The KHRC believes that the primary purpose of a Human Rights organization is to shrink the spaces of powerlessness and to also make a difference in people’s lives. Since its formation, the centrepiece of the Commission’s work remains grounded in the quest to reduce powerlessness among poor, vulnerable and marginalised groups and to contain the powerful-both state non-state actors.
This explains the Commission’s commitment to pro-actively act against and address both the systemic and emerging injustices and inequalities in the society. Using the rights-based approaches and social justice paradigms, we will continue to empower the people to define, claim and defend their rights and build the capacities of those mandated to address the emerging violations at all levels in the society.
While we appreciate the value and political sense of laying responsibility on states to protect, respect and implement rights of citizens and all residents within their jurisdictions, the fact of the matter is that states in the dominant paradigm do not, of their own volition, give rights to the poor. We aver, from the standpoint of the people’s struggles, that rights must be contested through politics and a culture of resistance within the Social Justice paradigm.
Our role is to therefore facilitate, stimulate, catalyse and support peoples’ struggles and link them into networks for wider struggles thus supporting the emergence of a greater constituency of human rights defenders with leverage to cause significant reforms for citizens to exercise their rights.
It is by working with the people and communities at their own level, on what is of value to them; and enabling them to understand, articulate and defend their rights, that they can effectively hold violators and duty bearers accountable.
We remain persuaded that this people and justice-centred framework of engagement will go a long way in limiting the unequal power relations that deepen impunity. We are also convinced that the anticipated transformation and equilibrium in remedying this situation (characterized by many injustices and equalities) remains in tandem with our vision of Securing Human Rights States and Societies.