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Establishment

Background

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) is an independent National Human Rights Institution created by Article 59 if the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and established through the KNCHR Act of Parliament (the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Act, 2011. It is the state’s lead agency in the promotion and protection of human rights.

International status
The operations of the KNCHR are guided by the United Nations-approved Paris Principles on the establishment and functioning of independent national human rights institutions. The National Commission has been accredited by the International Co-ordinating Committee of National Human Rights Institutions (ICC), which is based in Geneva at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, as an ‘A status’ institution which means that the Commission has been found to be in compliance with the Principles. The KNCHR is a member of the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI), the ICC's regional grouping for Africa.

Mandate

The Commission plays two key broad mandates;

  1. It acts as a watch-dog over the Government in the area of human rights. 

  2. Provides key leadership in moving the country towards a human rights state. 

The main goal of KNCHR is to investigate and provide redress for human rights violations, to research and monitor the compliance of human rights norms and standards, to conduct human rights education, to facilitate training, campaigns and advocacy on human rights as well as collaborate with other stakeholders in Kenya.

Vision

A society that upholds human rights for all.

Mission

To protect,promote and monitor the respect for human rights in Kenya through law,policy and practice.

Goal

Increased enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms by all in Kenya.

The goal was further internationalized into four (4) strategic objectives as follows;

  1. To promote the respect and observance of human rights standards in public institutions.
  2. To increase the application of human rights principles and standards in mechanisms of justice.
  3. To enhance the realization of economic and social rights in Kenya.
  4. To enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Commission.

Core Values

We base our values on the internationally recognized principles of universality; inalienability; indivisibility; interdependence, and inter-relatedness of human rights; and the promotion of the rule of law. We endeavor to uphold the following values;

  1. Independence: The independence of the commission is provided for in the Paris Principles and further in the Kenya Constitution. We continuously demonstrate substantive independence without external or undue influence from external influence in order to remain effective in our fairness and impartiality. Our independence further strengthens us to advise and act as a watchdog on human rights issues (the role of strengthening duty-bearers to fulfill their obligations, and of empowering right-holders to claim their rights).

  2. Integrity: Humility, transparency, accountability and professionalism guide Commission’s accountability to all stakeholders – staff, public, government, civil society and development partners. We have on board, a competent, results-focused team with a strong work ethic; a team that is committed to human rights principles, including the principle of gender equality, and that is guided by internationally accepted human rights instruments.

  3. Accessibility: This value signifies a people-centered Commission with an open door policy that ensures its services are accessible to all. We stands for the greater public good, with services and facilities within reach by paying special attention to vulnerable groups in particular women, children and persons with disability. The Commission will maintain a solid and visible presence to ensure direct interaction with members of public through outreach programmes to empower the greater public with human rights information.

  4. Inclusiveness: In line with the principles of non-discrimination and equality, the Commission recognizes the involvement of all stakeholders in the implementation of its policy and other key strategic decisions.

  5. Impartiality: The commission appreciates that decisions should be based on objective criteria, rather than on the basis of bias, tribe,race, political view or religion.