Our theory of change is grounded on the Rights Based Approach (RBA). RBA is a framework that integrates the norms, principles, standards and goals of the international human rights system into the plans and processes of development. It is characterized by methods and activities that link the human rights system and its inherent notion of power and struggle with development. RBA is able to recognize poverty as injustice and include marginalization, discrimination, and exploitation as central causes of poverty.
RBA has five areas of focus i.e. most vulnerable groups-including issues of gender and discrimination; root causes such as poverty, deprivation and human rights violations; rights holders (those violated) and duty bearers (those with obligations to protect and promote human rights); and empowerment-supporting people’s ability take part in governance processes and claims their rights-both as groups and individuals.
It is the rights holders and duty bearers dichotomy or complimentality that inspires and enable the KHRC to create and sustain a human rights demand from the people (rights/ claim holders) and a corresponding supply or response by the duty bearers(responsible state and non-state actors). Our notion of demand for human rights is borne in the belief and approach that communities themselves must define, claim and defend their rights. It is by working with communities at their own level, on what is of value to them; and enabling them to understand, articulate and claim their rights, that they can effectively hold duty bearers accountable.
The KHRC defines communities as entities that comprise people who share a share a common struggle and are aiming at seeking remedies to improve their situations. In devising appropriate interventions for their issues, communities are encouraged to provide leadership as the KHRC plays a facilitative and supportive role in instructing strategic direction. Currently, the KHRC work with 22 and 7 local and thematic human rights networks respectively, in the country.
On the supply side, the KHRC realizes that in order to realize the demand for human rights and democratic governance from the rights holders, it is necessary to constructively engage with duty bearers. Their obligation and capacity to promote, respect, protect and fulfill must be enhanced in a dispensation that recognizes the centrality of human rights to governance. The programmes, projects and strategies below respond to both the demand and supply sides of human rights-governance in the society.
We believe that this is the most promising way of creating a sustainable momentum, and ultimately widespread culture of respect and protection of human rights of and by all people and institutions.