Refugee Consortium of Kenya (RCK) was founded in 1998 and continues to be guided by its mission to safeguard and protect the rights and dignity of forced migrants and host-communities through provision of legal aid, psychosocial support, advocacy, capacity building and promotion of inclusive governance.
To achieve this, the organization maintains three programmes and one support department. These are Legal Aid and Psychosocial Support (LAPS); Advocacy, Policy Development and Governance (APDG); Research and Knowledge Management (RKM); and Institutional Support and Development (ISD). These programmes work together towards realizing the organization’s vision where forced migrants and host
communities access rights, justice, protection and durable solutions.
In 2020, 7,208 clients received legal and psychosocial assistance. This is a 37%reduction compared to the number of people who received similar assistance in 2019. The reduction in numbers is attributed to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, with
the Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Health imposing restrictions to curb
the spread of the virus.
During the year, 79% of the clients were assisted on legal issues while 21% of them were assisted on psychosocial matters. Of the issues received from beneficiaries, 68% was on general legal information, 7% on sexual and gender based violence while 25% sought counselling services. Despite the challenges experienced in the year, RCK was able to evolve and continue to offer legal and psychosocial assistance to clients through virtual platforms such as teleconferencing and mobile phone engagements. This effectively contributed to the realization of access to justice for beneficiaries during a period with limitations in meetings and movements.
RCK intensified its advocacy efforts in 2020 with continuous engagement of Members of the National Assembly to review the Refugees Bill, 2019. Furthermore, RCK engaged various stakeholders in the review of the refugee law including The Leader of Majority in the National Assembly, legislators from the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security, Justice and Legal Affairs Committee and legislators from refugee hosting constituencies.
In 2020, 1,366 persons were capacity built on various human rights matters in line with the organizational mandate. The participants were drawn from various spheres of the society including refugees, members of the host community, legislators, among others. Topical issues such as refugee rights and duties, prevention and response to gender based violence and alternative justice systems were discussed. On the World Refugee Day 2020, RCK was featured in a prime time news feature that highlighted the plight of refugees in the context of Covid-19 pandemic. This, in addition to engagement of radio programs, social media presence and Information Communication and Education
(IEC) materials resulted in a 100% increase in RCK message reach as compared with 2019.