Helsinki Pride Week was attended by Kenyan LGBTIQ+ activist Njeri Gateru as a guest of KIOS. She works to decriminalize homosexuality in Kenya.
In Kenya the organizations supported by KIOS have contributed to the improvement of the situation of women and girls, increased the slum dwellers right to clean and healthy environment and decreased the discrimination against sexual and gender minorities.
Economic development without human rights for all
Kenya’s economic growth has been significant in the recent decades. The new Constitution encompasses widely human rights for all. However, the positive development hasn’t reached all Kenyans. A notable number of the population don’t have secured income, sufficient education or an equal position in the society. For instance the realization of the rights of women and children, sexual minorities and slum dwellers is often lacking. Development has been especially slow in Northern Kenya where measures are needed to ensure primary education and quality health care for all.
Security threats and culture of impunity
Terror attacks, mainly attributed to al-Shabaab, have increased the general insecurity in the country. Counter terror measures have also led to serious human rights violations, and especially Somali refugees and Kenyan Muslims have been targeted. Furthermore, security legislation in Kenya has been tightened and police given wider powers. The government has also tightened its grip of the civil society and accused the local organizations of acting as international agents.
Strong Kenyan civil society
Kenya has strong civil society which does versatile work for human rights. KIOS supports organizations working in local communities in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa, and in the Counties of Garissa and Samburu. The organizations seek to increase the human rights awareness and participation of the local people. KIOS also supports initiatives that seek to strengthen the national legislations and influence decision makers in order to make human rights a reality.