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Human Rights Defenders Awards 2016

HRDs Awards

HRDs Awards


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:

  1. Honour the extra ordinary work of HRDs in the promotion and protection of human rights, profiling the work of HRDs and challenges they face as agents of social change and transformation.
  2. Recognise and appreciate the human rights work of young and upcoming HRDs in Kenya.
  3. Enhance the safety and protection of all HRDs in Kenya


  • Nomination: The Working Group on Human Rights Defenders in Kenya will develop a call for nominations which will be widely circulated by NCHRD-K and other partners. This call will outline the criteria for eligibility for nomination.
  • Shortlisting: A panel will shortlist ten individuals within the set out guidelines for shortlisting candidates.
  • Verification: The panel will then verify the HRDs human rights work through a field visit where interviews will be conducted with those who work with the HRDs.
  • Judging: The judging panel, which will comprise eminent individuals in the human rights sector, will make a final decision, from the ten names submitted, who the recipient of the HRD award and the upcoming HRD award will be.
  • Award ceremony: this will be held annually on the 10th of December and will see the presence of representatives from the missions, CSOs, government, select HRDs and the media who will cover the event.


The following will be taken into consideration:

  • Grassroots based HRD
  • Demonstrable impact of the HRDs human rights work to the community
  • The role of the HRD in promoting human rights
  • ‘Civil courage’ of the HRD in his/her human rights work
  • Demonstrated leadership, innovation and creativity in his/her human rights work
  • Contribution to development of a human rights based approach within his/her county in regards to the thematic area of focus
  • Future goals and likely impact
  • Degree of difficulty of the achievement and sacrifices made
  • Visibility derived from award to enhance work of HRD to promote human rights and active citizenship
  • The HRD should have a link to the community and his/her work should have built or working towards building a movement
  • The HRD should be a seasoned or upcoming in the human rights field


Two awards will be presented to the overall winner, HRD of the year and an upcoming HRD.

The overall winner will receive:

  • Cash reward of $1000
  • A plaque with the HRDs name on it
  • Will be the guest at the HRD award ceremony 2017

The Upcoming HRD will receive:

  • Cash reward of $1000
  • A plaque with the HRDs name on it
  • Will be the guest at the HRD award ceremony 2017

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.

All nomination forms should be sent back to the NCHRD-K via with a clear subject line “HRD AWARD NOMINATION”

Download the nomination form below.


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