The Centre for the Study of Human Rights is a trans-disciplinary centre of excellence for regional and international academic research, teaching and critical scholarship on human rights. The university is committed to develop a global reputation for excellence in the field of human rights teaching, research and advocacy, so as to attract high quality students in undergraduate and post graduate programs as well as to build a thriving community of local researchers.
The purpose of the Centre exist to advance academic discourse and work towards advancement of human rights education in Africa. The Centre intends to create awareness of human rights through seminars, publications and through both print and electronic media. The Centre will pay special attention to the improvement of the rights of women, people living with HIV, pastoral peoples, and other disadvantaged or marginalised persons or groups across the continent.
The objectives of the Centre are:
- To advance innovative research on human rights and the role of law in a legally plural world;
- To enrich the nexus of scholarship and teaching by engaging undergraduate and postgraduate students in human rights research projects, human rights internships, international clerkships and advanced scholarship;
- To communicate research results and provide a forum for the exchange of ideas through scholarly publications, public conferences, seminars, and workshops.
- Establish channels of cooperation and engagement with government, relevant institutions and other actors to promote and protect rights of defenders.
- Enter into partnership, collaboration with organisations or bodies carrying on or proposing to carry on similar activities of the Centre
Human Rights Education has become an internationally recognized method for promoting human rights on a local, national and global level among many levels of stakeholders. Knowledge of rights and freedoms is considered a fundamental tool to guarantee respect for the rights of all. Human Rights Education cannot be reduced to the simple introduction of human rights content in already overburdened curricula. It brings a profound reform of education, which touches upon curricula in service and pre-service training, text books, methodology, classroom management and the organization of the education system at all levels.
In Kenya Universities are widely believed to reflect the society in general, and socialize younger generations, preparing learners to become active and successful members of society. The youth of today are the citizens of tomorrow. Promoting human rights friendly educational environments everywhere in the world is crucial to ensure a global culture of human rights. One of the best ways to educate people about how to create a culture of human rights is to acquaint them with living in a culture of human rights in their school environment, an environment which plays a very large role in the lives of the majority of young people the world over.
Strategy for the formation of the centre
- Work with the advisor to the OHCHR in Nairobi
- Work closely with the university council , the senate and management
- Establish networks with other worldwide centres of human rights
- Work with Kenya National Human Rights Commission and office of the Administration of Justice
- Development of active national, regional and international networks to produce material, curricula and programmes as well as to exchange methods and materials and develop ‘best practice’ approaches.
- Demonstrate commitment to allocate funds for the development of physical infrastructure for the Centre.
- Source reading materials, and create a special unit at the centre for Human rights materials.
- Establish a visiting fellowship for scholars interested in using the centre