Press Release on the Kenyan Government’s decision to recognize the Stateless Pemba Community descendants as Kenyan Citizens
Source: African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights
1. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission), through its Country Rapporteur, Commissioner Solomon Ayele Dersso, followed with commendation the decision by the Government of Kenya on the occasion of the celebrations marking the 59th Jamhuri Day in Kenya, to heed the request of the Kilifi County and its pledge to work on the modalities to enable the stateless Pemba Community, who have been living and suffering in absence of identification documents, to get the Kenyan Citizenship.
2. The African Commission welcomes this legal measure that ensures the inclusion and protection of this group that did not enjoy the full benefits of nationality and citizenship. Extending the full measure of rights of citizenship to those who considered Kenya as their country and have no other nationality, makes Kenya an inclusive society and fulfils the requirements of human rights and norms of non-discrimination and equality, as enshrined under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter).
3. The African Commission wishes to congratulate the Government of Kenya for this decision and strongly encourages it to extend the benefits of Kenyan citizenship to some other thousands of stateless people who live in Kenya, including most notably the Galjael community, who face severe challenges in terms of, among others, access to property, health, education and equal protection of the law.
4. The Commission pledges its support to the efforts of the Republic of Kenya to deepen its commitment to guarantee respect for all the rights and freedoms under the African Charter including its: articles 2 and 3 on non-discrimination and equality; article 5 on the right to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being and the right to recognition of legal status; article 14 on the right to property; article 15 on the right of every individual to work under equitable and satisfactory conditions and to receive equal pay for equal work; article 16 on the right of every individual to enjoy the best attainable state of physical and mental health; and article 17 on the right of every individual to education.
13 December 2022
Hon. Commissioner Solomon Ayele Dersso
The country rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Republic of Kenya