Rights body faults IDP programme

October 28, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, October 28 – A new report by the Kenya Human Rights Commission has faulted the government’s re-settlement program of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

KHRC Executive Director Muthoni Wanyeki said on Tuesday that the programme did not take into account the various needs of those affected especially women and children.

She attributed the failure to the lack of goodwill by politicians and a weak policy framework governing the re-settlement process.

“It seemed to us that it had not been planned to take into account the diversity of IDPs in terms of special needs of men as compared to women, special needs of people who had been small scale farmer as opposed to people who had been small scale business people,” Ms Wanyeki said.

Speaking at the same time, KHRC Deputy Executive Director Tom Kagwe outlined some recommendations to be taken into consideration, key among them being the provision of security for both women and children.

“We are very concerned about protection of women, children and other special interest groups. We know very well that the government is a signatory to many international instruments and regional ones for that matter,” he said.

Mr Kagwe also emphasised the need for the government to develop an elaborate and accountable framework for compensation to IDPs for loss of lives, property and livelihood.

“We are simply reiterating that they have to honour their obligations regionally, internationally and of course through our municipal laws,” he added.
He further stated that the State needed to provide effective structures for supporting the IDPs’ early recovery.

He said that the government also needed to put in place the necessary legal and policy measures to deal with the root causes and the manifestations of all the injustices the IDPs face.

Mr Kagwe stressed the importance of hastening the process of formulation, enactment and implementation of a policy on IDPs.

He said that the need for a land policy could not be over emphasised since there was need to deal with the historical land injustices and repugnant land governance systems. 

He underscored the importance of also having a disaster policy to ensure future preparedness in order to deal with humanitarian crises and other emergencies related to it.

In addition, he stated that the ongoing formulation of a strategic plan by the Ministry of State for Special Programmes must include special interventions and performance indicators on IDP related issues.

According to the KHRC, action should be taken against persons who make hate speeches and incite communities against each other and perpetrate violence and internal displacements.
According to the human rights body, the government must further implement the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into Post Election Violence (Waki report) and also the Independent Review Commission’s report.


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