1. The Government of Kenya (GOK) submits a single Report encompassing the 12th and 13th combined periodic Reports on the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter), and the Initial Report on the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol). The submission of the Report is a reflection of Kenya’s commitment to honour its various regional human rights obligations. During the review period, the GOK has placed remarkable emphasis on the continued implementation of the Constitution, the achievement of Kenya’s Vision 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals and African Union’s Agenda 2063 as solutions for improving the human rights situation on the ground.
2. The present Report was coordinated and compiled by the Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Service and Gender, in conformity with the procedures laid out in Article 62 of the African Charter and 26(1) of the Maputo Protocol and the Guidelines for State Reporting under the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.
3. The Report provides information on the legislative, policy, judicial, programmatic and other measures taken to improve the enjoyment of all human rights in Kenya. The Report further outlines the replies to the concluding observations adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on Kenya’s last periodic Report. For ease of reference, the replies to the concluding observations are incorporated as integral components of the Report. Finally, the Report also highlights the challenges faced in the implementation of some of the human rights during the reporting period.
4. The Report is divided into 2 Parts. Part A deals with the African Charter and comprises 3 Chapters. Chapter 1 outlines the current background information on the country and the ratification of treaties. Chapter 2 of the Report details the progress made in the implementation of the civil and political rights, and Chapter 3 provides information on the status of the implementation of economic, social and cultural rights. Part B presents the Initial Report on the legislative and other measures taken to implement the Maputo Protocol.
5. In March 2019, The GOK set up a National Committee on International and Regional Human Rights Obligations to provide a comprehensive, efficient and sustainable approach to reporting and follow-up. The Committee draws its members from key implementing ministries and national human rights institutions. The objective of the Committee is to systemize and rationalize the preparation of reports to regional and international human rights mechanisms, coordinate effective national follow-up on recommendations and facilitate all other forms of engagement with human rights organizations.
6. The Report has been prepared through wide consultation among Government Ministries Departments and Agencies namely: Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State Department of Housing, State Department of Gender, Ministry of Education, State Department of PublicService, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the Judiciary, Independent Policing Oversight Authority, National Legal Aid Service and the Public Service Commission; National Human Rights Institutions namely: Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, National Gender and Equality Commission and the Commission on Administrative Justice; and Civil Society Organizations namely the Independent Medico Legal Unit (IMLU), FIDA-Kenya, IPAS Africa Alliance, Article 19, ICJ-Kenya, Human Rights Defenders Coalition, Kenya Human Rights Commission, East Africa Civil Society Organizations’ Forum, Each Rights, Stop the Traffic and FAWE.
7. Kenya submits this report within the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. As Africa and the world grapple and struggle to control the virus, its impact not only on human life but also invariably on the protection and promotion of economic and social rights over the months and years ahead is evident. It is imperative that Africa marshals all its resources to respond to this unprecedented challenge and work in close coordination each other, the World Health Organization, other human rights organizations and the international community to prepare for, respond to and recover from the Coronavirus scourge, focusing particularly on the poorest, marginalized and vulnerable populations.