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Civil Society Participation Key to Success at UN Climate Talks

At this month’s virtual climate negotiations several United Nations officials and governments highlighted the importance of civil society participation in climate action. Yet at the summit’s plenary session, time ran out before civil society…
Residents and environmental activists on Lamu island, Kenya, protest the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) project on March 1, 2012.  © 2012 Reuters/Joseph Okanga
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Education Ministry has a Crucial Role in Addressing Teen Pregnancies

“I want to [talk] about female candidates who sat for the…examination [while] in hospitals. As I celebrate, I also want to castigate our parents in the most severe terms possible.” These were the words of Kenya’s cabinet secretary for education,…
young mothers collect books library
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Government Should Protect Refugees, Not Send People Back to Dangerous Conditions

The Kenyan government has again issued an ultimatum to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide a plan and timeline for closing the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps. Though the government has issued these demands before, its…
Photo: An aerial picture shows a section of the Hagadera camp in Dadaab near the Kenya-Somalia border, May 8, 2015.
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35th Ordinary Session

Human Rights Watch respectfully submits this written presentation to contribute testimony from children to the discussion on the impact of Covid-19 on children at the 35th Ordinary Session of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of…
Schoolchildren attend class at a school in Norton, west of the capital Harare, Zimbabwe, September 10, 2019.
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Government to Pay US$12 Million in Compensation for Smelter Pollution

In a victory for environmental health, last week, a Kenyan Court awarded $1.3 billion Ksh (USD12 million) to residents of Owino Uhuru, a suburb of Mombasa, for damages related to pollution from a nearby lead smelter that recycled lead-acid batteries.…
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Journalists Assaulted, Threatened, Harassed

Kenyan media didn’t have much to celebrate on World Press Freedom Day. Kenyan police and senior state officials have continued to intimidate, threaten, and physically attack journalists reporting on sensitive issues, and authorities have done…
Ferry passengers flee from police firing tear gas, after new measures aimed at halting the spread of the new coronavirus instead caused a crowd to form outside the ferry in Mombasa, Kenya Friday, March 27, 2020.
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Lockdown Measures Increase Risks for Women and Girls

For 4 days, Juliet M., a 16-year-old Kenyan, was held captive by a man and sexually assaulted. She was rescued by neighbors and is now being cared for in a safe house in Nairobi. The attacker reportedly said he kidnapped her because he…
Kenyans make their way home before the daily dusk-to-dawn curfew in Nairobi, Kenya, April 6, 2020.
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Authorities Should Investigate Claims of Excessive Force, Abuse

Kenyan authorities have started enforcing a dusk to dawn curfew, just days after the country recorded its first corona-related death. The curfew was announced on March 25 for an unspecified period. Kenya has 50 confirmed…
Kenyan police carrying batons and teargas patrol looking for people out after curfew in the Kibera slum, or informal settlement, of Nairobi, Kenya, March 29, 2020.
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Nairobi Leg of Human Rights Watch Film Festival Has Options for People with Disabilities

For the first time, people who are deaf or hard of hearing will be able to enjoy the Nairobi leg of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, opening on October 15. Rehad Desai’s documentary Everything Must Fall, a deep-dive into…
 Image for HRW Film Festival, Nairobi 2019’s Opening Night Film Everything Must Fall by Rehad Desai © Daylin Paul
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New Report Highlights Key Concerns Ahead of UN Review

Human Rights Watch submitted a report to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council last week, highlighting key rights concerns in Kenya. The council is set to review Kenya’s human rights record in 2020 as part of the third Universal…
Policemen attempt to disperse supporters of Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga of the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition along Likoni road as they are repulsed from accessing city Centre, in Nairobi, Kenya November 17, 2017.
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Activists Opposing these Plans have Faced Threats and Harassment

Environmental activists in Kenya scored a unique victory last week. On June 26, the National Environmental Tribunal revoked a license issued to Amu Power Company to establish a controversial coal-fired power plant in Lamu. …
Environmental activists and petitioners listen to a tribunal ruling over the construction of a coal-fired power plant, at the supreme court building in Nairobi, Kenya
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Proposed Reparations Bill Chance to Compensate Post-Election Rape Survivors

This weekend, I received the sad news that Chepkorir had died. Chepkorir, whose name I have changed to protect her privacy, was raped in December 2007. The men who raped her beat her badly and she had been struggling with poor health…
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Authorities Should Respect Protesters’ Rights

On Wednesday, June 19, police in Nairobi teargassed and violently dispersed hundreds of peaceful demonstrators who gathered to call for an end to Sudan’s violent crackdown on protests in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. More…
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Nairobi Conference Commits to Greater Efforts to Fight Impunity, Defend Rights

Last week, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region met in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss “combating impunity and upholding human rights as key contributors to peace and security.” Representatives from the organization’s 12…
Jean Baptiste Nguondija, a resident of Ngbada, Central African Republic, by the grave of his 10 year-old daughter Nathana Poura. Nguondija has lost 5 children since the conflict began in 2013.
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Journalists Face Unjustifiable Restrictions, Threats

Many Kenyan journalists and rights activists travelled this week to Ethiopia for a summit to mark the World Press Freedom Day celebrations. It’s a sign of how things have changed that some Kenyan journalists told us how impressed they…
A Kenyan journalist participates in a protest in the capital, Nairobi, against draconian new laws restricting media freedom that were presented in parliament, December 3, 2013.
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Time to Take a Bold Step to Address Police Abuses

Kenya swore in a new Inspector General of Police earlier this month. Just like his predecessors, Hillary Nzioki Mutyambai is saying all the right things. In his acceptance speech, he promised to ensure that police – who have a bad rap…
Zeinab Bulley Hussein holding the national identity card of her son, Abdi Bare Mohamed. Community members stumbled on Abdi Bare’s dead body 18 kilometers from Mandera, in northeastern Kenya, three weeks after police officers arrested him outside the famil
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Authorities Remain Silent Despite Rising Public Outcry on Violence Against Women

Kenyan media has recently been awash with reports of gruesome killings of women. So far in 2019, dozens of women have reportedly been killed by their partners. Many others have been gravely injured. On International Women’s Day, Kenyan…
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Kenya Should Review Counter-Terror Tactics to Address Abuse

Four years ago this month, gunmen attacked Kenya’s Garissa University, killing at least 147 people, most of them students. It was one of the most horrific attacks ever to occur on Kenyan soil. Somalia-based militant Islamist group, Al-…
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First Lady Kenyatta’s “Beyond Zero” Campaign Ignores Key Issue

Five years ago, Kenya’s First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta, launched the “Beyond Zero” campaign to eradicate preventable maternal and child mortality in Kenya. The initiative has drawn support and criticism in equal measure from Kenyans, and…
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Dubious Police Claims About Caroline Mwatha Ochieng

Kenya’s human rights community was jolted by news earlier this month that relatives had found the body of activist Caroline Mwatha Ochieng at the Nairobi City mortuary. She was last seen at her home in Dandora on February 6 and the…
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