"As societies build walls of separation between communities,
ICAAD works to remove each brick to illuminate our common humanity"

Using Data and Legal Education to Bridge the Gap

partner hakijamii
Marginalized communities in Kenya face challenges in accessing basic resources and infrastructure. Even where government systems are in place, there are problems with the quality of services and enforcement of laws, especially in rural and impoverished areas.
Hakijamii is an organization dedicated to securing economic and social rights for marginalized communities in 15 counties around Kenya. Hakijamii recently partnered with ICAAD to launch a Kenya-wide data collection, legal rights training, and advocacy initiative to close gaps in: health, water, sanitation, education, land rights, and governance.
The first phase of the initiative requires setting up a technology platform, determining the scope of legal trainings for community members, and ensuring that the team is collecting verifiable information to assist with future advocacy efforts. Some of the data collected will include reports on dry water taps, poor quality medical care, untrained teachers/staff, damaged sewer lines, and forced evictions.
The program is replicating a model similar to ICAAD’s successful data collection for human rights initiatives with India partner Nazdeek, both in Assam (endmmnow.org) and New Delhi (smsforjustice.org).

#RaiseYourShield

On May 17, 2019, ICAAD Advisor Erin Thomas’ publication: Compacts of Free Association in FSM, RMI, and Palau: Implications for the 2023-2024 Renewal Negotiations (hrbrief.org/2019/03/compacts-of-free-association-in-fsm-rmi-and-palau-implications-for-the-2023-2...) was cited by the President of Palau, Tommy Remengesau Jr., in an op-ed published in The Hill (thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/444291-pacific-defense-pact-renewal-vital-to-the-u...). In her piece, Erin points to critical issues stakeholders have raised regarding human trafficking, adoption policies, and COFA migrant rights among other important human rights issues.

Some of the above-mentioned policy gaps span several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly 10 (reduced inequalities) and 17 (partnership for the goals). Holistically, the existing COFA agreements represent the type of inequity that SDG 10 seeks to address. SDG 17 promotes inclusive and participatory decision-making at the international, national, and local levels. Developing transparency on both sides will allow for a more equitable process and outcome for the renewal negotiations.

The issues within the existing agreements also involve SDG 16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions) and limited access to justice regarding redress for nuclear testing and environmental destruction. This impacts targets and indicators including SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 3 (good health and well-being). Finally, SDG 10 and 8’s targets for responsible migration policies are important considering the limited provisions for COFA migrants in the U.S. and U.S. territories.
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