Elders to be trained on the effective use of traditional forms of dispute resolution to address HIV related human rights violations against widows and childrenPublished on Monday, 25 November 2013 16:18
Today, KELIN with the support of AIDS Fonds is conducting a capacity building workshop to scale up access to justice through the use of cultural structures in Kisumu and Homabay counties. The forum seeks to strengthen the capacity of elders on the provisions of the Constitution of Kenya and its impact on cultural practices. The three day forum will be take place in Kisumu and targets 20 elders from Homa Bay and Kisumu Counties.
The elders will be trained on understanding human rights the link between human rights, HIV and culture. They will also be able to share their different experiences and challenges faced in protecting and championing for women property rights under Luo culture. In addition, they will gain knowledge and skills on the legal provisions on land rights in Kenya, identification of cases that they are legally permitted to intervene and how to effectively conduct mediation in the cases that are reported to them.
About the Cultural Forms of Dispute Resolution
The high cost, delays and complexity of the formal legal systems to access justice has resulted in most people opting to use informal norms, practices and institutions to resolve their disputes. Article 159 (2) (c) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 promotes alternative dispute resolutions, which include mediation and traditional dispute resolution mechanisms. Elders are regarded as the ‘custodians of culture’ within communities and act as mediators in cases where people have had their rights violated.
KELIN has worked with cultural structures (elders) in communities in Kisumu, Nyakach, Nyando, Kabondo Kasipul and Rachunyo constituencies to intervene in cases where widows and orphans have been denied their rights to access and inherit family land after the death of their husbands and fathers. The choice to work with cultural structures was informed by the reality that the poor, especially women and children are unable to equally access the legal system for various reasons. At the end of this forum, KELIN hopes that the elders will be able to use their cultural processes to resolve disputes in a manner that promotes human rights, while protecting people especially widows and children from harmful traditional cultural practices consequently reducing their vulnerability to HIV. To contribute to the discussions during the forum, follow KELIN on our social media platforms for the latest updates.
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Source: KELIN Kenya