On 24 th March the world marks the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Right Violations and for the Dignity of Victims. This day proclaimed by the
United Nations on 21 December 2010 is for remembrance of victims of gross and systematic human rights violations and to promote the importance of the right to truth and justice. It is also
a day to pay tribute to those who have devoted their lives to and lost their lives in, the struggle to promote and protect human rights for all.
The Government of Kenya has made commitments (most notably during the Universal Periodic Review) to amongst others, provide reparations for victims of human rights violations, which
commitments are yet to be fulfilled. Particularly, the commitment to support victims of past human rights violations through the Restorative Justice Fund has never been realised.
We, the victims and survivors of past gross human rights violations in Kenya are calling out to the Government of Kenya to fulfil these commitments. We continue to languish physically and
psychologically due to what is outright lack of political goodwill to bring to fruition various mechanisms meant to deal with the painful past and set the pace for sustainable peace and thus
development in the country.
The Restorative Justice Fund established by the President in his March 2015 State of the Nation Address has to date not seen the light of day while the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) Report continues to gather dust in the National Assembly since its completion and handover to the President in 2013. The National Assembly has also chosen to ignore the call from the President to adopt this crucial report. The whole country has as a result been denied closure from the pains of the past and a chance to charter a future devoid of recurrence of human rights violations.
To commemorate and dignify victims of past human rights violations, the human right defenders, and those who have and continue to suffer from past and present human rights violations, we demand;-
- That President Uhuru Kenyatta gives a directive to all relevant actors in Government to provide a platform for exchange with victims of past injustices representatives on implementation of the TJRC Report recommendations;
- That the Attorney General of Kenya provides the public with a progress report of the reparations agenda in Kenya as envisioned by the TJRC as well as by the President in his 2015 State of The Nation Address. This includes the status of the Reparations Regulations/framework developed through his office in 2017 and as committed to in the Universal periodic Review of 2015 as well as give a proposed timeline for the implementation of the Restorative Justice Fund;
- That the Speakers of both Senate and National Assembly finally adopt the TJRC report to allow full implementation of its recommendations;
- That the Chief Justice of Kenya fast tracks the cases before the Courts touching on human rights violations and historical injustices;
- That the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary joins hands to ensure that the commitments made to victims and survivors of human rights violations in Kenya both at all levels – national, regional and international – are realized immediately.
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