Kenya

Standing Up for the Innocent

In Kenya, it’s easy for a corrupt or incompetent police officer to frame and imprison an innocent person – who then must wait in jail, often for years, for a chance to prove his or her innocence. Kenyan prisons are overcrowded and full of innocent people, but without a lawyer to fight for their release, they have no way out – and police who abuse their power to falsely arrest innocent men are not held accountable. (Learn more about Police Abuse of Power.)

There’s another side to the problem – when law enforcement does not arrest the real perpetrators of crime, violent criminals are not brought to justice. As a result, sexual predators assault children without fear of any consequences; sexual violence is rampant.

We’re strengthening the ability of law enforcement to protect vulnerable children and helping police to hold abusive officers accountable.

What We Do

WE RESCUE VICTIMS

We identify victims falsely accused of crimes and provide legal representation to exonerate them for crimes they did not commit.

BRING CRIMINALS TO JUSTICE

We support law enforcement to initiate investigations and prosecutions in cases of police abuse, including cases of malicious charging, police brutality and extrajudicial killings.

RESTORE SURVIVORS

We help survivors of police abuse rebuild their lives after rescue and release from prison through trauma therapy, assistance securing employment and more, as well as provide support to their families while they are imprisoned.

STRENGTHEN JUSTICE SYSTEMS

We are working with government partners to restrain and deter police abuse and to hold police officers accountable for their actions.

WE RESCUE VICTIMS

We are alerted to cases of rape and other sexual violence against children by hospitals, police stations and community members. Our first step is to ensure the child is safe from further abuse and to address immediate needs like medical care.

BRING CRIMINALS TO JUSTICE

We support the Kenya National Police Service, particularly the Criminal Investigations Department, to investigate and arrest suspects.

RESTORE SURVIVORS

We provide trauma therapy for children who have endured sexual violence, and help survivors who choose to participate in the trial to prepare to share the truth in court. We make sure families have the support they need for children to heal in a stable environment.

STRENGTHEN JUSTICE SYSTEMS

We provide regular training and hands-on mentoring to Criminal Investigations Department and investigating officers as well as partner hospital staff.

Our Progress

  • Through a groundbreaking agreement with the Nairobi County Prisons Service, we provide legal rights and advocacy training to men and women awaiting trial in jail who do not have a lawyer. Learn more »

  • We have entered into a long-term formal agreement with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to train all new prosecutors on the decision to prosecute, trial advocacy and child sexual assault. Learn more »

  • Since 2008, we have secured the release of more than 180 innocent men and women from prison.

  • We are currently serving more than 350 participants in our aftercare program – and our trauma-focused counseling program is having a dramatic impact on child survivors of sexual violence. Learn more »

  • We are training investigators from Kenya’s Independent Policing Oversight Authority to conduct strong investigations into police abuse that lead to successful prosecutions.

  • We are training investigators from the National Police Service Commission’s newly constituted Internal Affairs Unit to conduct strong investigations into police abuse and to hold police officers accountable.

  • The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution has appointed several IJM attorneys as Special Prosecutors who may try cases on behalf of the government of Kenya.

Our Team in Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya

Established 2001

Focus

SEXUAL VIOLENCE, POLICE ABUSE OF POWER

Field office director

Claire Wilkinson

Factsheet

IJM Kenya

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