UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Kenya (CRC 21-03-2016)

The Committee considered the combined third to fifth periodic reports of Kenya (CRC/C/KEN/3-5) at its 2085th and 2087th meetings (see CRC/C/SR.2085 and 2087), held on 21 January 2016, and adopted the following concluding observations at its 2104th meeting (see CRC/C/SR.2104), held on 29 January 2016.

Concluding observations

C. Civil rights and freedoms (arts. 7, 8 and 13-17)

Birth registration and nationality

  1. The Committee welcomes the adoption of the Citizenship and Immigration Act (2011) which provides for Kenyan nationality for all children born in the State party and recognizes the equal right of women and men to transmit Kenyan nationality to their children, as well as the substantial increase in the number of birth registrations. Nevertheless, the Committee is concerned that:

(a) Free and universal birth registration has not been achieved;

(b) The proportion of births registered has been stagnating in recent years, with substantially lower rates of birth registration in rural and remote areas;

(c) Some groups of children, such as refugee children, children of Nubian descent, Makonde children, indigenous Somali children in Kenya, children with mothers in custody and intersex children, face difficulty in obtaining birth registration;

(d) Children of stateless persons and migrants aged between 8 and 18, including those who belong to the Nubian, Pemba, Galj’el and Makonde communities, may not have obtained Kenyan nationality despite the measures introduced in the Citizenship and Immigration Act (2011).

  1. The Committee urges the State party to:                                        

(a) Expedite the adoption of a law that provides for universal and free birth registration at all stages of the registration process;                                        

(b) Further strengthen various efforts to ensure the birth registration of all children, in particular in rural and remote areas, including through mapping out and registering those who have not been registered at birth;                                        

(c) Implement effectively the Prevention, Protection and Assistance to Internally Displaced Persons and Affected Communities Act (2012), and finalize the draft policy on internally displaced persons and a set of regulations to operationalize the Act;                                        

(d) Consider acceding to the Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, of 1954, and to the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, of 1961;

(e) Fully implement the decision of the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child in the case entitled “Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa and Open Society Justice Initiative on behalf of children of Nubian descent in Kenya v. the Government of Kenya” (decision No. 002/Com/002/2009);                

(f) Seek technical assistance from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and UNICEF, among others, for the implementation of these recommendations.

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