Women Rights Awareness Program (WRAP) is a national, non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in Nairobi, Kenya in 1994. It started off by catering for the needs of abused and violated women and their children. It then saw a need in society to establish an understanding of causes and effects of gender violence and child abuse, and to offer services that address the needs of abused and violated women and children such as provision of alternative accommodation and related supportive services like legal aid/advice, medical care, trauma counselling, marital counselling, mediation, reconciliation, resettlement and reintegration. WRAP also addresses itself to the advancement and protection of women’s and children’s rights through such strategies as research, awareness creation and advocacy/lobbying.
To protect human rights is to ensure that people receive some degree of decent, humane treatment. To violate the most basic human rights, on the other hand, is to deny individuals their fundamental moral entitlements. In Kenya, in the major slums found around the Nairobi area; Mathare, Mukuru kwa Njenga, Kibera and Korogocho slums; human dignity is violated daily and hardly are cases reported as it has become a norm to those affected. Children grow up knowing that rape, discrimination based on gender or ethnicity, physical and psychological torture, sexual assault and humiliation are a norm in society. The human development is a product of hereditary and environmental opportunities. The interaction of genetically or hereditary and environmental factors under normal circumstances plays a dominant role in the development of personality and intelligence of an individual. Taking this into account; it has led to various organizations setting up camp in the slums to try and reach the people at the local level and and revolutionize the way people think in regards to the violation of human dignity.
Many note that in order to truly address human rights violations, we must strive to understand the underlying causes of these contravenes. These causes have to do with under-development, economic pressures, various social problems, and international conditions. Indeed, the roots of repression, discrimination, and other denials of human rights stem from deeper and more complex political, social, and economic problems. It is only by understanding and restructuring these root causes and strengthening civil society that we can truly protect human rights.
By Regina Kirima, Intern at WYA Africa.