Statement on the State of Human Rights in Kenya December 2019

An Opinion Poll on the 71st Anniversary of the Universal declaration of human rights

Generation Z (18-25) in Kenya feel that the most important issues facing Kenya are corruption (78%), economic instability (36%) and lack of access to quality healthcare (32%). While this is on the domestic front, they feel that terrorism (41%), climate change (38%) corruption (24%) and gender inequality (21%) are the most important issues facing us globally. Interestingly, 44% strongly agree that human rights must be protected even if it has a negative impact on the economy while 43% say that Government of Kenya should take the well-being of their citizens more seriously than their economic growth.

In September 2019 Amnesty International commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct a poll of young people aged 18-25-also known as Generation Z in 22 countries about their opinions on human rights and the state of the world for the “Future of humanity” survey. The countries covered span all five inhabited continents: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hungary, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, UK, Ukraine and USA. In Kenya, it sampled 500 respondents.

The survey reflects the everyday concerns and struggles affecting Generation Z in Kenya. This generation lives in a Kenya that is plagued by systemic corruption, increased poverty, increased economic inequality and joblessness. The findings of this survey are a resounding call for the need to address these pressing issues and ensure no one is left behind, Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Irũngũ Houghton said.

Majority (81%) of Generation Z feel that ensuring human rights are upheld is the onus of the Government but believe that individuals (68%) should take the most responsibility in protecting the environment. 79% believe that protection of human rights is fundamental to the future of Kenya. Disparagingly, only 14% strongly believe that the Government of Kenya is fully committed to the protection of human rights.

Commemorating human rights day, not only gives us an opportunity to introspect on what needs to be done for every Kenyan to enjoy the rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in our Constitution and in the Universal declaration of human rights but also presents a moment for us to stop and listen. The youth are speaking audibly. It is imperative that we listen, Amnesty International Kenya Executive Director Irũngũ Houghton said.

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