This report is a record of summary proceedings made during the Kenya in-country workshop on sexual orientation, gender identity and human rights that was held in Ukunda, Kenya on May 29th and May 30th, 2017. This workshop was preceded by online and face to face training that brought together national human rights institutions (NHRIs) from Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Ghana and South Africa during the period of January to March 2017.
The Kenya in-country workshop was co-hosted by the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) with the aim of addressing country specific issues that may not have been addressed during the regional face to face workshop. The objectives of the workshop were:
- To review on-going and concluded public interest litigation cases on SOGI-related issues and to develop further necessary strategies
- To assess on-going engagements on law-reform covering SOGI-related issues and to identify strategies for leveraging these initiatives to enhance the rights of persons of diverse sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.
- To explore strategies for the protection and promotion of the rights of persons of diverse sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and how the identified strategies may be enhanced.
The key points from the workshop are as follows:
- Meetings between state agencies and organisation working on SOGI-related issues are relatively quite rare and hence such critical engagements should be furthered.nDecisions drawn from deliberations in meetings such as this one must be turned into actions which may then be reviewed from time to time.
- Protection and promotion strategies should be crafted to fit local, national, regional and international contexts. Cases that are triable at the African Commission for Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) level should be identified and prosecuted.
- Notable hurdles in the way of ensuring realisation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights continue to be presented by religious crusaders, politicians, and the anti-rights movement.
- The rights of persons of diverse sex, sexual orientation and gender identity should not be left to a few specialised institutions and individuals. Rights should be mainstreamed and integrated into other human rights work. Relevant officials should be given technical and political capacities for necessary buy-in.
- Past, present and possible upcoming public interest ligation cases on SOGIErelated issues were sighted. Effective strategies and the role that The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) can play to increase the possibility of successful outcomes were explored.
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