Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Actions on Environment

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights was established under Article 59 of the Kenyan Constitution to (among other things): monitor, investigate and report on the observance of human rights; receive and investigate complaints about alleged abuses of human rights; and take steps to secure appropriate redress where human rights have been violated. Article 69 of the Constitution articulates several obligations on the State relating to the environment, including to ensure sustainable exploitation, utilisation, management and conservation of the environment and natural resources, and to eliminate processes and activities that are likely to endanger the environment.

KNCHR has increasingly focused on environmental issues. In April 2007, for example, the Commission issued a briefing paper on forced evictions in the Mau Forest of Kenya. The report stated, “Protection of the forest and protection of human rights are not mutually exclusive, and in the case of the Mau Forest evictions, the failure to address human rights has undermined protection of the forest.” The Commission led an inquiry into human rights violations and environmental degradation occurring at salt manufacturing companies in Malindi, and in February 2014 it submitted its findings to the UN Special Rapporteur on water and sanitation. On the community level, KNCHR has provided human rights training to county assemblies to protect citizens and the environment.

Further Information

The KNCHR’s website: http://www.knchr.org/.