Amnesty International has raised human rights awareness and financial support for community-based human rights defenders through public musical concerts for the last fifty years. Amnesty International Kenya has organized several concerts with partners to amplify artists’ voices in promoting human rights, connect young people to the human rights movement, build solidarity, nurture actors, and advocate for human rights using music and spoken word poetry.

The Freedom Concert commemorates 74 years of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and is the climax of #AmnestyKeAt10 celebrations. Designed as a benefit concert, the event will also raise seed funding for our Public Defenders Fund. The Public Defenders Fund seeks to support justice-seekers, whistle-blowers, and human rights defenders at risk from 2023. The concert will also celebrate our national values, social cohesion and respect for diversity as Kenya emerge from a highly contested, divisive general election.

2022 marks 74 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). International Human Rights Day is observed worldwide on 11th December to promote and celebrate fundamental human rights for all. The Freedom Concert offers an opportunity to spotlight human rights and social justice as drivers of a prosperous, dignified, and safe society for all.

The Freedom concert aims to attract youthful crowds commonly not found in the human rights space. The idea is to tap into the December party wave and engage a new community of potential human rights defenders who hardly ever receive the human rights message.

The use of art in the form of music has become significant in the realisation of human rights. Music is used to highlight human rights abuses, raise awareness, shape human rights scholarship, and call on people to seize and protect their rights. As a universal language that transcends cultural barriers, music is a medium where people and artists alike can have their voices heard in a manner that words alone cannot.

The Freedom Concert will feature performances by international and local artists, rights survivors, DJs, spoken word poets and MCs. Space will also be given to national and community human rights defenders and duty-bearers to speak and showcase their work.