International Solidarity Campaigns bring issues affecting Kenyan society to the global stage through Amnesty International, garnering support from people everywhere.
STOP TORTURE CAMPAIGN
Drawing on torture-related data from Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU), Amnesty Kenya conducts workshops aimed at ending torture and the lack of punishment for such offenses. To accomplish this, we:
- Participate as part of the Civil Society Police Reforms Working Group.
- Conduct anti-torture themed activities, including the 2014 inter-varsity debate themed “Is torture justified for national good?”
- Work on the prevention of torture bill task force
MY BODY MY RIGHT CAMPAIGN
Freedom from rape, sexual, assault and harassment is a basic human right. Amnesty Kenya continues to create and execute campaigns designed to educate men and women on these issues. Our ultimate goal is to end such abuses, but until then, we must pursue a “no tolerance” policy where offenders are prosecuted and victims are protected. To accomplish this, Amnesty Kenya continues to:
- Hold forums and information sessions in high schools
- Develop and distribute information booklets to teachers
- Create and promote activities for high school students, including the national essay competitions and human rights education festivals
CONTROL ARMS TRADE
It is estimated that roughly half a million people are killed every year with firearms. Millions of others around the world die because they are denied access to health care, water or food because they are trapped in conflicts fueled by the poorly controlled flow of arms. Since 1998, millions of people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have died indirectly because of the armed conflict. And for every person who is killed in conflict and armed violence, there are many others who are injured, tortured, abused, taken hostage or otherwise denied their human rights staring down the barrel of a gun.
The problem is widespread and continues in Syria, Iraq, Libya and South Sudan.Amnesty Kenya believes that families worldwide deserve freedom and protection from gun violence. Controlling the trade of illegal weapons through international cooperation, education and appropriate treaty creation/enforcement is imperative. Working towards these goals will also have a profound effect on ending genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Kenya and surrounding areas. We continue to make strides through the following initiatives:
ARMS TRADE TREATY
On 2, April 2013, the international community adopted the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to regulate the international trade of weapons and ammunitions, estimated to be approaching US$100 billion annually. More than three-quarters of the world’s countries backed it at the UN General Assembly in New York. It was a hard-won victory following two decades of intensive campaigning by Amnesty International and other NGOs.
By adopting the Arms Trade Treaty, progressive UN member states showed their commitment to ending the irresponsible transfer of arms. At that time, Kenya led the charge. Kenyan officials declared their public support for an Arms Trade Treaty and Kenya became one of the six states that co-authored the initial UN resolution calling for the creation of an international treaty to regulate the weapons trade.
But there is more work to be done by Kenya. Since 2013, Kenya has taken no further action at the UN to support the treaty. It is not currently among the states that have signed or ratified the treaty. And sadly, Kenya is among the countries most plagued by gun violence and armed conflicts.
As of December 2014, The Arms Trade Treaty became legally binding. A total of 65 states have ratified the Treaty. We believe Kenya needs to be among them and should be taking a lead at the ATT process.
Unregistered weapons from Europe, China and other countries continue to make it into the country and are often diverted to unauthorized users, including criminal gangs and armed groups.
We are working to make sure Kenya is among the countries actively supporting the ATT and its implementation. Our goal is to become an example to other states in Africa and around the world on this issue. Failure by the international community, including Kenya, to strictly regulate the international trade in arms, puts our lives at risk. Protecting the right to life and security requires the Kenyan government to immediately ratify and implement the Arms Trade Treaty.