Building a Security Network in Kenya

In Kenya, security awareness and management is an issue of paramount importance in order to mitigate the risks individuals and organizations working on human rights often face due to a negative perception of their activities. According to an assessment survey produced by the Nyanza Rift Valley and Western Kenya LGBTI Coalition (NYARWEK), violations against human rights defenders (HRDs) by authorities, institutions and society in Kenya increased to 16% in 2014.

Protection International (PI) began to work in 2012 with NYARWEK, a Coalition Network based in Kisumo, with the aim of improving local HRDs personal and institutional security management. After preliminary training activities, PI accompanied NYARWEK in its creation of a security network; this involved establishing a Security Committee divided in six regional clusters, as well as training focal and sub-focal persons who act as intermediaries between group members and report to the Secretariat when handling local security challenges. Since the security policy has been established, violations against HRDs within the NYARWEK network have been reduced of 50%.