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Written by KHRC    Thursday, 17 September 2015 14:40   

NAIROBI, 16TH SEPTEMBER 2015 | The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) is a premier and flagship non-governmental organization with a mandate to entrench human rights-centered governance at all levels. It is on this basis that the KHRC is deeply concerned by the current standoff between the government and the two teachers unions: KNUT and KUPPET over salary increment for teachers.

The two giant unions called the ongoing national teachers’ strike based on the Government’s refusal to effect the Industrial Relations Court order that the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) awards a 50-60 percent salary increment to teachers, a decision which the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court upheld. Unless the order is reversed by a higher court, the rule of law demands that the government complies with the current decision. For the refusal by the Government and any actor to implement court decisions sets a bad precedent of abetting anarchy and impunity.

KHRC is concerned that the disruption of learning due to the ongoing teachers’ strike comes at a time when learners should be preparing for the national exams. The strike, now in its third week, has paralyzed learning in public primary and secondary schools; putting the fate of about 12 million learners in limbo, with children in public schools hurting the most. This perpetuates inequality because learning in private schools continues uninterrupted.

The right to basic education for children in Article 53 of the Constitution is an unqualified right, realizable immediately and is not pegged on availability of resources. Further, Kenya being a signatory of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), has undertaken under Article 2 (1) of the covenant to deploy maximum available resources for the achievement of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, education being one of them.

However, a look at the gross misappropriation of tax payers’ money, unnecessary government expenditure, misplaced priorities such as the laptop project, over funding of some ministries such as the security ministry currently supported to the tune of Kshs. 200 billion, grand corruption both at the national and county governments and hefty salaries for and extravagance by State officials is evidence of the government’s unwillingness to deploy maximum available resources for the realization of access to education. Granted, the billions of money lost in tax evasion estimated at KSh.639 billion annually is more than enough to pay the KSh.17 billion that teachers are asking for.

Davis Malombe, Ag. Executive Director at KHRC says: “By delaying to obey the Court order, the Government is condoning a continuing violation of children’s rights under the Constitution.” It is also a blatant contravention of Article 21 of the Constitution that obligates the State and State organs to observe, respect, protect, promote and fulfill rights and freedoms. The excuse of lack of funds by the Government to pay teachers adequately is unjustifiable and unacceptable. Teachers have had to put up with a never ending circus on their salaries for years now. The billions lost in imprudent and irresponsible financial expeditions is more than enough to pay the 17 billion that teachers are asking for.

In view of the foregoing, KHRC demands that:

  1. The TSC immediately pays the increment ordered by the Courts without any further delay;
  2. A return-to work formula is negotiated and agreed on to allow normalcy to return to public schools. The strike MUST END NOW!
  3. The TSC and teachers’ unions engage in open and constructive dialogue towards finding a lasting solution to the never ending teachers’ strikes;
  4. The government MUST zealously guard, respect, promote and protect the right to education. This right is a fundamental right that MUST NOT be compromised for whatever reason.
  5. The Government must pursuant to Article 201 of the Constitution ensure equity, accountability and prudence in the allocation and utilization of public resources.

Kenya is a State governed by the Constitution. The Government, just like any other stakeholder, has an unqualified and uncompromising obligation to uphold the rule of law and respect Court Orders.



Media Inquiries: Audrey Kawire Wabwire | Communications Manager | Kenya Human Rights Commission | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Last Updated ( Friday, 18 September 2015 11:32 )
Written by KHRC    Friday, 10 July 2015 16:40   

NAIROBI, JULY, 10,2015/ The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) is deeply concerned about the systemic intolerance in the country which manifests itself in the form of politically instigated: ethnicity bigotry, repressive tendencies, hate speech, communal and organised violence among others injustices. A case in point is the recent inflammatory speech by Gatundu South Member of Parliament, Hon. Moses Kuria who, reckless and irresponsible in his utterances, has been recorded encouraging youth in his constituency to slash with machetes critics of the national youth service (NYS) project in the constituency. It is more disconcerting that the MP, who is a state officer and who has previously been bonded by a court to keep the peace has remained unapologetic.

Such a hateful conduct is extremely dishorable, untenable and inimical to the provisions of the Constitution of Kenya among other laws and policies. Article 10 on National Values and Principles recognizes and defines what Kenya stands for as a Nation. Though Article 33 of the Constitution of Kenya provides that every person has the right to freedom of expression, this right is however not absolute and cannot be used violate the rights of other persons. More so when its used by elected representatives to incite people violence and advocate for hatred .

Moreover, Section 13 and Section 65 of the National Cohesion and Integration Act 2008 define and prohibit hate speech expressly. The Act defines hate speech as the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior, the publishing or distribution of any written material, the presenting or directing of a performance and the providing, producing or directing a programme which stirs up ethnic hatred. Section 62 provides that any person who is guilty of hate speech shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one million shillings, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or both.”

The Penal Code prohibits incitement to violence. Section 77(1) provides;
“Any person who does or attempts to do, or makes any preparation to do, or conspires with any person to do any act with a subversive intention, or utters any words with a subversive intention, is guilty of an offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years” subversion is defined under Section 77(3) as; supporting, propagating or advocating for any act that is prejudicial to public order and incitement to violence.

It is against this backdrop that KHRC condemns the said utterances of Hon Moses Kuria in Gatundu. The KHRC would like to remind Hon Moses Kuria and all leaders that the freedom of expression, though guaranteed under the Constitution, should not be used to incite for violence and infringe on the rights of others. Chapter 6 of the Constitution which addresses leadership and integrity provides that, authority assigned to a state officer is a public trust which should be exercised in a manner that demonstrates respect for the people and brings honour to the Nation and dignity and integrity to the office.

We would like to applaud the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) for condemning this abominable behavior and calling for concerted efforts to have the culprit brought to book. We thank the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for launching an investigation on these unfortunate utterances. We call upon the DPP to undertake due diligence-expedite these investigations and take all necessary measures to ensure that Hon. Moses Kuria faces the full force of law in regards to his gross misconduct.

KHRC would also like to commend the public for their positive outrage which has generated responses from relevant government bodies including action by political parties and Legislators. We would like to encourage the people of Kenya to remain cohesive, vigilant and fearless in demanding for accountability in the use of state resources among other governance process. This will embolden safeguards

to national integration and respect for the rule of law.

Finally, it is our hope that the law shall take its full cause and that this unfortunate incident will no only be a lesson to Hon. Moses Kuria but it will also act as deterrence to other leaders against hate speech and incitement to political violence. For such mediocre conduct and leadership is what almost plunged the country into the blink of precipice during the 2007/2008 political violence.

We are optimistic that Kenyans will continue to question ethnic patronage which is aimed at furthering ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism and ethnic political mobilizations remains a great barrier to cohesion and integration of the nation. All energies and efforts must be exerted

towards creating a Kenya that is of sound democracy founded on due respect of the law and political consensus to build and promote pluralism .


Signed by Davis Malombe,

Ag. Executive Director




Media bookings contact:

Audrey Kawire Wabwire | Communications Manager | E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Last Updated ( Friday, 10 July 2015 16:51 )
Written by KHRC    Wednesday, 08 July 2015 13:19   


NAIROBI, JULY 8TH, 2015 |We the undersigned CSOs are highly concerned and disappointed by the on-going ant-gay rhetoric led by various political leaders in this country at this time. While it is couched as a response to the US Supreme Court decision and the upcoming President Obama visit to our country, we categorically state that these statements and intolerant comments towards Lesbian and Gay Kenyans are ill advised and un-African and come with devastating consequences. We wish to reiterate Cabinet Minister Macharia’s statement on February 19th 2014, regarding the detrimental effects of anti-homosexuality debates and incitement on national health programming.

HIV continues to be a major national problem in Kenya. We cannot ignore the fact that a third of all new HIV infections are attributed to Key Populations namely sex workers (SW), men who have sex with men (MSM) and people who inject drugs (PWID). It is in our public health interest for this country to continue to reach out to these groups because they are they are part of our society.

The Kenyan Constitution guarantees access to the highest attainable quality of health services to all without discrimination as part of the Rights and Fundamental freedoms under the Bill of Rights. The Ministry of Health has consistently endeavoured to fulfil this obligation in providing the Key Populations with a national health programme and services; its Kenya AIDS Strategic Framework (KASF) Strategic Direction 3 is clear on the need to use a human rights approach to facilitate said access. State endorsement of the same is evidenced by the Deputy President’s remarks on 3rd July 2013 where he said that; “Although Kenya has diverse religious and cultural positions, the Government has an obligation to provide inclusive and effective services to all including sex workers, people who use drugs, men who have sex with men and people in prisons”. This is in alignment with the KASF, which states, “The success of the HIV response is dependent on protecting and promoting the rights of those who are socially excluded, marginalized and vulnerable”. We reiterate our appreciation to the Government and its agencies for always trying to deliver qualified and targeted health services to our sub-populations.

Programming has been fairly successful in controlling HIV transmission among our Key Populations and by extension Kenyans in general. However, criminalized Key Population activities make access to health services difficult due to discrimination and violence from surrounding communities.

In order to achieve the national health outcomes as clearly highlighted in government policy documents such as Vision 2030, Kenya Health Policy, The HIV and AIDS Strategic Framework, The Key Populations Policy etc., all Kenyans must be able to access health services without the fear of risking their lives.

The current inflammatory rhetoric stemming from the anti-homosexuality debates presents a significant barrier to Kenya achieving these goals. From past experience whenever our political leaders stoke these debates, many Key Population members stop accessing services due to fear of discrimination or attacks at health centres and their homes across the country.

As fellow Kenyans, the CSO community is committed to addressing both systemic and emerging injustices and inequalities in the society. In so doing, we recommend the following:

  1. An immediate cessation of State-sanctioned homophobia witnessed in the inflammatory statements associated with high-ranking government officials.
  2. The immediate reassurance of security and protection for Key Populations including sex workers, men who have sex with men and injecting drug users that are currently unable to access health programmes and services, including adherence programs to HIV treatment due to concerns around their personal security and welfare.
  3. That the Ministry of Health through its relevant lead agencies comes out and educates the Kenyan public on the impact of the current homophobic environment on its ability to reach out to Key Populations, jeopardising the goodwill that has been developed over many years – and threatening the realization of superior health outcomes for ALL Kenyans.
  4. A sustained approach to policy reform by key state and non-state actors in removing legislative barriers to the Public Health Imperative.
  5. That the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM) and the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) revisit national level support as aligned to their well-articulated guidelines.
  6. That all citizens including Key populations in Kenya be treated with respect and dignity as enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya.
  7. That we as Kenyan citizens reflect deeply on the role that each and every one of us must play in entrenching our position as the most progressive flagship country in Africa.
  8. The government guarantees Freedom and Security of all Kenyans regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.END

  1. The Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK)
  2. Ishtar MSM
  3. Health Options for Young Men Against HIV/STIs (HOYMAS)
  4. Minority Women in Action (MWA)
  5. Minority Persons Empowerment Group (MPEG)
  6. Q-Initiative (Q-I)
  7. Tamba Pwani
  8. The National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC)
  9. Nyanza Rift Valley Western Kenya Network (NYARWEK)
  10. Voices of Women in Western Kenya (VOWEK)
  11. Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya (NEPHAK)
  12. The Key Populations Consortium
  13. The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC)
  14. The National Coalition for Human Rights Defenders (NCHRD)
  15. KELIN
  17. Constitution and Reform Education Consortium (CRECO)
  18. Akiba Uhaki
  19. Coalition for Constitution Implementation (CCI)
  20. Society for International Development (SID)
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Written by KHRC    Monday, 29 June 2015 10:52   
New call from national and international rights groups on the need to ensure accountability for the U.S. CIA Torture Program

29th Session of the UN Human Rights Council – June 15 - July 3, 2015


Item 4 – Interactive Dialogue

Last December, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released the summary, findings and conclusions of its four-year investigation into the Detention and Interrogation Program operated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Since then, the international human rights community has reiterated the call for full transparency about and accountability for this unlawful program, in which systematic human rights violations, including the crimes under international law of torture and enforced disappearance were committed. Last March, more than 20 human rights groups called on the Council to take action and demand that the United States fulfill its international human rights obligations on truth, accountability and remedy, including by appointing a special prosecutor to conduct a comprehensive and credible criminal investigation of alleged serious crimes described in the report and to establish a special fund to compensate victims.

Last month, during the United States’ UPR session, a significant number of Member-States joined civil society’s call and raised the issue of accountability and reparations for the use of torture and other human rights violations in the context of U.S. counter-terrorism policies and practices.

They also emphasized the need to end indefinite detention and close the Guantánamo detention facility, one of the remaining examples of the unlawful actions taken in the name of national security since the attacks of 11 September 2001. Delivering justice for the victims and ending indefinite detention in Guantánamo are both issues that still require more decisive and urgent action from the Obama administration.

On 26 June, the world will mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The

U.S. government was a strong supporter of the adoption of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT), which is commemorated every year on this day. The United States is also a generous contributor to the U.N. Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture. But the U.S.’s failure to hold accountable those responsible for the CIA program of torture and enforced disappearance, to ensure the victims’ rights to truth and reparations, and to take other actions to ensure non-repetition of these heinous crimes leaves the U.S. in violation of its own obligations under UNCAT and other international instruments and is a serious blow to the international human rights system, in general, and to the global effort to eradicate torture and enforced disappearance, in particular.

During its next session, the Council will adopt the Working Group report on the U.S. UPR. We call on the Council to send a strong message against impunity for torture and enforced disappearances and demand that the United States take measures to meet the full spectrum of its obligations under international law to ensure accountability, transparency, reparations and non-repetition, including declassification of the full Senate report on the CIA detention program, independent comprehensive criminal investigation, and the issuing of apologies and

compensation to victims of enforced disappearance, torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Continued impunity is a dark chapter in the history of the United States that threatens to undermine the universally-recognized prohibition against torture and other abusive treatment, and sends the dangerous message to U.S. and foreign officials that there will be no consequences for future abuses. Other governments implicated in the CIA torture program must also be held accountable and are obligated to conduct independent investigations, hold perpetrators accountable, and provide effective remedies to victims of torture, enforced disappearance and other human rights violations.

We know from the experiences of civil society groups and survivors of torture around the world that the struggle for accountability for human rights violations and the search for truth can be a long and difficult journey. Yet the United States has much to gain from rejecting impunity, returning to the rule of law, and providing adequate redress to the dozens and dozens of people it so brutally abused.

We hope the United States will follow that path.

Submitted by:

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS) Conectas Direitos Humanos

Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)

Endorsed by

Abogadas y Abogados para la Justicia y los Derechos Humanos, A. C Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo

Acción Solidaria en VIH/Sida Advocates for U.S. Torture Prosecutions

African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies Ágora Espacio Civil Paraguay

Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, Yale Law School Amnesty International

Appeal for Justice

Asociación de Familiares de Presos y Desaparecidos Saharauis Asociación MINGA

Asociación para la Prevención de la Tortura Asociación Pro derechos Humanos

Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies Center for Constitutional Rights

Center for Justice and Accountability Center for Victims of Torture

Centre for Human Rights

Centro de Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres, A. C.

Centro de Documentación en Derechos Humanos “Segundo Montes Mozo S.J.” Centro de Políticas Públicas y Derechos Humanos

Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional

Centro Regional de Derechos Humanos y Justicia de Género - Corporación Humanas

Civilis Derechos Humanos

Colectivo de Abogados "José Alvear Restrepo" Coletivo PESO/Periferia Soberana

Comisión de Justicia y Paz

Comisión Ecuménica de Derechos Humanos Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative

Consultoría para los Derechos Humanos y el Desplazamiento Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos

Corporación Sisma Mujer

Defensa de Niñas y Niños- Internacional Diyarbakir Bar Association

Due Process of Law Foundation Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights

European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights

Four Freedoms Forum & Hawai'i Institute for Human Rights Fundación Myrna Mack

Fundar. Centro de Análisis e Investigación A.C

Gillis Long Poverty Law Center - Loyola University New Orleans College of Law Global Justice Clinic, NYU School of Law

Grupo de Mujeres de San Cristóbal de las Casas Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

Human Rights Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales Human Rights Institute of Columbia Law School

Human Rights Law Network Human Rights Watch

Instituto Braços - Centro de Defesa de Direitos Humanos de Sergipe Instituto Brasileiro de Ciências Criminais

Instituto de Estudios Comparados en Ciencias Penales de Guatemala Instituto de Estudios Legales y Sociales del Uruguay

Instituto Internacional de Derecho y Sociedad Instituto Migrações e Direitos Humanos Instituto Pro Bono

International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination International Commission of Jurists

International Federation for Human Rights

International Human Rights Clinic, Harvard Law School

International Human Rights Program, Boston University School of Law International Justice Network


Justice Studies Department -Northeastern Illinois University Kenya Human Rights Commission

KontraS (Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence) in Indonesia Laboratório de Análise Política Mundial

Legal Resources Centre Madres Linea Fundadora

Meiklejohn Civil Liberities Institute Minority Rights Group International Movimiento Autónomo de Mujeres National Lawyers Guild

North Carolina Stop Torture Now Observatorio Venezolano de Prisiones Oficina Jurídica Para la Mujer Partnership For Justice

Paz y Esperanza

PEN American Center Physicians for Human Rights

Plataforma Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Democracia y Desarrollo

Programa de Pós Graduação em Segurança Pública e Direitos Humanos da Universidade Federal de Rondônia

Programa Venezolano de Educación Acción en Derechos Humanos Psychologists for Social Responsibility

Quaker House Reprieve

Santa Clara University School of Law, International Human Rights Clinic Seguridad en Democracia

Sociedade Maranhense de Direitos Humanos

The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights The Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance

Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC) International

Unidad de Protección a Defensores y Defensoras de Derechos Humanos de Guatemala

Unión Nacional de Mujeres Guatemaltecas Unitarian Universalist Service Committee US Human Rights Network

Women's Link Worldwide

World Organization Against Torture

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