Heritage Conservation and Human Rights
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Heritage Conservation and Human Rights (HCHR), University of Nairobi.


The Heritage Conservation and Human Rights Network (HCHRN) is based at the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Nairobi (UoN).


The purpose of this network is to research and disseminate ethical conservation practices that enhance the respect of Human rights and promote heritage conservation. The network seeks to provide a forum for research for those involved in the study and practice of conservation in the fields of cultural and natural heritage.


HCHR members come from different academic and professional fields including: cultural heritage and nature conservation, history, archaeology, architecture, geography and philosophy.


The network will develop and co-ordinate research activities, publications and workshops. The aims of the HCHRN are:


1.      To facilitate a shared understanding of heritage conservation in the framework of Human Rights and help to develop consistent practices and principles both in academia and professional practices.

2.    To foster conservation ethics and cross-disciplinary collaborations between academics and professionals involved in both cultural and natural heritage.

3.    To explore and identify resources, expertise and practices that makes the practice of conservation sustainable.



HCCHR members are: 

Dr. Anne-Marie Deisser - UoN Department of History & Archaeology and HCHR Coordinator

Dr. Anne-Marie Deisser

Anne-Marie Deisser joined the Textile Conservation Centre, University of Southampton, UK, in 2000 where she took her Master in Textile Conservation and her PhD research which investigated “conservation partnership” between local and institutional communities. She taught and worked as a conservator for the National Museums of Kenya, the National Museum of Ethiopia and the Institute of Ethiopian Studies. She was Chair of the Ethnography Section of the United Kingdom Institute for Conservation, ICON (2005- 2008). Between 2009 and 2012 her work focused on the conservation of the tangible and intangible heritage of the Kurdish Nomadic tribes at the Textile Museum of Erbil. Since September 2012, she is Honorary Research Associate at the Institute of Archaeology (University College of London) and Research Associate at the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Nairobi in Kenya. Her main field of interest is the research of ethical conservation practices in relation to social development and Human rights. Anne-Marie is an active contributor to conservation debate and network across related conservation disciplines and contexts such as archaeology, heritage and nature conservation and philosophy.


Dr. Ephraim Wahome - Chair UoN Department of History and Archaeology, Member of CHRP  

Dr Ephraim W. Wahome (Ph.D.-Australian National University, M.A.- University of Calgary, Canada, B.A. - University of Nairobi) is a Senior Lecturer and head of the Department of History and Archaeology, University of Nairobi.  His research areas include cultural heritage conservation, heritage tourism, human migrations and settlement and Iron Age archaeology. He is also a scholar of human rights and culture and a member of the Centre of Human Rights, University of Nairobi.  His research activities spread over diverse geographical areas including Cameroon and Melanesian Islands, South Pacific, besides Kenya.

His on-going research activities include evolution of urban heritage in Kenya, the big game hunting tradition of colonial Kenya and culture and human rights. Most of his research projects are collaborative with colleagues from different institutions including Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), University College of London (UCL) and Centre for Human Rights (CHRP) and Kenya Utalii College (KUC).

Dr. Bernard Mugwima - JKUAT Department of Landscape Architecture

Dr. Mugwima is a lecturer in the Department of Landscape Architecture, where he is the Year Master, final Year, JKUAT. He earned his Ph.D in the Department of Architecture, JKUAT in July 2011. He also teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students in the department of Architecture. Additionally, he has continuously and extensively researched on conservation of historic areas and buildings right from his undergraduate level. He is also involved in research in Urbanism and is currently developing a syllabus for Urban Design and Planning. Dr. Mugwima is also undertaking collaborative research with the University of Nairobi. He has participated in various fora on climate change and urbanism. He is also the holder of Certificate in Conservation and Management of Historic Buildings from Lund University, Sweden (2008). Dr. Mugwima earned his Master degree from the University of Nairobi (M. A. Planning) in 2005; and his B. Arch. in 2000 from JKUAT. He is a registered Architect, is a Corporate Member of Architectural Association of Kenya, and a graduate member of the Town Planning Chapter of the same association. Dr. Mugwima is a member of ICOMOS, is also an Affiliate of Forum UNESCO-University and Heritage Network (FUUH), and a Signatory to the ICOMOS INTABAU Venice Declaration. He is also a member of Nature Kenya and the Kenya Book Foundation. Dr. Mugwima has published several papers; and supported the publication of the seminal book, The Venice Charter Revisited, Modernism, Conservation and Tradition in the 21st Century-2008). He has also attended various conferences both locally and abroad as a presenter. Dr. Mugwima is a practising architect.


Dr. Francis Mwaura - UoN Department of Geography & Environmental Studies


Dr. Francis Mwaura is a PhD holder in biogeography with wide experience in tropical environment and natural resources management. He is currently serving as a senior lecturer in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at University of Nairobi, Kenya. He is an EIA trainer and practitioner in Kenya and closely involved in environmental and natural resources management in Kenya.



Dr. Mary Mwiandi - UoN Department of History & Archaeology, Armed Conflict Studies


Dr. Mary Mwiandi holds a BA degree in History from University of Nairobi, Post-graduate Diploma in Education from Kenyatta University, MA in History from University of Nairobi and PhD from Michigan State University, USA. Her PhD work examined the role of the Jeanes teachers and their wives in the ‘social transformation’ of rural colonial Kenya. Mary Mwiandi has taught in several secondary school in Kenya before joining University of Nairobi as a Tutorial Fellow in 1993 and Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Nairobi since 2006 with keen interest in historical development of education. She teaches African History and Armed Conflict and Peace Studies with strong bias towards cohesion, integration and historical injustices and human rights in Kenya as well as historical conservation of Kenyan heritage.  She is also an active researcher with the Nile Basin Research Programme which draws senior researchers from Nile Basin countries and University of Bergen, Norway.


Dr. Patrick Nyabul (UoN Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies, Member of CHRP

Dr. Patrick Nyabul is a lecturer at the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Nairobi where he has been lecturing in philosophy since 1990. His interests are in the areas of environmental studies, Human Rights, moral, social and political philosophies. Dr. Nyabul also works as a part-time lecturer at The Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) and KCA University. 

Mr. Gilbert Wafula - UoN Department of History & Archaeology

Mr. Gilbert K. Wafula is a lecturer of Archaeology and Tourism in the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Nairobi where he has taught and researched on archaeology, tourism and heritage studies since 1993. He is currently pursuing his PhD studies at the University. He holds an M.A in Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology (UCL) and a B.A (Hons) in Archaeology from the University of Nairobi. Mr. Wafula’s research and academic interests include Public Archaeology, archaeological ceramic and lithic analysis, ethnographic research and ethno-archaeology, Cultural Resource Management (Heritage Management), East African Coastal Archaeology, Cultural Tourism, and Environmental concerns.



Members of HCHR are currently collaborating with various projects, including:


1.      Documentation and analysis of historic buildings and urban landscapes in Nairobi with members from the School of Architecture and Buildings Sciences, JKUAT.

2.      A comparative study of the relationship between attitudes and the built environment in Historic Old Town of Mombasa and Nairobi with Dr. Wahome of UoN.

3.      The study of urban heritage attractions in Nairobi with Dr. Wahome of UoN

4.      Conference project / joint call for papers:  The HCHRN (University of Nairobi), the Conservation and Development Research Network (CDRN, The Institute of Archaeology, UCL, London) and the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage, University of Delaware: ‘The Impact of Cross Disciplinary Conservation Practices on Social Development’.

Useful Links

Centre for Heritage Development in Africa (CHDA)


Centre for Human Rights and Peace (CHRP)


Conservation and Development


Conservation Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM-CC)


Conversations on conservation



International Council of African Museums (AFRICOM)


International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)


International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM)


International Council of Museums (ICOM)


International Institute of Conservation (IIC)


International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism


Institute of Archaeology of the University College of London


Kenya Law


National Archives of Kenya


National Museums of Kenya (NMK)


Nature Kenya


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)



Email hchr@uonbi.ac.ke