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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Justice ExPEERience was launched in 2021 by Avocats Sans Frontières. Today, the network brings together over 800 members working in the fields of human rights defense, access to justice and the fight for social justice in some 50 countries. The network has a digital platform on which its members (jurists, members of civil society organizations, researchers, activists, etc.) can meet and exchange in communities of practice and collaborative workspaces. The digital platform is multilingual and secure, allowing members to share information, enrich their knowledge and collaborate on shared document libraries in public or private digital workspaces.

Communities of practice | Justice ExPEERience | Belgium | Central African Republic (the) | Congo (the Democratic Republic of the) | East Africa | Euro-Mediterranean region | Kenya | Morocco | Tanzania | Tunisia | Uganda

July 1, 2024

ASF’s annual report is available!

ASF has just published its 2023 annual report. In it, the organisation discusses the many challenges it faces at a time when authoritarianism is on the rise and the principles of human rights and the rule of law are being attacked throughout the world. In the face of these challenges, ASF is adapting and adapting its approaches to continue to deploy impactful and sustainable actions in favour of human rights. All this (and more) is covered in the pages of this report.

Support ASF | Belgium | Burundi | Central African Republic (the) | Congo (the Democratic Republic of the) | East Africa | Euro-Mediterranean region | Kenya | Morocco | Niger (the) | Tanzania | Tunisia | Uganda

June 19, 2024

Policy Brief – Analysing Civic Space in East Africa through a judicial lens

For the past years, civic space has been described as “shrinking” in many countries around the world. The adoption of restrictive laws, the harassment of journalists, the arrest and detention of human rights defenders, the suspension of activities or freezing of accounts of civil society organisations, are common tactics used by states to restrict civic space and intimidate activists. Unfortunately, East Africa is no exception to this trend. In fact, countries of the region are defined as “repressed”, best “obstructed” by the CIVICUS Monitor. This research addresses the jurisprudence on civic freedoms from national courts of Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Burundi as well as from the East African Court of Justice.

Civic Space | Freedom of expression | Human rights defenders | Security and freedom | Burundi | East Africa | Kenya | Tanzania | Uganda


June 27, 2024

Annual report 2023

Access to justice and development | Business & human rights | Civic Space | Decolonisation | Detention | Economic, social and cultural rights | Freedom of expression | Human rights defenders | International justice | Justice ExPEERience | Legal aid | Migration | Security and freedom | Transitional justice | Belgium | Central African Republic (the) | Congo (the Democratic Republic of the) | East Africa | Euro-Mediterranean region | Kenya | Morocco | Tanzania | Uganda | Annual report

May 28, 2024

Analysing civic space in East Africa through a judicial lens

Civic Space | Freedom of expression | Human rights defenders | International justice | Burundi | East Africa | Kenya | Tanzania | Uganda

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