Article by PBI-UK

We want to tell you about the impact of COVID-19 in Kenya, and introduce you to Rahma, a community organizer and human rights defender from the urban settlements of Nairobi.

While self-isolation can be a challenge for anyone, quarantine measures have raised a whole host of issues for those living in urban settlements. We want to share some of the stories we have gathered from brave human rights defenders working in these settlements. Their resilience, hope, and solidarity are a lesson to us all. Follow the links below to find out more about some of the issues they are dealing with.

Urban settlements of Nairobi (photo by Manu Valcarce)  SJCWG Member Wambui, whose husband was murdered by the police (photo by Manu Valcarce)  Children playing in the informal settlements of Nairobi (photo by Manu Valcarce)  Rahma with UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions Agnes Callamard, February 2020 (photo by Manu Valcarce)

As trusted and honest leaders in their communities, human rights defenders are best placed to fairly distribute humanitarian aid and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in their communities.

Human rights activists and community leaders are essential workers, ensuring communities are not forgotten in moments of crisis. Putting their expertise to use will ensure that human rights are respected and humanitarian needs met, and minimize the risk of social division, corruption, and inequitable dispersal of resources.