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In Kenya, the Solidarity Center focuses on paralegal training, women’s empowerment, gender-based violence in the workplace, building organizational capacity for agricultural workers, ending child labor on farms and plantations, and promoting innovative union outreach strategies.


Political instability and related outbreaks of violence have seriously threatened Kenya’s status as the largest and most diversified economy in East Africa. Restoring sustainable progress is linked to overcoming Kenya’s staggering poverty and unemployment rates, as well as rebuilding workers’ confidence that they will benefit from renewed economic growth. As a major civil society organization, the Kenyan labor movement is poised to address these issues, including the legal and political problems contributing to the recent crisis. The Solidarity Center’s principal partner in Kenya is the Kenyan Central Organization of Trade Unions, whose 600,000 members represent more than 30 percent of Kenya’s industrialized workforce. COTU plays a vital role in improving the living and working conditions of all Kenyans.

Kenyan Young Worker Activist Honored by President Obama. September 24, 2014—When President Obama spoke yesterday at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative about the value of civil society and the necessity of developing young civil society leaders, the first person he recognized as contributing to the development of his community was Solidarity Center fellow and Kenya social justice activist Walid Ahmed Ali.

Kenya: Court Rules Domestic Workers Covered by Employment Law. May 6, 2013—Employers in Kenya now must abide by the verbal contracts they make with domestic workers, following a landmark ruling by the nation’s high court that also effectively places domestic workers under Kenya’s employment law.

Kenya: Presidential Candidates Talk Jobs at First-Ever Forum. February 22, 2013— In the largest gathering of presidential candidates organized by civil society in Kenya in the current election, five of eight presidential candidates took part this week in a forum sponsored by the labor movement.

Kenya: A Commitment to Unionize Informal-Sector Workers. January 29, 2013— In Kenya, where the informal sector accounts for 80 percent of employment and contributes 25 percent to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), union outreach is helping give these workers a voice on the job.

Regional Journalists Union Leadership Conference Opens in Nairobi. May 25, 2012—A two-day regional conference focused on strengthening union leadership within the media industry in Eastern Africa opened in Nairobi, Kenya, yesterday with a clarion call to journalists in the region to overcome their apathy toward advocating for their worker rights.

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