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Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination examines the report of Kenya

GENEVA (3 May 2017) - The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination this morning concluded its review of the combined fifth to seventh periodic report of Kenya on the progress made in the implementation of the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
 
Maryann Njau-Kimani, Secretary, Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Office of the Attorney General of Kenya, presenting the report, said that the upcoming general elections in August 2017 raised concern about ethnic and political tensions they might engender, and informed the Committee of steps taken to prevent the use of hate speech and incitement to violence in this context, such as the setting up of an early warning mechanism dubbed the Uwiano Platform.  Various legal and affirmative action measures to tackle inequality and socio-economic marginalization included land laws aimed at securing ownership and addressing historical land injustices, and the increased allocation to the Equalization Fund to provide basic services to marginalized areas and bring the quality of services up to the levels enjoyed by citizens in other parts of the country.  The Restorative Justice Fund had been set up in 2016 with a budget of $96 million spread over three years, to provide relief to victims and survivors of historical injustices.  The education budget had been increased to $2 billion in the 2017/2018 financial year.
 
The Kenya Human Rights Commission said that Kenya should widen the scope of the definition of hate speech and put an end to the VIP treatment of those who engaged in hate speech.  The legacy of racial and socio-economic discrimination was very visible in land use, thus land reform must take place to resolve ethnic tensions over land rights and one way to approach this was by implementing recommendations by the Truth and Justice Commission to eliminate the historical injustices.
 
In the dialogue that followed, Committee Experts recognized the efforts of Kenya in providing shelter, care and basic services to hundreds of thousands of refugees for more than 25 years.  Important challenges to the elimination of racial discrimination remained, such as hate speech, incitement to ethnic hatred and violence, and lack of access to justice for marginalized people, while discrimination based on ethnicity was rampant in the society, expressed as tribalism, nepotism, and cronyism.  Experts were concerned about the land issue which was the source of ethnic tensions and inquired how historical injustices were being redressed.  Noting that the new land laws intended to break-up large chunks of land owned by people privileged by the colonial regimes, the delegation was asked how it would protect that land, currently held under the 99 year leases which were ending in five years, from grabs by cartels and private corporations in which many politicians had a stake.  Information was further requested on the disposition of indigenous people from their land, the implementation of counter-terrorism laws and measures taken to bring the legislation in line with international standards, and durable solutions for refugees.
 
Nicolás Marugán, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for Kenya, in his closing remarks noted the efforts and steps taken to eliminate racial discrimination and urged Kenya to fully respect the principle of non-refoulement with regard to refugees and to increase budgetary allocations to its national human rights institution.
 
In her concluding remarks, Ms. Njau-Kimani said that Kenya was encouraged by the Committee’s recognition of its efforts to eliminate racial discrimination and reiterated Kenya’s commitment to continuing to take steps to ensure that its citizens were free from all forms of discrimination. 
 
The delegation of Kenya included representatives of the Office of the Attorney General, Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning, National Cohesion and Integration Commission, and the Permanent Mission of Kenya to the United Nations Office at Geneva.
 
The Committee will next meet in public at 3 p.m. today, 3 May to start the review of the combined twenty-third and twenty-fourth periodic report of Cyprus (CERD/C/CYP/23-24).
 
Report

The combined fifth to seventh periodic report of Kenya can be accessed here: CERD/C/KEN/5-7.
 
Presentation of the Report
 
MARYANN NJAU-KIMANI, Secretary, Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Office of the Attorney General of Kenya, presenting the report of Kenya, recognized that many people, including refugees and migrants, still faced human rights violations as a result of racial discrimination, and said that Kenya had taken decisive and concrete actions to realize the principles enshrined in the Convention.  General elections would take place on 8 August 2017, which could give rise to concerns about ethnic and political tensions they might engender; Kenya had taken steps to prevent the use of hate speech and incitement to violence, and had established a unit to monitor social media platforms to identify those who engaged in hate speech and incitement to violence.  It had also developed guidelines for the review of bulk political text messages before they were sent out to the public.  Further, state and non-state actors had come together in their efforts to monitor political rallies in the run up to the elections and had set up an early warning mechanism dubbed the Uwiano Platform; 225 cohesion monitors had been trained and deployed in all 47 counties.
 
Various legal and affirmative action measures had been taken to tackle inequality and socio-economic marginalization.  In 2016, Kenya had adopted the community land act to prohibit all forms of discrimination with regard to community land and enable communities to secure formal legal recognition of their land rights.  Kenya had addressed the historical land injustices and provided for remedies of restitution and compensation in the amendment to the land laws act.  The mining act provided for benefit sharing between the national and county governments and the community, to ensure that the prospecting and exploration of minerals did not lead to the marginalization and impoverishment of communities that owned or occupied the land.  In addition, the allocation to the Equalization Fund had been increased from approximately $58 million in 2016 to $74 million in 2017; the fund had been set up by the Constitution to provide basic services to marginalized areas and bring the quality of services up to the levels generally enjoyed by citizens in other parts of the country. 
 
The Restorative Justice Fund had been set up in 2016 with the budget of $96 million spread over three years, to provide relief to victims and survivors of historical injustices.  In order to ensure ethnic diversity in public services, Kenya had adopted the diversity policy while the National Gender and Equality Commission monitored the affirmative action in the devolved governments on the access to employment, education, health and information by women, persons with disabilities, ethnic and other minorities and marginalized communities.  Various strategies to address extreme poverty and support historically disadvantaged regions and groups had been adopted over the years, including the Vision 2030, which was the development blueprint, and the national safety net programme, which provided cash transfers to the elderly, orphans, vulnerable children, and persons with severe disabilities.
 
In order to improve access to education for nomadic people, Kenya had adopted a policy of constructing one boarding secondary school in each arid and semi-arid county, setting up mobile schools and school feeding programmes for all children in nomadic communities, and supporting open and distant learning, including through community radio programmes.  The education budget had been increased to $2 billion in the 2017/2018 financial year.
 
Questions by the Country Rapporteurs
 
NICOLÁS MARUGÁN, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for Kenya, recognized the efforts of Kenya in hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees for more than 25 years and providing them with care and basic services, and also welcomed the increased allocations to the Equalization Fund.  Kenya faced important challenges in the elimination of racial discrimination, including access to justice, hate speech in the media, labour discrimination, trafficking in persons, and the role of civil society and citizenship.
 
What steps would Kenya take to align the definition of racial discrimination with the Convention, and would it recognize the competence of the Committee under article 14 to receive individual communications?
 
The delegation was asked to inform the Committee about complaints received for racial, ethnic, religious or other forms of discrimination, which areas they addressed, and also to provide data on prosecutions, sentences and compensation provided to victims of racial discrimination.
 
Mr. Marugán expressed appreciation for the very pertinent work of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission and asked about the exact mandate of the Commission, the resources it had at its disposal, and how its independence from the Government was ensured.  What was the ‘ebay system’ of racial discrimination complaints and how did it work?
 
In its Vision 2030, Kenya had stated that lack of access to justice had a direct link to poverty and recognized this as a pillar for poverty reduction; in this connection, could the delegation inform about the legal aid act 2016 and how it was implemented, in particular in relation to victims of racial discrimination?
 
The 2007 media act had established a complaints commission for hate speech and discrimination by the media – how did the commission work in practice, how many complaints had it received and on which issues?  The National Human Rights Commission had received 27 complaints of labour discrimination – how many of those were linked to ethnic discrimination?
 
What were the intentions concerning the ratification of the International Labour Organization Convention 189 on domestic workers?
 
The Committee Rapporteur commended the Kenyan Government and people for their generosity towards refugees and for hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees for a very long time.  At the moment, there were 480,000 refugees in the country and of those more than 300,000 were Somali refugees.  What was the situation of the Dabaab camp and what options did refugees have to live outside of formal settlements?
 
GAY MCDOUGALL, Committee Expert and Co-Rapporteur for Kenya, commended the leadership role of Kenya in the adoption of the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.
 
Alternative sources claimed that discrimination based on ethnicity was rampant in the Kenyan society, and was expressed as tribalism, nepotism, and cronyism.

What was the ethnic and racial composition of Kenyan society?  Who were those at the bottom 50 per cent of the average income and how would affirmative action be used to lift them up first, as stated in Sustainable Development Goal 10?
 
What special and concrete measures had been taken to ensure that all ethnic groups had equal access to public services, including health and education?
 
Large swaths of land where marginalized people lived were owned by foreigners - how had this come about and how would historical injustices regarding land ownership be rectified?
 
The State party’s report claimed that internally displaced persons who had been victims of election violence had either happily returned to their land or had been compensated; but, alternative sources painted a different picture.  Could the delegation comment and provide data on returnees and on compensation?  Concerning people who had been displaced due to electoral violence, had there been a predominant ethnic character of those victims of violence?  The delegation was asked to provide ethnically disaggregated data about persons displaced by electoral violence, and information about the use and destination of the reconstruction and support fund.
 
The Committee was alarmed by the situation in slums and informal settlements and asked the delegation about forced evictions as well as measures taken to ensure that the human rights of people were protected.  Could the delegation comment on the slow progress of measures taken to upgrade and improve the situation in slums and informal settlements and provide the people with minimum living conditions and basic services. 
 
Who were the people living in the slums and what was the demographic composition of the slum population?  Were they not treated fairly because of their ethnicity?  It was imperative to address this critical situation that might lead to outbreaks of violence, including on ethnic grounds.  What were the reasons for the non-recognition of slums, the non-guarantee of the right of tenure, and the delay in the provision of basic services in informal settlements?
 
JOSE FRANCISCO CALI TZAY, Committee Vice-Chair and Co-Rapporteur for Kenya, noted with concern the escalation in the pattern of violations against Kenya’s indigenous people and attacks against their ancestral land and heritage.  Were the courts in Kenya using the language and tools available in the International Labour Organization Convention 179 on the rights of indigenous people?
 
Indigenous people continued to be discriminated against through resettlement and eviction from their lands and this issue was of great concern to the Committee.  What steps were being taken to render justice to indigenous people?  One of the obstacles to accessing justice was the lack of trust in security forces, which were the ones who violated the rights in the first place.
 
The delegation was asked about the protection of indigenous people against multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination; disparities in personal land ownership regulations between indigenous and non-indigenous persons; and how many and which indigenous people had been officially recognized by the Government.
 
Questions from the Experts
 
GUN KUT, Committee Expert and Follow-up Rapporteur for Kenya, recalled that after its previous review of Kenya in 2011, the Committee had requested in its concluding observations follow-up information on measures taken to address incitement to hatred in political discourse and forced eviction of Endorois communities from the Bogoria Lake.  Kenya should provide follow-up information as requested.
 
A Committee Expert took up the issue of vulnerable ethnic groups in Kenya and noted that the situation of Nubians was very specific: they were not original inhabitants of Kenya, but were now part of the society who had lived there for more than 100 years.  It was believed that there were about 100,000 ethnic Nubians in the country, but most were stateless and there was no mechanism in place for their formal integration into the society.  Another vulnerable group were forest people, who were not pastoralists but had their ancestral land; their right to land must be protected.
 
Another Expert noted the institutional complexity in Kenya as well as the impressive number of ‘bills in waiting’ – laws that awaited adoption, one of which was the law and policy on national legal aid of 2013.  What were the provisions of the legislation on legal aid, did it apply to both criminal and civil cases, what budget did it have, and who appointed the lawyers?
 
An Expert welcomed that Kenya was currently reviewing its hate speech legislation, while the cyber-crime bill would criminalize hate speech through the use of information technology and social media.
 
It was alarming that in Nairobi, 36 per cent of the population lived in slums and informal settlements, 23 per cent in Mombasa, and 56 per cent in Kisuma.  According to the Vision 2030, some 200,000 housing units should be constructed annually – what was the status of implementation of this provision?
 
What was the status of the bill on the elimination of racial discrimination in the context of the elections?
 
What was the situation of albino persons in Kenya?  Albinos often faced serious discrimination and violence in neighbouring countries.
 
There were some ethnic groups in Kenya which enjoyed advantages in terms of their participation in political and public life.  What concrete steps were being taken to ensure the equal participation of all, regardless of ethnicity, and what affirmative actions and measures were in place for disadvantaged groups?
 
A Committee Expert noted that the definition of racial discrimination was not complete and should be brought in line with the Convention.  A particular concern was that ethnic discrimination was not adequately addressed by the law, nor were its manifestations such as tribalism, nepotism, or inequitable distribution of resources.  The Committee was concerned about the rampant hate speech in political discourse and urged Kenya to ensure that all politicians who incited hatred on the basis of ethnic, racial, religious or any other grounds were prosecuted by the full force of the law.
 
Another Expert remarked that 56 years since independence was a short time for a society emerging from colonial oppression to transform into a free one; post-colonial legacies were obvious and they must be addressed by the Government.
 
One of the challenges Kenya must address was the education of pastoralist communities – one indicator of the dimension of this challenge was adult illiteracy rates which among some pastoralist groups were as high as 96 per cent.  Which steps were being taken to increase the access of pastoralists to education at both primary and secondary levels?
How were education curricula teaching national pride and identity in the post-colonial context?
 
The delegation was asked how Kenya made sure that all counties implemented affirmative action measures, particularly the quotas for political representation; the situation of trafficking in persons, whether victims came from specific ethnic groups, and the reasons behind very low rates of prosecution – only seven per cent of perpetrators were actually prosecuted; and the support provided by the international community to Kenya’s efforts to host refugees.
Statement by the National Human Rights Institution
Kenya Human Rights Commission drew attention to the very limited definition of hate speech and the need to broaden its scope, and in particular to put an end to the VIP treatment of those who engaged in hate speech.  The new Constitution now provided a clearer definition of minority communities from a demographic, economic and ethnic perspective and also recognized a broader definition of marginalized groups.
The Kenya Human Rights Commission continued to work with the Government to identify people who had been historically discriminated against and to eliminate the inequalities they suffered.  Historical injustices were linked to the economic and regional marginalisation of the population, inherited from the postcolonial period.  Administrative boundaries in Kenya followed ethnic boundaries, and certain ethnic groups were over-represented in the administration; for example, only 18 out of 47 counties met the quotas for the distribution of posts in the administration. 
The legacy of racial and socio-economic discrimination was very visible in land use planning, and the question of land rights was a cause of ethnic tensions.  The regime set up by the British had offered the best land, in the highlands, to the whites, thus land reform to combat discrimination was needed, and in this regard, Kenya should implement the recommendations of the Truth and Justice Commission to eliminate the historical injustices suffered by Kenya.
 
Responses by the Delegation
 
In response to questions and comments raised by Committee Experts, the delegation said that all people of African descent in Kenya were indigenous to Kenya and recognized that there were groups and regions which had been historically marginalized and excluded from economic and social development. 
 
Kenya had a vibrant civil society that played an important role in the promotion and protection of human rights in the country.  The Government appreciated Kenya’s civil society, and collaborated actively with it in a number of joint initiatives, including in areas of access to justice and restorative justice.  Civil society organizations were obliged by the law to present their annual reports and audited accounts.
 
Kenya was taking active steps and affirmative action to implement the principle of non-discrimination and ensure that no one was left behind.  Thus, the Equalizing Fund had been set up by the Constitution to provide basic services to marginalized areas and bring the quality of services up to the levels generally enjoyed by citizens in other parts of the country.  A devolved system of government ensured that local concerns were taken into account and that services were brought closer to the population; since 2013, more than $10 billion had been allocated to counties to support service delivery, which had been distributed on a needs-basis as measured by the poverty index.
 
Women in Kenya were traditionally excluded and marginalized, and this problem was being addressed through the support for secondary and post-secondary education of girls, and economic empowerment of women – to date, 72,000 women groups had received more than $8 billion in loans, for which the repayment rate was 93 per cent.  In order to support the education of people in marginalized areas, initiatives were in place to support re-entry for school drop-outs, especially girls who had to drop out due to pregnancy.
 
There were more than 22 ethnic tribes in Kenya, which varied in their levels of economic and social development; marginalization had started during the colonialism period, with missionaries constructing schools and clinics in certain areas of the country and favouring certain population groups.  The public service act and the diversity policy for public service had been adopted in 2016 to address those issues, and since then a sharp increase in ethnic diversity representation in counties had been noted.
 
Poverty did not have an ethnic face in Kenya, but it was prevalent in arid and semi-arid areas of the country.  There were important differences between different areas within counties, as well as between rural and urban areas.  Initiatives to reduce poverty focused on education, agriculture and infrastructure; reduction in maternal mortality; and improvement of access to water, particularly in arid areas.
 
The restorative justice act had been adopted in 2016, which addressed historical injustices committed during the period 1963 to 2008.
 
All parents had a legal obligation to send their children to school, including indigenous people.  Cash transfers were not allocated on the basis of ethnicity but on criteria of vulnerability, such as orphans, vulnerable children, and others.
 
National policy on traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expression had been developed, and the basic education curricula had been reformed.  The literacy rate of the population above the age of 15 was 75 per cent. 
 
With regard to land issues, the delegation said that the law on lands set out clear procedures for land ownership and use as well as procedures for evictions which were fully in line with international standards.  There had been no evictions of people from traditional lands lately.  The community land act defined a community as a group of citizens of Kenya who shared ancestry, culture, socio-economic interests, geographic space or ethnicity; they had the right to own land and the law provided for inventory and identification of that land, its registration and the issuing of deeds, which would provide security of ownership.  There was no limit on the amount of land owned, everyone could own any amount anywhere in the country.
 
The landlords amendment act 2016 provided for addressing of historical land injustices.  The law was not sufficient to implement the recommendations of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission on addressing historical land injustices, therefore a task force had been established to develop the adequate legal framework, called the historical injustices bill.  The bill, which was now undergoing consultations, provided for a comprehensive definition of ‘historical injustices’, the period during which they occurred, namely from 15 June 1885, or the moment the protectorate had been established over Kenya, until 27 August 2010, when the new Constitution had been adopted.  The law would also provide for the mechanism to submit grievances and offer restitution.
 
There were no specific ethnicities in slums and informal settlements, all sectors of the population were represented.  The Government was taking measures to issue slum dwellers with property deeds which would provide them with security of tenure and thus support the formalization of settlements.
 
The settlement of internally displaced persons had been carried out by providing them with land or providing them with cash to buy land where they wanted.  All internally displaced persons had been resettled.  A fund had been set up for this purpose.
 
The hate speech act was being revised to expand the definition of hate speech, and to align it with article 4 of the Convention and the Constitution of Kenya, and also to make it ‘alive’ and more responsive to the situation on the ground.  The revised law included as hate speech vilifying words, coded messages, the use of visual images that depicted ethnic stereotyping and the wearing or display in clothing of flags, emblems and insignia with an intention to incite or stir up ethnic hatred and disrupt social cohesion.  Punishment had been increased from one to five million Kenyan shillings and prison sentences from one to five years.  A person found guilty of hate speech would not be able to hold public office.
 
An e-platform had been developed to receive complaints of discrimination.  During the period under review, Kenya had received 1,240 complaints of hate speech of which 60 per cent had been successfully investigated.  Fifty complaints had been forwarded to public prosecutions with a recommendation to prosecute, and 160 had been resolved though secession notices; 36 cases were pending before the courts.  Several challenges were encountered in the investigation or prosecution of complaints, including lack of awareness of the legal framework, hostility towards the police investigating complaints, and fear of witnesses to come forward and provide testimony.
 
Most people who engaged in hate speech were politicians or influential people who had the means to engage lawyers to delay procedures through injunctions by the High Court, which delayed court proceedings for as long as five years.
 
The audit of civil service conducted in 2015 had revealed great inequalities in the composition of public service and the overwhelming representation of Kenya’s major ethnic groups such as Kikuyus, Luhyas and Luo, which often led to the marginalization and exclusion of minorities.  Compliant notices had been issued to counties which did not conform with the policy on ethnic diversity, and which required them to put in place progressive plans to reduce the inequality of ethnic representation.
 
The Media Council enforced guidelines on election reporting and the broadcasting code; journalists were guided by the professional code of conduct.  The Media Council was an independent body which had an independent unit, the Media Complaints Commission, which had received 101 complaints by end of 2016.   
 
The legal aid act 2016 granted systematic legal aid, and it defined who legal aid providers were, i.e. advocates acting pro bono or any other civil society organization or any other institution operating legal aid clinics.  The act established national legal aid service to implement the legal aid policy and administer the support to legal aid providers, including training, and had also set up a legal aid fund.  One of the major goals of the national legal aid service was to provide legal aid and support access to justice for marginalized groups, and promote public interest litigation of concern to the general public and marginalized groups.
 
One of the core mandates of the national human rights institution was to receive complaints of human rights violations, so anyone who was reluctant to file a complaint to the justice system could do so with the national human rights institution.  Furthermore, marginalized people would have greater access to justice through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, which the justice system had embraced.  Those measures would also help reduce the backlog in the judiciary.  To date, there were 65 accredited mediators who had concluded 82 cases - 55 from the family division and the rest from the commercial division.
 
With regard to refugees, the delegation said that Kenya had started to experience the massive arrival of refugees from the Horn of Africa in the 1980s; following the large arrival of refugees from Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia in the 1990s, refugee camps had been set up closer to the border, under the assumption that the refugee situation was a temporary one and that refugees would soon go back to their country of origin.  Thus, camps were the prevailing mode of providing assistance to new arrivals applied by the United Nations Refugee Agency and the national government. 
 
Kenya had pursued an open door policy to refugees, and all arrivals were accorded refugee status without undergoing the harsh scrutiny prescribed by the Refugee Convention and other international instruments.  This had exposed Kenya to security threats, particularly with the rise of Al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups.  Thus, refugees were increasingly being seen not as humanitarian but as security refugees.  A directive had been adopted in 2013 which requested urban refugees of Somali origins to return to Kikuma and Dabaab refugee camps; the directive had been challenged in court which had found it unconstitutional and a violation of refugee rights and the principle of non-refoulement. 
 
In 2014, a new order had been issued to close urban registration centres and return 55,000 refugees living in town to refugee camps; the court had upheld the new directive.  Kenya was left all alone to care for refugees, and given the improvement in the situation in Somalia and Ethiopia, had ordered the closure of camps as it was deemed that conditions were in place for the refugees to return.  The court decision on this order was being awaited.  Alternative to camps was a voluntary repatriation under the tripartite agreement between Somalia, Kenya and the United Nations Refugee Agency; to date, more than 50,000 Somali refugees had returned.
 
Follow-up Questions from the Experts
 
In their follow-up questions and comments, Committee Experts inquired about the intentions of Kenya concerning the recognition of the competence of the Committee to receive individual communications, and whether the definition of discrimination included national origins as a ground for discrimination.  Kenya should provide detailed and disaggregated data on its ethnic composition and the educational, economic and political achievements of each ethnicity.
 
Information was further requested on the implementation of counter-terrorism laws and measures taken to bring legislation in line with international standards, durable solutions for refugees, and the definition of civil society.
 
Responses by the Delegation
 
Community engagement was the cornerstone of the successful implementation of counter-terrorism activities, said the delegation, and added that in the context of terrorist attacks that had occurred in Kenya, the Government had been forced to look into some of the measures put in place.  Its legislation included safeguards and had received a clean bill of health by the national human rights institution; there were some weaknesses to address with regard to administrative measures taken.
 
There were 8,500 civil society organizations in Kenya, employing 290,000 Kenyans representing about 2.1 per cent of Kenya’s economically active population.  All non-governmental organizations were registered as long as they fulfilled the criteria laid down by the law.
 
Kenya was a monist State which required it to put in place legislation and implementation mechanisms before ratifying a treaty; the public consultations were ongoing on the recognition of the Committee’s competence to receive individual communications.
 
The issues of race and national origin were included in the definition of ethnicity and discrimination on those grounds was prohibited.  A mechanism was in place which offered redress for discrimination.
 
Further Questions from the Experts and Responses by the Delegation
 
Kenya should consider redrawing ethnically determined county boundaries as a precondition to start addressing historical injustices and marginalization, and the delegation was asked how this could come about. 
 
The land laws intended to break-up large chunks of land owned by people privileged by the colonial regimes – how would this be implemented in practice, particularly considering that the 99 year leases were coming to an end in five years.  How would this land be protected from being grabbed by cartels and private corporations in which many politicians had a stake?
 
Responding, the delegation said that there were several housing schemes through which the right to housing, which was a right enshrined in the Constitution, was being progressively realized.
 
Once someone had a title deed to land, the ownership was protected and could not be taken away without due process.  The 99 year land leases were up for renewal in five years; where the Government felt that the lease could not be renewed, the land would be considered as public and would be allocated to the landless for purposes of settlement.
 
There had been no sentences for cases of racial discrimination simply because the adequate law was not there; this would change with the new legal amendment which widened the definition and increased penalties and sanctions.
 
The marriage act recognized only marriages between adults; child marriages were not recognized, even under the customary law.
 
Concluding Remarks
 
NICOLÁS MARUGÁN, Committee Expert and Rapporteur for Kenya, noted the efforts and steps taken to eliminate racial discrimination and urged Kenya to fully respect the principle of non-refoulement with regard to refugees and to increase budgetary allocations to its national human rights institution.
 
MARYANN NJAU-KIMANI, Secretary, Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Office of the Attorney General of Kenya, was encouraged by the Committee’s recognition of its efforts to eliminate racial discrimination and reiterated Kenya’s commitment to continuing to take steps to ensure that its citizens were free from all forms of discrimination. 
 
ANASTASIA CRICKLEY, Committee Chairperson, thanked the delegation and reassured the delegation that the Committee was committed to finding the best way to conduct country reviews.

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