The ACJJ holds its first plenary meeting during the final conference for the “Strengthening human rights within detention facilities in Kenya” project

2016 Dec 14

On the 7th of December 2016, the IJJO co-organised in Nairobi the Kenyan national conference that concluded the “Strengthening human rights within detention facilities in Kenya” project, led by the European Committee for Training and Agriculture (CEFA) and financed by the European Union. The scope of the conference was to share the main project’s outcomes with state and non-state actors, developing concrete action points and progressions with respect to human rights for people deprived of their liberty in Kenya. The IJJO’s African Council for Juvenile Justice (ACJJ) held its first plenary meeting in the context of this conference, allowing for a discussion of the council’s development.

The “Strengthening human rights within detention facilities in Kenya” project aims to eradicate all forms of human rights violations within detention and custodial facilities in Kenya. It addresses the delayed reforms and fragmented interventions by strengthening the Human Rights Defenders’ (HRD) 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 related policy/advocacy efforts have supported systemic and integrated coordination among the main HRDs dealing with administration of justice in Kenya and spearheaded the existing delayed reforms.

As a partner in the project, the IJJO has developed with its consultant Ms Silvia Randazzo a national report on human rights violations in correctional facilities in Kenya. It was carried out to provide evidence based recommendations on human rights protection and violations’ prevention. This is aimed, on one side, to feed the implementation of the project itself, but also to target institutional actors, policy makers and practitioners to build evidence-based plans of action and to establish monitoring and reporting systems. In the same spirit, it has produced Guidelines on best practice on monitoring and reporting human rights’ violations in Kenyan correctional facilities.

During the conference, Ms Silvia Randazzo presented the IJJO’s research on human rights in Kenyan correctional faicilities and its guidelines for an internal monitoring system, which will be available online in the coming weeks.

This conference was also used as an occasion for the IJJO to hold a plenary meeting on the development of the African Council for Juvenile Justice (ACJJ). With the aim of encouraging development of juvenile justice systems and the promotion of the rights of children and young people in conflict with the law in the African contitent, the IJJO is establishing the ACJJ as a think tank for debate, analysis, cooperation and collaboration.

In another part of conference, a group of actors performed a piece of Theatre of The Oppressed, involving “spect-actors”, performers who take on the role of both spectator and actor, reproducing life experiences of an offender. Theatre of the Oppressed is a form of theatre that aims to change the nature of oppressive systems of all kinds, from mental to physical. The artists created an atmosphere of universal involvement, played their roles extremely professionally and communicated the need for change to all the various stakeholders involved in the correctional facilities worldwide.