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Human Rights

This Is A list Of The Most Important Rights Of The Citizens Of Kenya As Contained In The Constitution Of Kenya, 2010

  1. Right to Life - Every child has an inherent right to life and survival of every child is responsibility of the Government and Family.
  2. Right to Parental care - Every child has a right to be cared for and live with his/her parents. 
  3. Right to Education - the Government and parents have to ensure that every child is entitled to free and compulsory primary Education. This section is entitled to a free compulsory in accordance with The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  4. Right to Religious Education - Every child shall have a right to Religious Education and parents have the responsibility of providing children with appropriate guidance in Religious Education.
  5. Right to Health Care - Every child shall have a right to health and medical services. The parents and the Government should ensure that every child get accessed to Health care and medical services.
  6. Protection from Child Labour and Armed Conflict - Every child should be protected from any economic exploitation or any hazardous work that would interfere with the child’s education or harmful to health,physical,mental,spiritual,moral or social development.
  7. Protection from recruitment in Armed Conflict - Respect for protection and care of children shall be maintained in accordance with the law where armed conflict occurs. It will be the responsibility of the Government.
  8. Name and Nationality- The parents of the child should ensure that the child is given a name and have a nationality. The Government shall provide assistance and protection with a view to establishing his/her identity where a child has been deprived.
  9. Rights of disabled child be treated with dignity - The Constitution of Kenya, establishes the ground of every person’s dignity be respected and protected. The Children's Act also protects the right of every child with a disability to be given special care, education, appropriate medical treatment and to be treated with dignity.
  10. Protection from abuse - Every child should be protected from physical, psychological, sexual neglect and any other form of exploitation like trafficking, sale or abduction by any person.
  11. Protection from harmful Cultural rites - No child should be subjected to female circumcision, early marriage, traditional practices that are likely to affect the child negatively.
  12. Protection from Sexual Exploitation - Every child shall be protected from any act of sexual exploitation including prostitution, inducement or even coercion to engage in any sexual activity and also exposure to pornographic materials.
  13. Protection from Drug Abuse- Every child shall be protected from use of any drug and protected from being used in the production, trafficking and distribution.
  14. Leisure and Recreation - Every child has a right to play and engage in cultural and artistic activities and also entitled to leisure.
  15. Torture and Deprivation of Liberty- Section 18 protects every child from torture, cruel treatment or punishment, unlawful arrest or deprivation of liberty. This section also protects the child from being subjected to capital punishment or to life imprisonment. Sub section 3 and 4 of this section allows a child  offender be separated from adults in custody and a child who has been arrested and detained shall be accorded legal and other assistance by the Government as well as contact his/her family.
  16. Right of privacy- Under Section 19, a child shall have a right to privacy subject to parental guidance.

Article 19 of the Constitution: These are the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms

  • Human rights are fundamental
  • Human Rights preserve dignity of individuals and communities
  • Human rights promote social justice

Fundamental Rights;

  • Belong to each individual
  • Not granted by the State(are a right)
  • Subject to limitations as set out in the Constitution

 

Rights and Fundamental Principles

They include;

  1. Right to Life Article 26
  2. Equality and Freedom from Discrimination Article 27
    1. Equality for  all and enjoyment of all rights
    2. Women and men to have equal treatment including right to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social sphere.
    3. Not discriminate directly or indirectly on ground of
      1. Race
      2. Sex
      3. Pregnancy
      4. Marital status
      5. Health status
      6. Ethnic or social origin
      7. Colour
      8. Age
      9. Disability
      10. Religion
      11. Conscience
      12. Belief
      13. Culture
      14. Dress
      15. Language or
      16. birth
  3. Human Dignity      Article 28
  4. Freedom and security of person     Article 29
  5. Not to be held in slavery or servitude  or forced labour    Article 30
  6. Right to Privacy      Article 31
  7. Right to freedom of conscience religion, thought or belief     Article 32
  8. Freedom of expression    Article 33
  9. Freedom and independence of electronic, print and all other types of media           Article 34
  10. Citizens have a right of access to information held by the State or  held by another person to protect a basic human right or freedom    Article 35
  11. Freedom of association    Article 36
  12. Right to peaceably and unarmed to assemble, demonstrate, picket and present petitions to public authorities    Article 37
  13. Right to make political choices    Article 38
  14. Freedom of movement    Article 39
  15. Right to acquire and own property   Article 40
  16. Right to fair labour practices   Article 41
  17. Right to a clean and healthy environment   Article 42

 

  1. Right to Economic and Social Rights   

These are set out in Article 43 of the Constitution. They include the right to:

  1. highest standard of health,
  2. accessible and adequate housing
  3. reasonable  sanitation,
  4. adequate food of acceptable quality
  5. clean and safe water
  6. social security
  7. education
  8. emergency medical treatment
  9. social security to persons unable to support themselves and their dependants
  1. Language and culture   Article 44
  2. Right to marry , equal rights in marriage, family  and personal law   Article 45
  3. Consumer Rights to   Article 46
    1. goods and services of reasonable quality
    2. information necessary to gain full benefit from goods and services
    3. protection of health, safety and economic interests
    4. compensation for loss or injury arising defects in goods and services
    5. fair honest and decent advertising
  4. Expeditious, efficient, lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair administrative action (i.e. by public officers)   Article 47

The State shall ensure access to justice for all persons and if any fee is required  at a reasonable fee where charged it should not impede access to justice.   Article 48

 

An Arrested person has right to    Article 49

  1. Be informed promptly in a language they understand ,the reason for arrest, right to remain silence, consequences of not remaining silent
  2. To remain silent
  3. To communicate with an advocate, or other person who can assist
  4.  Not to be compelled to make any confessions or admissions that can be used in evidence against the accused
  5. To be held separately from persons who are serving a sentence
  6. Be brought to court as soon as reasonable possible and no later than 24 hours or the next court day where 24hours falls outside normal court time.
  7. At first court hearing to be charged or informed of the reason for detention to continue or to be released
  8. To be released on bond or bail on reasonable conditions pending a charge or trial unless there are compelling reasons not to be released e.g. national security, tampering with witnesses.
  9. Not be remanded in custody if the offence is punishable by a fine only or by imprisonment for not more than 6 months.

 

 

Right to Fair, public hearing before a court or independent impartial tribunal or body      Article 50    

 A fair trial includes;

  1. To be presumed innocent until contrary is proved
  2. To be informed of the charge with sufficient detail to answer it
  3. To have adequate time and facilities to prepare a defence
  4. To a public trial before a court established under the Constitution
  5. To have a trial began and concluded within a reasonable time without delay
  6. To be present when being tried unless conduct of accused makes it impossible for the trial to proceed
  7. To chose and be represented by an advocate and to be informed of this right promptly
  8. To have an advocate assigned to accused by the state and a the State’s expense if substantial injustice would result otherwise and to be informed of this right promptly 
  9. To remain silent and not testify
  10. To be informed in advance the evidence the prosecution intends to rely on and have reasonable access to that evidence
  11. To adduce and challenge evidence i.e. defend yourself
  12. To refuse to give self incriminating evidence
  13. Not to be convicted of a crime which at the time of the action was not  a crime in Kenya or internationally
  14. Not to be tried for an offence you were already previously convicted or acquitted
  15. To benefit a less severe punishment or  sentence where law has changed to reduce punishment since time of action
  16. If convicted to appeal ,apply for review to a higher court as provided in law
  17. Give information in language the person understands
  18. Any evidence obtained in violation of fundamental rights and freedoms shall not be admissible if it would render the trial unfair or detrimental to administration of justice
  19. A record of the proceedings on request except for summary procedures
  20. To exclude public from proceedings if it is necessary to protect witnesses or vulnerable persons, morality, public order or national security.

 

A person in custody retains all other human rights except the freedom of movement and all other rights that are incompatible with the fact the person is detained.      Article 51

 

 

A person with disability has the right  (Article 54):

  1. to be treated with dignity and respect and to be addressed and referred to in a manner that is not demeaning;
  2. to access educational institutions and facilities for persons with disabilities that are integrated into society to the extent compatible with the interests of the person;
  3. to reasonable access to all places, public transport and information;
  4. to use Sign language, Braille or other appropriate means of communication; and
  5. to access materials and devices to overcome constraints arising from the person’s disability.

The State has a rsponsiblity to ensure the progressive implementation of the principle that at least 5% of the members of the public in elective and appointive bodies are persons with disabilities

These are contained in Article 55 of the Consitution. The Constitution gives the State the responsibility to take measures, including affirmative action to ensure that the youth:

  1. access relevant education and training;
  2. have opportunities to associate, be represented and participate in political, social, economic and other spheres of life;
  3. access employment; and
  4. are protected from harmful cultural practices and exploitation.

The Youth means all individuals in Kenya who are between 18 years and 34 years old

The State has a responsibility to put in place affirmative action programmes designed to ensure that minorities and marginalised groups (Article 56)—

  1. participate and are represented in governance and other spheres of life;
  2. are provided special opportunities in educational and economic fields;
  3. are provided special opportunities for access to employment;
  4. develop their cultural values, languages and practices; and
  5. have reasonable access to water, health services and infrastructure.

According to the Constitution, a marginalised group is a group of people who becasue of laws and practices before or after 27th August 2010 when the Constitution of passed, were disadvantaged by dscrimination. 

The State has responsibility to take measures to ensure the rights of older persons (Article 57) —

  1. to fully participate in the affairs of society;
  2. to pursue their personal development;
  3. to live in dignity and respect and be free from abuse; and
  4. to receive reasonable care and assistance from their family and the State.
  1. Right to Life - Every child has an inherent right to life and survival of every child is responsibility of the Government and Family.
  2. Right to Parental care - Every child has a right to be cared for and live with his/her parents. 
  3. Right to Education - the Government and parents have to ensure that every child is entitled to free and compulsory primary Education. This section is entitled to a free compulsory in accordance with The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  4. Right to Religious Education - Every child shall have a right to Religious Education and parents have the responsibility of providing children with appropriate guidance in Religious Education.
  5. Right to Health Care - Every child shall have a right to health and medical services. The parents and the Government should ensure that every child get accessed to Health care and medical services.
  6. Protection from Child Labour and Armed Conflict - Every child should be protected from any economic exploitation or any hazardous work that would interfere with the child’s education or harmful to health,physical,mental,spiritual,moral or social development.
  7. Protection from recruitment in Armed Conflict - Respect for protection and care of children shall be maintained in accordance with the law where armed conflict occurs. It will be the responsibility of the Government.
  8. Name and Nationality- The parents of the child should ensure that the child is given a name and have a nationality. The Government shall provide assistance and protection with a view to establishing his/her identity where a child has been deprived.
  9. Rights of disabled child be treated with dignity - The Constitution of Kenya, establishes the ground of every person’s dignity be respected and protected. The Children's Act also protects the right of every child with a disability to be given special care, education, appropriate medical treatment and to be treated with dignity.
  10. Protection from abuse - Every child should be protected from physical, psychological, sexual neglect and any other form of exploitation like trafficking, sale or abduction by any person.
  11. Protection from harmful Cultural rites - No child should be subjected to female circumcision, early marriage, traditional practices that are likely to affect the child negatively.
  12. Protection from Sexual Exploitation - Every child shall be protected from any act of sexual exploitation including prostitution, inducement or even coercion to engage in any sexual activity and also exposure to pornographic materials.
  13. Protection from Drug Abuse- Every child shall be protected from use of any drug and protected from being used in the production, trafficking and distribution.
  14. Leisure and Recreation - Every child has a right to play and engage in cultural and artistic activities and also entitled to leisure.
  15. Torture and Deprivation of Liberty- Section 18 protects every child from torture, cruel treatment or punishment, unlawful arrest or deprivation of liberty. This section also protects the child from being subjected to capital punishment or to life imprisonment. Sub section 3 and 4 of this section allows a child  offender be separated from adults in custody and a child who has been arrested and detained shall be accorded legal and other assistance by the Government as well as contact his/her family.
  16. Right of privacy- Under Section 19, a child shall have a right to privacy subject to parental guidance.
  • It is a basic duty of the State and every state organ to observe, respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights and fundamental freedoms
  • The State has responsibility to take legislative, policy and other measures to achieve Economic and Social Rights
  • The State and state organs have a right to address the needs of vulnerable people in the society including women, old, persons with disability, children, youth, minorities, marginalised and members of particular ethnic, religious or cultural communities.
  • The State shall enact and implement legislation to fulfil its international obligations in respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms

Every person has the right to institute Court proceedings claiming that a right or fundamental freedom in the Bill of Rights has been denied, violated or infringed or is threatened (Article 22).

 

 

The national values and principles of governance (Article 10)  bind all State organs, State officers, public officers and all persons whenever any of them:

  • applies or interprets this Constitution;
  • enacts, applies or interprets any law; or
  • makes or implements public policy decisions.

The national values and principles of governance include—

  1. patriotism,
  2. national unity,
  3. sharing and devolution of power,
  4. the rule of law,
  5. democracy and participation of the people;
  6. human dignity,
  7. equity,
  8. social justice,
  9. inclusiveness,
  10. equality,
  11. human rights,
  12. non-discrimination and protection of the marginalised;
  13. good governance,
  14. integrity,
  15. transparency and accountability; and
  16. sustainable development.

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