The role of legal aid in the realization of the rights of indigenous peoples in kenya
For decades, indigenous peoples in Kenya and the world at large have been discriminated, oppressed and disposed of their lands and related resources. This challenge is premised on poor governance, corruption, impunity, violent conflict and poverty. The dominant conundrum facing indigenous peoples is land dispossession, often inscribed under what is normally known as historical injustices in Kenya. This situation undermines indigenous peoples‟ livelihoods, leading to severe impoverishment. It fundamentally threatens the continued existence of indigenous peoples. The Constitution of Kenya provides for the recognition of historically marginalised groups, including indigenous peoples. However, the realisation of their constitutional rights has been a mirage. The reality is that these groups are often poorly represented in decision-making bodies, both locally and at the national level. Their participation in national development issues is also impeded by discrimination on grounds of social origin and descent. The lack of legal aid makes it difficult for the indigenous peoples to access meaningful justice. This study appraises the legal and policy landscape in relation to legal aid of indigenous peoples in Kenya and especially the role of advocates in the said regard. Key words: Indigenous peoples, legal representation, legal aid, access to justice, social exclusion, non-discrimination.
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