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05.30.12 - On May 3, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights released an exhaustive report on the state of the country's sexual and reproductive rights. And the Commission stated, in no uncertain terms, that the Kenyan government has much work to do to ensure that the country's people are protected and respected when it comes to their sexual and reproductive health. This is one of the first reports from a national human rights institution on these issues in the region.
The roots of this expansive report first took hold years ago, when the Center and its partner, the Federation of Women Lawyers—Kenya (FIDA Kenya), began collecting evidence and documenting violations of human rights. That work ultimately produced two vital fact-finding reports.
From these reports, the Center and the FIDA Kenya filed a complaint in 2009 with the Commission, asking it to conduct a public inquiry into the violations of women's rights when seeking reproductive health care. We also presented expert testimony before the Commission and made a written submission. The result is a sweeping report that stretches more than 100 pages and covers family planning, maternal health, sexual violence, LGBT issues, the sexual and reproductive rights of marginalized people, and funding for sexual and reproductive health.
Among the many recommendations, the Center was especially pleased to see the following:
The Commission's recommendations will be crucial in ensuring that the government recognizes the seriousness of its shortcomings and takes the necessary steps to remedy them. The Center will monitor Kenya's progress closely and stand ready to hold the government accountable for the protection of fundamental human rights.