The research titled: Violence Amongst the Urban Poor in Nairobi, was launched on February 23, 2016 at the Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi County. The study whose objective was to explore the vulnerability to state violence of poor urban residents in Nairobi,sought to provide more insight with regards to torture and ill treatment among the urban poor.
The research was carried out in March 2015 and sampled 500 households in Nairobi Eastlands. 57.2% (286) of the respondents were female while 42.8% (214) were male. 75.4% of the total respondents were 39 years of age and below, while 54.8% were heads of households. The research indicated that robbery had the highest prevalence in the neighborhood (mtaa) at 27.6% followed by fighting at 19.5% and threats/intimidation/harassment at 15.4%.
Almost of half (45.9%) of the respondents thought that perpetrators violence reside ‘within the immediate neighbourhood’ followed by ‘Outside the village/mtaa’ (32.1%) and ‘within the village mtaa’ (22.0%). The ‘immediate neighbourhood/mtaa’ was defined as the household within the immediate vicinity or about 10 households while ‘within the village/mtaa’ was understood as the entire settlement.
Asked if justice was served through police response, only 25.97% of those who reported stated that there was some form of resolution and felt that justice was served. Majority of those who felt that justice was not served indicated that the police did not conduct proper investigations or the perpetrators or their families compromised the police.
Present in the launch was The First Secretary Royal Norwegian Embassy Mr. David Jourdan who pointed out that relevant authorities can enhance the basic support structures both at national and community level in order to ensure that violence is reduced/eliminated among the vulnerable.
Present too was Chief Inspector Daniel Kariuki (OCS Soweto) who encouraged human rights organizations fighting against violence to work closely with station commanders as resource persons in matters relating to violence in their areas of jurisdiction.
The lead Researcher Ms. Catrine Christiansen, Danish Institute against Torture, DIGNITY, said almost half, 46 per cent, of the perpetrators of violence reside within the immediate neighborhood followed by those who live outside the village at 32 per cent.
Peter Kiama who was also a researcher in the study noted that policing initiatives must consider independent complaint and oversight mechanisms at community level to ensure compliance with the law and reduce involvement of law enforcement agencies in perpetrating violence.
Participants in the launch included various key partners in the policing sector including representatives from the NPSC, NPS and Usalama Forum, representatives from the Danish, Finnish and Norwegian embassies and the media.