International Prisoner’s Justice Day is commemorated every year in many countries around the world, in order to reflect upon the particular situation of prisoners and to call for the respect of their human rights & human dignity. During the past four years, CEFA has been assisting the Kenya Prison Service (KPS) with the organisation of an annual event on International Prisoner’s Justice Day. This year, Thika Main & Women’s Prison offered to host a function, which was attended by senior officials of the KPS, the Regional Coordinator of CEFA, the EU Delegation to Kenya as well as a number of other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working to further respect for inmates in Kenya.
This year’s theme of International Prisoner’s Justice Day was ‘promoting access to justice, rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners’. At the event at Thika Main & Women’s prison, a number of former inmates gave a speeches, in which they highlighted the work by CEFA and other NGOs, undertaken in co-operation with the prison authorities, to prepare their inmates for their release and return to society. The NGOs offered skills-training courses and assisted the prisoners during a first period after their release, in order to help them cope with initial challenges of re-connecting with family & friends, finding a job, accessing government services etc.
The representative of the EU Delegation commended the ongoing work between the Kenya Prison Service and CEFA, which has been working on rehabilitation of prisoners. CEFA is implementing its project in Kenya with funding from the European Union’s Instrument for Democracy & Human Rights or EIDHR. The purpose of the EIDHR is to strengthen human rights worldwide, in particular of those who are most vulnerable and in need of protection, including prisoners. The EU thematic support to promote human rights is helping to make societies safer and healthier.