East African organisation scoops prestigious Regional ARASA HIV, TB and Human Rights award
Johannesburg, South Africa – on 16 April, KELIN was awarded the 2015 AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) HIV, TB and Human Rights award at a ceremony held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“The award, established in 2007, aims to recognise and support organisations across southern and east Africa to highlight the ground-breaking work undertaken by organisations to protect human rights, often in extremely challenging political climates”, explained Michaela Clayton, ARASA Director. KELIN is a human rights Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) working to protect and promote HIV related human rights in Kenya by providing services and support, training professionals on human rights and engaging in advocacy campaigns that promote awareness of human rights issues. Led by Allan Maleche, KELIN was registered as an NGO in 2001 and is a national network established to address and respond to legal, ethical and human rights issues relating to health and HIV and AIDS.
“Activists are being arrested and are disappearing. This serves as a reminder of the importance of our work. Think of those who are affected and the fact that the violation of human rights are happening everywhere. Let us remain vigilant and know that there is safety in numbers,” Said Martha Tholanah during her keynote address.
Regina Mwanza, KELIN Communication Officer described this award as a welcome recognition of their work. “It means that our work in promoting and protecting HIV related rights is being recognised. It is good to know that we can share good practices with others at a regional level. We are thankful for the platform because we have been able to link up with other partners, have our staff trained during the ARASA Training of Trainers Programme and this has contributed immensely to the work that we are doing.”
Apart from litigating on TB cases by representing TB patients who were unlawfully incarcerated for defaulting on their medication in Kenya, KELIN has also petitioned the Kenya High Court on forced and coerced sterilisation for five women living with HIV and as a result have raised public awareness about forced and coerced sterilisations taking place in public state hospitals.
The organisation advocates for the inclusion of human rights in health policies, laws and operational frameworks at the country and national government levels. They also focus on key populations such as LGBTI, sex workers and people who inject drugs in ensuring that no one is left behind in the fight for human rights.
The award ceremony was held at the conclusion of ARASA’s Annual Partnership Forum, which provides an opportunity for ARASA’s 91 partners to review the status of HIV, TB and human right in the region, and identify emerging human rights challenges for targeted responses in the next year.
Sirka Amaambo: Communications Officer, +264 81278 1245 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Felicita Hikuam: Deputy Director, +264 81128 1107 or email email@example.com
The AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) is a partnership of over 90 civil society organisations working together to promote a human rights based response to HIV and TB in southern and east Africa.
For more information on ARASA’s work and its partners, please visit: www.arasa.info