Brief History

The Centre for Minority Rights Development (CEMIRIDE) was co-founded by Dr Korir Sing’oei (currently Legal Advisor to the Office of Deputy President), Adam Hussein Adam (Deceased, MHSRIP) and Nyang’ori Ohenjo, the current Chief Executive Officer. A non-profit making organisation, CEMIRIDE was established in 2001 to strengthen the capacities of minorities and indigenous peoples (pastoralists, hunter gatherers and indigenous peoples) to advocate for their economic, social, political and cultural rights in Kenya.

CEMIRIDE strategic approaches to achieving its mission include policy advocacy, lobbying, research, capacity building, technical advice on MIPs rights, community mobilisation, monitoring and reporting on the status of MIPs rights, public interest litigation, voter and civic education, as well as representing and facilitating MIPs to advocate for their rights in available platforms. CEMIRIDE thus pursues strategic partnerships between marginalised indigenous communities and government. For instance, CEMIRIDE is a member of the steering Committee of the Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) Multi Stakeholder Platform (MSP)which brings together government, private sector, and civil society.

CEMIRIDE is also a member of the Advisory Committee of the Marginalised Indigenous Communities National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) 2018-22 Engagement Framework, which brings together the Climate Change Directorate (CCD), and representatives of indigenous communities. The Engagement framework enables better involvement of marginalised indigenous communities in Kenya including Pastoralists in climate change policy decision making.

To date, our work has had far reaching impact for MIPs.

Find out more about CEMIRIDE’S ground-breaking work supporting minorities and indigenous peoples around the country from the Awer tribe in Boni forest to the Ogiek community in Mau forest. Before the debut of CEMIRIDE into the CSO sector, there was no conversation on the existence and the violation of minorities and indigenous peoples rights in Kenya. So much has been achieved to date but there is still a lot more to be done. This has been achieved through the recognition of minority rights under the Constitution of Kenya (Articles 56 and 100) as well as indigenous peoples (Article 260).

Recognition and protection of MIPs rights
This has been achieved through the recognition of minority rights under the Constitution of Kenya (Articles 56 and 100) as well as indigenous peoples (Article 260)
MIPs friendly policy and legislative frameworks
These include the National Policy on Development of Arid and Semi-Arid, National Livestock Policy and the Marginalisation Policy – all of which give emphasis on the need, plans and actions for development of marginalised communities’ areas.
Improved access to education through mobile nomadic school system
Through insistent lobbying, the Ministry of Education relented to introducing nomadic schools in pastoralist areas to ensure that pastoralist children have access to education as they migrate with their parents to seek fodder and water for their livestock.
Improved infrastructure in ASAL areas such as Isiolo
Through the Great Trek Initiative, CEMIRIDE advocated for the construction of the Moyale highway which was done by the national government.
Improved access to justice for MIPs
Through Public Interest Litigation and use of regional and international institutions of justice, CEMIRIDE has managed to secure the rights of MIPs (including the Nubians, Endorois and Ogiek), especially their rights of access to natural resources.
Improved representation in decision making processes and platforms
CEMIRIDE has successfully lobbied and advocated for equal representation of MIPs in decision making processes and institutions. Through its efforts, CEMIRIDE saw the inclusion in the constitution of clauses that call for nomination of MIPs in County Assemblies, the selection of MIPs in Constitutional Commissions in Kenya as well as Cabinet Positions and other Public Service Bodies.
Increased protection of MIPs land and natural resource rights
CEMIRIDE succeeded in the ensuring the recognition of community land in the Constitution of Kenya. In addition, CEMIRIDE secured the Endorois’ ancestral community land rights and recognition as indigenous peoples through Public Interest Litigation at the AU African Commission for Human and Peoples Right (ACHPR).
Milestones and Track Record
CEMIRIDE also successfully campaigned and advocated the recognition of minorities in the 2010 constitution (Article 56) Public interest litigation for Endorois, Ogiek and Nubians land rights led to recognition of the existence of indigenous peoples in Kenya and hence secured their rights to their lands, as well as go back control of their hitherto dispossessed lands. The Great Trek Campaign successfully led to the construction of Moyale-Isiolo highway CEMIRIDE has empowered and facilitated communities e.g. Ogiek, Sengwer, Ilchamus, Terik, Boni, El-molo to engage with relevant process from local (eg. TJRC) to international levels (eg UN and AU Conferences) through which these communities have successfully advocated for the protection of their rights. Influenced the devolution discourse through the work with MIPs under the PHGEMN – Pastoralists and Hunter Gatherer’s and Ethnic Minorities Network Influenced set-up of institutions specifically focused on pastoralist communities e.g. Ministry of Northern Kenya Strengthened capacity of civil society organisations focussing on MIPs rights to advocate for their rights such as PDNK [Pastoralists Development Network of Kenya], LPWK [League of Pastoralist Women of Kenya] and the PPG [Pastoralists Parliamentary Group]. Influenced the enactment of legal instruments [policy, laws and by-laws] that have promoted and protected rights of MIPs e.g. National Policy on Development of Arid and Semi-Arid Successfully developed and strengthened minorities and indigenous peoples networks, enabling the creation of a critical mass for effective lobbying and advocacy of minority and indigenous peoples rights Researched and published informative reports and policy briefs on various issues and concerns of minorities that have positively influenced policy debate and formulation in Kenya.
MIPs friendly policy and legislative frameworks

These include the National Policy on Development of Arid and Semi-Arid, National Livestock Policy and the Marginalisation Policy – all of which give emphasis on the need, plans and actions for development of marginalised communities’ areas.

Improved access to education through mobile nomadic school system

Through insistent lobbying, the Ministry of Education relented to introducing nomadic schools in pastoralist areas to ensure that pastoralist children have access to education as they migrate with their parents to seek fodder and water for their livestock..

Improved representation in decision making processes and platforms

Through its efforts, CEMIRIDE saw the inclusion in the constitution of clauses that call for nomination of MIPs in County Assemblies, the selection of MIPs in Constitutional Commissions in Kenya as well as Cabinet Positions and other Public Service Bodies.

3000000

Minority Groups living in Kenya today

Generating New Ideas. Solving Big Problems for Minorities.

Before the debut of CEMIRIDE into the CSO sector, there was no conversation on the existence and the violation of minorities and indigenous peoples rights in Kenya. CEMIRIDE thus succeeded from the onset in stimulating conversation on MIP rights on the national platform.

Legislative frameworks

Today we have in the Constitution of Kenya 2010, Article 56 on the rights of Minorities and Marginalised Communities. Article 56(a) provides that the State shall put in place affirmative action programmes designed to ensure that minorities and marginalised groups participate and are represented in governance and other spheres of life.

Our Latest Project

We are organizing the Kenya Pastoralists Week 2018 to be held at the Masai Technical Training Institute (MTTI), Kajiado County from 10th April to 12th April 2018 under the theme: Supporting climate smart pastoralism. Find out more how you can get involved.

Looking ahead

CEMIRIDEs strategic phase (2018-2022) is on economic empowerment and knowledge management. In line with the new strategy, CEMIRIDE will deepen existing programs and expand areas of focus using the following approaches: Advocacy, Research, Knowledge sharing, Capacity development and Strategic partnerships and networking.

Economic empowerment

Economic empowerment implies better access to basic needs such as food security, quality education and health care for MIPs.

This programming strategy allows the target groups to play a critical role in identifying their key issues and developing solutions to the same. CEMIRIDE will support the target groups by designing and implementing programs that are responsive to and reflective of the key issues and solutions generated in close collaboration with the target communities. This requires that CEMIRIDE develops a standard procedure of program design and development that is based on co-creation of effective solutions with beneficiary communities.

Consultancy and Training Programme

Through this programme, CEMIRIDE seeks to enhance effectiveness of engagement of government, private sector and CSOs with MIPs through provision of knowledge and skills.

CEMIRIDE will provide consultancy services to public and private sector organisations that are involved with MIPs. Products and services provided will include:

  • Knowledge products
  • Research services
  • Capacity development interventions
  • Strategic partnerships and collaborations.

Support CEMIRIDE’s work

If you wish to support our work, visit our donate page to donate online. If you do not wish to donate online and would still like to support our work get in touch with us using the form below or talk to us directly on +254 (0) 701 705 620.

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