We are excited to announce a new category in the Bake Awards 2017, the Human Rights Category, bringing the total number of categories for this years awards to twenty. This category is particularly looking at the shrinking of civic and democratic space.
The shrinking of civic and democratic space has become a major governance issue for the civil society and other independent voices and actors, at all levels in the society. Government harassment of independent organizations is imminently increasing as we get towards the 2017 general elections. Some bad tactics used by State to shrink civic space include: Burdensome registration requirements for civic actors and registration restrictions, restricting financing from foreign sources, harassment of staff and partners, arrests and intimidation during outreach activities, censorship, clampdowns and de-registration, targeting of specific individuals for extortion, arrests and brutalization.
The articles eligible under this category should cover direct attacks by the state or state agents on Civic and Democratic Space, civic liberties and freedoms as well as attacks on individual human rights activists.
For 25 years, Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) has been actively involved in exposing, confronting and combating blatant attacks by the government and state agents on Civil Society and Human Rights Defenders.
“An attack on Civil Society Organizations is an attack on freedom itself.” says George Kegoro, Executive Director of Kenya Human Rights Commission. Towards this, KHRC is sponsoring the best Human Rights Blog on Shrinking Civic and Democratic space category as one among many interventions on combating these attacks.
Some of the mechanisms adopted by the KHRC include advancement of a legal environment that enables Kenyan citizens to exercise their freedoms of expression, association and assembly, enable Civil Society to operate legally without fear or intimidation, ensure Media freedom is realised, concretise independence of judiciary systems and protection of all human and socio-economic rights by relevant stakeholders within diverse global societies.
We are still receiving submissions of Kenyan blogs at bakeawards.co.ke/submit so continue submitting your favourite blogs into the competition. This year’s awards will be held on May 13th, 2017.