Giving Survivors a voice in the Truth Commission
The KNCHR has from the onset played a key role in shaping the transitional justice agenda in Kenya. In 2007, KNCHR was part of a Multi-Sectoral task force that drafted the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Act and advocated for its enactment in 2008.
In preparation of the Truth Commission processes, the KNCHR supported victims and survivors by providing a platform to build thematic networks across the country.
Following the establishment of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC), KNCHR played a pivotal role in the succeeding efforts on Transitional Justice. KNCHR helped in the sensitization of victims and victim groups on the TJRC’s mandate and process; preparation of victims and victim groups to participate in statement taking and public hearings; assisting victims and victim groups to prepare memoranda for presentation to the TJRC; and monitoring the overall TJRC process. In addition, KNCHR prepared submissions to TJRC on various thematic areas namely:
Pushing for justice post TJRC
Following the winding down of the TJRC’s term and the presentation of its final report to the President on 21st May 2013, the continued advocating for reforms and accountability for the historical atrocities.
The major interventions undertaken by the KNCHR included the following:
What next after the TJRC?
Setting the motions for reparations!
Reparations are a means of dignifying victims by measures that are aimed at promoting justice and reconciliation by redressing historical injustices through rehabilitation, compensation, restitution or collective reparations, in a degree that is proportionate to the gravity of the violation(s) and the harm suffered. It is meant to recognize and address the harms suffered and acknowledge wrongdoing as well as the legal obligation of the state or individuals or groups to repair harm caused directly or by failure to prevent violations.
The reparations agenda was kept alive due to the efforts of the Kenya Transitional Justice Network. KNCHR is part of the network. In 2016, the office of the Attorney General wrote to KNCHR to lead a process of developing Reparations Regulations based on Public Finance Management Act 2012. In 2017, KTJN developed the regulations and submitted to the office of the Attorney General for review and submission to Parliament.
KNCHR continues to utilize other avenues for advocating for the implementation of the TJRC report specifically reparations of victims. The KNCHR has utilized platforms such as State of the Nation Address by the President and commemoration of victims and survivors related forums to lobby for a reparation mechanism in Kenya. The most prominent of these forums is during the International Day for Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims which is done every year on March 24th.
Kenya Transitional Justice Network (KTJN)
This is a loose network of organizations that have consistently facilitated the push for an institutionalized reparation mechanism in Kenya. In the past, they have developed strategies and held consultations in order to drive forward Transitional Justice Agenda in Kenya. When the network was formed, members included: the Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ Kenya), Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), GIZ, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, Constitution & Reform Education Consortium (CRECO), Coalition on Violence Against Women (COVAW), Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Accord International, Freedom House and the International Center for Policy and Conflict (ICPC).
Key KTJN achievements
CHALLENGES OF TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE