The Kenya Programme: Collaborating with Justice Sector Actors

History

The Raoul Wallenberg Institute cooperation Kenya began in the 1990’s through partnering with civil society organizations, academic institutions and government institutions. Since 2012, the Institute has focused on human rights in correctional services in Kenya, through in particular an intensive cooperation with the Kenya Prisons Service (KPS) on compliance with the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Mandela Rules) and other international human rights standards and thereafter with the Probation and Aftercare Services of Kenya on the UN Standard Minimum Rules for Non-Custodial Measures (Tokyo Rules) and other criminal justice actors. 

Objective

Our current cooperation in Kenya with the Kenya Prison Service, and Probation and Aftercare Services of Kenya mainly focuses on increasing the capacity of the Kenyan Correctional Services to meet relevant international human rights standards for correctional services in particular, the Mandela Rules, Tokyo Rules and Bangkok Rules.  

Successful implementation of the Programme has also birthed implementation of a second component of the Programme which aims to contribute to the effective use of non-custodial measures through enhanced human rights perspectives and, cooperation and coordination in the administration of justice.  

We work with a unique set of methodologies which have been developed over the years to enhance respect for human rights in correctional services including the incorporating research as a cross-cutting component of the Programme. Research within the Kenya Programme is guided by the international human rights standards and informs evidence-based design of the Programme based on the experiences, lessons and good practices within from the Programme.  

What We Have Achieved

The final independent external evaluation of the Programme conducted in 2019, concluded that the Programme continues to contribute to systemic change in   increasing compliance towards international human rights standards within the correctional services. The Programme was also found to be effective in strengthening human rights capacity and evidence-based decision making amongst duty-bearers within the correctional service and justice sector agencies. 

Repeat audits conducted in a number of pilot prisons have demonstrated consistent improvements in compliance with the Mandela Rules and other relevant standards since 2012.  

The Programme has also recorded concrete examples of reforms by KPS and PACS officers and management including provision of information to prisoners and probationers, improved documentations systems, improved quality of reports submitted by probation officers to the courts, and new medical examination protocols – which have been particularly useful in curbing the spread of Covid-19 within the Kenyan prisons.  

To anchor the achievements of the Programme and ensure sustainability of the steps taken towards increased compliance, the new phase of the Programme 2021-2023 will focus on policy and legislative reforms – in particularly, providing continued support to the State Department for Correctional Services in development and implementation of the national correctional services policy, and embedding human rights structures within the KPS, PACS and other relevant justice sector actors as necessary. 

A special project on assessment and classification of offenders in accordance with the Mandela Rules was launched in 2015, involving both KPS and PACS as well as the Swedish Prison and Probation Service, and has already resulted in improved decision-making about individual offenders based on risk and need. The assessment and classification project will be further developed under the 2021-2023 Programme through a multi-stakeholder approach with justice sector actors. 

In 2016, the partnership between RWI and KPS was awarded the Correctional Excellence Award for Management and Staff Training by the International Corrections and Prisons Association.

Our current cooperation programme in Kenya is financially supported by Swedish Development Cooperation. 

Kenya Programme Staff


Rakel Larsen

Rakel Larsen

Director of the RWI Regional Office in Nairobi

Cell phone: +254 790 409 420
E-mail: rakel.larsen@rwi.lu.se

Rakel Larsen joined RWI in November 2020 as the Director of the Nairobi Office. She brings more than 15 years of work experience in refugee protection, displacement and human rights mainly from Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining the RWI, she worked for the Danish Refugee Council with humanitarian response and protection of refugees and other displaced persons in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan.

Furthermore, she holds a Master’s in Law and a Master’s in African Studies (Human Rights and Development) from the University of Copenhagen.

Damaris Seina

Damaris Seina

Programme Officer

Phone: +254 20 367 3017
E-mail: damaris.seina@rwi.lu.se

Regional Africa Programme. Focal Point: African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF), East African Community (EAC)

Damaris has worked at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute since 2015 as the Kenya Programme Officer and is responsible for planning, implementation and follow-up of cooperation projects in Kenya so as to achieve expected results.

Jackie Mathenge

Jackie Mathenge

Programme Officer

Marion Cheredi

Marion Cheredi

Senior Programme Associate

E-mail: marion.cheredi@rwi.lu.se

Marion Cheredi, Senior Programme Associate, has more than 10 years of experience with international organizations, most recently the World Agroforestry Centre. She has a degree in Business Administration and Management & Marketing, secondly is a diploma in Management and Development. Marion will focus particularly on adminstrative support to our bilateral cooperation in Kenya, as well as providing human resources support as the office continues to develop.

 

Grace Mbogo

Grace Mbogo

Programme Officer

E-mail: grace.mbogo@rwi.lu.se

Regional Africa Programme — Focal Point: East African Law Society (EALS), Network of National Human Rights Institutes (NANHRI), East African Court of Justice (EACJ)

Grace Mbogo joins RWI from its longstanding partner the Pan African Lawyers Union, and has just completed an LLM with focus on Transnational Criminal Justice and Crime Prevention at the University of Western Cape. She will work as Programme Officer with the Regional Africa Programme, in particular the partnerships with the East African Court of Justice, East Africa Law Society and Network of African NHRIs, as well as with our bilateral cooperation in Ethiopia.

Visit the Nairobi Office

Address

3rd Floor, Lenana Towers
Lenana Road
P.O. Box 1590-00606, Nairobi, Kenya
Phone +254 (0) 796 730 518
Email: nairobi@rwi.lu.se