ASF in Kenya

Location: Nairobi Opening: 2023 Contact:

General Context

Even if Kenya is consolidating its democratic institutions after a legacy of authoritarian rule, the country has had its share of politically instigated violence along ethnic lines. Following the post-election violence in 2007-2008, Kenya approved a new constitution in 2010 that enshrines perhaps one of the most exhaustive and forward-thinking Bills of Rights in the region and in the continent.

Since gaining independence from British colonial rule in 1963, Kenya  has experienced periods of political turmoil, autocratic rule and progress towards stability. Kenya plays a leading role in regional diplomacy and economic integration, particularly within the East African Community (EAC) and the African Union.

Access to Justice and Rule of Law

In Kenya, access to justice remains a challenge for a significant portion of the population. The justice sector in Kenya has been the subject of major reform efforts in recent years, including measures to improve the independence of the judiciary, the revamping of Kenya National Human Rights and Equality Commission  and measures to improve the effectiveness and accountability of the police and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Despite those reforms, the criminal justice system is still characterised by significant discretionary powers and challenges to the independence of the judiciary, which can lead to the criminalisation of poverty and the persecution of citizens. A majority of convicted prisoners are petty offenders, and trust in the courts remains low.

ASF’s Work in Kenya

With its diverse and dynamic population of approximately 53 million people, a rapidly evolving political landscape and strong economy, Kenya plays a pivotal role in the region. Kenya therefore serves as a critical hub for Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF) in its pursuit of promoting access to justice and human rights in East Africa. The organizationis planning to focuses on the following areas in Kenya:

  • Access to justice: ASF can provide legal aid to people who are unable to afford it, including victims of human rights abuses, marginalized groups, and people in detention.
  • Human rights monitoring: ASF is planning to monitor the human rights situation in Kenya and promote access to remedies.
  • Advocacy: ASF advocates for the protection of human rights in Kenya, including through direct advocacy with the government and awareness raising among the public.


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March 19, 2024

ExPEERience Talk #14 – Protecting Indigenous Rights to Land and Natural Resources: perspectives on the carbon market in Kenya

This talk aims to shed light on the complex relationship between carbon markets and indigenous rights in Kenya, with possible lessons to be learned for other countries in the region, and beyond. By incorporating perspectives from academic researchers and representatives of indigenous communities, the event seeks to contribute to ongoing discussions on environmental justice and human rights in the context of climate change mitigation efforts, which is also increasingly central to ASF’s work on business and human rights.

Access to justice and development | Business & human rights | Victim’s rights | Kenya

January 24, 2024

Defending the defence: The lawyer faced with the peril of repression

Legal proceedings, harassment, intimidation, deprivation of liberty, and sometimes direct physical harm. Throughtout the world, lawyers working on behalf of human rights, civil society or vulnerable groups are threatened and attacked simply for doing their job. This is the reality that we and our partners have to face wherever we operate. Our teams report repeated and increasing attacks on lawyers, and more generally on human rights defenders, in a global context of erosion the rule of law, narrowing of civic space and hypertrophy of executive power to the detriment of the legislative and judicial systems.

Human rights defenders | Belgium | Central African Republic (the) | Congo (the Democratic Republic of the) | Kenya | Morocco | Niger (the) | Tanzania | Tunisia | Uganda

October 16, 2023

Justice ExPEERience, the human rights network launched by ASF, celebrates its second anniversary

Two years ago, Avocats Sans Frontières launched Justice ExPEERience, a network for the promotion of human rights, as well as an online platform of the same name to support and energise this network. This anniversary is an opportunity for us to look back at the history and mandate of the Justice ExPEERience network and its platform. A report on its first two years of activity has just been published, covering developments since its creation, its key projects and also its development prospects.

Communities of practice | Justice ExPEERience | Belgium | Central African Republic (the) | Congo (the Democratic Republic of the) | Kenya | Morocco | Niger (the) | Tanzania | Tunisia


October 26, 2023

Access to Remedy for Human Rights Violations in East Africa: Lessons learned from the perspective of Civil Society Organizations during the East African Business & Human Rights Conference

Business & human rights | Congo (the Democratic Republic of the) | Kenya | Tanzania | Uganda

October 24, 2023

(French) Access to remedy for human rights violation in East Africa: Lessons learned from the persectives of Civil Sociey Organisations during the East African Business and Human Rights Conference

Business & human rights | Kenya | Tanzania | Uganda | Policy Brief

October 5, 2023

Report Justice ExPEERience 2021-2023

Justice ExPEERience | Belgium | Central African Republic (the) | Congo (the Democratic Republic of the) | Kenya | Morocco | Niger (the) | Tanzania | Tunisia | Uganda | Study-Report