Realizing Freedom of Assembly and Association:lessons from 2017 elections
The National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders Kenya (NCHRD-K) convened over 70 HRDs from various parts of Kenya for a
one and half days forum to discuss threats on Freedom of association through arbitrary directives by the government of Kenya. This has been observed to be a repeated trend anytime Kenyans go to the general elections. In view of this, NCHRD-K organised the forum that will work towards facilitating engagement with relevant stakeholders to who play a key role in securing the space for HRDs and CSOs. The forum will take place on 25 and 26 January 2018.
The objectives of the meeting were:
a) Providing a safe and open platform for experience sharing among HRDs and CSOs from
across Kenya, examining the vital role played by human rights defenders as agents of social
change and transformation
b) Highlighting the challenges faced by HRDs in Kenya and to make specific recommendations
to the Special Rapporteurs, the State and CSOs
c) Developing collective strategies of reclaiming the lost civic space so as to unify the
voices of CSOs and HRDs across Kenya.
d) To come up with a communiqué highlighting the specific challenges the participants want
addressed and recommendations to identified relevant government institutions and other
Civic space in Kenya continues to be under pressure with a range of actions employed against the work of Human Rights Defenders and Civil Society organizations in Kenya. Administrative action, legislative restrictions, negative rhetoric and limitation of human rights have undermined the Constitutional and international protections available to them hindering the realization of human rights and especially in the setting of an electoral period during the 2017 elections.
It is against this backdrop 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 hold the 2017 Human Rights Defenders Awards. The HRD awards endeavour to publicly recognise the work of HRDs in Kenya through a HRD award ceremony.
Download the 2017 awards booklet:http://nchrdk.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Human-Rights-Awards-booklet-2017.pdf
On 16 th March 2017 the Black Law Student Association from Harvard University had their annual Africa Summit. The purpose of Africa Summit is to learn about the culture and government in various African countries. They attempt to meet with members of the non-profit sector in order to learn more about some of the challenges the country faces and see how civil society is responding to them. They met with the NCHRD-K to discuss issues related to shrinking space, HRD and CSO challenges in an election year.
See the Visit in pictures here: