Nubian Rights Forum

Regions: Kenya

The Nubian Rights Forum is a human rights organization that advocates for the rights of the Nubian ethnic minority in Kenya. In Kenya the Nubian people are a marginalized community and have suffered victimization through land issues, denial of citizenship, ethnic profiling and stereotyping. The mission of the NRF is to empower the Nubian ethnic minority to effectively access justice and realize their human rights through advocacy, networking, lobbying, legal aid, legal education, representation and research. The motto of the NRF is “Amplifying the voice of the voiceless” and their main vision is for “a society that recognizes the minorities’ rights and accords them with equal opportunity.” Major landmarks in the growth of the organization include: institutionalization of the planning process; shift in orientation from civic education to paralegal work that assists the community in applying for citizenship documents, including birth certificates; civic empowerment; and a focus on public interest litigation. Nubian rights forum has a paralegal project with a team of seven paralegals who assist community members in the application of documents of proof of nationality such as birth certificates, identification cards, passports and death certificates. The paralegals walk the journey of the application with the applicant from the first stage until the issuance of the document, providing psychological support to the applicant at the same time tracking the entire process ranging from documents requested, process like vetting and time taken for applications and denials and reasons for denials. This data is collected for advocacy both at the national and international level. NRF in partnership with OSJI and Namati submitted a report to ACERWC in 2015 on the progress of the Kenya government in the full implementation of the Nubian minors decision. This report can be downloaded on the Namati website (www.namati.org).This report was informed by the data collected by the paralegals on the ground. NRF in partnership with Kenya Human Rights Commission, Namati and OSJI conducted a paralegal training of trainers for other communities like the Makonde, the Galjeel and the Somalis in April 2015 equipping them with similar paralegal skills like that of NRF. NRF currently aims at sharing its best practices on paralegal work along citizenship with other communities both in Kenya and internationally.