Kenya human rights record under scrutiny

May 6, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 6 – The government was on Thursday expected to come under pressure to point out human rights reforms it has undertaken as the third day of the 8th Session of the Universal Periodic Review kicks off.

The country which is yet to resettle its Internally Displaced Persons will be subjected to a peer review and will be required to give a detailed account of her fulfillment of human rights obligations and commitments.

The State driven process which will see Kenya’s human rights issues come under scrutiny at the United Nations Office of the Human Rights Commissioner will be facilitated by Egypt, Mexico and Bangladesh.

Details on envoys sent to represent Kenya in Geneva’s Palais des Nations remain unclear as the government has been unavailable for comment.

Every four years, 48 countries have their human rights records examined in four sittings spread out over a period of one year. However in this particular session 15 countries from Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe will be reviewed as Haiti which was also set for evaluation pulled off because of the catastrophic earthquake it experienced.

By the year 2011 all the human rights records of the 192 UN member States will have been reviewed. It is just the United States of America and Somalia which will not have their human rights issues questioned by their fellow states as they are not signatory to the auspices of the Human Rights Council, which provides the opportunity for each State to declare what actions they have taken to improve the human rights situations in their countries.

After the analysis, Kenya might get a few recommendations based on the outcome of the review which she might either take up or snub. If necessary, the Human Rights Council will address cases where States are not cooperating. However implementing the recommendations contained in the final outcome is the state’s primary responsibility.

As one of the main features of the Council, the UPR is designed to ensure equal treatment for every country when their human rights situations are assessed.


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