Criminalisation of rural-based human rights defenders in Kenya | Criminalisation Series #2

Protection International (PI) launches the second edition of a new publication series on criminalisation, Criminalisation of rural-based human rights defenders in Kenya – Impact and counterstrategies, which analyses the criminalization of human rights defenders in Kenya in its multiple forms, the impact and the counterstrategies used by HRDs to fight and prevent criminalization.

Open and download the report.

You can also browse through the report on Issuu.


In recent years, the criminalization of defenders and of their work in Kenya has been an issue of great concern. Criminalisation takes many forms and serves the overall objective of attacking activists and impeding their work. The report attests that, since 2013, following the entry of the Jubilee government and President Uhuru Kenyatta into power, criminalisation of HRDs has increased.

Focusing in rural areas and Nairobi’s informal settlements, the objective of this report is three-fold:

  1. Identifying and analysing some of the criminalisation strategies being used by aggressors.
  2. Understanding the impact on the targeted HRDs.
  3. Identifying some counterstrategies being used to fight and prevent their criminalisation.

Protection International hopes that the content of this report will be useful for informing Kenyan authorities on the need to stop criminalising human rights work and defenders. It also seeks to inform key stakeholders on the different counterstrategies and recommendations to better protect rural-based HRDs and CSOs against criminalisation.


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