10 December 2017

Kenya: Knchr Raises Alarm On Rising Human Rights, Sexual Abuses

As the world marks the 69th International Human Rights Day, an agency has raised alarm over increased cases of violation of civil rights and sexual abuse.

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) senior human rights officer Petronella Mukaindo said cases of violating the right to life, owning property, arbitrary arrests and extra-judicial killings are on the rise.

She told Nation that by August, the commission had documented 37 deaths of civilians attributed to police.

"Issues of bribery happen to compromise human rights. We have also seen defenders of human rights getting arrested for speaking their minds," said Ms Mukaindo.

This year's event with the theme: "Standup4humanrights", will be held in West Pokot, Homa Bay, Nanyuki, Garissa and Kilifi.

The main event will be held in Meru where KNCHR's chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori and area Governor Kiraitu Murungi are expected to be the main guests.

Sunday will also be a precursor to a year-long 70th anniversary commemoration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, according to a statement from the United Nations office in Nairobi.

"As we enter the 70th anniversary year of the universal declaration, it is right that we should honour its achievements and pay tribute to its inspired architects," read the statement.

HUMAN RIGHTS

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights -- the world's most widely translated document -- has 30 articles that guarantee universal rights to life, equality, asylum, fair trial among other freedoms. It was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948.

Ms Mukaindo said some of the universal rights guaranteed in the universal declaration are not being realised fully in Kenya.

She said in Coast region for instance, issues of mob killings of elderly persons accused of practising witchcraft have been reported while in North eastern, female circumcision is still rife.

"Elderly persons are easy targets of sexual violence, murder and ridicule, though I cannot authoritatively speak about it. We have old persons who cannot access services like other people in the society," she noted.

She also pointed out issues of sexual and gender-based violence, noting that the commission was working on a report on the vices.

Ms Mukaindo said the commission will Sunday sensitise Kenyans on their rights, and also on functions of county governments.

"It is essential that we continue to hold those states to account. But human rights are too important to be left to states alone. They are too precious to all of us and to our children," Ms Mukaindo said.

On the rights of elderly persons, Ms Joyce Kairu the director of Purity Elderly Care Foundation that is based in Nyeri, complained of rising cases of sexual assault against the aged, saying the vice should be stemmed.

She said increased abuse of drugs has led to rising cases of rape and sodomy against the neglected and abandoned elderly persons.

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