Kenya has ratified the following documents:
  • African (Banjul) Charter on Human and People's Rights
  • Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
  • Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • International Covenant Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The following documents further define the obligations of Kenya:
  • Beijing +5: Further Actions and Initiatives to Implement the Beijing Platform for Action
  • Beijing Platform for Action
  • Cairo Programme of Action
  • UN Special Session on HIV/AIDS (UNGASS) Declaration of Commitment
  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The documents listed above require Kenya to protect and promote the following rights:

Right to development
Right to education
Right to equal protection of the law
Right to freedom from inhuman or degrading treatment
Right to highest attainable standard of physical and mental health
Right to housing
Right to just and favorable work conditions
Right to liberty and security of the person
Right to life and survival
Right to marry and found a family
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of age
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of disability (i.e. HIV positive)
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of marital status
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of race and ethnicity
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of sex and gender
Right to non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation
Right to private and family life
Right to receive and impart information
Right to the benefits of scientific progress

Constitutional Protection of Rights

The Constitution of Kenya can be viewed at

The Constitution of Kenya is an important tool for the protection and promotion of human rights.

The Constitution enables Kenya to translate international agreements into domestic law, and obliges all branches of government to respect and ensure the rights it enunciates.

The Constitution provides for the protection of the following rights, among others. This empowers individuals in making reproductive health decisions, and helps create the economic and social conditions conducive to good sexual and reproductive health.

Right to the equal protection of the laws (art. 70)
Right to freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (art. 74(1))
Right to freedom of association (art. 80 (1))
Right to freedom of expression (art. 79(1))
Right to liberty and security (art. 70(a))
Right to life (art. 70(a), art. 71(1))
Right to private and family life (art. 70(c))
Right to non discrimination on the grounds of race (art. 70)
Right to non discrimination on the grounds of sex (art. 70)
Right to own private property (art. 75(1))
Right to receive and impart information (art. 79(1))
Right to seek and obtain redress for violations of rights (art. 84(1))

However, the Constitution allows restrictions to rights in certain cases.

The Constitution authorizes restrictions to the right to liberty and security:

  • "for the purpose of preventing the spread of an infectious or contagious disease" (art. 72(1)(g))
  • "in the case of a person who is or is reasonably suspected to be [?] addicted to drugs [?] for the purpose of his care or treatment or the protection of the community" (art. 72(1)(h))
  • to prevent the entry or to enable the lawful expulsion of such a person from the country (art. 72(1)(i))
The Constitution authorizes restrictions to the following rights if it is necessary for the protection of public health, under certain conditions:
  • freedom of religion (art. 78(5)(a))
  • freedom of expression (art. 79(2)(a))
  • freedom of association (art. 80(2)(a))
What do restrictions entail? By authorizing restrictions to rights, it is acknowledged that Bangladesh may be confronted with situations such that they will necessarily entail an infringement on rights. Consequently, in such situations, Bangladesh may take the necessary measures in order to address a public health problem without violating its own constitution. Restrictions are authorized under international law if all of the following conditions are met:
  1. the restriction is provided for and carried out in accordance with the law
  2. the restriction is in the interest of a legitimate objective of general interest (e.g., the protection of public health)
  3. the restriction is strictly necessary in a democratic society to achieve the objective
  4. there are no less restrictive means available to reach the same objective
  5. the restriction is not drafted or imposed arbitrarily, i.e. in an unreasonable or otherwise discriminatory manner