KNCHR gets Ksh.52million boost from European Union

KNCHR gets Ksh.52million boost from European Union

The European Union has given Ksh. 52.2million to the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights to boost efforts in countering abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The partnership is to allow KNCHR take up urgent public interest litigation cases that benefit the vulnerable and marginalised members of society in particular.

“The EU believes that all human rights are universal and indivisible, as described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Whether one has COVID-19 or not, whether one is a city dweller in Eastleigh, a woman supporting her household in Wajir, whether one is a civilian who wants to know more about his rights, or a state institution that needs to abide by its Human Rights obligations, Human Rights need to apply everywhere,” EU Ambassador Simon Mordue said during the launch.

Further, the envoy said the funds will facilitate enhanced public education and awareness programmes through community radio stations and social media campaigns encouraging citizens to report violations.

The deal also seeks to enhance technology infrastructure that will enable the KNCHR receive information and analyse it at the click of a button through systems specifically adapted for the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Amb. Mordue, the measures Kenya has put in place to curb the spread of the virus such as social distancing; dusk to dawn curfew; as well as many support measures such as cash transfer programmes are necessary.

However, the ambassador noted that in spite of the Government’s best efforts, implementation of some of the measures has also had a negative impact on human rights.

Cases have been reported of police brutality, restricted access to information, discrimination in access to health services, and widening gender inequality and gender-based violence (GBV).

The EU envoy noted that it is therefore essential that human rights defenders be supported in reporting human rights concerns and violations as they occur within their localities.

“The EU support to the KNCHR will help to address all these areas,” he said.

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