Image:Stakeholders posing for a group photo after the review meeting.
Stakeholders from the Coast region, drawn from all coastal counties of Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale, Lamu, Tana River and Taita Taveta held a meeting to review the Universal Periodic Implementation Matrix 2015 – 2019 on June 29th. The Universal Periodic Review is a peer review mechanism of United Nations Human Rights Council that examines the Human Rights Performance of all United Nations member states. Its goal is to improve Human Rights standards in all countries and it is reviewed once every four years.
The meeting was attended by 30 participants, majority of them were employees of the County Governments while the rest were from the Civil Societies and the academia in the region. Discussions were centered around the issue of Human rights with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights taking centre-stage. Various human rights related issues emerged from the Coast including; extra-judicial killings, disappearances and radicalization, labour issues and matters in the mining industry especially in Taita-Taveta and Kwale Counties.
Giving the opening remarks, Hon. Mary Ndiga, the Deputy Governor, Taita Taveta County called on all players to protect and uphold Human Rights in their working areas. She reiterated the need for all stakeholders to work closely together in ensuring that human rights are respected.
Ms. Maureen Mwadime of the Commission explained that in order to conduct their work effectively, they have ensured implementation of integrated Public Complaint Mechanism. This is a system which enables referral of cases to different organizations. The system allows an organization which receives a matter that they do not deal with but which can be handled with a sister body, to transfer the same to the alternative agency.
Mr. Rono, also from the Commission led the participants in the discussion of the Universal periodic Review Implementation Matrix where key topics were discussed among them: Legal and institutional reforms, Civil and political rights, Economic, social and cultural rights and Group rights.
He further explained that Kenya was reviewed in January 2015 and as a result, some recommendations were made. Based on the recommendations, the Government developed the implementation matrix 2015-2019 for the next four and a half years to ensure their implementation, especially those accepted by the Government.
Kituo Cha Sheria-Mombasa.