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Jueves, 22 de Octubre de 2020

Actividades OIJJ

Strengthening Human Rights within Correctional Facilities in Kenya

septiembre 2015 - septiembre 2016 Kenia - África Derechos Humanos, Violación


Kenya has ratified all of the key international human rights treaties guaranteeing the respect of human rights within detention facilities. It also enshrined most of the key global human rights principles within its 2010 Constitution. However, despite the presence of a fairly comprehensive legislative framework, implementation of human rights enforcement mechanisms remains poor in Kenya. This poor implementation increases the likelihood of human rights violations within Kenyan correctional facilities.

Within this context, the project ‘Strengthening Human Rights within Correctional Facilities in Kenya’ aims to eradicate all forms of human rights violations within detention and custodial facilities in Kenya.

Utilising the wide experience of the project coordinator, the European Committee for Training and Agriculture (CEFA), and the other partners from the justice administration and penal reform sector in Kenya, the project intends to protect detainees’ human rights by promoting policy dialogue, advocacy and support of Kenyan Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) to ensure effective law enforcement. The project addresses the issues of delayed reforms and fragmented intervention by strengthening the HRDs’ role and their coordination with different authorities through an inter-agency approach, alongside improving monitoring processes in correctional facilities. The Justice System’s National Plan on Human Rights and its policy and advocacy components have supported systemic and integrated coordination among the main HRDs, dealing with administration of justice in Kenya and spearheading the actual implementation of existing delayed reforms.

As a project partner, the IJJO has published an analysis of human rights violations within correctional facilities in Kenya, titled 'Human Rights and Deprivation of Liberty in Kenya: An analysis of the human rights’ situation and guidelines for an internal monitoring system'. Within the framework of this publication, the IJJO has also developed guidelines on best practice of monitoring and reporting human rights violations, created in the course of the project within Kenyan detention facilities. The main purpose of this publication is to provide evidence-based recommendations on human rights protection and violation prevention. This aims not only to support the implementation of the project itself, but also to support institutional authorities, policy makers and practitioners in the construction of evidence-based action plans and the establishment of effective monitoring and reporting systems.

Download the report: 'Human Rights and Deprivation of Liberty in Kenya'


General objective: To contribute to eradicating all forms of human rights violations within detention and custodial facilities in Kenya.

Specific objective: To strengthen Human Rights Defenders and national security organs to promote structural reforms within the detention facilities system, supporting compliance with and enforcement of the Bill of Rights enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya.

The project is based on 3 main intervention areas:

a) In-depth capacity building for all the Human Rights Defenders in Kenya, targeting the Prison, Probation and Children’s Departments of the Government of Kenya (GoK), magistrates (through the Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA)), police officers and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). The capacity building incorporates facilitating compliance with Kenyan law and strengthening reporting mechanisms for human rights violations through a new Early Warning System (EWS). Furthermore, it ensures the establishment of counselling, education and reintegration sections to enable HRDs to provide related services within 20 detention facilities, and the provision of psychosocial support, aftercare and socio-economic empowerment for reintegrated offenders.

b) The establishment of an Early Warning System (EWS) in Kenya at a national level and within detention facilities for preventing and monitoring cases of human rights violations in the country, under the umbrella of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR).

c) The improvement of the legal framework in Kenya and the establishment of a National Plan of Action against Human Rights Violations within the justice system. The provision of lobbying and advocacy activities addresses delayed reforms and gaps within existing policies, which are considered the main legal causes of the perpetration and impunity of human rights violations within detention facilities in Kenya.

The project has targeted more than 17,322 beneficiaries, these being inmates, probationers, and Human Rights Defenders. More specifically grouped, these have included:

- About 1,000 detainees in police custody

- About 4,669 detainees in custody awaiting sentence

- About 9,388 sentenced detainees

- About 1,950 detainees in reintegration and aftercare programmes

- About 315 Human Rights Defenders working in the Criminal Justice System (65 custodial agents, 70 from reintegration programmes, 50 from the judiciary, 50 from the police, 50 Human Rights Defenders and legal professionals from civil society organisations, and 30 Children’s Officers)

The facilities targeted by the project were 15 prisons and 5 probation hostels, from Central Kenya to Western Kenya and the coastal area. The project was specifically implemented in:

- 9 women’s prisons: Kitale, Kitui, Malindi, Kisumu, Shimo La Tewa, Kisii, Nakuru, Muranga, Meru

- 4 main prisons: Kingorani, Kangeta, Homabay and Meru

- 2 borstal institutions for young people in conflict with the law: Shikusa in Kakamega and Shimo La Tewa in Mombasa

- 5 probation hostels: Mombasa, Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret Jnr. and Snr.



The main aim of this project was to pave a solid way for the eradication of all forms of human rights violations within detention and custodial facilities in Kenya, and to mainstream the safeguarding of detainees’ human rights. The project achieved the following three predicted results through carrying out numerous activities:


RESULT 1: Human Rights Defenders and inmates were made aware of the constitutional provisions relating to the rule of law, human rights and the Early Warning and Reporting Mechanism (EWRM).


Carrying out and publishing a mapping and baseline survey on human rights violations in correctional facilities: ‘Baseline Survey on Human Rights and Deprivation of Liberty’ The baseline survey’s aim was to ascertain the extent, frequency and types of human rights violations within correctional facilities. The project management unit and the Kenya Prison Service (KPS) developed the questionnaires (one for inmates and one for officers) to collect critical data. The research tools were validated by the project partners and other stakeholders. The GoK Prison and Probation Services served as the baseline survey supervisors to assure objectivity in the exercise while Faraja, the Legal Resources Foundation (LRF) and CEFA implemented the data collection. The data entry and analysis, as well as the report writing, was carried out by IJJO through its consultant in loco, and the findings informed capacity building activities for Human Rights Defenders, lobby and advocacy actions, identifying ways to strengthen inter-agency cooperation for well-functioning monitoring systems and building awareness and developing evidence-based actions to protect inmates and officers against human rights violations.

Provision of training for HRDs, staff and prisoners’ representatives in 20 detention facilities, the GoK Prison, Children and Probation Departments, magistrates and police officers

The project had two major training areas: 1) Psychosocial Support (PSS) targeting prison and probation officers; 2) Human Rights Defender (HRD) training targeting magistrates, probation officers, police officers and prisoners

CEFA was in charge of the direct implementation of the PSS training, while the project partner LRF took charge of the HR training due to it specific expertise in the field. Below is an overview of the two training areas:

Psychosocial support training

The training curricula incorporated on–the–job practical knowledge, attitude change, skills acquisition and basic competencies to enhance the skills of the GoK officers working in correctional facilities to achieve the provision of multi-dimensional services and outcomes for remandees and probationers held in correctional facilities.

-Development of Psychosocial Support (PSS) Training Manual and reporting tools

-Training of Psychosocial Support Officers (PSSOs)

-Training of Human Right Defenders

-Development of PSSOs (Psychosocial Support Officers) ToR (Terms of Reference)

Human rights training

LRF led training on human rights topics addressed to prison, probation, police and judiciary Officers. 50 police, 74 prison, 70 probation and 50 judiciary officers were trained. This training used a lecture method (presentations), plenary discussions and experiential examples to deliver the content, utilising materials referencing the current working documents of the Criminal Justice Agencies concerned.

Supporting management and coordination of the national security organs and HRDs

The current GoK structure has placed the coordination of the criminal justice system’s agencies (police, courts, Department of Probation and Aftercare and Detention and Correctional Systems/Services) under the National Council for the Administration of Justice (NCAJ, established under Section 34 of the Judicial Service Act (No. 1 of 2011) as a high level GoK State and Non-State multi-stakeholder forum coordinated and chaired by the Chief Justice). The project sought to support these agencies at a coordination level through NCAJ via indirect lobbying for inclusion in existing programmes, with support from the LRF which has a long-standing collaboration with the council.

Establishment and support of Court Users Committees (CUCs) in 3 target counties

A Court Users Committee is a forum that brings together actors in the administration of justice as well as users of the justice system to address problems within the sector, addressing all agencies and stakeholders concerned. CUCs also serve to promote accountability and improvement of performance by courts and all actors in the justice chain.

Streamlining case management and establishment of counselling, rehabilitation and reintegration sections for HRDs’ provision of related services in 20 detention facilities

Provision of paralegal support and psychosocial support, aftercare and socioeconomic empowerment of reintegrated offenders

- Legal and Human Rights Awareness Sessions (Paralegal Clinics)

- Paralegal services implementation

- Provision of counselling to inmates and probationers

- Provision of tools to ex-inmates and probationers

- Reintegration of inmates and probationers

Provision of equipment and improvement of infrastructure in 7 correctional facilities

Seven correctional facilities have been earmarked for infrastructural improvements, selected through a consultative process led by the Kenya Prison Service and Department of Probation and Aftercare Services.

Awareness campaign within the 20 correctional facilities through Participatory Educational Theatre (PET)


RESULT 2: Early Warning and Reporting Mechanisms EWRM have been established and supported for preventing and monitoring cases of human rights violations within correction facilitation.

The project has been supporting the establishment of an effective inter-agency Early Warning System (EWS) and Human Rights Desks in all 47 Kenyan counties. They will be effective tools for the HRDs to document, report and prevent violation of human rights by national security organs, detention facilities and prisons in Kenya. The project promoted an environment which is conducive to the maintenance of prisoners’ rights.


Carrying out multiagency workshops on Early Warning at national and institutional levels and reporting mechanisms at national and institutional levels

Establishment and support of an EWRM committee forum in 20 detention facilities

-Strengthening Human Rights Desks

- Operational mechanism of the EWRM committees in correctional facilities

- Launch of Internal Compliance Monitoring Tool for KPS based on the Mandela Rules (UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners)


RESULT 3: The Legal Framework has been improved by promoting a national policy on EWRM, a National Plan against Human Rights Violations and strengthening the reforms of the national security organs in accordance with Chapter 4 of the Constitution.


Provision of advocacy and lobbying for the ratification of a new policy on EWRM

Publication of a National Guidelines Manual on EWRM best practices and of a national plan of projects

- Drafting and validation of Initial Reports by stakeholders
The National Guidelines Manual on EWRM and best practices was drafted by the project management unit, project partners and Dr. Steve Ouma, with the support of Silvia Randazzo (IJJO Consultant) during quarter three of the project. A qualitative research at national level on human rights violations in correctional facilities was conducted and a publication drafted by the IJJO consultant in the course of the second phase of the project

- Publication and dissemination of human rights research findings (through the IJJO)

Public events and parades at national level

- Celebration of Inaugural Justice Prisoners’ Day held on 10th August 2015 (First celebration in Kenya and Africa)

- Celebration of International Human Rights Day on 10th December 2015

- Celebration of 2nd International Prisoners’ Justice Day held on 10th August 2016 at Meru Main Prison

Results and Outputs

- The project reached 23,896 beneficiaries (23,326 remandees, prisoners and offenders held within the criminal justice system in police custody, remand, jail and probation hostels, and 570 Human Rights Defenders)

- Formation of Sub-Committee of Criminal Justice System Reform and Implementation Committee within the National Council for the Administration of Justice (NCAJ)

- The Action Plan of Human Rights to include Penal Institutions Issues was a major achievement in pushing the agenda of human rights to the centre of Kenya’s strategy on correctional facilities

- Support of 50 Human Rights Desks, to enhance their operational capacity and their capacity building activities

- Developing and piloting local adaptation of the UNSMR (UN Standard Minimum Rules) into an Internal Compliance Monitoring Tool (ICMT) for human rights provision in 15 prisons

- The launch of an Internal Compliance Monitoring Tool for KPS based on the Mandela Rules (UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners) that took place on the 10th December 2015 during the national celebration of the International Human Rights Day (IHRD). The launch indicated the commitment of KPS top command to the internal monitoring process of human rights compliance. In attendance during the event was the KPS Deputy Commissioner, who represented the Commissioner General of KPS. The initial piloting will take place in 15 prisons with a plan on up-scaling in the next GoK financial year

- Establishment of 15 EWRM committees using the UNSMR – ICMT to address human rights issues: EWRM meetings were hailed as a way of managing the inclusion of all the 9 sections present in each prison and promoting individual responsibility in the provision of human rights

- Undertaking capacity building for 570 Human Rights Defenders and the convening of 2 multi-agency workshops focused on finalising the review of prison laws, especially Chapter 92 of the Laws of Kenya

- Reduction of HR violations to 28% and supporting KPS efforts to increase human rights compliance to 70% in the target institutions

- Streamlining case management and establishment of counselling, rehabilitation and reintegration sections for HRDs, and the provision of related services in 20 detention facilities

- Provision of paralegal support and psychosocial support, aftercare and socio-economic empowerment for reintegrated offenders

- The research on ‘Human Rights for People Deprived of Liberty in Kenya’, incorporated best practices like the EWRM through compliance with the UNSMR using the Internal Compliance Monitoring Tool and the documentation system for HROs as actions that needed replication at national level within the 118 prisons since they were ‘no-cost’ initiatives to implement as part of strengthening human rights standards within correctional facilities in Kenya
Download the report: 'Human Rights and Deprivation of Liberty in Kenya'

- In the two years of the project, the Economic Empowerment component targeted 104 post-trial inmates with the provision of a toolkit

-Capacity building activities targeting Human Rights Defenders: their assessments were characterised by personal testimonies of officers indicating that they had acquired a new mind frame on human rights issues, through identifying the correlation of several factors leading to behaviour change. PSS training was personal to each officer and thus the outcome was experienced by the trainees, their families and also their clients

- The infrastructure improvement in 7 prisons has had a direct impact on the 3,420 inmates through provision of counselling services, access to justice and clean drinking water, where no such facilities existed before

- 13,492 inmates were provided with opportunities to address legal hiccups that were derailing the wheels of justice concerning their cases and by doing so, there was a marked reduction in the many conflicts between inmates and the prison officers

- 145 Human Rights Defenders received skills in Participatory Educative Theatre (PET) to work as Trainers of Trainers (ToTs) in their prisons, facilitating dialogue for addressing the general lifestyle within each correctional facility

- Awareness campaign conducted within the 20 correctional facilities through Participatory Educational Theatre (PET): through the use of the PET programme, the project established a forum for the inmates and probationers to raise awareness of human rights violation issues for people in the criminal justice system, presenting its detrimental aspects, highlighting violence prevention, showcasing inmates’ perceptions of an appropriate Early Warning and Reporting Mechanism, and reviewing legal frameworks

- The International Prisoners’ Justice Day was celebrated for the first time in Kenya, and in Africa, on the 10th of August 2015 at Nairobi Allocation and Remand Prison – Industrial Area, and reached 600 beneficiaries

- The project marked International Human Rights Day on 10th December 2015, organising celebrations in 2015 and 2016 within Kenyan facilities

- Dissemination of the research findings was organised by the IJJO and CEFA in Nairobi to share the research findings with partners, stakeholders, and EU and GoK agencies working in criminal and juvenile justice sectors
The dissemination in Nairobi was done on 3 levels:

-- Kenya Prison Service: Presentations of the survey and the research were made by the IJJO consultant to the Directorates in charge of Human Rights and Rehabilitation and Welfare at the service headquarters. Research findings were found to be acceptable and when presented to Commissioner General of Prisons, he endorsed the research but recommended that an advisory be sought from the Office of the Attorney General. The rationale behind the advisory was to get official endorsement, since the publication would then be viewed as an official government position on the research as they were part and parcel of the process

-- Probation Department: the research was endorsed and officially accepted as a true confirmation of an earlier research project that had been commissioned by the Department’s Director on the state of human rights in their probation hostels

-- Dissemination Conference in Nairobi: The IJJO presented the findings to an audience made up of beneficiaries, associates (such as KNCHR and NCAJ), other partners (Kituo cha Sheria, Haki Mashinani, RODI and IIDA, among others), representatives of the Head of the EU delegation in Nairobi and the Ambassador of the Swiss Republic. This conference took place in Nairobi at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development on the 7th December 2016

- Dissemination workshop in Brussels: The IJJO brought together a multi-agency audience at their premises in Brussels, with the aim of presenting the findings of the research on human rights in correctional facilities in Kenya and highlighting the emerging issues in the penal sector. This workshop took place on 17th January 2017 with the presence of representatives of the EU Headquarters, the First Secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Kenya & Mission to the EU in Brussels, and other organisations working in the criminal justice and child rights system

This project has facilitated the following flagship/key outcomes for the Kenyan criminal justice system:

-Review and inclusion of penal issues in the National Policy and Action Plan on Human Rights

- Inception of EWRM committees in correctional facilities

- Formation of NCAJ-Subcommittee on Criminal Justice and Human Rights

- Research and dissemination of findings about human rights violations within the criminal justice and correctional system in Kenya

- Documentation system for HROs, piloted and rolled out for the first time with KPS

- Local adaptation of the UNSMR into an Internal Compliance Monitoring Tool

- Establishment of International Prisoners’ Justice Day in Kenya and Africa


CEFA (European Committee for Training and Agriculture) – project coordinator:

IJJO (International Juvenile Justice Observatory)

LRF (Legal Resources Foundation):


FGWT (Fr. Grol’s Welfare Trust):

Government of Kenya Probation Department:

Government of Kenya Prison Department:


With financial support from the EU Delegation in Kenya, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights
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