1. Team Participation
  1. Development and submission of a Country Breif on the situation of Human Rights in Kenya
  • In recognition Kenya’s State Report for 2008-14 that was submitted in February 2015 and other contemporary developments, KHRC will be developing a country brief on the human rights situation in Kenya. While Kenya is not listed for review in this session, it may still be prudent to develop the country brief and seek a bilateral engagement with the Country Rapporteur, Commissioner Pacifique Manyirakiza. The brief will be largely based on the information already submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee (2012), the UN Committee against Torture (2014) and under Universal periodic Review (2015)

  2.  Development and presentation of a statement on Human Rights Situation in Kenya

  • The KHRC team including the Transformative Justice team will develop a 5 -minute statement on the Human Rights Situation in Kenya and present it on the 21st of April, 2015.

ii. Transformative Justice Thematic Participation

3. Attend panel discussion on Torture and Death Penalty

 

  • Follow-up on PARI and CPTA discussions on a General Comment on Article 5 of the African Charter: At the 55th session, ACHPR’s Committee on the Prevention of Torture in Africa (CPTA) and the Pan-African Reparations Initiative (PARI) had commenced a conversation regarding the development of a general comment on Article 5 of the African Charter with regard to reparations and torture. It had been agreed that a technical paper would be presented to CPTA by PARI before the deliberations could go any further.
  • As a member of PARI, KHRC will attend a panel discussion on torture that will take place on 22nd of April and a panel discussion on Death Penalty that will take place on the same date. KHRC will attend a Launch of Guidelines on Conditions of Arrest, Police Custody and Pre-Trial Detention in Africa and Interactive Sessions on Policing and Human Rights: April 25

   4. Draft Resolution on Human Rights and Terrorism

  • Discussions are underway with the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) to draft a resolution on human rights and terrorism for consideration and adoption by the ACHPR.

5. NGO Forum Panel on Elections

 

  • With regards to Electoral Governance, KHRC will be a panelist on the first day of the NGO Forum to discuss elections from a human rights perspective with an emphasis on the human rights-based election observation initiatives in Africa. KHRC will in this context discuss its Electoral Observation framework along with preliminary findings from regional election monitoring with the object of influencing similar initiatives in the region.

    6. Transitional Justice

  • Meeting of the Advisory Committee to the Study on Transitional Justice in Africa: Depending on the availability of quorum in Banjul, there is a scheduled status update meeting on the progress made with regard to the Study on Transitional Justice in Africa including a review of the available draft. In any case a meeting with the Commissioner Pacifique as the lead on the study should be scheduled.
  • A side event on Rehabilitation and Reparations organized by Peace through Accountability in Africa Project Partners (PTAAP). In keeping with past practice PTAAP will probably undertake a side-event to discuss rehabilitation and reparations. The deliberations from this event will eventually be synthesized into a brief that will be an published and disseminated alongside the brief of the panel from the last session which was entitled “Transitional Justice: An Effective Tool for Transitional Justice or an Exercise in Futility?”
  • Will participate in a roundtable discussion on South Sudan: At the invitation of Amnesty International, KHRC will be participating in the roundtable discussion entitled, “Waiting for Justice in South Sudan: Exploring the Need, Prospects and Options for Accountability. It will will reflect on the need for justice, take stock of the regional response to the conflict, explore what more can or should be expected from the region, and consider the possible options for pursuing accountability.

 7. Side event on Implementing of decisions from the African Commission

  • KHRC will be participating in a convening on the implementation of decisions from the ACHPR with the possibility of inviting the ACHPR Working Group on Communications.

 iii. Political Plurality and Diversity Participation

    8. General Comment on Article 7(d) of the Maputo Protocol on Women's land and property rights

 

Follow up on the advocacy for the adoption of a General Comment on Article 7(d) of the Maputo Protocol. In this regard, we shall hold a meeting with the implementing partners as a follow up to the regional meeting held in June 2014 as well as with Commissioner Maiga, the relevant mandate holder. We will also hold consultative and strategy meetings with IGED Africa and ISLA on how to take the GC forward as well as have meetings with other practitioners and commissioners to garner support for the GC.

 9. Panel Discussion on Elections and HRs

We shall have a joint side event with the TJ team, FIDH and Amnesty International on Elections in Africa. The PPD team will seek to advance our agenda on enhancing the participation and representation of marginalized and special interest groups. This meeting will also serve as a precursor to a planned regional meeting on electoral governance and political participation and representation to be held later this year under the Ford Global initiatives.

   10. Terrorism and human rights

KHRC and FIDH will hold a joint side event on terrorism and human rights. In this regard the PPD team will seek to bring into the discussion the interlinkage between counter terrorism and citizenship and ethnic and racial discrimination.

  11. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

On SOGIE, we shall seek to build on the partnerships we have been exploring with regional actors and to further the discussion on monitoring the extent of States’ compliance with the ACHPR Resolution[1] passed in 2014. We will also highlight recent developments in Kenya on the same.

We shall further have strategy discussions with partners across the continent on countering the anti-homosexuality legislation ripple.

  12. General

Preparation of a thematic brief and statement as part of the institutional country brief and NGO statement respectively shall be done. PPD shall also hold advocacy meetings with relevant mandate holders and other partners on thematic and areas of interest.

 iv. Economic and Social Justice Thematic Participation

 

  1. The Extractive Industry and Corporate Accountability

Kenya is currently experiencing a surge in the entry of Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) seeking to exploit natural resources such as coal, oil and gas along with large-scale commercial agriculture. The entry of MNCs and the increased activity of natural resource extraction have however brought with it several human rights concerns. Community land is increasingly being appropriated by the government to facilitate the activities of MNCs without the requisite safeguards in the absence of community land legislation. Large-scale projects such as the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor project pose a threat health, culture and livelihoods of several communities as the project commenced without the necessary environmental and social impact assessments being undertaken. Concerns over equitable benefit sharing of natural resources have also been expressed by various communities who have lost land to the extractive industry.

Some MNCs also stand accused of presiding over poor working conditions and other labour related violations such as unfair dismissal of workers, denying workers the opportunity to join or form unions, a disproportionate employment of foreign workers to the detriment of local communities and sexual offences within the work place.

We call on the Commission to remind the Kenyan government of obligation to ensure effective public participation and transparency in any land acquisition process as articulated in article 55 (d) of the Principles and Guidelines on the Implementation of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The government should be compelled to enact legislation on community land, agreements relating to natural resources and equitable benefit sharing of natural resources without further delay. The government should develop a National Action Plan on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights as well as develop an effect and appropriate non-judicial grievance mechanism as a supplement to Kenya’s judicial system in offering remedies for business-related human rights abuses. Lastly we request the Commission to consider undertaking a baseline survey on the impact MNCs on human rights in Kenya.

 

    2. Corruption

Kenya continues to experience numerous instances of corruption at the highest levels of government that threatens to undermine the principle of governance based on human rights, equality, freedom, democracy, social justice and the rule of law. The Auditor General recently made an alarming admission that half of the country’s annual budget is either misappropriated or “squandered”.

Corruption has also occasioned a loss of public trust in critical public institutions such as the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC). Several IEBC officials have been implicated in a series of procurement-related scandals dubbed ‘chicken-gate’ that have seen the conviction of directors of a London-based company by the British courts on account of bribing the said IEBC officials in order to receive tenders for the printing of election materials. The imputation of corruption in such a critical public institution raises considerable concern in the face of the upcoming 2017 general elections and in the light of the 2007-08 post-election violence that was triggered by the lack of public trust in the management of elections by the now defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK).

We however acknowledge the recent re-dedication by the President to combat corruption as stated in his third State of the Nation Address; where he forwarded to Parliament, a confidential report from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) indicating the status of pending investigations against public officials and; directed that all officials of the National and County governments adversely mentioned in the report should step aside pending conclusion of the investigations. We however further note with concern, that this re-dedication by the President has seen been plagued with in-fighting among the EACC Commissioners and allegations of interference in the affairs of the EACC being levelled at the Executive where officials in the Office of the President have been accused of trying to compel EACC Commissioners to resign from office.

We call on the Commission to encourage the government to translate the President’s pledge on fighting corruption into a comprehensive and transparent process based on the rule of law and our Constitution’s standards on leadership and integrity. The government should refrain from any actions that interfere with the independence of the EACC and therefore undermine or taint any ongoing investigations. The fight against corruption must be comprehensive and shielded against any possible accusations of political bias. In light of the centrality of the IEBC in the management of the upcoming 2017 general elections, we call on the government to speedily conclude the investigation of IEBC officials implicated in the “chicken-gate” scandal.

 

   3. Labour Rights

Labour rights remain a critical concern particularly among workers in the agricultural sector. For instance, the minimum wage set by government at Kenya Shillings (Ksh.) 4,854 and 9,780 for unskilled workers in the agricultural sector and domestic workers respectively is still insufficient in affording workers a decent standard of living that allows them to access other economic, social and cultural rights. In this regard, the government has exhibited complacency in defining and adopting a living wage.

We call on the Commission to encourage Kenya to expediently conduct a study to determine what constitutes a living wage in Kenya and based on the findings from that study, develop a living wage policy.

 


[1] Resolution on Violence and Human Rights Violation against Persons on the Basis of their Imputed or Real Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Africa