Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (CHRD)

CHRD works to promote a peaceful and democratic Kenya built upon a respect for human rights.

The Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, founded in 1997, works to promote a peaceful and democratic Kenya built upon a respect for human rights.

It supports the development of a national reconciliation process, documenting human rights abuses while promoting tolerance. It uses community mediators and conflict monitors as an early response system in the violence hot spots of the Rift Valley region.

Main projects: conflict warning and monitoring

  • Conflict monitoring systems

The CHRD identified the lack of conflict monitoring systems, and inability to resolve local disputes quickly, as one of the key factors that caused local outbreaks of violence to have larger consequences after the 2007 elections. CHRD has supported the implementation of community-led monitoring and mediation missions, in order to contrain the future potential for conflict from growing.

  • Community mediators and conflict monitors
CHRD trains and educates Community Mediators and Conflict Monitors (CMCMs) who support communities in participating peacefully in the political process. The CMCMs are chosen from different tribes, genders, ages and professions. Usually well-known members of their different societies, they help act as a focal point for dispute resolution and to increase political participation.
  • Community reconciliation
CHRD conducts and surveys on-going reconciliation projects in the region in order to enhance the cooperation between different local organisations and create a network throughout the Rift Valley region. They have had a wide impact on communities through their work in terms of reconciliation and peace building, training more than 30 mediators, in all ten districts of the region.

Major achievements

  • The creation and development of a network of human rights defenders among the legal fraternity in the Rift Valley Province.
  • The development of a strong grass-roots movement of human rights activists in the region capable of engineering social changes and standing up for their rights and those of their fellow citizens.
  • The creation and development of a network of journalists and correspondents who use the power of the pen to bring to the public eye human rights abuses in the region.
  • The creation of avenues and linkages for assistance to victims of human rights violations in the region.
  • The ultimate expectation that trained human rights monitors will take the lead in highlighting and documenting abuses of power and process in the Rift Valley, creating a locally-based early warning mechanism to help respond to conflict.

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