The University Of Nairobi in partnership with The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Launched Haki Journal Of Human Rights, University of Nairobi – Centre for Human Rights at the 2021 Human Rights Day themed; Equality-Reducing Inequalities, Advancing Human Rights. At the Manu Chandaria Auditorium December 10, 2021.
The Uon Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama says that the university has and always will be at the forefront of championing for human rights. ‘ The journal will be an annual- open access online publication that seeks to broaden the study and practice of human rights by fostering a critical examination of existing human rights approaches from an afro centric perspective.’
Dr. Bernard Mogesa, CEO Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, says ‘the Centre for Human Rights is intended to help all the members in the academia fraternity to be able to express issues on human rights from an academic perspective.’
The Global Board Member, Amnesty International, Ms.Renee Ngamau emphasized on the need for inclusion as the starting point of dealing with inequality in Kenya, ‘As we say in Kenya, vitu kwa ground ni different perhaps it is so globally. To have a seat at the table, maybe we should redesign not only the table but also the whole furniture in the room and even further redesign the whole room.’
‘All of us are human rights defenders. When you complain about water, electricity, traffic and potholes on the road you are actually agitating for dignity and the basic need of health. Therefore we should be more agile in advocating for our rights as humans,’ said Ms. Renee Ngamau.
The UN Women Country Representative, Ms. Anna Mutavati mentioned that gender based violation is as a result of gender inequality and lack of respect to women. Additionally, 'when we acknowledge that GBV is a human rights violation then the country will be on the right trajectory to finding and developing solutions for the problem.'
This day marks the end of the 16Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence. ‘GBV has a special place in the approach of the European Union in combating human rights violation,’ said H.E Henriette Geiger, European Union Ambassador. She further added that human rights have absolutely no place in our society not only in Kenya but also globally.
‘Humans are not truly free until women are free. 90% of those affected by gender based violence are women.’ In her keynote speech, Cabinet Secretary Prof. Margaret Kobia emphasized the importance of women,’ when a woman is happy, the home is happy.’ As she reflects on the impact of Covid-19, the Cabinet secretary say, ‘the Covid-19 pandemic has brought a setback to the journey of gender equality and without gender equality we cannot achieve the sustainable development goals.’
As the day took form and all the dignitaries had made their remarks, there was a panel discussion where they discussed issues on members of the country in marginalized communities. They commended the government for the far they have come as a nation thanks to the issues covered in the constitution.
However they made a clarion call to all humans, governments and legislative institutions to ensure that they create awareness, accessibility, deliberately listen to one another and be ready to transform in order to ensure that the inhabitants of the globe are protected moving forward.
In attendance was the UN Victim’s Rights Advocate, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, UN Senior Human Rights Adviser, UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya, Chairman, Albinism Society of Kenya, Isaac Mwaura, a representative of the Kenya police Service.