Marco de Milato, CEFA Regional Coordinator in Kenya and Somalia

Marco de Milato, CEFA Regional Coordinator in Kenya and Somalia

Marco Milato, Coordinador Regional de CEFA en Kenia y Somalia

Marco de Milato is the CEFA (European Committee for Agricultural Training) Regional Coordinator in Kenya and Somalia.

He holds a Master degree in International Relations from the University of Genoa, Italy. He has certificates on various development topics in the realms of international cooperation, project writing, Monitoring and Evaluation, Lobby and Advocacy.

His career is focused on human rights management, child protection and children rights EU funded programs in East Africa and India. He began in Senegal in 2005 and from 2007 to 2010 he worked as Country Coordinator in India, focusing on Child Protection and education.

Since late 2010 he is based in Nairobi – Kenya, as CEFA coordinator for Kenya and Somalia. Furthermore, since 2015 Marco is the national representative for Italian NGOs in Kenya.

He has wealth of experience in project management as well as in the development of new project proposals for both private and public donors.

CEFA has over ten years’ experience of consolidated practice, capacity building, collaborative structural reforms implementation and inception of rights-based service delivery approaches within Kenyan juvenile and criminal justice sectors.

As an organization working in both children statutory institutions and state correctional facilities, it has developed strategic partnerships with agencies from the Government of Kenya (GoK) and other Non-State Actors (NSAs) which deal with the administration of Justice.

With the IJJO as a partner, CEFA has runned the project 'Stop human rights violations within correctional facilities' could you please tell us more about this project?

Kenyan prisons face systemic problems such as: immense overcrowding; deprivation of due process and inability to access legal aid; and the lack of training for prison staff.  These pervasive problems have resulted in food shortages, insufficient medical care, and the inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners by prison authorities, systematic use of torture and ill-treatment, corruption, excessive use of force, and the failure of internal and external (where they exist) accountability mechanisms. The main problems that our collaboration addresses are:

• Inadequate capacity and coordination of the Human Rights Defender in monitoring, reporting and preventing violations of human rights by national security organs, detention facilities and prisons in Kenya.

• High level of violence due to inadequate mechanism of early warning system.

• Inadequate legal framework, national plan and contribution to the reform of the police and other national security organs in accordance with Chapter 4 of the Constitution.

The need for prison reforms and gaps in the existing legal framework has come into focus in the last few decades and the problem of prison administration has been examined by numerous expert bodies (the most recent being the Madoka Task Force in 2009).

This project’s objective is to stop human rights institutional torture through strengthening capacity, establishing piloted innovative approaches in Early Warning and Reporting Mechanism (EWRM), up-scaling case management, lobbying for policy/legal reforms and providing for rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners and probationers.

The General Objective is indeed to contribute in eradicating all forms of violation of human rights within detention and custodial facilities in Kenya. In particular, the Specific Objective is to strengthen Human Rights Defenders and National Security Organs by promoting structural reforms within the detention facilities system for the compliance and enforcement of the Bill of Rights enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya.

In order to achieve these objectives, we targeted 3 results:

• Result 1: Human Rights Defenders and the prisoners are capacity built and sensitized on the constitutional provisions related to the rule of law, Human Rights and Early Warning System (EWS) mechanisms.

• Result 2: EWS mechanisms are established and supported to prevent and monitor cases of human rights violations within detention facilities.

• Result 3: The Legal Framework is improved by promoting a national policy on EWS, a National Plan against Human Rights Violations; and strengthening the reforms of the national security organs in accordance with Chapter 4 of the Constitution.

What was the methodology of the project and how do you think the outputs of the project will contribute to the improvement of human rights in detention facilities in Kenya?

The 3 main pillars of the project are:

 a) In-depth capacity building for all Human Rights Defenders in Kenya, targeting the Government officers drawn from Police, Prison, Probation, Judiciary and Children’s Departments. The capacity building aims at sensitizing and enhancing the skills of HRDs on the constitutional provision related to the rule of law and on reporting mechanisms through a new Early Warning System (EWS) established by the action at national and institutional levels. Furthermore, the capacity building assures the establishment of counseling, education and reintegration sections for HRDs’ provision of related services within 20 detention facilities and the provision of psychosocial support, aftercare and socio economic empowerment of reintegrated offenders.  Finally, the main target of the training has been to establish CUCs and CPUs in 3 counties and effective Human Right Desks in all the 47 counties managed by the Probation Department in collaboration with the other GoK Department.

b) Establishment of an Early Warning System (EWS) in Kenya at National and at detention facilities’ levels for preventing and monitoring cases of Human Rights violations in the country, under the umbrella of the KNCHR. Specific multiagency workshops, in collaboration with the National Council of Administration of Justice, were implemented with the aim of finalizing and agree on the mechanisms which will be piloted in 20 detention institutions. The best practices were published in a manual and disseminated in a National Conference in Nairobi for its scaling up and replications.

c) 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 lobby and advocacy activities addressed delayed reforms and gaps within the existing policies which are considered the main legal causes of the perpetration and impunity of prisoners’ rights violations in Kenya.

The project contributes to eradicate all forms of violation of human rights within detention facilities in Kenya, through an effective and sustainable empowerment of the HRDs and a harmonized implementation and promotion of reforms at national level. Based on the long experience of the implementing partners in this sector and the extensive dialogue with the stakeholders involved in the administration of justice and the penal reforms in Kenya, the action establishes an inter-agency Early Warning System (EWS) and Human Rights Desks in all 47 counties.

Furthermore, an in-depth HRDs capacity building programme, targeting CSO, the prisoners, the Prison Department, the Probation Department, the Children Department, the Police and the Judiciary in Kenya plays a major role on the sustainability and effectiveness of the EWS mechanisms for monitoring, reporting and raising awareness on the constitutional provisions related to the rule of law and the Bill of Rights as enshrined in the Constitution.

The project’s objective is to mainstream the detainees’ rights by promoting policy dialogue, advocacy and support to the HRDs for effective law enforcement. It addresses the delayed reforms and fragmented intervention by strengthening the HRDs’ role and their coordination with different actors through an inter-agency approach while improving monitoring processes. The Justice System’s National Plan on Human Rights and the policy and advocacy components support systemic and integrated coordination among the main HRDs dealing with administration of justice in Kenya and spearhead the existing delayed reforms.