Odindo Opiata passed away in Nairobi, Kenya on 16 August. Opiata was a leader in the field of human rights and social justice not only in Kenya but globally. He joined the Board of Directors of the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 2013 after serving on our International Advisory Council and attending our initial Strategy Meeting in 2011. We will always be incredibly grateful for his wisdom, insights and support of our work. Opiata was always such an inspiration to us and we'll always know how lucky we were to have him as a friend.
Opiata was one of the earliest leaders in the economic, social and cultural rights movement in Kenya and beyond. He was a driving force behind work to combat forced evictions, as a lawyer for Kituo Cha Sheria carrying out litigation against forced evictions even when he knew the chances of success were minimal, and then as the founder of Hakijamii - the Centre for Economic and Social Rights - which he founded in 2005 and which pioneered the work of facilitating the mobilisation of activists in informal settlements around the struggle for the realisation of their rights to housing, water and sanitation and other economic and social rights. He was also involved in the work of ESCR-Net for many years, including on the Steering Committee of the Working Group on Strategic Litigation.
We know that Hakijamii and all of the others organizations and persons he's influenced over the years will carry on his work, and his legacy will only grown.
For more information on the contributions of Odindo Opiata, see HERE.