International Human Rights Day 2017

On the 10th of December, the world celebrates the International Human Rights Day. On 10th October 1948, the United Nations Adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, the Human Rights push did not begin in 1948, and it was not the first time that human rights ideals were put to paper. Similarly, the Human Rights fight has a long way to go, globally and at home. With a shrinking civil society, blatant and rampant police brutality, a gagged media, and systematic violence against minorities, there is still a lot of work to be done.

Articles articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are found in the Constitution of Kenya 2010. Kenya prides itself in the fact that it ascribes to this declaration, and as a democracy, it works to ensure the safety and freedom of all the people within its borders. Unfortunately, whereas this is the desire of the Kenyan people, this is not the case. Human Rights Violations still exist, perpetrated in part by government agencies and other positions of power and authority. A healthy democracy has a vibrant Civil Society that perpetually holds the Government to account. And while civic spaces are rapidly shrinking the bastions of human rights remain and keep the fight.

Eleanor Roosevelt said that Human Rights begin in the small spaces, that cannot be seen on maps. The Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya joins Civil Society Organizations in creating a safe and enabling environment for all sexual and gender diverse Kenyans. We work tirelessly to ensure that the human rights of all Kenyans regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression prevail.

As we observe and celebrate Human Rights gains made so far, we recognise that the road to universal access to human rights will be tough. Much is yet to be achieved and can only be achieved by a coordinated, collaborative, resilient, open-minded and determined civil society.