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Kimutai Birech from NCHRD-K explaining a point to participants on how to monitor and document human rights violations. [Photo:  Wema Fadhili]
Kimutai Birech from NCHRD-K explaining a point to participants on how to monitor and document human rights violations. [Photo: Wema Fadhili]

Human rights defenders urged to monitor, document human rights abuses

By Wema Fadhili

As the country gears towards the 2017 general elections, actors dealing in human rights issues have been urged to be on the lookout in documenting human rights violation while doing monitoring.

“Documentation holds key to accuracy, accountability and transparency. Lack of documentation has contributed to those committing atrocities get away with it,”

said Otieno Aluoka from the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders in Kenya (NCHRD-K).

Aluoka said with non-documented decision, it is difficult to hold one accountable and urged all human rights defenders in the country to put more emphasis in documenting evidence.

“Through documented evidence, those dealing with protection of human rights have been able to hold accountable those who commit violations such us extra judicial killings, and corruption. Similarly, documentation gives credibility of the evidence gathered,”

he added during a two day training workshop for human rights defenders on documentation and monitoring that is taking place in Nairobi.

Yvonne Wamari from the coalition said evidence documented can be shared with international organisations for proper action to be taken.

“Opportunities for civil society engagements are in the Human Rights councils and the treaty bodies. This international legal framework ensures human rights are protected and whereas there are violations, appropriate action is taken,” Wamari said.

“Since the government won’t incorporate CSO’s in preparation of human rights report when Kenya is being reviewed, CSO’s can prepare shadow reports and write open letters which they can share with human rights councils and the United nations rapporteur on human rights,” she added.

Her colleague Kimutai Birech urged the defenders to always be on the lookout to monitor and properly document human rights abuses in the country in order to enhance their work effectively.

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