Civil and Political


Still a mirage at dusk is a Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) report that gives an account of 26th October 2017 fresh presidential election from a human rights lens. The report is a culmination of relentless efforts put by the commission to establish whether environment and processes of the Kenya’s ever Fresh Presidential elections 2017 adhered to both local and international human rights standards





Mirage at Dusk is an election-focused documentation by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) from a human rights lens, guided by the vision of monitoring the right to vote and be voted for.It is a culmination of more than one year of relentless efforts to ensure the electoral environment adheres to both local and international human rights standards. 




At the preliminary level, the question remains. Did you actualize your constitutionally guaranteed right to vote during the recent political party nominations exercise? Do you understand the significance of party primaries as a milestone towards solidifying good governance in the electoral reforms in Kenya? The sad answer is “No” or at best “Yes”. Nevertheless, this report explores what those who participated in party primaries experienced and further suggests mechanisms that would be put in place to eliminate nasty experiences. 




Investigations into Police Brutality Committed at the University of Nairobi on 28th September 2017
This is a report of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights on the investigations into reported and alleged human rights violations by the National Police Service against the students and staff from the University of Nairobi (UoN) on 28th September 2017.


Report of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights on Violations of Human Rights in the Matter of Miguna Miguna
The Commission admitted and followed this specific matter pursuant to its Constitutional obligation under Article 59 (1) (d) (e) of the Constitution of Kenya which requires the Commission: (d) to monitor, investigate and report on the observance of human rights in all spheres of life in the Republic, including observance by the national security organs; and (e) to receive and investigate complaints about alleged abuses of human rights and take steps to secure appropriate redress where human rights have been violated;.

Footprints of Impunity Counting the Cost of Human Rights Violations 2017
This report documents the cost of human rights violations especially where the same were occasioned by acts of impunity, highlights the plight of torture victims as an example of the attitude of impunity by the state to victims of human rights violations, makes recommendations that would attach personal responsibility for public officers who act in contempt of the rule of law and also generates interest for further investigation on the issue of cost of impunity.

Securing National Security and Protection of Human Rights
This publication sought to document court decisions on counter terrorism in relation to international human rights law; assess the effectiveness of counter terrorism strategies adopted by other Countries and the extent these can be applied in Kenya; assess the impact of counter terrorism interventions on the enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights; and finally, to document best practices on counter terrorism that can be replicated in Kenya. 

disSERVICE to THE SERVICE-Report of the Monitoring of the 2016 Recruitment of Police Constables to the NPS

This is a report of the Monitoring of the 2016 recruitment of police constables to the National Police Service (NPS). It is a product of an exercise that was coordinated by the KNCHR and carried out by 120 monitors that were spread in different parts of the country. The monitoring exercise was aimed at assessing the compliance of the recruitment exercise to the various constitutional provisions in Articles 10, 27, 244,246 and the recruitment and appointment regulations of the National Police Service Commission with aim of aiding the true transformation of the Kenya Police Force to the NPS  whose operations is guided with the principles of democratic policing.


This is an alternative report of State of compliance on obligations under Article 132 (C) (I), Constitution of Kenya 2010 on realization of National values & principles of governance.


2013 Elections: Safeguarding Rights

KNCHR observed the 4th March 2013 General Elections with an aim of monitoring compliance with human rights principles and standards in eight selected hotspots namely; Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kilifi, Kwale, Isiolo and Uasin Gishu. These areas had been sampled based on their high potential for human rights violations and the high probability of violence spilling over to other regions. This report is an account of the monitoring exercise that took place between 1st and 6th March 2013. It captures the observations and information gathered by KNCHR staff, monitors, the general public and other institutions including the police and the media


Break from the past

Political party nomination exercises have in the past been marred with controversy particularly in regard to the extent to which they adhere to basic human rights principles of participation, transparency, accountability, adherence to the rule of law among others. These challenges coupled with the political dynamics in the country have occasioned great injustices to citizens’ realization of their political rights. The new constitutional order raises the bar in relation to the business of political parties since they are required to comply with the bill of rights so as to enhance political participation and inclusion. It is for that reason that KNCHR monitored political party nominations in 2013 with a view to assessing their adherence to the rule of law; principles of participation as well as transparency and accountability.

The report “Break from the Past? A Monitoring Report of the 2013 Political Party Nominations” gives a detailed eye-witness account from the monitoring excursion as conducted by KNCHR in 8 counties deemed as hotspots. Being the first nominations under the new order the report seeks to answer the question whether the implementation of the enacted electoral and political party laws, which are considered progressive, enable a fair, transparent and a credible process? Was it a break from the past or a repetition of history? The report audits the process, exposes the loopholes, outlines the findings from each county and makes recommendations for the future success of this process.


Living and voting with dignity and justice

The report’s aims are twofold. It offers snapshots of the extent to which Kenya’s Bill of Rights has impacted the lived realities of Kenyans during the first two years of its implementation (27 August 2010-26 August 2012). The report though makes the conscious choice not to undertake a blow by blow assessment of each Chapter Four right. Rather, it identifies key events in the lives of Kenyans during the last two years and provides a rights context to those events. The themes under which these events and rights are discussed are: livelihoods; justice; dignity; and participation and accountability. The report also proposes short-term and medium-term Interventions which both state and non-state actors should take account of to ensure better implementation of the Bill of Rights.


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Tana River Report

29 DAYS OF TERROR IN THE DELTA:KNCHR Account Into The Atrocities at Tana Delta

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, in pursuant to powers vested upon it under the KNCHR Act, undertook investigations on a suo moto basis, into the conflict experienced in Tana Delta. On 23rd August – 1st September 2012, a team was deployed to the region to conduct fact-finding in Tana River and Kilifi. Subsequently, an investigative team was deployed in the region between 20th – 30th September 2012, where the team visited Tana River, Kilifi and Lamu counties.

The KNCHR recorded 28 witness statements, conducted several group interviews with the affected communities and held meetings with different stakeholders, including state security agencies, Provincial Administration, civil society organizations, medical personnel and humanitarian agencies such as the Kenya Red Cross Society.Information and observations obtained from these two missions was complemented by secondary sources such as papers, journals, theses and other published sources obtained through desk-top research.

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behaving badly report

The 2005 referendum monitoring report: Behaving Badly

This report highlights the findings of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) in the course of its joint program with the Kenya Human Rights ommission in monitoring the referendum campaign rallies between September and the constitutional plebiscite of November 21st 2005. Both the monitoring of the referendum campaigns and this report constitute a joint project.
The referendum observation project was motivated mainly by the objective of seeking to begin ensuring accountability of politicians at the early stage of campaigning, on the basis that if our political class gets used to being held accountable during the campaigning period, they will accept it better if and when they assume office. If this happens, then the culture of impunity in Kenya, which is the reason for existence of various human rights violations, including grand corruption, will begin to erode.

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out of shadows report

Out of the shadows towards ensuring the rights of stateless persons and persons at risk of statelessness in Kenya

This research study examines the issue of statelessness within the Kenyan context. Drawing on fieldwork, it evaluates the human rights violations faced by stateless persons or those at risk of statelessness in the country. The study shows that these persons face difficulties in their quest to enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms relating to work, movement, education, property and health. 
The study makes specific policy, legal and administrative recommendations to various state and non state actors that could alleviate these challenges as well as reduce the occurrence and the population of stateless persons or persons at risk of statelessness.

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An evening with Tom Mboya report

An Evening with TOM MBOYA

“Pan Africanism is changing the arbitrary and often illogical boundaries set up by the colonial powers in their mad scramble for Africa Many students of African Affairs are constantly asking us what sort of societies or governments we hope to set up when our freedom is won…It will not be a blue-print copy of what is commonly referred to as western. 
What we shall create should be African, conditioned and related to conditions and circumstances of Africa. It shall be enriched by our ability to borrow or take what is good from other systems, creating a synthesis of this with the best of our own systems and cultures.” 
Tom Mboya on July 1st 1958 at Makerere University 
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The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has worked with the residents of Mt. Elgon in trying to solve the issues surrounding the allocation of the contentious phase three settlement scheme in the region which has resulted in torture and even deaths of so many people. The Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF) was formed as an armed guerilla militia in 2005 to resist government attempts to evict squatters in the Chebyuk area of Mt. Elgon district. 
It has since been accused of killing more than 600 people, terrorizing the local population through physical assaults and threats and committing a variety of atrocities including murder, torture, rape, and the theft and destruction of property. It is estimated that more than 66,000 people have been displaced in an 18 month period.

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Under Kenyan law, offences of murder, treason and robbery with violence, including attempted robbery with violence, carry a mandatory death sentence. In this paper, the National Commission seeks to demonstrate the urgent need for the abolition of the death penalty from Kenya’s statutes. This is because the death penalty is a violation of the fundamental right to life.
This paper outlines the case for abolition of the death penalty in Kenya from a human rights perspective, including the position of the National Commission on the subject. It seeks to persuade the public, and policy makers on the need to abolish capital punishment.

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