Hakijamii (Economic and Social Rights Centre) was founded in 2004 to empower and support local communities in advocating for their rights. The main office is located in Nairobi, Kenya.
Hakijamii has achieved major impact in the prevention of forced evictions, support for new social movements and reform of policy.
Kenya is home to many of the world’s slums (informal settlements), including the largest in Africa, Kibera. Over 60 percent of the population of Nairobi lives in one of its many slums. Those living in the settlements face substandard conditions, lacking access to basic services such as health, water and sanitation, education, and security. For decades, the Kenyan government has carried out mass forced evictions in the settlements to make way for governments projects and private developers with no effort to resettle or compensate residents. Often evictions take place at night to avoid riots; men, women and children are left homeless and without a source of livelihood, their businesses, schools, and churches also destroyed.
Practices for empowering community-based organizations include:
- Raise awareness in communities, government bodies, and civil society
- Train community, government, and civil society leaders
- Give technical and financial support for burgeoning community movements
- Offer marginalized communities legal expertise
- Ensure community participation in policy and law formulation
- Provide conflict resolution within community and governmental structures
- Coordinate direct humanitarian and development assistance
Hakijamii is a founding member of the International Network for Economic, Social & Cultural Rights (ESCR-NET). Through this network Hakijamii is taking part in a global movement to make human rights and social justice a reality for all.