Haki na Sheria Kenya
Commonwealth Point of Light 213. Yussuf Bashir
Yussuf Bashir, representing Kenya, aged 35, is Executive Director of the ‘Haki na Sheria Initiative', an NGO dedicated to ending discrimination and promoting the rights of marginalised communities in Northern Kenya.
Yussuf founded the organisation in 2010 alongside other Kenyan-Somali law students at the University of Nairobi based on their own experiences of discrimination. ‘Haki na Sheria’ operates at the Kenya-Somali border and provides a platform for the Kenyan Somali community to learn about their rights. The organisation has helped more than 10,000 people at risk of being stateless acquire identification documents, delivered legal aid to over 780 people, and established a free paralegal programme to provide young people with skills. Yussuf is also an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and is dedicated to the promotion of human rights.
“I am sincerely thankful to have been selected as a recipient of the Points of Light Award. This is a great honor bestowed upon myself and especially upon my colleagues at “Haki na Sheria Initiative (HSI)” whose unrelenting dedication and hard work is the real reason for this recognition.
“‘Haki na Sheria’ was founded to legally empower the marginalized communities of Northern Kenya and our work has greatly focused on discrimination in the access to nationality documents.
“This work entails working for vulnerable individuals like those Kenyans who found themselves on the refugee database in the late 1990s. It is not easy to gain successes in such work but the recent issuance of 14,000 identity cards by the Kenyan Government was a significant milestone that we are proud to be associated with. We will sustain our advocacy and working with the government to ensure such situations are resolved.”