About Kenya National Commission on Human Rights
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights is an independent National Human Rights Institution established in August 2011 with the mandate to promote and protect human rights in Kenya. The Commission is entrenched in the Constitution of Kenya (2010), Article 59 (1) on the establishment of the Kenya National Human Rights and Equality Commission and has been operationalized through the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Act of 2011 (Revised in 2012). The Commission succeeded the statutory Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, which was established in July 2003 through an Act of Parliament (the KNCHR Act, 2002).
The Commission implements two key broad mandates: first, it acts as a watchdog over the Government in the area of human rights: the protection mandate. Secondly, it plays a key leadership role in advising and moving the country towards becoming a human rights state: the promotion mandate. The functions of the Commission are detailed in Section 8 of the KNCHR Act, 2011.
About Laikipia University.
It is established by the government of Kenya through the award of Laikipia University charter of 19th February 2013 as per requirements of University’s Act, Number 42 of 2012. The University, formerly Laikipia Campus was established in 1990 as a campus of Egerton University.
Laikipia University’s main campus is located on the transition point between the Southern high potential and semi-arid Nothern Kenya. Main campus is situated 50 kilometres from Nakuru along Nakuru-Nyahururu road and 11 kilometres from Nyahururu town towards Nakuru. The University is unique as the only higher institution of learning in Kenya that offers human rights course as a core course for all the students. The lecturers who teach human rights core course are trained by KNCHR and the course module is being reviewed by KNCHR.
A Partnership Between KNCHR and Laikipia University: By Ruth Getobai, Senior Human Rights Officer.
The entrenchment of a human rights culture in Kenya starts with greater understanding of what human rights are. What better place to create this understanding than institutions of learning, which create ideal spaces for exchange of knowledge and ideas borrowed from history and learned from current affairs and emerging issues. Further, we recognize that the youth form a critical mass of future citizens hence promoting human rights friendly education environments is crucial to ensure a global culture of human rights.
Thus, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and Laikipia University have partnered to provide a platform for mainstreaming of a human rights culture in both state and non-state actors through evidence based training and practice.
Responsibilities of the University
- Design and develop a training programme in human rights and education.
- Provide opportunity and support for to officials of KNCHR to further their studies and improve their human resource.
- Conduct certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Human rights.
- Provide opportunity and facilities to KNCHR personnel where necessary to participate in teaching and research.
- Provide lecturers and other personnel for identified research needs on agreed terms.
- Provide access to KNCHR staff to facilities such as library, electronic information, journals and avail research materials as necessary.
- Provide KNCHR staff an opportunity to publish in various university publications.
Responsibilities of KNCHR
- Provide human rights training to University staff when there is need.
- Facilitate the University to establish a Centre for human rights.
- Facilitate the publication of a university quarterly newsletter for national circulation.
- Provide financial and technical assistance to the university whenever there are funds to promote human rights curriculum.
- Review from time to time the University Human rights curriculum.
- Regularly identify and source for human rights resource persons for the University.
- Undertake research in Human Rights and discrimination issues.
It is expected that the two institutions shall carry out joint activities in ;
- Research, advocacy and public education.
- Production of a quarterly newsletter for national circulation.
- Activities and celebrations of international human rights day.
- Human rights advise, support for institutional reforms and capacity building.
- To share research findings.
- Discuss topical issues on national human rights.
- Mapping of research priority areas in human rights.
Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)and Objectives of the partnership
The partnership between the two institutions is strengthened by an MOA signed 2015. Our joint objectives are:
- To collaborate in research, advocacy and public education.
- To strengthen human rights curriculum that informs higher learning best practice.
- To provide opportunities for capacity building for human rights practitioners through learning opportunities.
Working with the Community
As a means of achieving the above objectives, the two institutions will from time to time engage the surrounding communities and regions in the promotion of human rights through various community initiatives and activities. These public education sessions will also serve to strengthen the capacity of the students at the University to be able to be informed human rights practitioners upon graduation.