Kenya to defend its human rights record

May 4, 2010 12:00 am

, GENEVA, Switzerland, May 4 – Kenya will on Thursday be put in the dock on her human rights agenda at the 8th session of the Universal Periodic Review scheduled under the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The nation will be required to give a detailed account of her fulfillment of human rights obligations and commitments in Geneva’s Palais des Nations, since the establishment of the UPR under the UN General Assembly resolution 60/251 of March 15 2006.

According to the OHCHR website the review will be based on a national report prepared by Kenya among other reports.

“Reviews could also be based on information contained in reports by treaty bodies, special procedures, relevant United Nations documents- compiled by the OHCHR, stakeholders including NGOs, National Human Rights Institutions, Human rights defenders, academic and research institutions, regional organizations and civil society representatives,” reads a statement on the OHCHR website.

The website further explains that after Kenya is reviewed, a report will be prepared by the troika (a group of three states who act as rapporteurs and facilitate the review process) with her involvement and assistance from the OHCHR.

“The outcome report provides a summary of the actual discussion. It therefore consists the questions, comments and recommendations made by states to the country under review as well as the responses by the reviewed state,” reads the website.

“During the Working Group session 30 minutes are allocated to adopt each of the outcome reports for the states reviewed in that session. This takes place no sooner than 48 hours after the country review.”

Further, the website explains that Kenya can choose to accept or reject the recommendations which will be documented in her final report. Editorial modifications can then be made by Kenya on her own statements within the following two weeks.

“The report then has to be adopted at a plenary session of the Human Rights Council during which the State under review responds to the recommendations and issues that were not sufficiently addressed during the Working Group,” states the website adding that observer states and other stakeholders will also be allowed to make general comments.

The state has the primary responsibility of implementing the recommendations contained in the final outcome. If necessary, the Human Rights Council will address cases where States are not cooperating.

The Kenyan government has so far been unavailable for comment and it is not clear who will represent her at the hearing. Earlier reports had indicated that Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo, Attorney General Amos Wako and/or Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula would go.

The UPR process reviews the human rights record of all the 192 UN member states and occurs once every four years covering 48 countries in which three two-week sessions are held. In each session 16 countries are reviewed and by the year 2011 all UN member states will be covered.

In this particular session 15 countries from Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe will have their human rights records examined in Geneva between May 3rd and May 14th.


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