Support for Woman Human Rights Defenders

Several organisations are currently providing support for the protection of WHRDs. Known as protection instruments, they include: International Instruments, Regional Instruments and Local Instruments. More can be found in Annex IV on Mechanisms of HRDs.

WHRDs have agreed, however, that their immediate point of support is from their peers. and in some instances, WHRDs even memorise the contact details of these peers when they are in urgent need of help. The next area of support identified are the movements/ organisations which some WHRDs belong to, which can be arranged to bring them together and form departments or task forces.

Networks are a key element in the protection of WHRDs, providing opportunities for solidarity, advocacy, and the sharing of experiences and information; which includes security strategies and mutual support, including in times of emergency. These organisations offer support in one or more of these categories:


Witness protection


Capacity building and training


Digital security support

Material support


The following organisations (physical and other addresses provided) can be accessed locally. They offer support in the aforementioned areas. They include:

The National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders – Kenya (NCHRD-K)
They are a national organisation incorporated in the Republic of Kenya as a Trust. Its mission is to strengthen the capacity of HRDs  to work effectively in the country and to reduce their vulnerability to the risk of persecution, including by advocating for a favourable legal and policy environment in Kenya. They can be contacted at National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders- Kenya, P. O. Box 26309-00100 Nairobi, Kenya, Tel: +254-712632390, Email:

Kituo Cha Sheria (Legal Advice Centre)
Kituo Cha Sheria, Swahili for Legal Advice Centre,  provide legal services to the poor and heighten awareness of the law through publication of legal education materials and the organising of meetings and workshops. Kituo also work towards enhancing the democratic process and rule of law. Legal services provided by Kituo include representation of the poor in the courts and provision of legal advice on the following areas of law: family, land disputes, employment and labour disputes, landlord and tenant issues, criminal offences, accident claims, rape cases, women’s rights issues, and others. Kituo organises paralegal training programmes in rural and informal settlement areas in order to provide access to and knowledge of the law in those communities. Kituo printed a Civil Rights Card in both English and Kiswahili outlining the powers of the police and educating the people on their rights. Kituo has also encouraged the establishment of human rights clubs in schools to promote student awareness. Kituo cha Sheria can be accessed through two locations; Head Office-Nairobi; Ole Odume Rd, Off Argwings Kodhek Rd, P.O. Box 7483-00300 Nairobi, Kenya, Telephone: +254-020-3874191, 3874220,3876290, Fax:+254-020-3876295, Mobile: 0734874221, 0727773991, Email:, Branch Office-Nairobi, Forced Migration Program (FMP) Jogoo Road Plaza, 2nd flr Opposite Kobil Petrol Station, Jogoo Road, Tel Tel: +254-020-2451631, 3874220, 3876290, Mobile: 0736 867241, 0720 806531, Fax: +254-020-3876295, Email:

International Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya [FIDA (K)]
The International Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya Section [FIDA (K)] was established to provide legal aid services for women, to monitor human rights abuses against women and to analyse the status of women in law and development. Cases handled have dealt with issues such as freedom of expression, violence against women, forced marriages, genital mutilation and impediments to inheritance. FIDA (K) also intervenes administratively to secure the rights of women. FIDA (K) can be contacted on: Physical Address: Amboseli Road off Gitanga Road, Lavington, Nairobi, Kenya, and Postal Address: P.O. BOX 46324-00100 Nairobi, Kenya, Telephone: +254 20 2604044, Mobile:0722 509760 or 0710 607241, Email:, Website:

Mukuru Paralegal Group
Housed by Ujamaa Empowerment Centre located in Mukuru, the mixed group of male and female paralegals (about 50 in total) has a mandate to support the community in providing legal advice and helping in interpreting legal documents and procedures. They also attend court on cases affecting the community.

Legal Resources Foundation Trust (LRF)
LRF’s main area of work is in enhancing the administration of justice for the poor, vulnerable and marginalised in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals on poverty eradication, Kenya’s Vision 2030, County integrated development plans, Human development and Kenya’s Poverty eradication strategy. This necessitates working with actors in the justice system, legal practitioners and various governance institutions. Legal Resources Foundation-Trust Contacts Lenana Road – Kilimani, P.O. BOX: 34720-00100, Nairobi. Tel: +254 20 2720598/ 20 2720669 Cell: +254 722 209822/ 735 573910 Email:, Website:, Skype: legalresourcesfoundationtrust

Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW)
CREAW derives its mandate from established international, regional and local human rights principles, customs and practices which recognise the role of multiple stakeholders including civil society as key catalysts in the advancement of human rights. Its mandate also comes from their social consciousness which obligates them to continuously champion, expand and actualise women human rights. Its main Functions include: creating public awareness and sensitise society on women’s rights; to respect defend and uphold women’s human rights as well as promote equal rights of women. Promoting the opportunities for women in the political educational fields as well as in industry, business and in the professions; To generate new knowledge through innovative research and to reform policy and debate on women human rights and strengthen institutional capacity and provide an open forum for discussion of all matters affecting women.Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) contacts are: P.O. Box 11964-00100 GPO Nairobi, Kenya. Secretariat Elgeyo Marakwet Close, Hse No 1 (on the Left), Kilimani, off Elgeyo Marakwet Rd. Tel: +254-20-2378271. Mobile: +254 720357664 Kibera Satellite Office, Kibera Drive, DO’s Compound, Kibera, Nairobi Mobile: +254 0719 437 286 Tel: +254 20 2505903., Website:  

The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) has the core agenda of campaigning for the entrenchment of a human rights and democratic culture in Kenya. Its founders and staff are among the foremost leaders and activists in struggles for human rights and democratic reforms in Kenya. KHRC works at community level with human rights networks (HURINETS) across Kenya and links community, national and international human rights concerns. Address: Gitanga Road opp. Valley Arcade Shopping Centre, P.O Box 41079-00100, Nairobi, Kenya, Phone +254-20 2044545, +254 20 2106763, Mobile +254-722-264497, +254-733-629034, Mail:, Website:

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) is an autonomous national Human rights institution with the core mandate of furthering the promotion and protection of human rights in Kenya. The Commission is established in accordance with the United Nations approved Paris Principles.. CVS Plaza 1st Floor, Kasuku Lane, Off Lenana Road, P.O. Box: 74359-00200 Nairobi, Kenya, Landline: +254-020-2717908/00/28, Mobile: 00733 78 00 00 / 0736 78 00 00, Mobile: 0724 256 448 / 0726 610 159, Fax: +254-020-2716160, General Enquiries:, Complaints:, Website:

Haki Jamii
Haki Jamii (Economic and Social Rights Centre) is a national human rights organisation that works with the marginalised communities, with special focus on the progressive realisation of economic and social rights in Kenya. It is registered as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) under the NGO Coordination Act. They can be contacted on 53 Park Building, Along Ring Rd, off Ngong Rd, P.O. Box 11356-00100, Nairobi Kenya, Landline: 020-2589054 /2593141, Mobile: 0726-527 876, Email:, Website:

Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU)
The Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU) is a governance, health and human rights non-profit organisation, whose vision is A Just World Free from Torture. Their work is strengthened by a holistic approach involving litigation, medical and psychosocial rehabilitation of survivors of torture, monitoring government adherence to its human rights obligations and advocacy for policy, legal and institutional reforms. IMLU documents torture perpetration through forensic medical reports which aids in legal redress for torture victims. It exploits legal and advocacy means to seek justice for torture survivors. IMLU has gained the capacity to rehabilitate the victims of torture through provision of medical and psychological treatment, facilitating legal action and documenting cases of torture in Kenya. They work with Doctors, psychological counselors, lawyers and grassroots human rights monitors and Human Rights Defenders. IMLU can be contacted on David Osieli Road, Off Old Waiyaki Way, Westlands (Nairobi). P.O. Box 1271-0606, Nairobi, Phone:  020- 4450598, 0724 256 800 Email:, Website:

Wangu Kanja Foundation
Wangu Kanja Foundation is a non-governmental, non-political and not-for-profit organisation whose vision is a society free of sexual violence. The Foundation was born from challenges that the founder Wangu Kanja went through after she was raped in a carjacking incidence in 2002. Her traumatic experience in the hands of the rapist, family, friends and the public led to her realisation that she needed to take action to address sexual violence by creating awareness and prevention. Their services include; Awareness creation, Healing – Access to comprehensive care and support (Medical, Psychological (Counseling/dance therapy sessions and Legal Aid), Restorative justice (closure for survivors and perpetrators), Advocacy and Financial freedom (income generating activities for survivors). The foundation can be contacted through Phone: +254-722 790 404, +254 774 746 699  Mukuru kwa Reuben, Enterprise Road, P.O. Box 12608, GPO-00100, Nairobi, Kenya. Email:, Website:

Amnesty International (AI)
AI is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognised human rights to be respected and protected. It is concerned with the impartial protection of human rights, envisioning a world in which every person enjoys all the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards. In partnership with women’s organisations and other groups, it seeks to address discrimination as a root cause of violence against women and intends to take action on behalf of particular individuals to stop these violations. Through this campaign, AI has developed and used campaign tools to highlight the profiles and cases of women Human Rights Defenders. Amnesty International Kenya can be contacted on Parkfield Place, 3rd Flr, Kanjata Rd, Off Waiyaki Way, Opp. Safaricom House Nairobi – Kenya, P.O Box P.O. Box 1527-00600, Sarit Center, Nairobi – Kenya Tel +254 (0)20-2185905, +254 (0)20-4283000, Email: Website:

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights  (UN OHCHR)
UN OHCHR Kenya is the most important UN agency for HRDs, although many other UN agancies and partners are also involved in the promotion and protection of human rights.   Address in Kenya: P.O. Box 43801 – 00100, Lynwood court, off Waiyaki Way, Westland, Nairobi, Kenya, Tel: +41 22 928 9694 Email: Website:

United Nations Women
UN Women was formed to support inter-governmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, in their formulation of policies, global standards and norms. To help Member States to implement these standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it, and to forge effective partnerships with civil society. To lead and coordinate the UN system’s work on gender equality as well as promote accountability, including through regular monitoring of system-wide progress. In meeting the needs of women, UN Women seeks to eliminate discrimination against women and girls; empowerment of women; and achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security. The Kenya Country Office is located at , UN Gigiri Complex, UN Avenue, Block M, Ground Floor, P.O. Box 30218-00100 Nairobi, KENYA, Tel: +254 20 7625991, +254 20 7624363. Website:

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been working in Kenya since 1987. The organisation is currently running medical activities in Mathare and Kibera slum settlements in Nairobi, with a focus on sexual and gender based violence care, as well as HIV and drug resistant TB. They can be contacted at MSF East Africa Unit, Mayfair Centre 4th floor, Ralph Bunche Road, PO Box 60204-00200 Nairobi Kenya. Website:

Peace Brigade International (PBI)
PBI provides protection, support and recognition to local Human Rights Defenders who work in areas of repression and conflict and have requested for their support. More information can be found on their website

Front Line Defenders
Front Line is the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders. It was founded in Dublin in 2001 with the specific aim of protecting Human Rights Defenders at risk, people who work, non-violently, for any or all of the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Front Line aims to address the protection needs identified by defenders themselves. Front Line seeks to provide rapid and practical support to at-risk Human Rights Defenders, including through: International Advocacy – on behalf of Human Rights Defenders at immediate risk; Security Grants – to pay for the practical security needs of Human Rights Defenders; Training and Resource Materials – on security and protection, including digital security; Rest and Respite – including the Front Line HRD Fellowship; Opportunities for Networking and Exchange – between Human Rights Defenders, including at the biennial Dublin Platform (which provides an opportunity for Human Rights Defenders, including women, to come together from an international exchange of experiences and issues); Front Line Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk; 24 Hour Emergency Phone Support – for Human Rights Defenders (Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Russia). +353-1-210-0489

International Commission of Jurists-Kenya (ICJ-Kenya)
The International Commission of Jurists-Kenya Section (ICJ-Kenya) is affiliated to its main body, the Geneva-based ICJ. ICJ-Kenya has been registered since 1974 under the Societies Act. ICJ-Kenya’s objectives include the promotion of human rights, rule of law and democracy in Kenya. ICJ-Kenya is made up of approximately 160 lawyer members and has a governing Board headed by a Chairman. ICJ-Kenya’s activities focus on public advocacy and articulation of human rights and democratic issues. The group produces publications on human rights issues. Publications include the books Law and the Administration of Justice in Kenya and Law and Society. A quarterly, The Kenya Jurist, contains analyses as well as human rights news, events and opinions. The group has organised workshops, conferences and paralegal training sessions. ICJ-Kenya played a prominent role in monitoring Kenya’s recent elections. The organisation plans to begin public interest litigation. The ICJ-Kenya can be contacted on: Vihiga Road, off Othaya Road, Kileleshwa, Nairobi P.O. Box 59743 – 00200 Kenya, Phone: 254-020 – 2084836/8, Fax: 254-020- 2625467, Mobile: 254-720-491549, 254 733-491549,

Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights Africa (UAF- Africa)
UAF is an independent organisation with a strategic mandate to protect and promote women’s human rights through rapid response grant making. It also engages in collaborative initiatives, research and publications. Grounded in a human rights framework, and focused on women in civil society, UAF supports women Human Rights Defenders responding to conflict and crisis across Africa. It offers emergency funding to respond immediately to the needs of women Human Rights Defenders at risk. Urgent Action Fund-Africa, Riara Corporate Suites, 2nd Floor, Riara Road, Kilimani, P.O. Box 53841-00200 Nairobi, Kenya, Tel: +(254) 20 2301740 | Fax: +(254) 20 2301740, Office cell: +(254) 726577560, Email:,

Kenya Anti-Rape Organization
The Kenya Anti-Rape Organization was registered under the NGO (Co-ordination) Act in 1992 to create public awareness about violence against women, particularly violence relating to rape and sexual harassment. The organisation has a twelve-member Board that makes policy decisions. The daily affairs of the organisation are run by the Executive Director. The organisation currently operates from the residence of its Executive Director. In May 1993, the Executive Director of the Anti-Rape Organization led a protest in front of the High Court in Nairobi over the sexual assault and killing of six school girls. The organisation sponsored a seminar where experts presented papers and opinions on the psychological effects of rape on the victim. Social workers discussed the nature of cases they handled. The organisation also provides counselling and rehabilitation for rape victims. They can be contacted on Address: P.O. Box: 52484-00200: Nairobi Telephone Number: 254-020-561589

Yatta Paralegal Network, is local Human Rights Network (HURINET), being supported by the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) to strengthen democratisation by widening civil society use of ICT to advance political accountability, freedom of expression and respect for human rights. The initiative is part of the ICT4Democracy in East Africa Network, a regional coalition of civil society organizations coordinated by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA).

Akiba Uhaki is an institution for human rights and social justice funds. More information can be found at

The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP) (Defend Defenders)
They seek to strengthen the work of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) throughout the region by reducing their vulnerability to the risk of persecution and by enhancing their capacity to effectively defend human rights. Defend Defenders focuses its work on Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia (together with Somaliland), South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda[1] Website:

The African Great Lakes Human Rights Defenders Protection Fund
This innovative financial mechanism, the first of its kind in the region, was championed by ASF (Avocats Sans Frontières), the East Africa Law Society and regional partners. It has been designed to protect the rights and freedoms of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) in the Great Lakes region of Africa (comprising Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda). Although “Risks cannot be eliminated from rights work”, as one defender has commented, the way forward is to provide protection and support to HRDs to enable them to continue their important work. Websites:

Avocats Sans Frontières and the East Africa Law Society have decided to join forces in a project dedicated to offering support and protection for HRDs in East Africa and in the Great Lakes region (the Regions).[2]

World Organisation against Torture (OMCT)
OMCT is an international coalition of over 260 NGOs in 85 countries, including the SOS-Torture Network, fighting against torture, arbitrary detention, summary and extra judicial executions, forced disappearances and all other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment. In response to the increasing number of cases on gender-specific forms of violence, OMCT established in 1996 the Violence against Women (VAW) Programme, which addresses and analyses the gender-related causes and consequences of torture and other forms of violence against women. The OMCT VAW Programme issues urgent appeals concerning gender-based violence; submits alternative country reports on violence against women to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women; and mainstreams a gender perspective into the work of the UN treaty monitoring bodies. Together with FIDH, it runs the Observatory for Human Rights Defenders, which issues urgent appeals on Human Rights Defenders and other defenders under threat. Website:

The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
AWID is a global, feminist membership organisation. For over 30 years they have been a part of the incredible ecosystem of women’s rights movements working to achieve gender equality, sustainable development and women’s human rights worldwide. AWID seeks to be a driving force within the global community of feminist and women’s rights activists, organisations and movements, strengthening our collective voice, influencing and transforming structures of power and decision-making and advancing human rights, gender justice and environmental sustainability worldwide. Working together is important for women’s rights and gender justice to be a lived reality and they support feminist and women’s rights organisations and movements to collaborate effectively across issues, regions and constituencies. Website:

Protection International builds the capacities of Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) to analyse the specificity of the risks they face and to develop their own security and protectionstrategies. They also participate in regional networks’ initiatives contributing to the protection of WHRDs, such as the Mesoamerican WHRD network[3]. Website:

The Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRDIC) is a network that supports and protects women Human Rights Defenders worldwide in their defence of human rights[4].

Human Rights Education Associates (HREA) is an international non-governmental and non-profit organisation that supports human rights education; the training of Human Rights Defenders and professional groups; and the development of educational materials and programming. HREA is dedicated to quality education and training to promote understanding, attitudes and actions to protect human rights, and to foster the development of peaceable, free and just communities. HREA works with individuals, non-governmental organisations, inter-governmental organisations and governments interested in implementing human rights education programs[5]

Association for Progressive Communications (APC) – helps people get access to the internet where there is none or it is unaffordable; «we help grassroots groups use the technology to develop their communities and further their rights.” It includes the Women’s Rights Programme (WRP) which is both a programme within APC and a network of women throughout the world committed to using technology for women’s empowerment. It promotes gender equality in the design, implementation, access and use of ICTs and in the policy decisions and frameworks that regulate them. Website:

Digital Security First Aid Kit for Human Rights Defenders provided by APC, contains short guides for HRDs who find themselves in emergencies related to communication and digital security. The kit suggests concrete steps, as well as providing further resources and references to support groups to whom activists can turn for further assistance.[6] Website:

Security First, Established in 2013 aims to make it easier for Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) to work safely. Their latest app, Umbrella, helps you to find a solution if you’ve got a security problem. The App is available in Google play, F-Droid and Amazon Appstore. Website:

The Digital Defenders Partnership (DDP) was established to provide rapid response to threats to internet freedom. The Partnership aims at keeping the internet open and free from emerging threats, specifically in internet repressive and transitional environments. It also wants to increase and better coordinate emergency support for the internet’s critical users, whenever and wherever they are under threat. The DDP will reach these objectives by providing grants to individuals and organisations, investing in applied research projects and by connecting different stakeholders.

A number of organisations provide grants for individual HRDs or organisations to improve their digital security and protection. The list of organisations can be found in the list provided in the website.[7] Website:

Mama Cash is helping to build a strong global architecture of women’s funds so that local and regional women’s movements can grow in scale, influence, and collective power.[8] Website:

Global Fund for Women is a global champion for the human rights of women and girls. They use their powerful networks to find, fund, and amplify the courageous work of women who are building social movements and challenging the status quo. By shining a spotlight on critical issues, they rally communities of advocates who take action and invest money to empower women. Website:

Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (OPHRD) created by FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights) in partnership with the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), provides emergency protection to Human Rights Defenders in the field (urgent interventions, international missions, material assistance as well as medical assistance and psychosocial counseling). Its International Secretariat webpage (‘Research and Operations’ section) provides contact details for the Americas and the Human Rights Observatory staff.

Human Rights First
Human Rights First is an international human rights organisation based in New York and Washington D.C. It helps promote and protect human rights and the rule of law through the following strategies: advocacy for change at the highest levels of national and international policymaking; seeking justice through the courts; raising awareness and understanding through the media; building coalitions among those with divergent views and mobilising people to act. Human Rights First runs a programme on Human Rights Defenders through which it has established a human rights defender alert network. The network includes urgent appeals for women Human Rights Defenders at risk. Website:

Astaea is a dynamic global foundation providing critically needed financial support to lesbian led, and progressive organisations to claim their human rights. It has an international emergency fund which is a rapid response grant-making mechanism, providing support for organisations to address time-sensitive and strategic emerging political opportunities and crises affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender communitiesWebsite:

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)
IGLHRC works to secure the full enjoyment of the human rights of all people and communities subject to discrimination or abuse on the basis of sexual orientation or expression, gender identity or expression, and/or HIV status. A US-based organisation, IGLHRC engages in advocacy, documentation, coalition building, public education, and technical assistance. Particularly, it helps educate its constituencies about human rights and sexual orientation/genderidentity. It co-published with CWGL the report Written Out: How Sexuality is Used to Attack Women’s Organizing. It also runsinternational alert on lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and other activists at risk. Website:

Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) 
CWGL at Douglass College, Rutgers University seeks to develop an understanding of the ways in which gender affects the exercise of power and the conduct of public policy internationally. The Center aims to build international linkages among women in local leadership. It conducts various activities that support women’s leadership and transformative visions as crucial in every policy area. It develops effective policy alternatives which demand the full inclusion of gender perspectives and women in all decision-making processes and requires an understanding of how gender relates to race, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation and culture. Together with the IGLHRC, it released a report Written Out: How Sexuality is used to Attack Women’s Organizing. Website:


[2] For more information see






[8] See at:

Responsibility for the information and views set out in this Toolkit lies entirely with the authors.