African Children’s Rights Committee publishes first ever decision

The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child has published its first ever decision on a communication. In the decision, issued on 22 March 2011, on communication 002/2009 IHRDA and OSJI (on behalf of children of Nubian descent in Kenya) v Kenya, the Committee finds Kenya in violation of the rights of Nubian children to non-discrimination, nationality and protection against statelessness.

The Committee has made the following recommendations to redress the violations:

  • That Kenya take all necessary legislative, administrative, and other measures in order to ensure that children of Nubian decent in Kenya, that are otherwise stateless, can acquire a Kenyan nationality and the proof of such a nationality at birth.
  • that Kenya take measures to ensure that existing children of Nubian descent whose Kenyan nationality is not recognised are systematically afforded the benefit of these new measures as a matter of priority.
  • that Kenya implement its birth registration system in a non-discriminatory manner, and take all necessary legislative, administrative, and other measures to ensure that children of Nubian descent are registered immediately after birth.
  • that Kenya to adopt a short term, medium term and long term plan, including legislative, administrative, and other measures to ensure the fulfilment of the right to the highest attainable standard of health and of the right to education, preferably in consultation with the affected beneficiary communities.
  • That Kenya report on the implementation of these recommendations within six months from the date of notification of this decision.

The Committee also decided to appoint one of its members to follow up on the implementation of the decision.

This historical decision, the first one ever by the Committee, makes it the first time that a State has been found in violation of children’s rights treaty by an international body. The Committee is the only child rights treaty monitoring body with the power to determine cases.

Read the full decision here

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