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Kenya - Human Rights Committee - LGBTIQ+ Rights - February 2021

Date: February 22, 2021
Country: Kenya
Type: Intl Mechanism Submission
Issues: International Advocacy, LGBTIQ+ Rights
Mechanism: UN Human Rights Committee
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The Advocates for Human Rights, together with The Eagles for Life, Sign Ishara, and Oasis Research, submitted an alternative report relating to the rights of LGBTI persons in Kenya for the 131st session of the Human Rights Committee.

The Government of Kenya fails to prevent human rights violations against individuals based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity (SOGI). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons in Kenya experience widespread violations of their right to life, liberty, and security and remain unprotected from acts of violence, harassment, abuse, and discrimination based on SOGI. Although Kenya has taken steps towards implementing a more comprehensive anti-discrimination law, there have been no specific actions to provide protection from discrimination on the basis of SOGI. The criminalization of consensual same-sex relations of LGBTI adults leaves them at serious risk of harm. Police officers and government officials have much discretion in their interpretation of the provisions.There is a coinciding lack of accountability for those who commit human rights violations against LGBTI persons. Reporting also suggests LGB individuals to not enjoy the right of access to education or access to healthcare, and LGBTI individuals with disabilities and other marginalized identities are particularly at risk for such human rights violations.

The authors of report suggest the following recommendations for the government of Kenya:

·         Decriminalize sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex under the Penal Code by omitting sections 162 and 165.

·        Take steps to create specific legislation preventing discrimination against individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity in line with Article 27 of the Constitution.

·        Take steps to raise awareness in order to mitigate social prejudices, stigmatization, harassment, discrimination, and violence against individuals because of their sexual orientation.

·        Stop the practice of expelling LGBTI students from schools because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

·     Take measures to prevent law enforcement from arbitrarily arresting individuals based on their sexual orientation.

·     Hold members of law enforcement and vigilante groups accountable for human rights violations against LGBTI individuals.

·   `Provide protection to LGBTI persons with disabilities, such as deaf individuals, who are more vulnerable to discrimination, harassment, and violence.