Human Rights Council – Universal Periodic Review

For use of information media; not an official record

Date: Monday 6 May (morning)

Country under review: KENYA

Concerned country - national report

  • Represented by a 14-member delegation and headed by Hon. Mutula Kilonzo, Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs
  • National report presented by the head of delegation


  • New Constitution drafted, whole chapter to protect human rights and freedoms.
  • Judicial and police reforms.
  • Measures to combat gender-based discrimination and violence.
  • Commission of inquiry on post-election violence.
  • Legal provisions to protect children against abuse and exploitation.
  • National Cohesion and Integration Act to outlaw discrimination on ethnic grounds.
  • Prison reforms, improving prison management and conditions of detention.
  • Initiatives to tackle poverty, with special attention to women and children.
  • Free primary and secondary education. Increase in school enrolment.
  • Agenda to improve safe motherhood and new-born survival.
  • HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Act.
  • Party to most core human rights instruments, including the Rome Statute.

Interactive discussion

Number of States taking part in the discussion

  • Member States: 24
  • Observer States: 31

Positive achievements

  • De facto moratorium on death penalty since 1987.
  • Constitutional and electoral reforms, referendum to be held in August.
  • Police and judicial reforms.
  • Cooperation with the International Criminal Court.
  • Thruth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission.
  • Commitment and progresses made in the field of gender equality, in particular in politics and labour market.

Issues and questions raised 

  • Investigation and prosecution of 2008 post-election violence.
  • Human rights abuses by police forces and culture of impunity.
  • Corruption.
  • Sexual violence and trafficking of women and children.
  • Rights of children with specific needs. Street children.
  • Female genital mutilations and maternal mortality.
  • Gender equality.
  • Discrimination against minorities.
  • Protection of witnesses. Harassment and attacks against human rights defenders.
  • Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.


  • Pursue the constitutional reform.
  • Ensure that those responsible for post-election violence are held accountable.
  • Take effective steps to improve accountability with a view to eradicating impunity.
  • Fully implement police reform. Take further measures to prevent extrajudicial killings. Ensure compensation for victims.
  • Criminalize female genital mutilations.
  • Reinforce protection of vulnerable groups, notably children with specific needs.
  • Raise penal responsibility of minors to 18.
  • Strengthen the independence of the judiciary.
  • Definitely abolish death penalty.
  • Establish an independent witness protection agency free of political influence.
  • Address ethnic and religion tensions and combat all forms of discrimination.
  • Take further steps to address corruption.
  • Pursue the efforts to combat poverty.

Response of the concerned country

  • Extrajudicial killings and impunity – Reform underway. Investigation and prosecution of extrajudicial killings. Accountability mechanism strengthened.
  • Female genital mutilations and women rights – Legislative measures, awareness campaign, funds to support women’s socio-economic initiatives. Cultural changes needed, which takes time.
  • Rights of the child – National plan of action. Commitment to eliminate child labour and early marriages.
  • Corruption– National anti-corruption policy. Anti-corruption units and specially trained officers in all ministries. Corruption-correction committees in all public sectors and corporations.
  • Same sex relations – Committed to decriminalize them and combat discrimination, but facing serious social intolerance towards homosexuals.

Adoption of the report by the UPR working group scheduled on
Monday 10 May, 12:00 – 12:30

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