REPORT: State of Disabled People’s Rights in Kenya (2007)

Posted on 17 January 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Blind, Cognitive Impairments, Cross-Disability, Deaf, Human Rights, Mobility Impariments, Reports, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

[Originally published at (We Can Do) at]

A recent publication, entitled “State of Disabled People’s Rights in Kenya (2007) Report,” analyzes national and regional Kenyan legislation on disability; government programs and policies on disability, and case law in disability. The report also presents the results of interviews with disabled people in three selected regions within Kenya about their human rights situation, in respect to dignity, autonomy, equality, and inclusion. Deaf people, blind people, and people with mobility impairments, and intellectual disabilities were interviewed. An overview of the disability rights movement in Kenya is given.

The examination of legislation and policies found that the Constitution of Kenya guarantees the human rights and liberties of all citizens. However, although the constitution outlaws discrimination on grounds such as race, tribe, or color, it does not specifically outlaw discrimination on the basis of disability. Further, anti-discrimination laws have not been enforced in cases where disability-related discrimination has occurred.

Interviews with individual disabled people in Kenya found that nearly three-quarters had been denied the right to make decisions affecting their own lives. Also, 80% report experiencing segregation, isolation, and lack of support for their needs. More than one-third reported that their own families had committed abuse or violence on them, and more than 45 percent said their families did not allow them to participate in family activities on the same basis as other family members.

The report recommends strengthening the capacity of Disabled People’s Organizations to address human rights issues; mainstreaming disability rights issues into government bodies and the national development strategy; involving disabled people and their organization in improving anti-discrimination legislation; and making the court process more accessible to disabled people so they can more effectively challenge disability-based discrimination.

The “State of Disabled People’s Rights in Kenya (2007) Report” was commissioned by the African Union of the Blind in collaboration with the Kenyan Union of the Blind, the World Blind Union, and the Centre for Disability Rights Education and Advocacy (CREAD), with support from the Swedish International Development Agency, the Swedish Association of the Visually Impaired, and Disability Rights Promotion International (DRPI).

The report can be read on-line at

The report also can be downloaded in PDF format (1.2 Mb) at

This article has been reposted at the web site with permission of author. RatifyNow is an organization working to maximize the number of countries signing, ratifying, and implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

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2 Responses to “REPORT: State of Disabled People’s Rights in Kenya (2007)”

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This is a very eye opening article on individuals with disabilities but it fails to recognize the other categories of disabilities.

Thank you for your input, Pamela Birmingham.

My article summarizes the Kenya disability rights report and, as such, reflects whatever limitations are present in the original.

No single report can possibly hope to cover all the hundreds of different types and variations of impairments or disabilities, though of course some do better than others. The sheer logistical challenge alone of finding or identifying people with a wide range of disabilities can often constrain research efforts.

I think this one does better than some reports in that it includes people who are deaf; who are blind; who have mobility impairments; and who have intellectual disabilities. Though it does, as you note, still leave out some disability groups, such as people with psycho-social disabilities (a significant sized group that frequently gets ignored); chronic health conditions; autism; speech/communication impairments; etc.; and you could probably think of more.

If you have concerns about the quality of the original Kenya report, then you might wish to follow the link (at the end of the article) to read the full report for yourself and then consider contacting its researchers and authors. Perhaps they can address your concerns, or even take them on board in case they do a follow up report at a future date.

Or if you wish to write a more thorough critique of the report, I’d be willing to consider it for publication at We Can Do provided that it is reasonably well informed or researched and well written, with sensitivity toward the inherent limitations of research and reports generally.

ashettle (at)

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