Committee on the Rights of the Child: Kenya

Session 071 (2016)

(2 February 2016, CRC/C/KEN/CO/3-5, Concluding observations on third-fifth report, paras. 6, 33 and 34)

“The Committee recommends that the State party take all necessary measures to address its previous recommendations of 2007 (CRC/C/KEN/CO/2) that have not been implemented or sufficiently implemented, in particular, those related to non-discrimination (para. 25), corporal punishment (para 35), harmful traditional practices (para 54), and administration of juvenile justice (para 68).

“The Committee welcomes the enactment of the National Police Service Act (2011) which prohibits torture and degrading treatment by the police, the Basic Education Act (2013) which outlaws corporal punishment at schools, the Protection Against Domestic Violence Act (2015) and the Prevention of Female Genital Mutilation Act (2011). The Committee also welcomes the establishment of a toll free, 24 hour child help lines. Nevertheless, the Committee is concerned at:

a) repeated reports of police violence against children, including at Langa’ata Road primary school and Dadaab refugee camp;

b) high prevalence of domestic violence against boys and girls, and gender-based violence against girls, including sexual and physical violence both in public and domestic spheres;

c) persistent practice of corporal punishment at home and schools despite prohibition under the Constitution, and some legislations, which authorize corporal punishment, still pending for revision;

d) lack of access to justice by children victims of violence, in particular in cases of sexual violence and harmful practices, due to social stigma, the pressure from family members, low rate of investigation and prosecution, frequent delays in court proceedings, lineate sanctions posed, the risk of re-victimization in the justice system and the lack of legal aid and other supports;

e) limited support available for children victims of violence and girls escaping from harmful practices, including the provision of safe accommodation and support for access to education.

“With reference to the Committee’s general comments No. 8 (2006) on corporal punishment and No. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence and/or general comment No. 18 (2014) on harmful practices, adopted jointly with the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Committee urges the State party to:

a) develop a comprehensive national strategy and a national coordinating framework to prevent and address all forms of violence against children;

b) effectively enforce the National Police Service Act (2011) to prevent and prohibit ill-treatment of children by the police and investigate thoroughly and promptly all allegations so as to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable;

c) revise all laws and regulations, which authorize corporal punishment, promote positive, non-violent and participatory forms of child-rearing and discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment and raise awareness of parents, guardians, teachers and general public on negative impact of corporal punishment on children;

d) promptly investigate, prosecute and punish perpetrators of all forms of violence against children in accordance with the severity of the violation, and actively discourage the use of mediation in cases of sexual violence and domestic violence;

e) provide legal aid to child victims of violence and children who need protection;

f) reinforce sustainable public education and awareness-raising on harmful effects of violence against children, including corporal punishment, harmful practice and domestic violence; 

g) establish more Child Protection Centres for child victims of violence and children in need of care and protection, including those fleeing from harmful practices and allocate adequate human, technical and financial resources to the provision of protection and support services.”

Read more from Session 071 (2016)

Session 044 (2007)

(19 June 2007, CRC/C/KEN/CO/2, Concluding observations on second report, paras. 6, 7, 34 and 35)

"The Committee notes with satisfaction that some concerns and recommendations (CRC/C/15/Add.160) made upon the consideration of the State party’s initial report (CRC/C/3/Add.62) have been addressed through legislative measures and policies. However, recommendations regarding, inter alia, coordination, the various inconsistent, discriminatory and often exceedingly low legal minimum ages, corporal punishment, child labour and juvenile justice, have not been given sufficient follow-up. The Committee notes that those concerns and recommendations are reiterated in the present document.

"The Committee urges the State party, taking into account General Comment No. 5 (CRC/GC/2003/5) on the general measures of implementation for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to make every effort to address the recommendations contained in its concluding observations on the initial report that have not yet been implemented, and to address the list of concerns contained in the present concluding observations on the second periodic report.

"The Committee welcomes the legislative prohibition of corporal punishment in schools and institutions under the Children’s Act of 2001 but continues to be concerned at corporal punishment in the home, in the penal system, in alternative-care settings, as well as in employment settings. The Committee is also concerned at the continued use of corporal punishment in practice by certain schools and the lack of measures to enforce the prohibition of this practice.

"The Committee urges the State party, taking into account General Comment No. 8 (CRC/C/GC/8) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment and other cruel or degrading forms of punishment, to do the following:

a) introduce legislation explicitly prohibiting corporal punishment in the home and in all public and private alternative care and employment settings;

b) conduct public education and awareness raising campaigns on children’s rights to protection from all forms of violence and promotion of alternative, participatory, non-violent forms of discipline;

c) improve the effectiveness of the monitoring system in order to ensure that abuse of power by teachers or other professionals working with and for children does not take place in schools and other institutions."

Read more from Session 044 (2007)

Session 028 (2001)

(7 November 2001, CRC/C/15/Add.160, Concluding observations on initial report, paras. 33, 34 and 64)

"While the Committee notes that corporal punishment has been formally banned in schools (April 2001) as a matter of policy, it is deeply concerned that this form of punishment continues to be practised in schools, as well as in the juvenile justice system, in the family and in care institutions, with resulting cases of permanent injury and even death.

"The Committee recommends that the State party take legislative measures to prohibit all forms of physical and mental violence, including corporal punishment, in the juvenile justice system, in schools and care institutions, and in the family. The Committee also recommends that the State party monitor the ban on corporal punishment in schools. The Committee encourages the State party to reinforce its public awareness campaigns to promote positive, participatory, non-violent forms of discipline as an alternative to corporal punishment at all levels of society.

"The Committee recommends that the State party: ...

e) abolish the use of corporal punishment in the juvenile justice system…."

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Country report

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