The Mental Health (Amendment), Act 2022
The Mental Health (Amendment), Act 2022 was signed into law by the President on 21st June 2022 as an Act of Parliament to provide for the prevention of mental illness, care, treatment, and rehabilitation of persons with mental illness; provides for procedures of admission, treatment and general management of persons with mental illness; and for connected purposes. The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has done an analysis of the Act, highlighting the background information of the Act under Part B; the key provisions in terms of rights of persons with mental illness under Part C and areas of concern/shortcomings of the Act in Part D. The Analysis is aimed at informing the next critical steps in the implementation of the Act and facilitate robust discussions on areas for reform. Read more
Memorandum on the report of the Ministry of Health "Mental Health and Wellbeing: Towards Happiness and National Prosperity, 2020"
The civil society stakeholders’ forum on mental health is a forum convened by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and consisting of civil society organizations that work in the mental health sector. The stakeholders’ forum submits this memorandum which examines the findings and recommendations of the report on mental health and well-being and provides recommendations to duty bearers and stakeholders on the rights-based approach towards implementing the report. The recommendations made are geared towards strengthening the implementation of the report in line with the obligations set out in the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and international human rights instruments to which Kenya is a party to including the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Read more
KNCHR Memorandum to the Senate on Human Rights Based Approach to COVID-19
The Senate Adhoc Committee on response to the COVID 19 situation through a public notice dated 3rd April 2020 called on the public to make submissions to the Committee on matters arising from or related to the COVID-19 pandemic under 5 thematic areas. The Commission made submissions on the thematic areas as follows:
- Health- key messages under health include the need to ensure that mandatory quarantine facilities are conducive for human habitation and that the government must respect the dignity and human rights of persons in quarantine. The Commission further advised on the government’s obligation to ensure the highest attainable standards of health provided for under article 43 of the Constitution of Kenya and article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
- Economic and finance issue- The Commission advised on the need for government to roll out emergency economic assistance programs such as cash transfers, wage subsidies, and tax reliefs to cushion Kenyans from the impact of COVID 19.
- Social, public order and human rights issues- the Commission called on Senate to adopt measures that will ensure the protection of rights of migrants, access to justice, police accountability, and protection of women, girls and persons with disabilities.
- Access to food, water and other basic commodities- The Commission called on Senate to adopt proposals towards enhancing access to food and water for the most vulnerable in society and enact regulatory measures to prevent profiteering from foodstuff, housing, hygiene products, essential medicines and supplies in the private market. Read more
Advisory on the Pandemic Response and Management Bill, 2020
In its advisory to the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on COVID-19 Situation, the Commission advised on the following key issues:
- Pandemic Response Fund- The Commission called for strengthened accountability measures in the Bill. The Commission further recommended that the accounting structure within the Bill be aligned to the Public Finance and Management Act.
- Socio-Economic Measures- The Commission noted that the relief measures touching on tenancies and labour relations should be accompanied by specific amendment to legislation touching on law of contracts and employment law. The Commissions further proposes for the Bill to unequivocally obligate the government during the Pandemic to take immediate measures to protect the jobs, pensions and other social benefits of works and to mitigate its economic impact. The Bill should make express provision to ensure that the government obligation to take immediate measures to protect jobs, pension, and other social benefits of work extends to the informal sector. The Bill should also obligate the Government to cater for costs of treatment and other related expenses (accommodation and food) that may be associated with treatment or containment of the pandemic. Read more
Joint Memorandum of KNCHR and CSO Forum on Mental Health on Mental Health During COVID-19
The Commission in collaboration with Civil Society Stakeholders Forum on Mental Health (which is convened by the Commission) made joint submission to the Senate Adhoc Committee on response to the COVID-19 situation. The submissions largely addressed the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and made a raft of recommendation on how to ensure that mental health is a critical part of the government’s response to COVID-19. Read more
Advisory On The Public Health (Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19) Rules, 2020
The rules are made pursuant to section 36(m) of the Public Health Act which empowers the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Health to make rules ‘whenever any part of the country is threatened by any formidable epidemic, endemic or infectious disease.’ The Commission submitted an advisory on the above rules to the Office of the Attorney General advising on three key issues:
- Pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution, the Rules should be subject to public participation
- Pursuant to the Statutory Instrument’s Act, the Rules should be subject to scrutiny of Parliament.
- The rules be amended to include express provisions protecting information relating to a patient’s health status.
Advisory On The Public Finance Management (COVID-19 Emergence Response Fund) Regulations, 2020
The Regulations are made pursuant to Section 24 (4) of the Public Finance Management Act. The regulations seeks to establish an emergency response fund towards containing the spread, effect and impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Commission submitted an advisory on the draft regulation to the Principal Secretary, National Treasury advising on the following issues:
- Accountability structures: There is need for the regulations to make reference to an accountability structure where queries regarding the use and beneficiaries of the fund can be channelled to in line with the Access to Information Act, 2016.
- Membership of the board: The regulations should provide for appointing authority of the board to take in consideration regional and gender when appointing members of the board. In addition, the board should have representation of persons with disabilities through the National Council for Persons with Disabilities. Read more
Advisory on Memorandum to the Building Bridges Initiative
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (“KNCHR” or “National Commission”) is an independent National Human Rights Institution established under Article 59 of the Constitution and operationalized under the KNCHR Act, 2011. KNCHR is accredited by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions as an ‘A status’ institution and is a member of the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI). KNCHR was granted affiliate status by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) since 2004.
The National Commission has a broad mandate to promote a culture of respect of human rights in the Republic of Kenya. The operations of the National Human Rights Commission are guided by the United Nations Paris Principles on the establishment and functioning of independent national human rights institutions commonly referred to as the Paris Principles. This submission is made pursuant to the Commission’s mandate and in response to the invitation by the Building Bridges Initiative. Read more
Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2018
The principal objective of the Bill is to amend Articles 101 (1), 136 (2) (a), 177 (1) (a) and 180 (1) of the Constitution of Kenya by changing the existing date for the general election for members of Parliament, the President, member of County Assembly and the county governors and deputy county governors from second Tuesday of August in every fifth year to third Monday in December in every fifth year. Download
The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2018
The principal object of this Bill is to amend the Constitution to ensure that the membership of the National Assembly and the Senate conforms to the two-thirds gender principle provided for in Article 81(b) of the Constitution. The Bill seeks to give effect to the two-thirds gender principle through the creation of special seats that will ensure that the gender principle is realized in Parliament over a period of twenty years from the next general election. It is hoped that by that time, both genders will have been given a level playing field and will be able to compete on an equal plane. The Bill therefore proposes to amend Articles 90, 97 and 98 of the Constitution. Download
Public Participation Bill (Senate Bill No. 4 of 2018)
The principal object of the Bill is to provide a framework for effective public participation. This Bill proposes to provide a mechanism to facilitate effective and coordinated public participation. The Bill therefore gives effect to the Constitutional principles of public participation and participatory democracy as well enunciated in Articles 1, 10, 35, 69, 118, 174, 184, 196, 201, and 232 of the Constitution respectively. Download
Food Security Bill, 2017 (Senate Bills No. 12 of 2017)
The Bill proposes to give effect to Article 43(l) (c) of the Constitution on freedom from hunger and the right to adequate food of acceptable quality. Download
The Children Bill, 2016
This advisory is primarily guided by the Constitution of Kenya, 2010, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and General Comments issued by the respective treaty body mechanism. Download
The Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2016
The principal object of this Bill is to amend the Penal Code to provide a legal framework to address the escalating problem of livestock theft in the country by enhancing penalties for offences relating to cattle rustling. Enactment of the Bill shall reduce the current disruption of the socio-economic activities and livelihood of pastoralist communities living in counties where the vice is rampant. Download
The Community Land Bill, 2015
The principal object of this Bill is to provide for a legislative framework to give effect to Article 63 of the Constitution and to provide for the recognition, protection, management and administration of community land. The Bill proposes an institutional framework through which community land shall be owned, registered, managed and administered. Download
The Health Bill, 2015
The Health Bill sought to: (1) Establish National Health System which shall progressively realize the right to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to healthcare services including reproductive health. (2) Define the functions of national government and devolved functions of the county government.(3) Establish the office of the Director General of Health as the technical advisor on all health matters.(4) Establish a Kenya Health Professions Oversight Authority to provide oversight role on regulatory role within the health sector as well as coordinate and supervise the activities of the regulatory bodies.(5) Establish a single regulatory body for regulation of health products and technologies.(6) Establish a National Research for Health Committee as an advisory body for research for health.(7) Establish the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service. (8) Provide for e-Health and the use of technological approaches to advance health objectives. Download
The County Governments (Amendment) (No. 4) Bill, 2014
The Bill seeks to amend the County Governments Act, No.1 7 of 2012, in order to provide: (a) for the election of a deputy speaker of a county assembly; (b) further clarity on the functions of a deputy governor; (c) that a majority of all county delegations of the Senate vote is required to uphold any impeachment charge against a governor; (d) and for the process for the removal of a, deputy governor from office. Download
The Legal Aid Bill, 2015
The main object of the Bill is to establish a regime to facilitate the provision of legal aid. The Bill seeks to provide a legal framework for the regulation of persons and institutions offering legal aid services. Download
The Election Laws (Amendment) (No.3) Bill, 2015
The principal object of this Bill was to amend the Elections Act, 2011 and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act, 2011, in order to address the concerns that resulted following the general election held on 4th March 2013, which was the first under the new constitutional dispensation. The elections laid the foundation for the transformation Kenya's electoral politics. Download
The Small Claims Court Bill, 2015
The principal objective of this Bill is to give effect to Articles 48 and 169of the Constitution. In furtherance of the said objective; the Bill proposes to establish a Small Claims Court, which shall resolve disputes informally, inexpensively and expeditiously in accordance with the principles of law and natural justice. The monetary jurisdiction of the proposed Small Claims Court has been limited to one hundred thousand shillings. However, the Chief Justice may review the prescribed limit by notice in the Gazette. Download
The Access to Information Bill, 2015
The principal object of this Bill is to give effect to Article 35 of the Constitution and thereby facilitate access to information held by Government Ministries and other public authorities. The Bill recognizes access to information as a right bestowed on the Kenyan people, and seeks to promote proactive publication, dissemination and access to information by the Kenyan public in the furtherance of this right. It also spells out the mechanisms for ensuring public access to information, as well as the factors that may hinder the right to this access. The Bill is borne of the realization that access to information held by the Government and public institutions is crucial for the promotion of democracy and good governance. Download
Kenya Defence Forces (Amendment) Bill, 2015
The principal object of this Bill was to amend the Kenya Defence Forces Act (No. 25 of 2012) so as to ensure smooth implementation of the Act. Download
The Water Bill, 2014
The main object of this Bill is to make provision for the regulation, management, conservation, use and development of water and sewerage services. A new statutory regime is necessitated by the need to conform to the Constitution, international instruments that Kenya has ratified (for instance the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights) by virtue of Article 2(6) of the Constitution as well as Vision 2030 and the Millennium Development Goals. Download
KNCHR Advisory on The Security Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2014
KNCHR has reviewed the Security Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2014 and on 15th December 2014 presented its views to the National Assembly through the Administration and National Security Committee. We make these observations and proposals in the public interest. Download
The Reproductive Health Care Bill, 2014
The Bill seeks to make provision for the actualization of reproductive rights. The right to make free and informed decisions, which is central to the exercise of any right, shall not be subjected to any form of coercion and must be fully guaranteed by the State, like the right itself. Respect for protection and fulfilment of reproductive health and rights which seek to promote the rights and welfare of every person particularly couples, adult individuals, women and adolescents. Download
The In-Vitro Fertilization Bill 2014
Principal object of this Bill was to anchor the existence and practice of in vitro-fertilization in statute law. While it is acknowledged that infertility affects a lot of women of reproductive age in Kenya and in vitro fertilization is often a couple's or individual's only chance at conception there has never been an attempt to clothe the practice of in vitro-fertilization in a fine statutory line. It is imperative to note that many women who require in vitro-fertilization rely on doctors who may not be qualified to undertake the procedure and as a result leading to the deaths of many women and children. Download
The Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Bill, 2014
The Principal purpose of this Bill is to give effect to Article 227 of the Constitution which requires establishment of a legal framework within which policies relating to procurement and asset disposal are to be implemented and to provide procedures for efficient public procurement and for assets disposal by public entities. Download
The Victim Protection Bill, 2013
The objects and purposes of this Act are to—(a) recognize and give effect to the rights of victims Objects and purposes of the of crime; Act(b) protect the dignity of victims through-(i)provision of better information, support services, reparations and compensation from the offender, in accordance with this Act;(ii)establishment of programs to assist vulnerable victims;(iii)supporting reconciliation in appropriate cases by means of a restorative justice response;(iv)establishment of programmes to prevent victimization at all levels of government;(v)preventing re-victimization in the justice process; and (c) promote co-operation between all government departments and other organizations art" agencies involved in working with victims of time. Download
KNCHR advisory brief on proposed amendments to the national police service act
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) submits this advisory brief pursuant to its constitutional function under Article 59(d) which mandates the Commission to monitor investigate and report on the observance of the human rights in all spheres of life in the Republic including the observance by national security organs. The KNCHR has since inception been at the forefront in the process of transforming the policing organs from regime policing to democratic policing which is more transparent, responsive and accountable to the people of Kenya. Download
THE INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS BILL, 2012
A Bill for An ACT of Parliament to make provision for the protection and assistance to internally displaced persons and give effect to the Great Lakes Protocol on the Protection and Assistance to Internally Displaced Persons and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and for connected purposes. Download
PROHIBITION OF HATE SPEECH BILL, 2008
A Bill for An Act of Parliament to make provision for the prohibition of Hate Speech and for connected purposes. Download