The KHRC believes in human rights corpus and Rights Based Approach (RBA) as the basis for the preservation of human dignity, human security and human development.
KHRC espouses a holistic concept of human rights that straddles civil and political rights (as fundamental to political democracy); economic and social rights (as critical building blocks for social democracy); and equality and non-discrimination( both as integrated and specific approaches). We believe that this complimented by the Rights Based Approach (RBA) provides a progressive framework that integrates the norms, principles, standards and goals of the international human rights system into the plans and processes of development.
As illustrated below, the KHRC and other human rights organizations have gone through a paradigmatic and strategic shift in human rights monitoring and advocacy. This entails shift from the Victims (affected/ afflicted)-Saviour (intermediaries)-Savage (violators) mentality to the Rights Holder-Partner in Solidarity-Duty Bearer perspective and relationship.
It is the rights holders and duty bearers dichotomy or complimentality that inspires and enables 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) at all levels in the society.
Our notion of demand for human rights is borne in the belief and approach that people and communities themselves must define, claim and defend 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 claim their rights, that they can effectively hold duty bearers accountable.
Our role is therefore to facilitate, stimulate, catalyze 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.
On the supply side, the KHRC realizes that in order to realize the demands 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 fulfil must be enhanced in a dispensation that recognizes the centrality of human rights to governance.
We believe that this is the most promising way of creating a sustainable momentum, and ultimately cultivating a culture of respect and protection of human rights of and by all people and institutions. KHRC’s programmes, projects and strategies respond to both the demand and supply sides of human rights-governance at all levels in the society. KHRC works at community level with human rights networks (HURINETS) across Kenya and links community, national and international human rights concerns.