A series of webinars to prepare Kenya’s fourth review

Published on 04 Sep 2020, 01:37 PM

Kenya’s review by the Human Rights Committee was postponed to 2021

Screenshot of one of the webinars, August 2020.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it was not possible for the Centre to organise a physical meeting in Nairobi for civil society. The Centre was forced to rethink its planned activities. That is why we organised a series of weekly webinars in the summer of 2020 as a preparation for the review by the Human Rights Committee, originally scheduled for October 2020.

General coalition

The purpose of the series was to prepare civil society for Kenya’s fourth review by the Human Rights Committee. Every week, the online training focused on a different topic: access to justice, group rights, fundamental freedoms, and extrajudicial killings, torture and detention.

The group outlined the situation in the country and discussed about the questions formulated in the List of Issues. The information from the discussions formed the basis of a first draft of the joint report. Additional information was added at a later stage, including statistics and new evolutions in regard to the Coronavirus.

The issues in the report include non-discrimination of LGBTI individuals, women’s rights, abortion, arbitrary detention, torture, post-election violence, human trafficking, treatment of refugees, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The following organisations were represented during the training:

ICJ-Kenya, Transparency International, Law Society of Kenya, Muslims for Human rights (MUHURI), EACHrights, Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), ICTJ, Faraja Foundation, National Lesbian and Gay Human Rights Coalition (NGLHRC), Gay and Lesbian Collation of Kenya, Jinsiangu, FIDA, CREAW, Physician for Human Rights, KELIN, Refugee Consortium of Kenya, Lutheran World Federation World Service, Centre for Minority Rights Development (CEMIRIDE), Civil Society Reference Group (CSRG), Article 19 Eastern Africa, Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU), HAKI Africa, Defenders Coalition and Stop the Traffik.

Thematic focus

One of the webinars focused on the participation in public affairs and elections. This is an important issue in Kenya. Both in 2007 and 2017, the elections turned into riots and were met with police violence and unlawful killings. This webinar also focused on the underrepresentation of women in public and private life in Kenya.

These organisations are working on a draft thematic report on this issue: Youth Agenda, Siasa Place, AfriCog, MUHURI, INUKA, Election Observation Group, United Disabled Persons of Kenya, Kura Yangu Sauti Yangu (KYSY), Uraia Trust, Law Society of Kenya, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Transparency International Kenya and Physician for Human Rights.

Next steps

The Human Rights Committee decided to postpone all country reviews that were planned for the October session. That session will focus on the adoption of individual communications and Lists of Issues (Prior to Reporting). That means that Kenya’s review will at the earliest take place in March 2021. Keep an eye on our Twitter account (@CCPR_Centre) for updates.

In the meantime, both groups are in the process of drafting their report. They will be submitted before the deadline, which will most likely be in February 2021. The last webinar of this series will be organised in the beginning of 2021, and will serve to validate the draft reports by all cosigning organisations.


The Centre would like to thank its partners, IMLU and KHRC, for their support. Special thanks also to OHCHR Kenya for facilitating one of the webinars, and their contributions during the whole online training.

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