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Disability Focal Point

Kenya ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 19th May 2018 creating an obligation upon Kenya to respect, protect and fulfil the provisions in the Convention. Pursuant to article 2 (6) of the Constitution of Kenya, the Convention forms part of Kenyan law.

Article 33(2) of the Convention outlines the responsibilities of State Parties including Kenya to designate an independent mechanism to promote, protect and monitor implementation of the Convention. Article 33(2) further requires the state party to take into account when designating an independent mechanism the principles relating to the status of national institutions.

Article 33(3) requires that civil society, in particular persons with disabilities and their representative organizations, shall be involved and participate fully in the monitoring process.

Designation of KNCHR as Monitoring Agency

The Commission was first designated as the monitoring agency of the Convention in February 2011.  The monitoring mandate was then vested in the National Gender and Equality Commission in 2014. On 9th June 2017, the Attorney General re-designated the Commission as the monitoring agency under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The designation of the Commission is important towards monitoring and advising the state on its obligations under the CRPD and the Constitution of Kenya, 2010. The Commission is expected to work with the National Gender and Equality Commission in its role as the monitoring agency.

The designation of KNCHR as the monitoring agency under Article 33 of the Convention has been made pursuant to the Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities upon Kenya’s review on its implementation of the Convention in 2015. The Committee in expressing its concern that the Commission did not form part of the national mechanism for monitoring the Convention, specifically recommended that ‘…the state party establish a national mechanism to monitor the implementation of the Convention with the participation of the Commission as an institution in compliance with the Paris Principles.’

Bringing the monitoring role to life

The monitoring role under the Convention requires the Commission to:

  1. Organise awareness raising activities about the Convention;
  2. Review of legislation, policies, and programs and judicial decision to ensure compliance with the Convention and making recommendations towards harmonisation with the CRPD;
  3. Undertake research, formal investigations and general inquiries on lived experiences of persons with disabilities and making recommendations for remedial action and preventive measures;
  4. Provide training and information to policy makers on preparation of initial and periodic reports to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
  5. Follow up on implementation of the Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of persons with Disabilities
  6. Ensure involvement and participation of persons with disabilities or their representative organizations in the monitoring.
Implementing Article 33(2)

Pursuant to its designation, the Commission has carried out monitoring of implementation of the Convention in 12 Counties (Bungoma, Busia, Kilifi, Makueni, Mombasa, Nyeri, Machakos, Kisii, Kiambu, Migori, Uasin Gish and Elgeyo Marakwet) for the period 2011-2013. The findings of the monitoring exercise have been documented in a report titled ‘From Norm to Practice: A Status Report on the Implementation of Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Kenya.’ The monitoring was conducted with the participation of persons with disabilities and their representative organizations right form the design of the monitoring frameworks to collection of data and report writing, in line with article 33(3) of the CRPD. The report documents findings on access to education, accessibility, transportation, access to information, work and employment, social protection and access to justice.

Promoting and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities in other ways

The Commission has also carried out various studies/researches geared towards promoting the rights of persons with disabilities. These include:

  1. Research into rights to education of children with disabilities titled ‘Object of Pity or Individuals with Rights: the Right to Education for Children with Disabilities’;
  2. An Audit of the Mental Health System in Kenya titled ‘Silenced Minds, the Systemic Neglect of the Mental Health System in Kenya: A Human Rights Audit of the Mental Health System in Kenya’;
  3. Monitoring the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet Counties titled Left to fate: A Report on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet Counties
  4. Initial study on implementation of Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities titled ‘How to implement Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Regarding Legal Capacity in Kenya: A Briefing Paper’; and
  5. Follow up study on implementation of Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities titled ‘A Briefing Paper on Implementing Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities regarding Legal Capacity in Kenya: A Study Carried Out in Mandera and Taita Taveta Counties’.
KNCHR's Participation in Various International Forums

Remarks By The Chairperson Kenya National Commission On Human Rights During The Day Of General Discussions On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities To Equality And Non-Discrimination Friday 25th August 2017

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