To advance the rights and foster inclusion of citizens with disabilities in Kenya, participation from all segments of society is needed. Join the movement!

Welcome!

The RightsNow! project is honored to work with disability advocates and allies in Kenya to strengthen communities through disability rights implementation.

The rights of people with disabilities in Kenya are recognized under the national People with Disabilities Act of 2003 (PDA), and in the very progressive 2010 National Kenyan Constitution. Key agencies involved with promoting disability rights include the Kenya National Human Rights Commission, which has the authority to investigate, report and enforce the CRPD, and the National Council for Persons with Disabilities which is charged with ensuring implementation of the CRPD and other disability rights instruments. In 2014, the Kenyan Parliament began the process of amending the PDA to align with the CRPD, which was ratified by Kenya in 2008.

In 2013, Kenya began government decentralization, devolving power, resources, and representation to the level of its 47 counties. This process has proven beneficial to people with disabilities as individuals can now advocate for actions on the rights of people with disabilities locally rather than in Nairobi. However, disability laws continue to not be implemented or effectively enforced, and funds allocated for accessibility and inclusion may be reallocated to other projects, or like other funding in Kenya subject to corruption.

Disabled People's Organizations (DPOs) are working to advance disability rights and have taken an active role in government negotiations and policy review, building the capacity of advocates to use legal frameworks, and participated in the country’s CRPD shadow report. Although DPOs are established throughout the country and are run by people who have a passion for inclusion and justice, they are largely volunteer-based and lack funding. Despite a lack of funding, their efforts are slowly but surely making progress. Increasing the political representation of disabled citizens and building DPO capacity to enforce rights remain key priorities.

The RightsNow! project welcomes all people to become actively involved in moving the disability rights agenda forward in Kenya using the tools and resources made available in the Global Disability Rights Now! resource center.

RightsNow! Activities in Kenya

In January 2016, RightsNow! sent a team of U.S. experts in disability law, coalition building, and political advocacy to Nairobi to conduct a five-day training with 36 DPO, government, and civil society leaders from throughout the country. The competency-based, interactive training included sessions that drew from the U.S. experience and provided opportunities for participants to explore key principles of laws affecting the rights of people with disabilities, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, other U.S. laws, the Kenya People with Disabilities Act, and devolution. The training also included official meetings with representatives from the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Services and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in order to bring attention to systemic failures in, and opportunities for better implementation of disability rights laws and policies.

The training resulted in the development of specific plans for local actions that address priority issues in education, prevention of gender-based violence, infrastructural physical accessibility, access to information, employment, and political participation. The training also resulted in a stronger platform and network of a cross-disability rights leaders.

In April 2015, a RightsNow! team conducted a five-day introductory visit to Nairobi and met with a wide range of stakeholders to get first-hand information on the status of the implementation and enforcement of international and national disability legal frameworks. The U.S. experts co-facilitated three forums with disabled people’s organizations (DPOs), national and county government officials, and coalitions of civil society and disability rights organizations. The RightsNow! team also met with representatives from the US Embassy, USAID, and members of Parliament. 

RightsNow! activities are arranged in collaboration with United Disabled Persons of Kenya (UDPK).