Chairperson, Honourable Commissioners, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

Chairperson

Indigenous communities and other marginalized groups continue to be excluded from the governance processes and denied fundamental rights and freedoms. They are forcefully evicted and arbitrarily displaced by the Government and corporations under the disguise of preserving the environment or as a result of mega projects and infrastructural development. Moreover, they are exposed to land and natural resource injustices owing to lack of accountable and participatory management, benefit-sharing and compensatory frameworks. There is also the failure to implement the recommendations of the key national and regional human rights organizations.

We call upon the Commission to;

  •  Impress on the Government of Kenya to respect the rights(including their land and resource rights) of Indigenous and other marginalized communities
  •  Request for their meaningful involvement in the governance and development processes, including the accrual of benefits thereof.
  • Require a timely implementation and reporting on the recommendations of the ACHPR on the Ogiek and Endorois communities and the TJRC report on historical land injustices.

 

Chair,

The citizenship question is yet to be fully resolved. Kenya did recognise the Makonde and issued them with nationality but that process stalled. Statelessness is a key concern because affected persons continue facing discrimination, and lack of basic necessities and social integration.

 

We, therefore, urge the Commission to:

  • Call upon the government to extend the registration period and further issue nationality to all stateless communities in Kenya.
  • Amend the Immigration, Citizenship and Registration of Persons Acts to create the necessary legal flexibilities for according nationality to all the deserving persons.
  • This will also ensure that all children born in Kenya will enjoy citizenship irrespective of the status of their parents.

Chairperson, over the past couple of months, there has been rampant plunder of state resources by public officials and senior government officials. Since January 2019, over 50 million US dollars have been lost through public officials and there has been little progress made by the Kenyan Government to hold them to account.  This has undermined both the governance and the development process in the country through systemic manipulation of policies, programs and institutional frameworks put in place to reduce poverty and to improve the livelihood of the people in Kenya.

We urge the Commission to;

  • Call on the Government of Kenya to swiftly investigate and prosecute all officials implicated in graft and theft of public resources.

Chairperson, Distinguished Guests:

Kenyan Security Agencies have continued to commit numerous human rights violations while discharging their functions and duties. Human rights defenders have been subjected to acts of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and punishment, extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances. Since January 2019, over 60 human rights defenders have been subjected to unlawful arrests and detention. Security Agencies have continued to infringe on privacy rights and freedom of expression through enhance surveillance.

We call on the Commission to;

  • Recommend the Government of Kenya to institute a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Police excesses.

Chairperson, Honorable Commissioners;

The independent civil and state organizations in Kenya continue to advocate for human rights, accountability and good governance under severe conditions. Persistent denial of requisite   resources to the key state institution and threats from state security agencies, repressive laws and the inability of human rights defenders to freely demonstrate, assemble and the willful refusal of the Kenyan Government to enact the Public Order Management is a clear demonstration of the Government’s determination to stifle voices of reason or dissent.

We call upon the Commission to;

  • Impress upon the Government of Kenya to commence and implement without further delay the Public Benefit Organization’s Act;
  • Require the government to immediately cease and desist from using arbitrary and unnecessary force and violence to disperse unarmed and peaceful protestors and to hold to account security agents who use arbitrary and unnecessary force on unarmed citizens exercising their right to assemble and picket.
  • Request the Government to audit and review all the bad laws and practices that have a bearing on the operations and programmes of the affected civic and state organizations.

Chairperson, Distinguished Guests

The Judiciary has been subjected to numerous attacks by the Executive and specific State Agencies. The Director of Public Prosecutions, the Director of Criminal Investigations, the Inspector General of Police and the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government have persistently disobeyed court orders on numerous occasions. Judicial Officers have been subjected to unlawful arrests, detention, and prosecution. On or about the 7th of September, Hon Edgar Kagoni Matsinguli, Principle Magistrate at Mombasa Law Courts was unlawfully arrested and formally charged in Court.

We call upon the Commission to;

  • Urge the Government of Kenya to cease and desist from interfering with the Independence of the Judiciary and undermining its authority.
  • Request for compliance with court decisions and respect of the law of law.

Chairperson, Honorable Commissioners;

Corporate capture coupled with the non-compliance with the legal and voluntary accountability frameworks (including the certification standards) has created fertile grounds for labour injustices and precarious work to thrive, resulting in decent work deficits. The affected workers suffer the challenge of unstable employment, low wages, limited social security, difficulties in joining a union and bargaining collectively for better wages and conditions of work. The situation is not any better for marginalized persons including women, persons living with disabilities (PWDs), youth and sexual minorities discrimination. Most of these workers are found in the informal, domestic, textile Export Processing Zones (EPZs) and agriculture sectors.

We call upon the Commission to request the Government of Kenya to;

  • Strengthen the development, application, and enforcement of labour rights frameworks
  • Ensure improved wages and quality of life for workers in precarious employment
  • Ensure improve organizing, unionization, and representation of workers.
  • Ensure the protection of women and other disadvantaged groups at the places of work.

Chair,

The LGBTI community continues to face abominable violations in the country thanks to increased stigma, discrimination, violence, retrogressive laws, and misunderstanding of their issues.

We impress upon the Commission to request the Government of Kenya to;

  • Put measures to protect  the freedoms,  rights, and welfare of the LGBTI community in Kenya
  • Repeal the retrogressive provisions of the Penal Code(Sections 162 and 165) that criminalizes homosexuality.

Honourable Commissioners, Distinguished Guest, Ladies, and Gentlemen

The North West and South West Anglophone Regions of Cameroon have been experiencing serious and massive human rights violations occasioned by their own government and separatist groups. Since October 2016, more than 200 villages have been partly or completely destroyed, forcing thousands to flee. Between 450,000 and 550,000 people have been displaced as a result of the crisis, representing about 10 per cent of the regions’ population; more than 2,000 people have been killed and about 1.3 million people need humanitarian assistance. An additional 30,000 to 35,000 people have sought asylum in neighbouring countries, notably Nigeria. Sexual and gender-based violence has been widely reported and more than 600,000 children have been deprived of education for the last three years.

We urge the Commission to;

  • Adopt a resolution on Cameroon and also to investigate these persistent violations by the Government of Cameroon.
  • Issue standing invitations to the special procedures, particularly the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders

Chair,

Forms of government despotism against peaceful protesters, activists, and civilians are on the rise in Africa. Arbitrary arrest and torture by armed forces to silence human rights defenders and civilians disparaging are regressing the gains on human rights. Freedom of expression in Tanzania is under threat as it is treated as a secondary issue.

We call upon the Commission to;

  • Adopt a special resolution on Tanzania to tame its emerging authoritarianism.