24th July 2014: The Kenyan high court has today ruled that the transgender rights organisation Transgender Education and Advocacy (TEA) must be allowed to register as an NGO. The group was previously denied permission to register by the Kenyan NGO Co-ordination Board because three transgender women listed in the application – Audrey Mbugua, Maureen Muia and Annet Jennifer – did not have names that “reflected their gender”.
TEA, which receives funding from SRT grantee Urgent Action Fund Africa, took the NGO Co-ordination Board to court in 2011 for discrimination and violation of their fundamental human rights. In his ruling today, Justice George Odunga stated that the board’s decision had no legal basis and that in failing to register TEA, they had acted in a manner that was “was unfair, unreasonable, unjustified and in breach of rules of natural justice.” He also found that Ms Mbugua, Ms Muia and Ms Jennifer had provided sufficient evidence that they had legally changed their names via deed poll.
The board has been ordered to register TEA immediately and provide compensation for all legal costs incurred. Urgent Action Fund Africa has provided resources and advisory support for TEA’s case, and recently also supplied an emergency protection grant when one of TEA’s leaders came under attack.
UAF-Africa said, “TEA’s win today not only sets a precedent for other marginalised groups seeking recognition in Kenya, but sets an example in the region.”
News story about the case from the Daily Nation: http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Court-allows-transsexuals-to-register-lobby-group/-/1056/2394700/-/x4q9ox/-/index.html
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