The Nubian community in Kenya is subjected to the persistent denial of their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights because they are not considered as citizens of Kenya even though they have lived in the country for more than a century. This denial of citizenship has deprived them of access to employment and the right to vote and work in the formal sector. This means that most Nubians remain extremely poor. They suffer low levels of income, poor access to health services, malnutrition, illiteracy, low educational standard and lack access to basic social amenities.
In November 2005, the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA), Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) and the Center for Minority Rights Development (CEMIRIDE) filed a communication before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission) on behalf of the Nubian community in Kenya alleging violation of the following rights under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
Article 1 – Obligation of Member States
Article 2 – Right to Freedom from Discrimination
Article 3 – Right to Equality
Article 5 – Prohibition of Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment
Article 7 – Right to Fair Trial
Article 12 – Right to Freedom of Movement
Article 13 – Right to Participation in Government
Article 14 – Right to Property
Article 15 – Right to Work
Article 16 – Right to Health
Article 17 – Rights to Education
Article 18 – Protection of Family and Vulnerable Groups
Article 19 – Right of all People to Equality and Rights
In May 2007, the admissibility brief and oral arguments were presented during the 41st ordinary session of the Commission in Accra, Ghana. After its 46th ordinary session held in Banjul, The Gambia, in November 2009 , the Commission formally wrote to IHRDA, OSJI and CEMIRIDE informing them that the communication was found admissible. They were further invited to submit their brief on the merits which was done before the 47th ordinary session of the Commission which was also held in Banjul, The Gambia, in May 2010. The final decision on the merits is still awaited.