NGLHRC supplements its efforts to enhance access to justice by building the capacity of community paralegals and other resource persons identified by our constituents in the respective networks to be able to work within their communities to increase sustainable access to Justice.
Through the Access to Justice program at the Legal Aid centre, the centrepiece of our engagement continues to be around our trained and certified community paralegals who have bridged the gap in access to quality justice across the country
Since the inception of the legal aid clinic, there was a need for urgent security responses in instances where there were human rights violations across the country. With The Commission being based in Nairobi, it was cumbersome to promptly respond to all these cases at a go, this therefore saw the need to have trained paralegals across the country to promptly respond to these cases and further respond to The Commission for further intervention if there is a need.
We have so far trained and certified 2000+ Community Paralegals who buttress access to justice for LGBTIQ+ Citizenry and refugees whose rights are violated based on their perceived sexual orientation and gender identities. The Community paralegals have significantly aided access to justice for our constituents in diverse regions in Kenya including refugee camps and nascent regions in Kenya.
Paralegal Resource Guide is intended to be used as a guide by paralegals who are usually the first contact by LGBTIQ+ persons on the ground. It is the first document of its kind for the Community, published in 2017.
Paralegal Pocket Resource Manuals are easy reference guides to Kenyan law for our paralegals on the ground. First published in 2017, it was later translated to Swahili to ensure that everyone has access to this information.
Since 2013, NGLHRC has been conducting annual civic education and paralegal trainings targeting sexual and gender minorities across Kenya. We have successfully reached over 1, 500 LGBTIQ Kenyans and trained more than 500 paralegals through our programme.
Through our civic education and paralegal trainings, we are able to:
- Enhance access to justice and bring to life the constitutional right of public participation of LGBTIQ Kenyans
- Increase effective reporting, documentation and referrals within the national LGBTIQ movement
- Develop a robust list of LGBTIQ paralegals and allies who are able to directly respond to legal distress on the ground and make referrals to NGLHRC where our intervention is needed
The ability to access justice is a human right in itself and is also key to the realization of all other human rights including the rights to non discrimination and equality.
The Commission in it’s advocacy initiatives engages Justice Actors on the justice and legal needs of LGBTIQ+ Kenyans and Non Kenyans. These engagements are tailormade to shift the existing legal norms and bridge the gap to access for Justice for our constituents in contact with the Law.
Through these engagements, we have achieved major milestones that are incrementaly creating an enabling legal environment.
The Commission has an existing MOU with the Kenya Judges and Magistrates Association (KMJA); a partnership through which we have engaged 260+ Judges, Magistrates and other Justice Actors on the legal and justice needs of LGBTIQ+ persons.
NGLHRC conducts trainings on the justice challenges and needs of the LGBTIQ persons. This involves training police officers, court users’ committee members (comprised of magistrates, prosecutors, court clerks and investigating officers), health practitioners and others as participants.