Standing up for equality, justice and human dignity December 11, 2017 by Krista Park Berry
By Brooke Bauman , Communications Intern
2017 marks 70th year for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Seventy years ago on this day, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Since then, Human Rights Day is recognized annually on December 10. Every year, this day is an opportunity to reflect upon the current state of human rights in world and take action to improve these conditions. And, there is still a lot of work to be done.
CFK calls upon its supporters to be aware of the human rights violations in Kibera specifically, and more generally in Kenya. In recognition of Human Rights Day, we have compiled a list of 5 reasons for you to stand up for human rights in Kibera.
1. Kenyan elections are not free. After the Kenyan presidential election was held in August, the Supreme Court ruled that it was illegitimate. The opposition leader, Raila Odinga, declared that he would drop out of the race and called for a boycott of the October re-election. He reportedly dropped out in protest of several election commission officials suspected of rigging the results.
2. Following the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the October re-election, many Kiberans took to the streets and were met by police brutality. “With growing reports of demonstrations and heavy gunfire in some areas, it is important for security forces to work to deescalate—not escalate—the violence,” said Otsieno Namwaya, an Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.
3. In the aftermath of the presidential election in Kenya, many militia groups are targeting women by committing acts of sexual violence. Several news outlets have reported that police forces are raping Kiberan women in the midst of post-election violence. Currently, there are no specific statistics to quantify the occurrence of sexual violence in Kibera but it is nonetheless a significant issue that deserves attention. For more information on this issue, click here to read a recent blog post from Human Rights Watch.
4. Kibera is experiencing the effects of climate change and the government is not doing enough to protect slum-dwellers. As the climate has warmed in recent years, Kibera has become more susceptible to heavy rains. This is a serious issue for people who live in the slums because the drainage systems are prone to being blocked and sweeping floods are destroying shanty homes.
5. Many Kiberans have to pay fees in order to complete secondary school. Primary school is subsidized in Kibera but secondary school is not. Many families in Kibera cannot afford to pay these fees, preventing many Kiberan children from receiving a full education.
Even though December 10 is Human Rights Day, we work year-round to protect human rights in Kibera. Support our work and take a stand against injustice. Donate to CFK today.