PBI speaking tour with Kenyan human rights defenders visits London, Brussels and Geneva

Published by Brent Patterson on

Rahma Wako is a community organizer and passionate advocate for women’s rights and children’s rights. She is a human rights defender and advocate against gender-based violence. She’s the coordinator of the Mathare Social Justice Centre.

Samuel Kiriro leads projects that help gang members leave crime and reintegrate into society. He is the co-founder of the Ghetto Foundation.

On December 1, the Peace Brigades International-Kenya Project posted, “Rahma and Samuel are departing Kenya and heading to London, the first stop on their European Speaker Tour. After London they’ll head to Brussels and then Geneva where they will share about their work and experiences in Nairobi’s urban settlements.”

By December 4, PBI-Kenya noted, “Samuel and Rahma have wrapped up the London stop on their Tour today. During their visit they made a quick adjustment to weather, and then met with Action Aid, the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Rights, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Law Society of England and Wales, and Leigh Day law firm where Tom Short, a former PBI Kenya Field Officer, now works.”

On December 6, PBI-Kenya added, “Today Rahma & Samuel met with the European External Action Service [in Brussels, Belgium] to share about their work and the progress they’ve made. We are happy and grateful for the support we’ve received from the EU and hope to continue our partnerships with them moving forward.”

And on December 8, PBI-Kenya noted, “Rahma and Samuel have wrapped up the Belgium leg of their Tour. During their time there they meet with the European External Action Service, The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), Protection International, PBI Belgium, PBI’s International Office, were interviewed by Demain le Monde.”

PBI has provided the context: “People in Nairobi’s informal settlements face serious inequities in basic services ranging from water and sanitation to the state’s justice system, which threatens their very right to life.”

“Extrajudicial executions are frequently carried out in these areas by murderous police officers, whose collaboration with the regular police units and with the operational and support structures remains a mystery.”

“Such experiences do not occur in Nairobi’s affluent neighborhoods, highlighting the scorn and widespread criminalization of the urban poor.”

In April 2018, PBI-Kenya together with the Mathare Social Justice Centre, the Ghetto Foundation and Saferworld began a two-year project titled Ushirikiano Mwema kwa Usalama (Good relationships for safety) to tackle the normalization of extrajudicial killings in the Nairobi constituencies of Mathare, Kamukunji and Embakasi North.

For additional context, please see the PBI-Canada article: PBI-Kenya accompanies human rights defenders in Nairobi’s informal settlements.

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