Kenya National Human Rights and Equality Commission KNHREC
Open. Accountable. Responsible
The Authority of the KNHREC has been conferred to three successor Commissions.
Successor Commissions to the KNHREC
Successor Commissions to the KNHREC are covered under respective articles. These are:
Commission on Administrative Justice CAJ (aka Office of the Ombudsman).
The New Constitution of Kenya expressly provides for a Commission to be known as the Kenya Human Rights and Equality Commission as one among the 10 Independent Commissions. Chapter 15 - Commissions and Independent Offices, Article 248, excerpts:
248. (2) The commissions are— (a) the Kenya National Human Rights and Equality Commission; ........
It comes as no surprise that the very central and critical importance of human rights to peace and democracy in modern civilizations was recognised by the drafters of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. They went ahead to provide for successor Commissions to the KNHREC if for nothing else, that the Bill of Rights (which is at the very heart of the New Constitution), is to be promoted and protected to the uttermost. A look at Chapter 4 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 affirms this in Article 19 of the Bill of Rights, reminding us all, that human rights everywhere, are inalienable:
19. (1) The Bill of Rights is an integral part of Kenya’s democratic state and is the framework for social, economic and cultural policies.
(2) The purpose of recognising and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms is to preserve the dignity of individuals and communities and to promote social justice and the realisation of the potential of all human beings.
(3) The rights and fundamental freedoms in the Bill of Rights— (a) belong to each individual and are not granted by the State;
Successor Commissions to the KNHREC
Excerpts from Article 59 of Chapter 4 - The Bill of Rights, Part 5 - The Kenya National Human Rights and Equality Commission - gives authority for the establishment of the KNHREC and successor Commissions:
59. (1) There is established the Kenya National Human Rights and Equality Commission.
(4) Parliament shall enact legislation to give full effect to this Part, and any such legislation may restructure the Commission into two or more separate commissions.
Consequently, this Commission was restructucted as demanded by Sub-Article (4) above via the enactment of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Act 2011 to establish the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights KNCHR, the enactment of the National Gender and Equality Commission Act 2011 to establish the National Gender and Equality Commission NGEC, and the enactment of the Commission on Administrative Justice Act 2011 to establish the Commission on Administrative Justice CAJ. Each of these successor Commissions is assigned specific roles and functions that would otherwise have had to been performed by the KNHREC. Excerpts:
59. (5) If Parliament enacts legislation restructuring the Commission under clause (4)–– ....... (a) that legislation shall assign each function of the Commission mentioned in this Article to one or the other of the successor commissions;
There are basically three general levels at which a person can enjoy their rights: as an individual, as a member of an organisation or community, and as a member of an interest group. The provision in the Constitution for successor Commissions ensures that all human rights are effectively promoted and protected for the benefit of all.
1. Constitution of Kenya, 2010. National Council for Law Reporting. The Attorney General.
2. The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Act 2011. National Council for Law Reporting. The Attorney General.
3. National Gender and Equality Commission Act 2011. National Council for Law Reporting. The Attorney General.
4. Commission on Administrative Justice Act 2011. National Council for Law Reporting. The Attorney General.