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Solutions for Kenya’s displaced require urgent action determined by reality – UN expert

NAIROBI (7 May 2014) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs), Chaloka Beyani, today called for concerted development and peacebuilding action to achieve durable solutions for internal displacement in Kenya.

“The end of displacement cannot be determined by a political decision, but by reality,” Mr. Beyani stressed at the end of his official visit to Kenya from 29 April to 7 May, “and durable solutions are only achieved once IDPs can enjoy their human rights without discrimination.”
 
“Causes of internal displacement are many and recurrent, and solutions must be pursued more rigorously for all IDPs in an equal manner,” the independent expert said, pointing at post-election violence, inter-communal clashes, evictions or natural disasters as major causes of displacement in Kenya.

“Kenya’s Act on internal displacement recognizes these causes and requires immediate implementation,” the Special Rapporteur underscored. “This is not only a priority requirement to achieve durable solutions, but also for better preparedness.”

Following his visit to Moyale, where he became witness of burnt houses and destroyed schools leaving the displaced without a place to return to, Mr. Beyani stressed that “displaced pastoralists require special attention.”

The Special Rapporteur welcomes the commitment and efforts by the Government of Kenya to resettle the displaced, but noted that lack of secure land tenure, children out of school, no access to health services, lack of livelihood opportunities and discrimination remain obstacles to lasting solutions.

During his nine-day visit, the human rights expert met with representatives of the national and county governments, and other stakeholders, including IDPs, in Nairobi, Nakuru and Moyale.

With this visit, Mr. Beyani followed up on the progress made since his last official mission carried out from 16 to 27 September 2011 (Read his 2011 report on internal displacement in Kenya: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/IDPersons/A.HRC.19.54.Add%202_en.pdf)

Mr. Chaloka Beyani, professor of international law at the London School of Economics, was appointed as Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons by the Human Rights Council in September 2010. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IDPersons/Pages/IDPersonsIndex.aspx

UN Human Rights, country page – Kenya: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/KEIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Marie-Eve Friedrich (+41 22 917 9713 / mfriedrich@ohchr.org) or write to idp@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

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