The Department conducts research on various human rights issues with the objective of informing the Commission’s interventions in relation to legislation, policy and implementation.
Review of Bills and Legislation- This involves reviewing existing and proposed legislation to ensure they conform to human rights principles and standards and also the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.The activity entails, among others, examining bills/policies, making proposals on the same, developing advisories on the proposals and sharing the same with stakeholders to gather input before presenting them to technical drafting agencies, policy makers and the relevant parliamentary committee (s) for their acceptance.
Policy and Research – involves undertaking research in diverse areas to identify and make recommendations on human rights concerns. The themes are often selected using various criteria such as:
Such themes are decided upon by the department/commission but partners may also approach the commission to conduct research in selected areas. The department also provides background/supportive research to other departments within the commission and is in charge of the management of commission’s resource centre.
Treaty Body monitoring – This is one of the core functions of the commission undertaken by the department to facilitate and ensure government compliance with international and regional human rights obligations. This is done through such means as:
Lobbying for the ratification of treaties and conventions: Monitoring the reporting pattern of the state to see that reports are submitted to treaty bodies/committees.
Submitting alternative reports to treaty bodies/committees where appropriate.
Monitoring government’s compliance with the recommendations/concluding observations of treaty bodies/committees.
Disability focal point - The dept also acts as the focal point of the commission on issues of disability with the aim of to securing enjoyment of the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs). Activities hereunder include Monitoring compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD); the Commission was designated as the monitoring agency under Article 33(2) in 2010 by the Attorney General of Kenya and Securing the inclusion of the rights of PWDs in various legislation and policies.