UP's Legal Director, Kelly Kapianga, is no stranger to the international spotlight. As a 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow, Kelly traveled to the US where he worked with the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia, further enhancing UP Zambia's human rights capacity and our ability to bring innovative solutions to the Zambian justice system. As Kelly focused on broadening the global resources available to the project, he has continued to spread the word of UP Zambia's work and the plight of the juveniles in the Zambian justice system.
As a result, in May 2017, Kelly was selected as a Young Global Changer with the Think 20 Summit on Global Solutions (mandated by the German G20 Presidency). This program brought young visionaries from around the globe to Berlin in order to involve the views and ideas of the next generation into global problem-solving. (Learn more about this innovative program by following the link our publications page).
Following close on the heels of his trip to Berlin, Kelly was nominated as a Sakharov Fellow where he traveled again to Europe to participate and present in the 2nd edition of the Sakharov Fellowship in June 2017. He was one of 14 Human Rights Defenders trained on EU human rights policies and capacity building in Brussels and the European Inter-University Center for Human Rights and Democratization in Venice.
Kelly was selected from more than 1100 applicants from all over the world who are active in a wide variety of human rights areas. The 2017 Sakharov Fellows represented 14 countries including Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Iraq, Cambodia, Pakistan, Peru, Russia, Tunisia, Turkey and Zambia. This broad representation provides a unique environment to learn new and innovative programs that are specific to individual cultures and contexts.
The two-week intensive training program aimed at expanding the Fellows' knowledge of the European Parliament human rights engagement, as well as develop their capacities and improve their work as human rights defenders. Fellows shared and spread the knowledge and experience acquired in their home countries. Thus, Kelly presented on his legal experience and UP Zambia's work to enhance the rights of juveniles. (To read more about the Sakharov Fellowship, follow the link our publications page)
This year, in addition to his selection as a Young Global Changer and a Sakharov Fellow, Kelly was a nominee and finalist for both the African Legal Awards (in the Associate/Assistant solicitor) and the International Bar Association’s Outstanding Young Lawyer Award.
These awards and forums, highlight the skills and passion of UP Zambia's staff and bring the challenges of Zambia's justice system into the global discussion of democracy, justice, and human rights. We are continuously proud of Kelly and the work he does on behalf of juveniles in Zambia and we are continually grateful to him for increasing UP Zambia's capacity and visibility on the global stage!
Post by Carrie Russpatrick