. This role is more critical in Kenya where elections are hotly contested, often violently resulting in massive human rights violations. During such periods, Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) who empower citizens to elect leaders that drive their aspirations become target for threats, personal injury, loss or damage of their equipment or their work is inhibited by restrictive laws, policies and practices. Despite the risks, HRDs remain committed to advance human rights, respect for laws and citizen rights freely choose their leaders without inhibition.
Conscious of the critical role of HRDs in the election process and risks that they face when they work to promote and protect human rights, the NCHRD-K has established a support project for human rights defenders that will monitors human rights situation and situation of HRDs during the 2017 Elections. The role of the NCHRD-K in the context of elections would be to document human rights violations, including by identifying local and national trends and patterns of violations and abuses to HRDs, and taking preventive or corrective measures on specific human rights issues through advocacy partnerships during the electoral process.
NCHRD-K plans to not deploy human rights monitors in different parts of the country, especially in areas where there has been a history of violence to document human rights violations and violations of rights HRDs violations but also offer monitors critical skills to manage their personal and information safety as well as skills in quality monitoring and documentation of violation.
November 29th is a day of recognition for women human rights defenders, and it is a day to commemorate activism, advocacy and courageous acts of resistance. The campaign focuses on defense of rights and the impact of abuses by state and non-state actors (including family and community members), the rise in militarism and fundamentalism’s. They are also targeted due to their own real or perceived sexual orientation and gender or that of individuals who they represent.
It is thus through this initiative that National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders Kenya (NCHRD-K) has opted to celebrate and recognize the great work done by the Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) in Kenya.
“I call on the international community and States to publicly and unequivocally recognize the work of such women human rights defenders, to protect them, and to ensure that perpetrators of violations against those activists are investigated and prosecuted. I recommend the implementation of gender-specific protection measures and programmes for women human rights defenders.” Michael Frost, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of HUman Rights Defenders commemorating the International Day of WHRDs in 2015.
PRESS STATEMENTON THE BREAK-IN INTO THE HOME OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER MR.KHELEF KHALIFA
NCHRD-K participated in his year’s Indigenous Women Leaders Conference hostedy Samburu Women Trust (SWT). The leaders were drawn from four counties (Laikipia, Samburu, Isiolo and Marsabit). The objectives of the conference were:
An independent and vibrant civil society is beneficial to the development of a society that would thrive on the values and principles as intended within the Constitution of Kenya 2010 (Article 10); accountability, transparency, good governance and public participation. Human rights defenders play a critical role in complementing the government in promoting and protecting these values along with respect for human rights. However, in the course of their work, HRDs are faced with numerous challenges; surveillance, vilification, arbitrary arrests, malicious prosecutions, torture, threats to their life and livelihoods, thus limiting their operating environment. Despite these challenges, HRDs continue to show resilience in their work towards the realisation of human rights in Kenya.
It is on this premise that the Working Group on Human Rights Defenders in Kenya, that comprise of CSOs and development partners in Kenya, concerned with the protection of human rights defenders endeavour to publicly recognise the work of HRDs in Kenya through a HRD award ceremony to take place on 10th December – International Human Rights Day- when we commemorate the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) (1948) by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The 2016 Award ceremony willa be hosted by His Excellency the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kenya.
The objectives of this award is to:
The following will be taken into consideration:
Two awards will be presented to the overall winner, HRD of the year and an upcoming HRD.
The overall winner will receive:
The Upcoming HRD will receive:
The NCHRD-K therefore calls for nominations for the inaugural Human Rights Defenders Award 2016. Nominations are open until October 14 2016 at 12.00 pm.
Download the nomination form below.
NCHRD-K secretariat held a farewell lunch for the outgoing SIDA-S representative Anne Ljung and a welcome party for the incoming representative Louise Bermsjö in our Upperhill Offices.