Life and Work of a LGBTI Activist and Human Rights Defender in Kenya
Kenya is currently at a crossroad. On the one hand LGBTI organisations have become more visible and are increasingly recognised by state institutions. At the same time, there is a rising tension within the government and public domain on issues around LGBTI. According to a report released by GALCK (Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya), the LGBTI community continues to face direct acts of violence, social stigmatisation and isolation.
Tonight Vincent will speak about the lived realities of LGBTIQ communities in Kenya and strategies put in place by LGBTIQ movement in the struggle for a society that embraces Justice and Diversity.
Vincent is a human rights defender from Kenya who is working on LGBTI rights. Vincent is currently working as Program Officer Policy and Advocacy for an LGBTI-led organisation that works to advance social inclusion and protect human rights for the gender and sexual minorities. The organisation is focusing on the topics of access to health services, social and economic empowerment, demanding inclusivity and institutional capacity and advocacy.
As Policy and Advocacy Program Officer Vincent is identifying, prioritising and analysing the issues that affect the day-to-day life of LGBTI persons. He also traffics the implementation of policies at various levels (community, county and national). In the course of his work, Vincent has engaged in media interviews, research, community mobilizations, sensitisation of community members and has intervened with the police in cases of arrests.
This lecture is organized by Studium Generale and the Shelter City Project.
The Shelter City Project
Shelter City is a country-wide initiative by Justice and Peace Netherlands, in cooperation with Dutch cities and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which aims to protect human rights defenders. Human rights defenders stand up for their own rights and those of others. This is a difficult struggle. Often, they run great risk: they are silenced, arrested, tortured, and sometimes simply disappear. When human rights defenders are threatened severely because of their work, they are eligible for a three-month stay in one of the Dutch Shelter Cities. Besides providing rest and respite, their stay in the Netherlands allows them to continue their work in a safe environment. In addition, they enlarge their professional network of civil society organizations and political connections in The Hague, Brussels, and elsewhere. Furthermore, the human rights defenders participate in training courses to develop relevant skills. Moreover, through public events and workshops, they contribute to raising awareness about human rights among the citizens of the Shelter Cities.