AI Report 2023/24: The State of the World’s Human Rights

The global section of the Amnesty International 2023/24: The State of the World’s Human Rights report provides a comprehensive overview of human rights trends and developments globally, providing invaluable insights into the state of human rights in the world today.

The Kenya section of the report reveals systemic challenges and a range of violations across different domains. From issues of impunity within security sectors to threats against LGBTI rights and economic difficulties impacting healthcare access, the country grapples with multifaceted and urgent concerns.

Key Highlights from the Kenya Section of the Report

  • Extrajudicial Executions and Enforced Disappearances: The report documents 136 extrajudicial executions and 10 enforced disappearances during the year. Despite most incidents occurring in police custody, the government’s investigative efforts were inadequate, falling short of international standards.
  • Right to Expression and Assembly: Protests addressing economic hardships and electoral concerns faced excessive force, leading to numerous casualties, including at least 57 protesters killed by authorities.
  • LGBTI People’s Rights: Proposed legislation threatens to criminalize same-sex relations with severe penalties, including the death penalty, endangering the rights of LGBTI individuals.
  • Economic and Social Rights: Economic policies like the Finance Act 2023 exacerbated challenges with radical taxation reforms and rising living costs, intensifying the struggle for basic needs.
  • Right to Health: Increased health insurance contributions further hindered healthcare access, especially for financially vulnerable populations.
  • Right to a Healthy Environment: Environmental degradation intensified due to lifted bans on commercial logging, coupled with prolonged drought exacerbating food insecurity, particularly affecting vulnerable populations.
  • Right to Privacy: Digitalization of government services led to privacy concerns, highlighted by a cyberattack on the government’s digital platform, raising questions about data protection and privacy infringements.
  • Death Penalty: Despite efforts to abolish it, courts continue to impose death sentences, emphasizing the need for legislative reforms to align with human rights standards.

Implications and Recommendations

These human rights challenges underscore the urgent need for comprehensive reforms and collaborative efforts between the government and civil society. Addressing impunity, safeguarding fundamental rights, and ensuring accountability for perpetrators are crucial steps towards fostering a more just and equitable society in Kenya.