Haki Centre is a registered Non-Governmental, non-partisan human rights organization working within the coastal region of Kenya. The organization was formed to sensitize and empower the community on their rights, thereby overcoming the social and cultural hurdles that hinder enjoyment of legal and human rights to all, as enshrined in the constitution of Kenya. The organization was founded in 2006 with a group of young and energetic human rights activists from the Coast and North Eastern Provinces of Kenya who came together to form an organization with the aim of promoting the progressive realization of human rights in the region by ensuring communities’ ownership and active engagement in the struggles for justice, good governance and equity. The operation of Haki Centre is guided by its strategic plan of 2012-2017, which forms the basis for the day to day operations of the organization.
The Mission of the organization is to promote social justice by enhancing community participation in sustainable development. All our programs are guided by the four thematic areas of; Promotion of peaceful coexistence among the coastal communities; Increasing Communities’ Access, Use and Benefits of Land and Natural Resources; Enhancing Citizens’ Participation in Good Governance and Social Accountability at all Levels; and Promotion of Equity and non-discrimination within the Coastal region of Kenya.
Our citizenship work is anchored on the fourth thematic area; this thematic area tends to eliminate all forms of discrimination. For years, there has been a perception of historical injustices along the coastal region of Kenya. The region has been left behind in terms of development and other development issues as compared to other parts of the country. When it comes to issuance of Nationality documents, the residence of the coastal region have continued to witness discriminatory practices including going through vetting and required to produce extra requirements to prove their nationality. In the last three years, Haki Centre has been working very closely with both stateless communities and communities at the risk of becoming stateless. Some of the stateless communities we work with include ‘Makonde, Pemba, and the Galjeel communities. The organization has continued to partner with local, regional and international organization in this line.
Some of the organization we have partnered with in our Citizenship project include; UNHCR-Kenya, Open Society Justice Initiative, Namati, Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KHRC) among others.
Some of our main interventions include:
– Organizing and supporting mobile birth registration drives to stateless communities and those at risk of becoming statelessness;
– Jointly undertook research with the UNHCR-Kenya to determine the effect of statelessness on the Makonde community;
– Conducting awareness creation to the persons of concern;
– Undertaking protection monitoring situation to the persons of concern;
– Advocate for changes in Nationality laws
– Provide legal aid services to the persons of concern
The organization also has a team of qualified community paralegals who assists their communities in application for nationality/citizenship documents, awareness creation, among other duties.