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What We Do

The KHRC has, since its inception, advocated for constitutional change that would secure for Kenyan people governance systems and structures that promote, protect and enhance the full spectrum of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The promulgation of the constitution this year is the first major step toward this vision.

However, impunity, indifference to corruption, tribalism, nepotism and apathy towards political participation are but a few of the enduring attitudes of the past despotic epochs. If the new constitution is to be effectively implemented there must be a profound change in the peoples approach towards their rights, their Government and their elected or appointed officials. There must also be a shift in the attitude of government itself.

Therefore, the KHRC seeks to engage in securing the pledges made under the new constitution through advocacy initiatives aimed at ensuring the comprehensive observance and implementation of the constitution and the meaningful participation of the citizenry in governance and policy creation.

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A Rights Based Approach to Change

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.

 

 

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Thematic Goals and Objectives

The work of KHRC is carried out through various strategies namely research, monitoring and documentation; legislative and policy advocacy; legal aid and public interest litigations; capacity building and networking with state and non-state actors; engaging in urgent action and rapid response to emerging issues; mainstreaming diversity and ensuring equality and non-discrimination; fostering media relations and publicity; monitoring and evaluation; and, enhancing institutional capacity and sustainability.

These are organized into four thematic areas of Civil and Political Rights (CPR); Economic and Social Rights (ESR); Equality and Non-discrimination(END) and Institutional Development and Sustainability (IDS) with five strategic objectives.

Theme One:  

Civil and Political Rights whose  strategic objective is enhanced human rights-based cultures of constitutionalism, people-driven governance and responsive justice.  

Theme Two:

Equality and Non-Discrimination whose strategic objective is enhanced representation and participation of targeted marginalised groups in political governance

Theme Three:

Economic Social and Rights whose twin strategic objectives are- 

  1.  Producers’, workers’, consumers’ and host communities’ rights protected and 
  2.  Improved accountability in service delivery leads to improved access to economic, social and cultural rights.
Theme Four:

Institutional Development and Sustainability whose strategic objective is a well-resourced and self-sustaining KHRC that delivers on its mandate. 

 

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KHRC's Key Strategies

The Commission engages in diverse advocacy tools to initiate change in policy, laws and institutional practices towards greater democratic, accountable and human rights-based governance. KHRC has been renowned for its well researched reports on human rights issues.

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