KENYA: Persistent violations of children's rights

Summary: The violations highlighted are those issues raised with the State by more than one international mechanism. This is done with the intention of identifying children's rights which have been repeatedly violated, as well as gaps in the issues covered by NGOs in their alternative reports to the various human rights monitoring bodies. These violations are listed in no particular order.

Scroll to:

____________________________________________________________________

Female genital mutilation

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, February 2007)

The Committee acknowledges the endeavours made by local administrative officers in collaboration with civil society to protect the girl child from forced and early marriages and/or female genital mutilation, particularly the prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) under the Children’s Act of 2001 and the implementation of the Alternative Rite of Passage Initiative with the goal of eliminating FGM. However, the Committee reiterates its concern that FGM is still widely practised, especially among certain indigenous and minority groups.

The Committee recommends that the State party;

(a) strengthen its measures regarding FGM and early marriages and ensure that the prohibition is strictly enforced;

(b) conduct awareness-raising campaigns to combat and eradicate this and other traditional practices harmful to the health, survival and development of children, especially girls; and

(c) introduce sensitisation programmes for practitioners and the general public to encourage change in traditional attitudes, and engage the extended family and the traditional and religious leaders in these actions. (Paragraphs 53 and 54)

UN Human Rights Committee
Last reported: 29 April 2005
Concluding Observations adopted: 17 July 2006

The Committee remains concerned that despite the recent ban on FGM of children, the practice persists particularly in rural areas of the country.

The Committee urges the State party to increase efforts to combat the practice of FGM and step up the awareness campaign launched by the Ministry of Gender, Sports, Culture and Social Services. (Paragraph 12)

UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Last reported: 5 April 2011

The Committee reiterates its concern at the continued prevalence of the harmful practice of female genital mutilation in some communities, which is a grave violation of girls' rights of the State party. It also notes that despite the enactment of the Children's Act (2001), which prohibits FGM, girls are increasingly subjected to this harmful practice at younger ages than previously.

The State party is urged to (a) Ensure the effective implementation of the 2001 Children's Act which outlaws FGM for girls under 18 years, as well as prosecution and punishment of perpetrators of this practice; (b) Take all necessary steps to expedite the enactment of the Prohibition of FGM Bill (2010) which will, inter alia, outlaw the practice for all women; (c) Continue awareness-raising and education efforts targeting families, practioners, and medical personnel; and (d) Establish support services to meet the health and psychosocial needs of women and girls who are victims of this practice. (Paragraphs 19 to 20)

UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples
Country visit: 4 to 14 December 2006
Report published: 26 February 2007

Female genital mutilation (FGM), though outlawed since 2001, is still practised widely among numerous indigenous communities such as the Maasai, Samburu, Somali and Pokot, as part of the culturally sanctioned rites of passage. Whereas at the national level 34 per cent of women undergo FGM, the percentage in North Eastern Province rises to an alarming 99 per cent. FGM poses serious problems for the physical and mental health of girls and, being a form of gender violence, it is also a major human rights violation. Some organisations have experimented with various means of abandoning the practice in socially acceptable ways. For instance, UNFPA supports the Tasau Ntomok Girls Rescue Centre in Narok, which promotes an alternative rite of passage for pubescent girls, respecting the value of the tradition but rejecting the violence associated with it. (Paragraph 79)

Indigenous women are victims of serious human rights violations derived from discriminatory status and customary law, lack of access to social services and decision-making, and harmful traditional practices such as FGM. Difficulties in achieving gender equality among indigenous communities will require special measures within an overall approach of affirmative action and culturally appropriate policies towards these communities. (Paragraph 89)

Indigenous peoples, particularly indigenous women and girls, should be ensured access to adequate health services. The system of mobile clinics in pastoralist areas should be reinforced, and the use of traditional medicine and health-related knowledge should be encouraged and legally recognised. (Paragraph 117)

The Government should reinforce its efforts to achieve the effective eradication of FGM in all communities, by helping promote culturally appropriate solutions such as alternative rites of passage and supporting women's organisations in these tasks. (Paragraph 118)

____________________________________________________________________

Early marriage and varied and uncertain minimum age for marriage

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, February 2007)

The Committee notes with concern that there are various minimum ages for marriage under different laws and that they are not the same for boys and girls and welcomes the information that this concern will be addressed in a review of the Children’s Act.

The Committee recommends the State party to expedite the review of the Children’s Act inter alia with a view to establish a minimum age for marriage that is the same for both boys and girls and is set at the intended age of 18. (Paragraphs 22 and 23)

The Committee acknowledges the endeavours made by local administrative officers in collaboration with civil society to protect the girl child from forced and early marriages and/or female genital mutilation, particularly the prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) under the Children’s Act of 2001 and the implementation of the Alternative Rite of Passage Initiative with the goal of eliminating FGM. However, the Committee reiterates its concern that FGM is still widely practiced, especially among certain indigenous and minority groups.

The Committee recommends that the State party;

(a) strengthen its measures regarding FGM and early marriages and ensure that the prohibition is strictly enforced;

(b) conduct awareness-raising campaigns to combat and eradicate this and other traditional practices harmful to the health, survival and development of children, especially girls; and

(c) introduce sensitisation programmes for practitioners and the general public to encourage change in traditional attitudes, and engage the extended family and the traditional and religious leaders in these actions. (Paragraphs 53 and 54)

The Committee notes that in addition to cultural practices, such as early marriages and child labour, poverty and the lack of education adapted to the life style of these communities are major reasons for their low enrolment rates. (Paragraph 69)

In light of the recommendations adopted during its Day of General Discussion on the rights of indigenous children (CRC/C/133, paragraphs 624), the Committee recommends that the State Party:

d) implement culturally appropriate measures to eliminate harmful traditional practices and provide material and psychological support to children victims of these practices. (Paragraphs 69 and 70)

Universal Periodic Review (May 2010)

A - 101.86. Further promote the law on the minimum age of marriage at 18 years (Holy See); (accepted)

____________________________________________________________________

Child labour

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, February 2007)

The Committee notes with concern the absence of domestic regulations or policies concerning child labour, and the high number of children engaged in economic activities compounded by high poverty levels and the effects of HIV/AIDS. The Committee further notes reports of consistent and serious problems regarding the economic exploitation and of the number of children involved in work that is hazardous and negatively impacts on their rights to health, education and development.

The Committee urges the State party to;

(a) develop and enact legislation as well as policies to protect children from the worst forms of child labour, including measures to address the root causes of this problem;

(b) strengthen the capacity of the institutions responsible for the control and protection of child labour; and

(c) seek the support and technical assistance of the ILO, UNICEF, and national and international NGOs, in order to develop a comprehensive programme to prevent and combat child labour, in full compliance with ILO Convention No. 182 (1999) concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour and ILO Convention No. 138 (1973) concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment, which the State party has ratified. (Paragraphs 61 and 62)

UN Human Rights Committee
Last reported: 29 April 2005
Concluding Observations adopted: 17 July 2006

The Committee expresses its concern at the prevalence of the phenomenon of child labour in particularly in Kenya's commercial agricultural sector.

The Committee urges the State party to intensify its efforts to combat and reduce the incident of child labour. (Paragraph 26)

UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Last reported: 1 December 2008

While noting the progress achieved by the State party in combating child labour, the Committee remains concerned about the still very high number of children engaged in child labour. It is also concerned about the high number of children who are forced to engage in prostitution.UN Committee on Enforced Disappearance

The Committee urges the State party to (a) strengthen the enforcement of the Children Act and the Sexual Offences Act prohibiting child labour and sexual exploitation of children, e.g. through mandatory training for police officer, prosecutors and judges, teachers and health and social workers, more effective labour inspections and raids by social services, as well as heavier sentences for persons who make use of illegal child labour; (b) adopt and effectively implement the draft National Policy on Child Labour (2002); (c) conduct awareness-raising campaigns for children and parents on livelihood needs, including education; (d) provide assistance for children engaged in child labour and for their families; and (e) systematically collect data on the extent of child labour, including hidden forms, and of child prostitution in the State party. (Paragraph 25)

UN Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples
Country visit: 4 to 14 December 2006
Report published: 26 February 2007

Child labour is on the increase among indigenous communities, because domestic herding requires their participation. Orphans and children from poorer households are often hired out, sometimes to commercial herders but also to tea plantations and mining quarries, or as domestic workers. Child labour among indigenous populations has not received the government attention it requires, but ILO and some private organisations have programmes addressing these issues. (Paragraph 77)

Universal Periodic Review (May 2010)

A - 101.90. Undertake a study on child labour at the national level with the support of the International Labour Organisation and other partners to look at the issue of child labour, and enact as quickly as possible legislation focused on the prevention of child labour and the removal of its victims from the workplace, as well as their rehabilitation, social reintegration and education (Uruguay); (accepted)

A - 101.91. Take effective steps to address child labour (Azerbaijan); (accepted)

A - 101.103. Place emphasis on linking the objective of poverty eradication to those of eliminating child labour and increasing school enrolment (Sudan); (accepted)

____________________________________________________________________

Trafficking and prostitution of children

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, February 2007)

The Committee, while recognising certain efforts to take preventive action, expresses concern over the rising number of children internally trafficked and engaged in prostitution as part of sex tourism, particularly in the coastal regions of Kenya. In this regard it is a matter of concern that a minimum age for sexual consent for boys is not clearly established. The Committee is concerned that preventive measures, including those to address child pornography, remain insufficient. The Committee also regrets that the Counter-Trafficking Bill has yet to be enacted and that despite the legislative provision in the Children Act, for the protection of children against sale, trafficking and abduction, effective protection remains weak and rarely results in investigations and sanctions.

The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) strengthen its legislative measures and develop an effective and comprehensive policy that addresses the sexual exploitation of children, including the factors that place children at risk of such exploitation and areas where such exploitation has been identified as most prevalent;

(b) prevent the criminalisation of child victims of sexual exploitation;

(c) implement appropriate policies and programmes for the prevention, recovery and reintegration of child victims, in accordance with the Declaration and Agenda for Action and the Global Commitment adopted at the 1996 and 2001 World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children;

(d) ratify the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography;

(e) provide the Committee with further information on efforts to address child pornography;

(f) enact the Counter Trafficking in Persons Bill, taking into account international legal obligations;

(g) dedicate further resources to prevention and awareness raising, paying particular attention to the tourism sector;

(h) train law enforcement officials, social workers and prosecutors on how to receive, monitor, investigate and prosecute cases, in a child-sensitive manner that respects the privacy of the victim;

(i) ensure enforcement of the law to avoid impunity; and

(j) seek further technical assistance from among others, UNICEF and ILO- IPEC (International Programme for the Elimination of Child Labour). (Paragraphs 65 and 66)

UN Human Rights Committee
Last reported: 29 April 2005
Concluding Observations adopted: 17 July 2006

The Committee is concerned about allegations of trafficking of children and instance of child prostitution, as well as the State party's failure to prosecute and punish trafficking offences that have come to the authorities' knowledge and to afford adequate protection to victims.

The Committee urges the State party to: (a) adopt specific anti-trafficking legislation, including for the protection of human rights of victims, and actively investigate and prosecute trafficking offences, and (b) implement policy across government for the eradication of trafficking and for the provision of support to victims of trafficking. (Paragraph 25)

UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Last reported: 1 December 2008

The Committee notes with concern the absence of statistical data on the reported number of persons, in particular women and children, trafficked to, from and within the State party for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labour. It also notes that provisions criminalising trafficking of persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation and trafficking of children are rarely enforced and that, if they are enforced, sentences are frequently lenient.

The Committee recommends that the State party (a) enact the Anti-Trafficking Bill (2007); (b) train police officers, prosecutors judges and health and social workers, on the strict application of the provisions of the Sexual Offences Act (2006) and the Children Act (2001) criminalising trafficking of persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation and trafficking of children; (c) review its sentencing policy for trafficking-related offences; and (d) provide in its second periodic report updated data on the number and nature of reported cases of trafficking, convictions and on the sanctions imposed on traffickers. (Paragraph 24)

UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Last reported: 5 April 2011

The Committee states its concern at the persistence of trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls, and the role of sex tourism. It is also concerned that women and girls are entering prostitution to support themselves and their families as a result of poverty. It also notes that the law criminalises only prostitutes while the demand side is not sanctioned.

The Committee calls upon the State party to fully implement the following: (a) Effectively implement new legislation on trafficking ensuring that perpetrators are punish and victims adequately protected and assisted; (b) Increase its efforts at international, regional and bilateral cooperation with countries of origin, transit and destination through information exchange in order to prevent trafficking and harmonise legal procedures aimed at the prosecution of traffickers; and (c) Conduct comparative studies to identify and address root causes. (Paragraphs 27 and 28)

UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography
Country visit: 25 August to 1 September 1997
Report published: 28 January 1998

See full report.

____________________________________________________________________

Violence against children

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, February 2007)

The Committee welcomes the awareness raising campaigns conducted to counteract violence and abuse of children, however is concerned that prevention measures and appropriate mechanisms for responding to abuse of children remain inadequate. The Committee regrets the lack of updated statistics on victims of reported cases of violence, especially sexual and intra-family, the limited number of investigations and sanctions in relation to such cases and the lack of available physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration measures.

The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) strengthen its existing measures to prevent child abuse and neglect;

(b) strengthen the capacity inter alia by systematic training of the Children’s Officers and Volunteer children’s officers and other law enforcement agencies such as the police within the Provincial Administration to investigate, review and respond to child rights complaints;

(c) provide support for the operation of a 24 hours three digit toll-free, nationwide telephone helpline for children, resourced with well-trained professionals and volunteers;

(d) stimulate the creation of networks and partnerships, with the involvement of Local Advisory Councils, aimed at eliminating violence against children;

(e) consider establishing a centralised system of gathering data, documenting, coordinating, investigating, responding to and following up on cases of child abuse in its various forms.

With reference to the United Nations Secretary General’s Study on Violence against Children, the Committee recommends the State party to;

a.) take all necessary measures for the implementation of the overarching and setting specific recommendations contained in the Report of the Independent expert of the United Nations Study on Violence against Children (A/61/299) while taking into account the outcome and recommendations of the Regional Consultations for Eastern and Southern Africa (held in South Africa 18-20 July 2005)

b.) use these recommendations as a tool for action in partnership with civil society and in particular with the involvement of children to ensure that every child is protected from all forms of physical, sexual and mental violence and to gain momentum for concrete and, where appropriate, time- bound actions to prevent and respond to such violence and abuse.

c.) seek technical assistance from UNICEF, OHCHR and WHO for the above mentioned purposes. (Paragraphs 42 to 44)

UN Committee against Torture
Last reported: 19 January 2009

The Committee notes with concern the persistence of widespread violence against children in Kenyan society, including sexual exploitation and trafficking, as well as the high levels of impunity for such crimes.

The State party should, as a matter of urgency, take all necessary legal and administrative measures to protect children from all forms of violence. (Paragraph 26)

Universal Periodic Review (May 2010)

A - 101.60. Take all appropriate measures to ensure for street children, who are vulnerable to various forms of violence, appropriate care and protection (Slovenia); (accepted)

A - 101.47. Undertake more effective measures to address the problems of impunity, violence and trafficking in women and girls, including through the strengthening of law enforcement and the judicial system and intensive media and education programmes aimed at increasing public awareness on the rights of women (Malaysia); (accepted)

A - 101.50. Strengthen protection for women and children against violence and exploitation (Australia); (accepted)

____________________________________________________________________

Corporal punishment

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, February 2007)

The Committee welcomes the legislative prohibition of corporal punishment in schools and institutions under the Children Act of 2001 but continues to be concerned about corporal punishment in the context of the home, the penal system, alternative care settings as well as employment settings. The Committee is also concerned by the continued use of corporal punishment in practice by certain schools and the lack of measures to enforce the prohibition of this practice.

The Committee urges the State party, taking into account General Comment No. 8 (CRC/C/GC/8) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment, to;

(a) introduce legislation explicitly prohibiting corporal punishment in the home and in all public and private alternative care and employment settings;

(b) conduct public education and awareness raising campaigns on children’s rights to protection from all forms of violence and promotion of alternative, participatory, non-violent forms of discipline; and

(c) improve the effectiveness of the monitoring system in order to ensure that abuse of power by teachers or other professionals working with and for children does not take place in schools and other institutions. (Paragraphs 34 and 35)

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture
Country visit: 20 to 29 September 1999
Report published: 9 March 2000

The Education (School Discipline) Regulations 1972 promulgated under the Kenyan Education Act (1968) authorise the use of corporal punishment in schools, subject to certain restrictions. They state that corporal punishment can be inflicted "in cases of continued or grave neglect of work, lying, bullying, gross insubordination, indecency, truancy or the like" (art. 11). Article 13 stipulates that only a cane "or smooth light switch" to the buttocks or a strap "not less than 1 1/2 inches in breadth" to the palm of the hand may be used and that a head teacher may not give more than six strokes as a punishment. Articles 12 and 14 lay down further conditions which have to be fulfilled in order for corporal punishment to be carried out. Article 12 stipulates that it may only be imposed in the presence of the school's head teacher or principal and that it "may be inflicted only after a full enquiry, and not in the presence of other pupils". Article 14 states that records must be kept of all cases of corporal punishment. In A Manual for Heads of Secondary Schools (1987), the Kenya Ministry for Education further advised that punishments "must not mistreat or humiliate the student", must "relate to the offence" and should be adapted "to fit the individual child". Furthermore, teachers should "confer with parents and students where necessary". (Paragraph 53)

Despite the various safeguards contained in the Kenyan legislation and a number of statements by the Minister of Education discouraging the use of the cane, the Special Rapporteur has received information on numerous cases where corporal punishment in schools was reportedly carried out in excess of the Education (School Discipline) Regulations 1972 with sometimes serious consequences for the physical and mental integrity of the child punished (see annex). According to the information received, remedies, such as the disciplining of teachers, against the misuse of the provisions are seldom pursued owing to the fear of further punishment or exclusion from education and, where pursued, were seldom successful. (Paragraph 54)

According to the information received, teachers routinely employed corporal punishment in schools for a number of actions not permitting the imposition of corporal punishment under the Education (School Discipline) Regulations 1972, such as the occasional academic under- performance of a student or the whole class, or minor disciplinary issues. Furthermore, teachers often use violence going beyond the Regulations by either inflicting a greater number of strokes, by using implements not authorised by the Regulations such as bamboo or wooden sticks or rubber whips, or by subjecting the child to additional slaps, blows or kicks. The effects on pupils range from cuts and bruises to psychological damage and severe injuries, such as broken bones, internal bleeding, knocked-out teeth and the exacerbation of pre-existing illnesses. In some cases reported, the imposition of corporal punishment ended in the death of the child (see annex). (Paragraph 55)

____________________________________________________________________

Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of children

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, February 2007)

The Committee notes that, despite a clear prohibition in the legislation, reports of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment indicate that it still occurs in practice. The Committee is concerned over the excessive use of force and shooting at children in Kisumu in October 2005 and is further concerned at reports indicating that rapes of girls by law enforcement agents have not been investigated. The Committee also regrets the lack of comprehensive measures to address the causes and effects of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

The Committee urges the State party to:

(a) review its legislation and ensure its effective implementation in order to provide children with better protection against torture and ill-treatment;

(b) investigate and prosecute all cases of torture and ill-treatment of children, ensuring that the abused child is not victimised in legal proceedings and that his/her privacy is protected;

(c) ensure that child victims are provided with appropriate services for care, recovery and reintegration, including the provision of psychosocial support for children affected by torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading experiences, and provide adequate legal assistance to children in this regard; and

(d) continue its efforts to train professionals working with and for children, including teachers, law enforcement officials, social workers, judges, magistrates and health personnel in the identification, reporting and management of cases of ill-treatment. (Paragraphs 32 and 33)

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture
Country visit: 20 to 29 September 1999
Report published: 9 March 2000

During the course of the past few years (see E/CN.4/1996/35/Add.1, paras. 414-425; E/CN.4/1997/7/Add.1, paras. 289-307; E/CN.4/1999/61, paras. 426-435), the Special Rapporteur had advised the Government that he was receiving information, supported by a high number of individual cases, according to which the use of torture by the police to obtain "confessions" was almost systematic. Torture was also reportedly inflicted to intimidate detainees, to dissuade them from engaging in political activities and to extract bribes. Officers of the Directorate of Security Intelligence (DSI or "Special Branch" - since disbanded), the Criminal Intelligence Department (CID), members of the so-called "flying squad", an elite force created in 1995 responsible for investigating armed robbery and car-jackings, officers of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and of the local administrative police and members of the Kenya African National Union (KANU) Youth Wing, the youth division of the ruling party, were also said to carry out torture (see annex). The methods of torture were said to include: beatings, especially with wooden or plastic sticks; whippings on different parts of the body, especially the feet; beatings to the soles of the feet while suspended upside down on a stick passed behind the knees and in front of the elbows; rape and other genital abuses, such as inserting objects into the vagina and pulling of the penis or pricking it with pins. (Paragraph 6)

The Special Rapporteur also received information according to which the police round up the poor, women, street children, migrants and refugees in mass arrests. Asylum-seekers, in particular Ethiopian Oromos suspected of being members or supporters of the Oromo Liberation Front, and Somalis were said to be detained beyond the legal limit, ill-treated and threatened with forcible return to countries where they would be at risk of torture and other human rights violations. Street children in urban centres are routinely rounded up and detained. They are allegedly subjected to beatings, sexual abuse and extortion by the police. They are said to be held for days or weeks and when eventually brought to courts to be charged with vagrancy, or are classified as being "in need of protection or discipline". It is reported that there are over 40,000 street children in Kenya.2 The poor are also reported to be victims of police violence. Police raids on shantytowns are said to be conducted at night, without search warrants. The police allegedly end up beating people, demanding money in exchange for freedom and sexually harassing women. (Paragraph 17)

On 22 September at Kikuyu police station, the Special Rapporteur interviewed two girls, Mary Njeri (aged 17) and Zippora Ndiko (aged 15), whose feet were manifestly swollen and whose legs bore visible marks of ill-treatment, such as open wounds and haematomas (see annex). They had reportedly been arrested on 17 September on suspicion of having participated in a carjacking and taken to this police station on 19 September. Despite their requests and their physical condition, a mention "appear fit" had been written down next to their names in the occurrence book and they had been denied medical treatment. The Special Rapporteur expressed his serious concern to the officer-in-charge and requested that the two girls be given immediate and appropriate medical treatment. On 28 September, when the Special Rapporteur made a second visit to Kikuyu police station, the two girls informed him that after his departure they had been summoned by the officer-in-charge to repeat what they had reported to the Special Rapporteur. They were then allegedly told that despite the Special Rapporteur's intervention they would not get any assistance and were sent back to the cell without being provided with medical treatment. It must be noted that the two girls were successively detained in three different police stations without receiving medical attention in any of them. After the second visit of the Special Rapporteur, assurances were given to the Special Rapporteur by senior police officers that the two girls were going to receive prompt and appropriate medical attention. (Paragraph 28)

____________________________________________________________________

Low minimum age of criminal responsibility

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, February 2007)

The Committee welcomes the piloting of a diversion programme for children in conflict with the law and the construction of facilities to house children in conflict with the law, as well as plans to avail child friendly transportation to child offenders. While recognising the efforts made, the Committee reiterates its previous concern that the minimum age of criminal responsibility, still set at 8 years of age, is too low.

The Committee recommends that the State party fully bring the system of juvenile justice in line with the Convention, in particular articles 37, 40 and 39, and with other United Nations standards in the field of juvenile justice, including the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the Bejing Rules); the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (the Riyadh Guidelines); the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty; (the Havana Rules), and the Vienna Guidelines for Action on Children in the Criminal Justice System; and the recommendations of the Committee’s General Comment no. 10 (CRC/C/GC/10) on children’s rights in juvenile justice. In this regard, the Committee recommends that the State party;

(a) raise the age of criminal responsibility at least to the age of 12 years, and consider increasing it, (Paragraphs 67 and 68)

UN Human Rights Committee
Last reported: 29 April 2005
Concluding Observations adopted: 17 July 2006

The Committee is concerned about the extremely low age of criminal responsibility, namely 8 years, which cannot be considered compatible with article 24 of the Covenant.

The State party is urged to increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility. (Paragraph 24)

UN Committee against Torture
Last reported; 19 January 2009

The Committee is deeply concerned that the age of criminal responsibility in the State party is still set at 8 years of age despite the recommendations made in 2005 and 2007.

The State party should, as a matter of urgency, raise the minimum age of criminal responsibility in order to bring it in line with the generally accepted international standards. (Paragraph 11)

Universal Periodic Review (May 2010)

A - 101.70. Raise the age of criminal responsibility in order to bring it into line with international standards (Czech Republic); (accepted)

____________________________________________________________________

Inadequate juvenile justice system, particularly with regards to the detention of children

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, February 2007)

The Committee welcomes the piloting of a diversion programme for children in conflict with the law and the construction of facilities to house children in conflict with the law, as well as plans to avail child friendly transportation to child offenders. While recognising the efforts made, the Committee reiterates its previous concern that the minimum age of criminal responsibility, still set at 8 years of age, is too low. The Committee is further concerned that in certain instances children are treated as adults and that only limited progress has been achieved in establishing a functioning juvenile justice system outside the capital. The Committee is particularly concerned over information that although the death penalty is outlawed for children, it still happens according to some reports that children are sentenced to death. The Committee regrets that data on the number of children in conflict with the law is lacking. The Committee is concerned that children in need of care are kept in the same institutions as children in conflict with the law and that detention facilities are overcrowded. The Committee also regrets that free legal aid for children is not systematised and that assistance for child victims is inadequate. Finally, the Committee is concerned that street children are detained on the basis on their social condition.

The Committee recommends that the State party fully bring the system of juvenile justice in line with the Convention, in particular articles 37, 40 and 39, and with other United Nations standards in the field of juvenile justice, including the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (the Bejing Rules); the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (the Riyadh Guidelines); the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Their Liberty; (the Havana Rules), and the Vienna Guidelines for Action on Children in the Criminal Justice System; and the recommendations of the Committee’s General Comment no. 10 (CRC/C/GC/10) on children’s rights in juvenile justice. In this regard, the Committee recommends that the State party;

(a) raise the age of criminal responsibility at least to the age of 12 years, and consider increasing it,

(b) ensure that all minors, including those who have committed serious offences, are treated under the rules of juvenile justice and not in adult criminal courts;

(c) establish children’s courts in different places throughout the country, drawing on the experience in Nairobi;

(d) guarantee that no children be sentenced to the death penalty;

(e) collect data on the number of children in conflict with the law and ensure that this information in taken into account in policy design and reform;

(f) take all necessary measures to ensure that persons under the age of 18 are only deprived of liberty as a last resort, and that children, if detained, remain separated from adults;

(g) ensure that children in need of care are separated from children in conflict with the law;

(h) implement alternative measures to deprivation of liberty, such as diversion, probation, counselling and community services;

(i) ensure that persons under 18 years of age in conflict with the law have access to free legal aid as well as to independent and effective complaints mechanisms;

(j) make sure that street children are not systematically treated as children in conflict with the law;

(k) ensure that both sentenced and released persons under the age of 18 are provided with educational opportunities, including vocational and life-skills training, and recovery and social reintegration services, in order to support their full development; and

(l) continue to seek technical assistance and cooperation from, inter alia, the United Nations Inter-Agency Panel on Juvenile Justice which is composed of representatives of OHCHR, UNODS, UNICEF and NGOs.

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture
Country visit: 20 to 29 September 1999
Report published: 9 March 2000

In most of the police lock-ups visited by the Special Rapporteur, there existed a serious problem of overcrowding. Detainees complained about the lack of space and of ventilation. In Kikuyu police station, the problem of overcrowding was manifest at the time of the Special Rapporteur's visit. In one of the three cells, which measured approximately 15 square metres, 13 men were being detained. According to one detainee, who had been held in this cell for 12 days, more than 40 people had been detained in this cell at the same time a few days before. Owing to the fact that the three cells were completely filled with men, nine women and two infants had to lie on blankets in the small corridor between the cells, under the direct supervision of police officers on duty. They therefore had no privacy. At Thika police station according to the cells register, the official holding capacity of the five cells is 150 detainees. At the time of the Special Rapporteur's visit the cells contained 129 persons. Despite the fact that the cells were not filled to their official capacity, in all of them, except the one holding women, it was impossible for detainees to lie down at night. A detainee indicated that the day before around 40 persons had been detained in his cell, while only 12 persons were detained at the time of the Special Rapporteur's visit, and that three persons had fainted because of the lack of ventilation. At the time of the Special Rapporteur's visit on 27 September, the two cells at the Garissa police headquarters were empty. Each cell measured approximately 10 square metres. According to the cells register, these two cells had together held up to 72 persons
on 23 September. (Paragraph 21)

According to the various authorities encountered during visits to police stations, the different categories of detainees are clearly segregated. Indeed, in all the police lock-ups in which women were detained at the time of the visit of the Special Rapporteur, i.e., Kikuyu, Thika and Njoro police stations, they were separated from men. Juvenile suspects were generally detained in the women's cell. But detainees were not divided according to the seriousness of the crime they were suspected of, and detainees convicted for previous crimes were mixed with first-time suspects. (Paragraph 23)

On 22 September at Kikuyu police station, the Special Rapporteur interviewed two girls, Mary Njeri (aged 17) and Zippora Ndiko (aged 15), whose feet were manifestly swollen and whose legs bore visible marks of ill-treatment, such as open wounds and haematomas (see annex). They had reportedly been arrested on 17 September on suspicion of having participated in a carjacking and taken to this police station on 19 September. Despite their requests and their physical condition, a mention "appear fit" had been written down next to their names in the occurrence book and they had been denied medical treatment. The Special Rapporteur expressed his serious concern to the officer-in-charge and requested that the two girls be given immediate and appropriate medical treatment. On 28 September, when the Special Rapporteur made a second visit to Kikuyu police station, the two girls informed him that after his departure they had been summoned by the officer-in-charge to repeat what they had reported to the Special Rapporteur. They were then allegedly told that despite the Special Rapporteur's intervention they would not get any assistance and were sent back to the cell without being provided with medical treatment. It must be noted that the two girls were successively detained in three different police stations without receiving medical attention in any of them. After the second visit of the Special Rapporteur, assurances were given to the Special Rapporteur by senior police officers that the two girls were going to receive prompt and appropriate medical attention. (Paragraph 28)

According to Rule 5 of the Prison Rules, "arrangements shall be made at all prisons to provide, as far as practicable, for effectively segregating the various classes of prisoners from each other at all times". The various classes are: Young Prisoner Class, which consists of convicted criminal prisoners under the apparent age of 17, Star Class, which consists of first- time convicted or well-behaved criminal prisoners, Ordinary Class, which consists of all other convicted criminal prisoners, and Unconvicted Class, which consists of prisoners on remand. Furthermore, persons sentenced to more than five years' imprisonment are transferred to maximun security prisons. All the officials the Special Rapporteur met indicated that the different categories of detainees were clearly segregated: men from women, adults from juveniles, and remand from convicted prisoners. (According to information received, detainees on remand are generally held in prisons, although the police may request the magistrate to allow continued police custody so that the detainee can help in the investigation.) During his visits to prisons, the Special Rapporteur was able to see that this segregation was generally respected. (Paragraph 46)

In Nakuru GK Prison, the Special Rapporteur also visited the prison library in which around 80 prisoners were said to have attended classes since January 1999, the workshop where 10 prisoners were said to be producing wood items sold outside the prison, and the dispensary where a clinical officer was present 24 hours a day and where medicines were at his disposal. A segregation block housed sick prisoners, in particular tuberculosis patients: 22 detainees were held there at the time of the Special Rapporteur's visit. Seven juvenile suspects were detained in the documentation building referred to above. Two boys, aged 14 and 15, indicated that before being transferred to this prison they had been held in Nakuru police headquarters and Ravin police station for 11 and 20 days on suspicion of loitering and stealing respectively. While the former had been taken to court, the latter had reportedly not been brought before a magistrate. Their families were believed not to have been informed of their arrest. (Paragraph 48)

The Special Rapporteur also visited the women's wing of Garissa GK Prison, the wards of which are completely separate from those housing men. All the prison guards were women, including the officer-in-charge of the wing. At the time of the visit, 50 convicted prisoners were sharing 22 mattresses in two wards and 56 prisoners on remand were sharing 16 mattresses in two wards. At least six women were accompanied by their infants. (Paragraph 49)

Universal Periodic Review (May 2010)

A - 101.62. Develop an administration of justice policy that would address principles of access to justice and public interest education, and take reform measures to address corruption, in particular within the judicial system (Germany); (accepted)

A - 101.71. Adopt and implement measures necessary to address the needs and challenges of juveniles in prison custody, including raising the minimum age of crime responsibility, in line with international standards (Slovakia); (accepted)

____________________________________________________________________

Children sentenced to death

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, February 2007)

The Committee is particularly concerned over information that although the death penalty is outlawed for children, it still happens according to some reports that children are sentenced to death.

[T]he Committee recommends that the State party:

(d) guarantee that no children be sentenced to the death penalty (Paragraphs 68 and 69)

Universal Periodic Review (May 2010)

103. R - 103.2. Strictly ensure that the death penalty is not imposed for children, and declare an official moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty (Australia); (rejected)

____________________________________________________________________

Malnutrition

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, February 2007)

The Committee notes the efforts of the State party at policy and practical levels to give effect to the right to health and health services, including the National Infant Feeding Policy and the distribution of impregnated nets for the prevention of malaria. The Committee however, remains deeply concerned at the state of health of children in Kenya, in particular by the;

(a) disparity in distribution and allocation of health care and services between rural and urban areas;

(b) high infant and under-five mortality rates and the inadequacies of the existing measures and their inaccessibility to the children living in poverty;

(c) lack of access to sanitation and clean, sufficient, reliable and affordable drinking water as well as the threat to the right to health and survival of children posed by malaria; and

(d) high percentage of children under 5 who are chronically malnourished, underweight or stunted as well as the limited enjoyment of the right to health by children, particularly with regard to access to generic medicine.

The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) allocate more financial and human resources to health services, in particular with a view to rationalising their distribution to ensure availability in all parts of the country;

(b) undertake all necessary measures to reduce infant and under-five mortality rates and take into account General Comment No. 7 on implementing child rights in early childhood (CRC/C/GC/7/Rev.1 paragraph 27), including by improving prenatal care and preventing malaria and communicable diseases;

(c) establish more child health clinics in order to reduce distances for mothers and pregnant mothers;

(d) improve access, to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities and ensure sustainability, availability, sufficiency and affordability to all particularly children;

(e) develop appropriate national strategies to address the critical nutritional needs of children, particularly among the most vulnerable groups, through a holistic and intersectoral approach;

(f) ensure that regional and other free-trade agreements do not have a negative impact on the enjoyment of the right to health by children, in particular with regard to access to generic medicine;

(g) step up on anti-corruption measures relating to the management of funds for the health sector. (Paragraphs 47 and 48)

UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Last reported: 1 December 2008

The Committee is concerned about the high incidence of acute malnutrition in the North Eastern Province and of chronic malnutrition in all provinces of the State party, particularly affecting children.

The Committee recommends that the State party effectively implement and allocate sufficient resources to relevant programmes and funds, such as the Child Survival and Development Strategy and the Constituencies Development Fund, to ensure physical and economic access for everyone, including children in rural and deprived urban areas, to the minimum essential food, which is sufficient, nutritionally adequate and safe. (Paragraph 28)

UN Special Rapporteur on internally displaced persons

Review and address on an urgent basis the assistance and protection needs of persons currently displaced, with a view to ensuring their immediate humanitarian needs and human rights, until durable solutions are identified. Many IDPs who have been displaced for years and have been receiving inadequate assistance, including in camp-like settings, are living in deplorable conditions likely to have a detrimental impact on their health and general welfare unless their living conditions are improved. In particular, assess and respond to the urgent needs of vulnerable groups, including children, many of whom are too exposed to the elements, at risk of malnutrition, suffer from a variety of diseases, and have little or no access to education. Where IDPs live in remote or difficult-to-access areas, mechanisms should be put in place to ensure regular monitoring and response to their humanitarian situation, and their access to information and participatory processes. A similar exercise to address the urgent humanitarian needs should also be established for IDPs outside camp settings, including for post-election violence IDPs and other IDPs in a particularly vulnerable position, such as separated or unaccompanied children and child-headed households. (Paragraph 62)

UN Special Rapporteur on housing
Country visit: 9 to 22 February 2004
Report published: 17 December 2004

The Special Rapporteur visited Huruma village and the Kieni Community Committee during his mission. A total of 520 makeshift shacks of 10 x10 feet are built side-by-side in rows. The shacks cannot be expanded despite the population growth. The shacks do not provide adequate protection from the cold and they leak, so that when it rains families have to share the "best" shacks. The Special Rapporteur witnessed and received testimonies of malnutrition and starvation. The population, particularly the children, shows signs of infection and disease; tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS are spreading rapidly. (Paragraph 64)

____________________________________________________________________

High infant and child mortality

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, February 2007)

The Committee notes the efforts of the State party at policy and practical levels to give effect to the right to health and health services, including the National Infant Feeding Policy and the distribution of impregnated nets for the prevention of malaria. The Committee however, remains deeply concerned at the state of health of children in Kenya, in particular by the;

(a) disparity in distribution and allocation of health care and services between rural and urban areas;

(b) high infant and under-five mortality rates and the inadequacies of the existing measures and their inaccessibility to the children living in poverty;

(c) lack of access to sanitation and clean, sufficient, reliable and affordable drinking water as well as the threat to the right to health and survival of children posed by malaria; and

(d) high percentage of children under 5 who are chronically malnourished, underweight or stunted as well as the limited enjoyment of the right to health by children, particularly with regard to access to generic medicine.

The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) allocate more financial and human resources to health services, in particular with a view to rationalising their distribution to ensure availability in all parts of the country;

(b) undertake all necessary measures to reduce infant and under-five mortality rates and take into account General Comment No. 7 on implementing child rights in early childhood (CRC/C/GC/7/Rev.1 paragraph 27), including by improving prenatal care and preventing malaria and communicable diseases;

(c) establish more child health clinics in order to reduce distances for mothers and pregnant mothers;

(d) improve access, to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities and ensure sustainability, availability, sufficiency and affordability to all particularly children;

(e) develop appropriate national strategies to address the critical nutritional needs of children, particularly among the most vulnerable groups, through a holistic and intersectoral approach;

(f) ensure that regional and other free-trade agreements do not have a negative impact on the enjoyment of the right to health by children, in particular with regard to access to generic medicine;

(g) step up on anti-corruption measures relating to the management of funds for the health sector. (Paragraphs 47 and 48)

UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Last reported: 1 December 2008

The Committee is concerned about the high maternal, infant and under-five mortality rates, the lack of adequately equipped maternal health care facilities and skilled birth attendance, especially in the North Eastern and Coastal Provinces, and de facto discrimination against poor women, older women and women with HIV/AIDS in access to maternal health care.

The Committee recommends that the State party take immediate measures to ensure that (a) all pregnant women, including poor women, older women and women with HIV/AIDS, have affordable access to skilled care, and to care of the newborn; (b) pregnant women with HIV/AIDS are informed about and have free access to antiretroviral medication during pregnancy, labour and after birth, including for their children. (Paragraph 32)

UN Special rapporteur on indigenous peoples
Country visit: 4 to 14 December 2006

Most indigenous peoples still lack easy access to primary health care, due to distance, lack of transport and essential supplies, and high costs. Moreover, health facilities are understaffed and distributed unevenly across districts in ASALs. Maternal health care is lacking, infant mortality is high, and the Orma estimate that 30 per cent of their women die during pregnancy and labour. In the absence of public health, people rely on traditional medicine and the Kenyan Medical Research Institute has recommended its legalisation. (Paragraph 75)

____________________________________________________________________

Children living on the streets

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, February 2007)

The Committee expresses deep concern at;

(a) the significant number of street children, the denial of their right to education and health care and the vulnerability of these children to various forms of violence, including sexual abuse and exploitation and arrests that are arbitrary and abusive;

(b) the lack of a systematic and comprehensive strategy to protect and to address the situation of these children; and

(c) the negative views and attitudes of society towards street children.

The Committee recommends that the State party:

(a) identify and address the root causes that result in children living in the streets;

(b) develop a comprehensive strategy to address the high number of street children, with the aims of reducing and preventing this situation;

(c) ensure that street children are provided with adequate nutrition and shelter, as well as with health care, educational opportunities, protection and recourse to the justice system, in order to support their full development;

(d) raise awareness of the issue of street children in order to change stigma and negative public attitudes, particularly among law-enforcement officers; and

(e) ensure that these children are provided with recovery and reintegration services, including psychosocial assistance for physical, sexual and substance abuse, and where possible and when in the best interests of the child, services for reconciliation with a view to reintegration with their families. (Paragraphs 63 and 64)

UN Special Rapporteur on internally displaced persons
Country visit 19 to 27 September 2011
Report published: 6 February 2012

Moreover, he believes that the lack of government assistance, protection or monitoring of the situations of these IDPs, particularly vulnerable groups, such as children and female-headed households, has resulted in serious human rights concerns and the lack of durable solutions for many. In the course of his country visit, the Special Rapporteur received reports and had the opportunity to speak to street children and affected families, whose cases illustrate specific vulnerabilities, the lack of durable solutions and the fragility of unsupported hosting arrangements. In one case, the Special Rapporteur interviewed a mother taking care of several children on her own, who had found herself destitute and living in makeshift housing in Eldoret after family hosting arrangements, which had supported her during her displacement, had broken down. Four of the children with her, some as young as 5 years of age, had to resort to living on the street due to hunger, and some lacked any personal identification documents. (Paragraph 39)

The Special Rapporteur has also received more general reports of an increase in the number of separated and unaccompanied children, child-headed households, and children connected to the street, many of whom are believed to be IDPs, in a number of towns and cities in the aftermath of the post-election violence, including in Molo, Kitale, Naivasha, Nakuru and Eldoret. In this regard, he was pleased to learn that a street-children profiling project was undertaken in the Rift Valley Province (under the auspices of the national PWGID and its child protection subgroups) in order to identify why children were joining the streets, assess their situation, find durable solutions, and enhance emergency preparedness for vulnerable children ahead of the 2012 elections.43 Findings from the project, as of December 2011, found that 37 per cent of children profiled were IDPs, and that of those, 44 per cent had lost livelihoods, and 97 per cent had dropped out of school. It was also found that of those who entered street life more recently in 2011, 23 per cent cited the drought as the push factor. (Paragraph 40)

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture
Country visit: 20 to 29 September 1999
Report published: 9 March 2000

The Special Rapporteur also received information according to which the police round up the poor, women, street children, migrants and refugees in mass arrests. Asylum-seekers, in particular Ethiopian Oromos suspected of being members or supporters of the Oromo Liberation Front, and Somalis were said to be detained beyond the legal limit, ill-treated and threatened with forcible return to countries where they would be at risk of torture and other human rights violations. Street children in urban centres are routinely rounded up and detained. They are allegedly subjected to beatings, sexual abuse and extortion by the police. They are said to be held for days or weeks and when eventually brought to courts to be charged with vagrancy, or are classified as being "in need of protection or discipline". It is reported that there are over 40,000 street children in Kenya.2 The poor are also reported to be victims of police violence. Police raids on shantytowns are said to be conducted at night, without search warrants. The police allegedly end up beating people, demanding money in exchange for freedom and sexually harassing women. (Paragraph 17)

Universal Periodic Review (May 2010)

A - 101.60. Take all appropriate measures to ensure for street children, who are vulnerable to various forms of violence, appropriate care and protection (Slovenia); (accepted)

____________________________________________________________________

Internally displaced persons

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, February 2007)

The Committee notes with appreciation the State party’s long-standing generous approach to receiving refugees from the neighbouring countries and the information provided by the delegation that a Refugee Act was adopted in December 2006. However, the Committee is concerned by;

(a) the lack of disaggregated information on refugee, displaced and asylum seeking children in the State party report;

(b) the existence of gaps in implementation and the negative consequences of the long-term refugee encampment policy which results in children only having limited access to education and health services and restrictions on freedoms of movement, expression and association; and

(c) reports of police brutality and harassment of refugee children.

The Committee recommends that the State party;

(a) take all necessary measures to guarantee the full implementation of the Refugee Act of 2006, in line with international human rights and refugee law, while taking into account the Committee’s General Comment No. 6 (CRC/GC/2005/6) on the treatment of unaccompanied and separated children outside their country of origin;

(b) collect comprehensive and disaggregated information on refugee and asylum seeking children;

(c) provide adequate resources to the Refugee Department to enable it to gradually assume a greater role in the protection and assistance of refugees, including children refugees, in coordination with the Children’s Department;

(d) take all necessary measures to prevent and investigate reports of police brutality in order to make sure that refugee children are well protected and that perpetrators are brought to justice;

(e) revise the policy on long-term encampment of refugees and provide new regulations to allow greater opportunities for refugees to reside outside designated areas, particularly to pursue medical treatment, education, to engage in self-employment, to reunite with other family members and secure adequate physical and legal protection; and

(f) continue pursuing international cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). (Paragraphs 59 and 60)

UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Last reported: 1 December 2008

The Committee notes with concern that children from poor families, pregnant girls, children living in remote rural areas and in informal settlements, nomadic children, children with disabilities, refugee children and internally displaced children have limited access to education.

The Committee recommends that the State party (a) increase the funds allocated to bursaries and textbook subsidies for children from poor families, as well as to school transportation and mid-day meals in remote rural and deprived urban areas; (b) facilitate the readmission of girls who dropped out of school due to pregnancy by supporting them in finding adequate arrangements for the care of their babies; (c) ensure adequate access for nomadic children to mobile schools, including in the North Eastern Province; and (d) cater for the special needs of children with disabilities and integrate refugee children and internally displaced children in the regular school system. (Paragraph 34)

UN Special Rapporteur on internally displaced persons
Country visit: 19 to 27 September 2011
Report published: 6 February 2012

However, at the time of the visit, 4,885 households registered in the national IDP database (out of the initial 6,800), were still living in camps.39 The majority were small- scale business people from areas such as the Nakuru, Uasin Gishu and Eldoret counties, who were not included in Operation Return Home, which had been aimed primarily at the prompt return of farmers in May 2008. According to the Status Report of MOSSP, dated June 2011, there were also 6,978 households who did not own land previously but who organised themselves into self-help groups (registered with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development) and purchased parcels of land by regrouping the individual cash payments received from the Government (K sh 10,000 as start-up capital). These households settled in 20 tented camps. A further group of 2,593 IDP households who returned to Turkana County after having been displaced from various parts of the Rift Valley Province are awaiting resettlement to 1,400 acres (567 ha) of land allocated by the Turkana County Council and Lodwar Municipal Council, and another group of 158 households, still living in eight transit camps, are awaiting the identification of land for resettlement by the Government. (Paragraph 33)

During his visit to the Pipeline IDP camp, which had a total population of 916 households (approximately 6,000 persons), the Special Rapporteur found IDPs living in similarly deplorable, emergency-like conditions four years on, including: leaking tents; latrines which were full and reported to overflow when it rained; irregular food assistance; lack of access to primary education for most children; and serious health concerns. Some IDPs in the camp reported being repeatedly displaced since 1992. The visit of the Special Rapporteur to the camp coincided with community meetings in the camp by the TJRC, which he was invited to attend. During these meetings, concerns were raised regarding the health of camp residents, including those with HIV/AIDS, respiratory and other diseases resulting from the harsh living conditions, which, according to the IDPs, have led to early deaths, including of young children. It was also reported that many IDPs in the camp who had been injured in the 2007/2008 post-election violence had not received any or adequate treatment, and most still suffered from psychological trauma. (Paragraph 36)

Focused discussion groups with women in the camp further highlighted: the fact that many children could not attend school at all or on a regular basis due to hunger, the need to work or the inability of families to pay school fees; the dangers of collecting firewood (e.g. attacks by men or animals); the lack of bedding, clothing for children, and infant-feeding formulas (for those unable to breastfeed); maternal and infant health care; and the needs of vulnerable groups and the sick. There were also reports of deaths among children due to the very difficult life conditions, and exposure to cold and rain. The Special Rapporteur stresses that there is an urgent need for humanitarian assistance to address these gaps, and ensure basic life conditions until durable solutions are identified. He further notes that, to date, the residents of the camp had received no compensation or monetary allowances. According to information and documents provided by some families in the camp, members of the community had been evicted under the British administration, and in some cases later sold or reinstated small plots of land by the Government of Kenya, but they had all suffered multiple displacements afterwards. (Paragarph 48)

Review and address on an urgent basis the assistance and protection needs of persons currently displaced, with a view to ensuring their immediate humanitarian needs and human rights, until durable solutions are identified. Many IDPs who have been displaced for years and have been receiving inadequate assistance, including in camp-like settings, are living in deplorable conditions likely to have a detrimental impact on their health and general welfare unless their living conditions are improved. In particular, assess and respond to the urgent needs of vulnerable groups, including children, many of whom are too exposed to the elements, at risk of malnutrition, suffer from a variety of diseases, and have little or no access to education. Where IDPs live in remote or difficult-to-access areas, mechanisms should be put in place to ensure regular monitoring and response to their humanitarian situation, and their access to information and participatory processes. A similar exercise to address the urgent humanitarian needs should also be established for IDPs outside camp settings, including for post-election violence IDPs and other IDPs in a particularly vulnerable position, such as separated or unaccompanied children and child-headed households. (Paragraph 62)

Ensure that all IDP activities and data-collection mechanisms support assistance to vulnerable groups, including, inter alia: particularly vulnerable groups of women; IDP women more broadly, with regard to protection from discrimination (for example, with respect to the right to information, participation, documentation, and all entitlements) and sexual and gender-based violence; internally displaced children; the chronically ill; and disabled or older persons. Share Government definitions of vulnerable groups/persons with the national and international response community. (Paragraph 69)

UN Special Rapporteur on housing
Country visit: 9 to 22 February 2004
Report published: 17 December 2004

Water is a prerequisite for the realisation of a range of human rights, including the right to adequate housing. The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in its general comment No. 15 on the right to water, stated that "[t]he human right to water entitles everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic uses" (E/C.12/2002/11, para. 2). As for other Covenant rights, the right to water imposes certain obligations on the State parties. The Committee states:

"Whereas the right to water applies to everyone, States parties should give special attention to those individuals and groups who have traditionally faced difficulties in exercising this right, including women, children, minority groups, indigenous peoples, refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons, migrant workers, prisoners and detainees. In particular, States parties should take steps to ensure that: ... Rural and deprived urban areas have access to properly maintained water facilities. Access to traditional water sources in rural areas should be protected from unlawful encroachment and pollution. Deprived urban areas, including informal human settlements, and homeless persons, should have access to properly maintained water facilities. No household should be denied the right to water on the grounds of their housing or land status" (ibid. para. 16). (Paragraph 15)

____________________________________________________________________

Inadequate education provision

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, February 2007)

The Committee notes with appreciation the introduction of a policy of free primary education in 2003, which despite prevailing high rates of children unable to access education, has resulted in a significant increase of school enrolment. The Committee is concerned about the low enrolment in early childhood care and education institutions and the disparities in the access to quality education, which particularly disadvantages girls and pastoralist and hunter-gatherer children. The Committee also notes that the rapid increase in school enrolment places significant challenges to the sufficient allocation of financial resources, commonly resulting in a poor physical school environment lacking adequate infrastructure, trained teachers, and appropriate water and sanitation facilities. The Committee regrets that enrolment is secondary schools is not free and may impede higher attendance. Also the Committee is concerned about the low level of vocational training that qualifies adolescents for non-academic occupations.

The Committee further recommends that the State party, taking into account its General Comment No. 1 (CRC/GC/2001/1) on the Aims of Education:

(a) ensure that all children complete 8 years of free primary compulsory education;

(b) undertake measures to provide secondary education free of cost;

(c) increase public expenditure in education, in particular in pre-primary, primary and secondary education;

(d) increase enrolment in primary and secondary education, reducing social- economic, gender, ethnic and regional disparities in the access and full enjoyment of the right to education;

(e) undertake additional efforts to ensure access to informal education to vulnerable groups, including in particular pastoralist and hunter-gatherer children, as well as, street children, orphans, children with disabilities, child domestic workers, children living in conflict risk areas and refugee camps by, for example, introducing mobile schools, evening classes and eliminating indirect costs of school education;

(f) strengthen vocational trainings, including for children who have left school before completion; and

(g) provide detailed information on the implementation of the Early Childhood Education Policy in its next periodic report. (Paragraphs 57 and 58)

UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Last reported: 5 April 2011

The Committee is concerned at the persistence of structural and other barriers to good-quality education, which constitute particular obstacles to the education of girls and young women. It is also concerned about the delay on the implementation of free secondary education, the high prevalence of sexual abuse and harassment of girls by male teachers and students, the negative impact of harmful traditional practices, such as early and forced marriage on girls' education.

The Committee urges the State party to enhance its compliance with article 10 of the Convention and to raise awareness of the importance of education as a human right and the basis for the empowerment of women. Additionally, a zero tolerance policy with respect to sexual abuse and harassment in schools should be enforced, and perpetrators should be punished appropriately. (Paragraphs 31 and 32)

UN Special Rapporteur on internally displaced persons

Focused discussion groups with women in the camp further highlighted: the fact that many children could not attend school at all or on a regular basis due to hunger, the need to work or the inability of families to pay school fees; the dangers of collecting firewood (e.g. attacks by men or animals); the lack of bedding, clothing for children, and infant-feeding formulas (for those unable to breastfeed); maternal and infant health care; and the needs of vulnerable groups and the sick. There were also reports of deaths among children due to the very difficult life conditions, and exposure to cold and rain. The Special Rapporteur stresses that there is an urgent need for humanitarian assistance to address these gaps, and ensure basic life conditions until durable solutions are identified. He further notes that, to date, the residents of the camp had received no compensation or monetary allowances. According to information and documents provided by some families in the camp, members of the community had been evicted under the British administration, and in some cases later sold or reinstated small plots of land by the Government of Kenya, but they had all suffered multiple displacements afterwards. (Paragarph 48)

In the course of the country visit, the Special Rapporteur had the opportunity to visit a number of sites of return and resettlement, including Burnt Forest returnee farms in the Lelmolok, Lorian, Ndugulu and Muchorwe areas, and the Giwa resettlement farm. In returnee farms he found that there was often a lack of basic services, such as sanitation facilities, access to water and health facilities; infrastructure such as roads; assistance with livelihoods; and sustained psychosocial services. The lack of teachers, many of whom left the area after the violence, and the inability of families to pay for school fees, were noted in various returnee communities, as well as the situation of vulnerable groups, including significant numbers of widows, who lacked livelihoods and the ability to support their children. (Paragraph 52)

UN Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples
Country visit: 4 to 11 December 2006
Report published: 26 February 2007

To implement the Millennium Development Goals, to which it has subscribed, Kenya has launched the Free Universal Primary Education programme. The authorities recognise, however, that the programme has not yet reached all school-age children, especially in the geographically isolated arid and semi-arid lands, given their specific educational needs. Due to disproportionate poverty, families struggle to provide their children with school uniforms, transportation and school supplies. In some areas, children have to walk many kilometres every day to reach a school. Access to education in pastoralist areas is a serious human rights issue, as reflected in low literacy rates. An estimated 1.7 million children remain out of school, the majority of them living in marginalised pastoralist communities. The literacy level for Maasai in Kajiado and Somali in Mandera is only 3 per cent compared with a national average of 79.3 per cent. According to the Human Development Report, enrolment rates in North Eastern Province were especially low: only 9.8 per cent for primary school and 4.8 per cent for secondary school. (Paragraph 69)

To face the difficulties of providing primary school education to semi-nomadic pastoralist families, some attempts have been made to establish boarding schools and mobile schools that accompany the nomadic families. Both initiatives have their problems. When children attend boarding schools, they cannot help their families with herding the livestock and other chores. Thus families are reluctant to send their children to boarding schools. Girls are especially disadvantaged when cultural constraints such as early marriages prevent them from being able to attend school. Mobile schools require not only committed teachers willing to endure hardship but also support mechanisms that are not easily provided. (Paragraph 70)

Affirmative action should be applied to promote education for indigenous children at all levels, particularly for indigenous girls. Free boarding and mobile schools should be an integral part of the free universal primary education programme. More appropriate educational curricula should be devised, taking into account indigenous peoples' distinct ways of life. (Paragraph 115)

UN Special Rapporteur on housing
Country visit: 9 to 22 February 2004
Report published: 17 December 2004

The implementation process needs to address the attainment of the minimum essential elements of the right to adequate housing. As an example, by adopting a primary education policy providing for free primary education, the Government has demonstrated its recognition in practice of the progressive realisation of the right to education. A similar approach is required for housing, health and food. (Paragraph 23)

Universal Periodic Review (May 2010)

A - 101.17. Include in the national action plan for the promotion and protection of human rights continued attention to and focus on children and an emphasis on ensuring their right to health and education (Saudi Arabia); (accepted)

A - 101.109. Strengthen its educational policy to guarantee the required quality of education, accessible to all members of its population, especially the marginalised and most vulnerable groups (Slovakia); (accepted)

A - 101.110. Develop education policies that ensure quality education, particularly for the poor, marginalised and vulnerable segments of its population, and request international assistance to that end (Bolivia); (accepted)

A - 101.111. Formulate an educational policy aimed at combating illiteracy, with particular emphasis on the education of the girl child (Niger); (accepted)

A - 101.112. Develop and implement a specific education policy which would cover all children with special needs (Ireland); (accepted)

A - 101.113. Continue to develop programmes and measures aimed at ensuring quality and free education and health services for its population (Cuba); (accepted)

A - 101.126. Seek the support of the international community and cooperate with it to formulate policies aimed at further broadening access to free and compulsory education, particularly for children from poor households (Indonesia); (accepted)

____________________________________________________________________

Inadequate alternative care provision

UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (Concluding Observations, February 2007)

The Committee welcomes the creation of the National Council for Children Services (NCCS) and the 2005 – 2009 Strategic Plan and Area Advisory Councils (AAC). The Committee also welcomes the efforts of the State party to regulate and register all charitable institutions for the care of children, including a review of the registration every three years and to improve the support for foster care. The Committee however remains concerned that these measures are inadequate to meet the varied needs of orphaned and other vulnerable children in Kenya.

With regard to the alternative care for orphans and other vulnerable children, the Committee recommends the State party to;

a) continue and strengthen its efforts to fully implement the National Guidelines for the care and protection of orphans and vulnerable children;

b) continue and strengthen the measures for support of foster care, through inter alia its cash transfer programme, in order to achieve as soon as possible the intended expansion of this programme to cover 300 000 orphans and vulnerable children;

c) take the necessary measures to prevent and combat exploitation of children in foster care and ensure protection of property of orphans and their inheritance rights, provide communities with civic education in this regard and strengthen the capacity of chiefs and local leaders to deal with these matters;

d) continue and complete the registration, including regular reviews and inspections, of all available institutions for alternative care.

e) develop effective measures to improve alternative care, including through the allocation of adequate financial and human resources;

f) provide additional training, including in children rights, for social and welfare workers, ensure the periodic review of placements in institutions in accordance with article 25 and establish an independent complaints mechanism for children in alternative care institutions. (Paragraphs 38 and 39)

UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Last reported: 1 December 2008

The Committee is concerned that children and orphans affected by HIV/AIDS are not adequately supported by the State party and that the care for these children and the task of monitoring their school attendance is frequently delegated to their extended families and to community and faith-based organisations, without adequate support and supervision from the State party.

The Committee recommends that the State party step up its efforts to monitor regular school attendance by children and orphans with HIV/AIDS or from HIV/AIDS affected households, combat discrimination by school officials and ensure that these children receive continuous material and psychological support for their education. It also recommends that the State party give priority to placing orphans in foster or other non-institutional alternative care and that it provide financial support to the extended families, as well as to community and faith-based organisations, taking care of children and orphans affected by HIV/AIDS. (Paragraph 26)
____________________________________________________________________

 

Countries