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Kenya - African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights - LGBTIQ+ Rights - September 2021

Date: September 20, 2021
Country: Kenya
Type: Intl Mechanism Submission
Issues: LGBTIQ+ Rights
Mechanism: African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
Report Type: Shadow/Parallel Report
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The Government of Kenya fails to prevent human rights violations against individuals based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity (SOGI). The criminalization of consensual same-sex relations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI)adults leaves them at serious risk of harm. LGBTI persons in Kenya report discrimination, violence, lack of protection by law enforcement and government officials, and limited access to services. LGBTI individuals with disabilities and other marginalized identities are particularly at risk for such human rights violations.

This report provides an overview of human rights developments related to sexual orientation and gender identity since Kenya's last review in 2014-2016. It concludes that the Government of Kenya has failed to uphold its human rights obligations regarding sexual orientation and gender identity minorities, resulting in violations and a context of fear for these groups. This report will review specific human rights violations that require immediate attention by the Government of Kenya, including the right to freedom from discrimination, harassment, and abuse, accountability for members of law enforcement and vigilante groups, and disability rights. 

In January 2019, civil society organizations and human rights researchers conducted fieldwork to map the human rights violations of LGBTI individuals in Kenya. This report is based on first-hand information collected from the interviews and desk-research on news media outlets and reports on the issues of LGBTI individuals in Kenya. Interviews were conducted with twenty LGB individuals living in the areas of Kisii, Nyamira, Homa Bay, Migori, and Nairobi. A portion of the study also focused on interviews with seven Deaf LGB individuals to understand their lived experiences and the intersections between two marginalized identities. The interviews primarily focused on the participants' interactions, as LGB persons, with law enforcement and government officials, health and education service providers, religious leaders, members of society, and vigilante groups. In addition, researchers visited local NGOs to gather data on cases of LGBTI human rights violations in Kenya. All information in this report is used with express consent of the participants in the study. This report also includes first-hand information used with permission from The Advocates' asylum clients about their experiences, as well as information provided by NGOs in Kenya that work on SOGI issues.