Kenya National Commission on Human Rights

Rally of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights about the Wajiri Massacre 1984
The Truth and Justice Reconciliation Commission Report should be followed - demand at a KNCHR sponsored rally - photo: KNCHR

The National Human Rights Commission is – among other tasks – in charge of investigating complaints of abuse of power, unfair treatment, manifest injustice or unlawful, oppressive, unfair or unresponsive official conduct, and it may investigate against state organs.

The list of its constitutional powers is laid down in Art. 59 of the Constitution.
For other general rules for the operations and powers see  information on the independent commissions for good governance .

Rules for the KNCHR

The special rules of the KNCHR are to be found in the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Act

It has the right to summon witnesses for its investigations – Art. 252 (3 a) of the Constitution

Like all independent commissions and independent offices (the Controller of Budget and the Auditor General) named in Article 251 of the Constitution it may act independently and on its own initiative under the law according to Art. 252 of the Constitution. It is a body corporate which can sue and be sued – Constitution Art. 253. It may submit reports as the commission wishes or on requirement of the National Assembly, the Senate or the President (Art. 254 (1 and 2)). These reports shall be published and publicized. ( Art 254 (3) ).

So you may request to get its official reports as a citizen or a journalist.

The 2014/15 annual report of the KNHRC lists activities under four strategic objectives:

  1. to promote the Respect and Observance of Human Rights in Public Institutions
  2. to increase Application of Human Rights Principles and Standards in Institutions and Mechanisms of Justice
  3. to enhance the Realization of Economic and Social Rights in Kenya
  4. to enhance the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Commission

Note: Do not confuse the KNHRC with the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), which is an Non Governmental Organisation.

Website of the constitutional KNHRC

Unfortunately, you cannot tell from the web address that this is the constitutional commission. For unknown reasons they decided to use the web address ending with .org which everybody can register, whereas the official address http://knchr.go.ke/ is not registered with the commission.