Kenya Country Guide

The Kenya Country Guide was produced by the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) and the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KCHR).

The Country Guide is a compilation of publicly available information from international institutions, local NGOs, governmental agencies, businesses, media and universities, among others. International and domestic sources are identified on the basis of their expertise and relevance to the Kenyan context, as well as their timeliness and impartiality.

The survey of publicly available, international sources was originally carried out by DIHR in early 2016 and received strategic input from KHRC along the way. It aims to provide a comprehensive overview, on the basis of the information available, of the ways in which companies do or may impact human rights in Kenya. The current Country Guide is not meant as an end product, or a final determination of country conditions. It is intended to be the basis, and the beginning, of a process of dissemination, uptake and modification.

 In the second half of 2016, this Country Guide will be transformed into an Impact Baseline to the National Baseline Assessment on Business and Human Rights (NAP), currently conducted by KHRC. As such, it will be an official deliverable to the Kenya Department of Justice, which is the implementor behind Kenya’s commitment to produce a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights. Kenya’s NAP is on track to become the first National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights in Africa.

On the road to the NAP, this Country Guide/Impact Baseline will inform a variety of local stakeholder consultations, which will produce recommendations to the government of Kenya regarding key areas of focus for the NAP.

 Read the full Country Guide in English here

Read the full Country Guide here

News Feed

Kenya: Opposition coalition claims Safaricom complicit in manipulation of election results; company denies allegations

27 Sep 2017 — Opposition coalitions presidential candidate has accused Safaricom of complicity in manipulation of election results outcome by routing results from the polling stations to a server in France instead of transmitting to the electoral commission's server in Kenya. Safaricom has denied the dismissed the accusations and state that it is ready to be investigated. [Also refers to Vodafone & OT-Morpho]

Kenya publishes baseline assessment on business & human rights as a precursor to National Action Plan

12 Sep 2017 — "Kenya National Baseline Assessment on Business & Human Rights 2017 …[D]uring the 2015 UN Universal Periodic Review, Kenya accepted a recommendation to develop a NAP for the implementation of the UNGPs. This Baseline Report has been prepared to support the development of NAP. The baseline seeks to assess some of the country’s key laws and regulations that guide the conduct of business in order to identify the extent to which they speak to human rights, their enforcement, gaps and recommendations. It is as a result of desk review of the extent to which the government of Kenya has implemented its obligations in promoting the respect of human rights, protecting against human rights violations by business enterprises through policies, laws and regulations and their enforcement as well as provision of appropriate and effective remedies for breach.   This report will be complemented by country-wide stakeholder consultations with businesses, communities and civil society organizations and government that seek to identify the most common areas of tension between business and human rights, how they manifest and recommend solutions that address them. The report is divided into two sections. The first section, introduction, presents a brief summary of the journey towards NAPs including where we are globally; the methodology used in preparing this baseline; and the country context. The second section comprises key findings and recommendations of state obligations under pillars 1 and 3 and assesses the extent to which the government in its policy -making and legislative action, enforcement and provision of judicial and non - judicial remedies adheres to the UNGPs. The report is not exhaustive in its analysis of the current status of implementation, and focuses on the issues of land and natural resources; labour, environment, revenue transparency and; accountability and access to remedy. The choice of the five issues was based on a non -scientific survey of the most common areas of impact by business operations that affect the enjoyment of human rights.

Kenya's opposition coalition alleges French OT-Morpho tampered with election results; co. denies allegations

11 Sep 2017 — Kenya's opposition coalition has accused French firm OT-Morpho, which supplied election equipment to the electoral agency, of complicity in electoral fraud in Kenya. The coalition says it is working with civil society organisations in France to pursue the prosecution of the company's officials who participated in the alleged fraud. OT-Morpho has denied the allegations, stating that the system used was tamper-proof and has been successfully used in other countries.

Kenya: Community questions fresh coal mining plans due to environmental concerns & uncertainty about compensation

5 Sep 2017 — "Coal mining plan could be revived under Ngilu, resistance expected" Mining in Kitui may get a new lease of life under Governor Charity Ngilu’s leadership. Coal and limestone mining in the Mui Basin and Ngaaie respectively had stalled. Ngilu, in her speech after being sworn-in...promised to tap minerals to improve the county’s economy. “I promise to partner with the national government to ensure minerals are fully utilised for the benefit of residents,” she said. Last month, then Mwingi Central MP Joe Mutambu said he tried to push for the coal mining project during his tenure, but both the national government and company awarded the contract were slow to act. He cast doubt on whether the project would be implemented given the international community’s stance on the negative environmental impact of coal mining. Residents are opposed to the project because of the uncertainty about compensation and where they will be relocated to. On Saturday, Mui farmer Muthui Mang’ola said the project should be abandoned because it will interfere with livelihoods. “Apart from interfering with farming activities, we are not willing to leave the place where the graves of our parents and other beloved people are. It would be very painful to do so,” he said. Mang’ola continued, “Our soil is rich. We were told we will be relocated to Sosoma, which is insecure yet we are used to living peacefully.” Resident Mbithe Muthui said even though locals might be compensated, the amount paid might not be commensurate with the amount they get from farming.

Commentary: Gender must be at the heart of climate action

31 Aug 2017 — "Gender must be at the heart of climate action," 30 August 2017 Gender often remains the untold story behind climate change... While climate change is a global phenomenon, its impact is not spread across a level playing field... and poor people suffer the most. Among the world’s 1.3 billion poor people, the majority are women... Across the global spectrum, women tend to be marginalised from economic and political power, and have limited access to financial and material resources. This increases their vulnerability to climate change and limits their potential to adapt... [Yet] women have the right to, and need to be, at the forefront of efforts to deal with climate change... The climate agenda can also help advance gender equality. There are numerous examples where renewable energy investments also contribute to increased employment opportunities for women that foster female entrepreneurship... [such as a project] supported by the Green Climate Fund in East Africa... [which shows] how women can be at the forefront of moves to leapfrog fossil fuels to use solar energy. The USD 110 million KawiSafi project has dedicated funds to train women to become solar technicians, while also supporting women-led micro-finance groups generate demand for solar energy in Rwanda and Kenya... Devising ways to consider gender in climate action will not always be easy or obvious... [b]ut continuing efforts to place gender consideration at the center of climate finance are necessary.

Global: Nueva guía y reporte sobre acciones de defensoras de derechos humanos ante proyectos extractivos empresariales

28 Aug 2017

Kenya: Locals communities should be consulted & benefit from renewable energy project, says columnist

28 Aug 2017 — "When Clean Energy Gets Dirty: Experiences from Kenya" Renewable energy has become an important part of the global energy mix. This can be celebrated as a great achievement in the fight against climate change, but difficult questions still need to be asked about its squeaky-clean image. The current discourse on renewable energy tends to centre on the positive reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and improved energy security, while the risks of social and environmental injustice are largely ignored. As with any development, it is important that the introduction and use of new low-carbon and renewable energy technologies avoids such negative impacts and creates meaningful economic opportunities for the communities around them.  Thanks to large-scale investments in geothermal and wind projects, Kenya has become an important renewable-energy hub on the continent. The country has a cautionary tale to tell...[It has] scaled up its pursuit of investment in renewable energy. However, it appears questionable for the moment whether these renewable-energy projects will ensure the attainment of economic, social and cultural rights for indigenous peoples in Kenya, as guaranteed and provided by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and Kenya’s own constitution. But if communities lose lands and livelihoods in the process, who will receive the benefits of sustainable” development? [Refers to Lake Turkana Wind Power]

New practical guide on women actions in defence of human rights against extractive industries

28 Aug 2017

Megaproyectos, comunidades locales y litigio estratégico en 9 países el Sur Global: Nueva publicación de ONG

24 Aug 2017 — “Por un medio ambiente sano que promueva los derechos humanos en el Sur Global” … El presente libro forma parte de un proyecto de largo plazo, emprendido por Dejusticia como parte de su trabajo internacional…en torno a un Taller Global de Investigación-Acción para Defensores Jóvenes de Derechos Humanos…La estructura de este volumen refleja la del taller. La sección central del libro está compuesta por estudios sobre las imbricaciones mutuas entre los derechos humanos y la justicia ambiental en países del Sur Global, de la India a Brasil, de Filipinas a Ecuador, de Indonesia a la Argentina, de Ghana a México. Fiel al espíritu y la estructura del taller anual, la última parte del libro recoge las reflexiones de varios de los instructores que dirigieron las sesiones y trabajaron como mentores de los participantes durante el proceso de escritura… 1. El papel de los financiadores en la promoción de la (in)justicia ambiental. Un estudio de caso del Banco Nacional de Desarrollo Económico y Social y el financiamiento a la Central Hidroeléctrica de Belo Monte [Caio Borges (Brasil)]; 2. Prácticas de relación La Consulta Comunitaria de Buena Fe en Pacto y la historia de un conflicto minero en los bosques nublados de Ecuador [Gabriela León Cobo (Ecuador)]; 3. En contra del “desarrollo” La lucha de los pueblos indígenas de Mindanao por el progreso auto-determinado [Mary Louise Dumas (Filipinas)]; 4. Salvando a Lamu [Sylvia Kithinji (Kenia)]; 5. La resistencia de los apicultores mayas contra la soja transgénica de Monsanto [Karen Hudlet (México)]; 6. Del amor, el privilegio y la autonomía [Arjun Kapoor (India)]; 8. Garrote y Venice Desarrollo, hábitat digno y derechos humanos en la Argentina [Pétalla Brandão Timo (Brasil-Argentina)]; 9. Perdidos en la traducción Hacia un derecho ambiental al conocimiento para todos [Margaretha Quina (Indonesia)]; 10. En las márgenes del río, al margen de las instituciones Los pueblos del Xingu y la hidroeléctrica de Belo Monte, Brasil [Rodrigo Oliveira (Brasil)]; 11. El ambientalismo y la jungla urbana Derechos en conflicto y visiones contradictorias [Darshana Mitra (India)]; 12. Agroquímicos Incertidumbre en un diálogo entre política, derecho y sociedad [Yamile Eugenia Najle (Argentina)]. [Se refiere a: BNDES, Enami-EP; A Brown, TVI Resource Development (parte de TVI Pacific), Monsanto, AngloGold Ashanti, Newmont Ghana Gold Ltd (parte de Newmont); TGLT (parte de PDG), IKPP Serang (parte de Asia Pulp &Paper, part of Sinar Mas Group), Consórcio Norte Energía, Verdol SA

New book: Megaprojects, local communities & strategic litigation in 9 global South countries

24 Aug 2017 — “Fighting the tide. Human rights and environmental justice in the Global South” Introduction Human Rights in the Anthropocene: New Practices and Narratives on Human Rights and the Environment from the Global South (César Rodríguez-Garavito); 1. The Role of Financial Institutions in Promoting Environmental (In)justice: The Brazilian Development Bank and the Belo Monte Dam [Caio Borges (Brazil)]; 2. Relational Practices: Pacto’s Good-Faith Community Referendum and the Story of a Mining Conflict in the Cloud Forests of Ecuador [Gabriela León Cobo (Ecuador)]; 3. Dissent against “Development”: The Mindanao Indigenous Peoples’ Fight for Self-Determined Progress [Mary Louise Dumas (Philippines)];  4. Saving Lamu [Sylvia Kithinji(Kenya)]; 5. Maya Beekeepers Stand Upto Monsanto’s Genetically Modified Soy [Karen Hudlet (Mexico)]; 6. Of Love, Privilege, and Autonomy [Arjun Kapoor(India)]; 7. Stained Gold: A Story of Human Rights Violations in Ghana’s Mining Industry [Richard Ellimah (Ghana)]; 8. Garrote and Venice: Development, Decent Housing, and Human Rights in Argentina [Pétalla Brandão Timo (Brazil/Argentina)]; 9. Lost in Translation: Toward an Environmental Right to Know for All [Margaretha Quina (Indonesia)]; 10. On the Margins of the River, Margins of Institutions: The Xingu People and the Belo Monte Dam [Rodrigo Magalhaes de Oliveira*(Brazil)]; 11. Environmentalism and the Urban Jungle: Conflicting Rights and Contradictory Visions [Darshana Mitra (India)]; 12. Agrochemicals: Uncertainty in a Dialogue between Policy, Law, and Society [Yamile Eugenia Najle (Argentina)]. [Refers to BNDES, Enami-EP; A Brown, TVI Resource Development (part of TVI Pacific), Monsanto, AngloGold Ashanti, Newmont Ghana Gold Ltd (part of Newmont); TGLT (part of PDG), IKPP Serang (part of Asia Pulp &Paper), Consorcio Nórte Energía, Verdol SA].