EACHRIGHTS’ HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
The East African Centre for Human Rights (also known as EACHRights) was established in May 2010 to undertake human rights work within a regional context. The organization is a non-partisan, Regional Non-Governmental Organization that seeks to initiate and undertake programmes that promote, protect, and enhance Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ECOSOC Rights) in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania for vulnerable and marginalized groups.
The organization specializes on the Right to Education, Right to Health and Child Protection for children.
EACHRights was founded in May 2010 and registered as a Trust in Kenya in November of the same year. The organization was established to undertake human rights work within a regional context. Its creation followed consultations with academics and human rights practitioners from United Kingdom, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.
These consultations revealed a lacuna with regard to economic, social and cultural rights Kenya, and within the Eastern Africa region.
The organization is the first regional human rights institution of its kind in East Africa that seeks to initiate and implement programmes that will promote, protect and enhance human rights generally, but with special emphasis on the promotion of economic, social and cultural rights in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. In order to avoid duplication and enhance synergies of efforts, due consideration was taken of the programmes being implemented and work being done by other human rights organizations in Kenya.
The East African Centre for Human Rights “EACHRights” was established to undertake Human Rights work within a regional context. Its creation followed consultation with academics and Human Rights practitioners from United Kingdom, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. These consultations revealed a lacuna with regard to human rights in Kenya and within the region. This necessitated a desk review that resulted in the development of a concept paper which was finalized in December 2010. The desk review revealed some of the gaps that need to be filled and opportunities that need to be exploited namely the promulgation of the new Constitution of the Republic of Kenya, the developments at the African Court of Human and People’s Rights, the developments at the East African Court of Justice, the developments at the African Committee on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the adoption of the Optional Protocol on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the ongoing judicial reforms in Kenya, the Vision 2030 and the Millennium Development Goals to mention a few.
The establishment of the organization was thus driven by the developments in the international, regional and national human rights arena and discourse; the gaps that were identified with regard to Human Rights in East Africa and the emerging opportunities that have presented themselves with regard to the promotion, protection and enhancement of human rights in general and specifically to the realization of economic, social and cultural rights, the forgotten child of the human rights family.
While developing the initiative, bearing in mind the need to compliment the work of other organizations and also to learn some best practices, due regard was had to the programmes of other national Human Rights organizations in Kenya.