The Nubian Rights Forum Paralegal Project in Kibra, which recently marked its tenth anniversary, has been a beacon of hope and empowerment for the Nubian community in the area. This community-driven initiative has played a significant role in addressing the challenges faced by the Nubian community, especially when it comes to accessing legal documentation.
The Nubian community in Kibra, like in other parts of Kenya, has for decades faced systemic discrimination and marginalization, including the denial of citizenship and identity documents. This has made it difficult for members of the community to access basic services, such as healthcare, education, and employment, and has also restricted their ability to travel within and outside the country.
In February 2013, the Nubian Rights Forum (NRF) established the paralegal project in Kibra to provide legal aid and representation to members of the Nubian community, especially those who face difficulties in accessing legal documentation. The project, which is run by trained paralegals from the community, has helped hundreds of Nubians to obtain birth certificates, national identity cards, and other legal documents necessary for their daily lives.
The importance of the paralegal project to the Nubian community cannot be overstated. For many Nubians, obtaining legal documents is a daunting task that involves navigating a complex and often corrupt system. The paralegal project has made this process easier by providing legal aid and representation, empowering the community to assert their rights and demand justice.
However, the project has not been without its challenges. One of the biggest challenges has been the vetting process, which requires members of the Nubian community to prove their citizenship and eligibility for legal documents. The vetting process has been criticized by human rights organizations for being discriminatory and arbitrary, and for targeting the Nubian community specifically.
Despite these challenges, the NRF paralegal project in Kibra has remained steadfast in its mission to empower the Nubian community and ensure that they are not denied their rights to legal documentation. The project has also been instrumental in raising awareness about the challenges faced by the Nubian community and advocating for their rights at the national level.
Looking forward, there is hope that the NRF paralegal project, together with other community-driven initiatives, will continue to make a difference in the lives of the Nubian community in Kibra and beyond. The recent ruling by the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which found that the vetting process violated the rights of the Nubian community, is a significant step towards ending discrimination against the community and ensuring that they have access to legal documentation.
In conclusion, the NRF paralegal project in Kibra has been a vital lifeline for the Nubian community, providing them with legal aid and representation and empowering them to assert their rights. As we celebrate ten years of this remarkable initiative, we should acknowledge the challenges that the Nubian community continues to face and recommit ourselves to the fight for justice and equality for all.