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Accessing Justice and Protecting Rights of the Vulnerable through Cultural Structures: A Tool On Working With Elders in Communities

By: KELIN

The success of KELIN’s project in Nyanza, Kenya in delivering justice to the vulnerable who cannot access the formal legal system for protection has inspired the development of this tool. Although the existing projects specifically addressed the right to inherit and own property by women, widows and children, the model of working with cultural structures can be adopted to intervene in other human rights violations requiring arbitration, including peace-keeping among communities, land transactions and other family disputes. The authority of elders can also influence and provide protection in other matters, including sexual and gender based violence, elimination of harmful practices like child marriages and female circumcision, child labour and the trafficking of women and children and the elimination of HIV-related stigmatization and discrimination, among other issues.