Kenyan social justice activist Naomi Barasa and Colombian human rights lawyer Daniel Prado have won the first annual Sir Henry Brooke Awards for Human Rights Defenders. The awards were presented by Lady Arden DBE, at a packed event at the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom on 13 November 2018. The event was organised by PBI UK and pro bono legal network the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk, and hosted by Lord Carnwath CVO.
This International Women’s Day, PBI is honouring the incredible and vital work done by Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) in Honduras, Mexico and Kenya, despite their continuing struggle against oppression and human rights abuses.
International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women that are at the heart of the fight for positive social change and equality for all women around the world.
International Women’s Day celebrates women’s achievements in the political and social spheres, while also serving as a reminder that the fight for true gender equality is still far from over. Every day, PBI witnesses the actions and impacts of courageous women who take a stance against injustice and the violation of their rights.
24 January 2017 marked the seventh Day of the Endangered Lawyer. While this year’s focus will be on China, we also want to take this day as an opportunity to highlight the situation for lawyers in the countries where PBI works.
Lawyers challenging those responsible for human rights violations pay an extremely high price - they may have their work obstructed, be followed, watched, harassed, subjected to spurious prosecutions, killed or ‘forcibly disappeared’.
By Liz Fisher-Frank
The 25th November 2016 was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It was therefore a very fitting opportunity for the launch of a Toolkit, developed by PBI, for Women Human Rights Defenders (‘WHRD’) living and operating in the urban settlements of Nairobi.
On this International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances PBI recognises the challenges that victims of enforced disappearances face and celebrates their victories in achieving justice.
In February 2016, PBI UK welcomed Kenyan Human Rights Defender Gacheke Gachihi to London. In Spring 2016 Gacheke was invited to join the Protective Fellowship Scheme for Human Rights Defenders at Risk at The Centre for Applied Human Rights, University of York.(1)
Gacheke Gachihi is a social justice activist who has been active in the human rights movement in Kenya for over a decade. He is a founding member of Bunge la Mwananchi (‘People’s Parliament’), an organic pro-poor social movement in Kenya historically related to popular social struggles for empowerment and participatory democracy. He is also currently a coordinator of the Mathare Social Justice Centre. Human rights defenders in Kenya face a particularly dangerous environment including criminalisation (2), harassment and NGOs face threats of closure.(3) PBI Kenya has been working with Gacheke since 2013.