Work with United Nations Special Rapporteurs
Franciscans Meet UN Special Rapporteur of Internally Displaced Persons to discuss human rights concerns in Kenya
The UN Special Rapporteur (SR) of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Dr. Chaloka Beyani, met Franciscans working with IDPS during his visit to Kenya in August 2011 to review the human rights situation of this grou p of people.
JPIC (Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation) delegates and Franciscans International-Kenya met with the SR and submitted a written report highlighting concerns on behalf of IDPs of Ndatho Camp in Lower Subukia. These persons were displaced as a result of the 2007/08 post-election violence and came from all around Kenya.
The objective of the meeting was to raise awareness on the challenges concerning IDPs’ reintegration and resettlement and on the urgent need for a durable solution from the Kenyan Government.
“FI is particularly grateful to the Special Rapporteur for hearing the concerns of the Ndatho camp dwellers,” says Ms. Francesca Restifo, International Advocacy Director.
The Ndatho camp has a peculiar history and unique composition. Around 113 families live in the camp, 840 persons in all. The IDPs cannot be reintegrated in their places of origin nor can they be reintegrated in the places where they sought initial shelter. A durable solution for the IDPs is urgently needed in order to ensure that the human rights of Ndatho IDPs are upheld. In particular FI is seriously concerned about:
- IDPs’ children rights to education: 55 children have been born to this community since the displacement and most of them are due for early childhood education. The nearest schools (Mihango Primary School and Kamumo Primary School) are at least 5 km from the camp.
- Safe and drinking water: The only available source of water for IDPs of Ndatho camp is river Subukia, which is highly contaminated by flower farms and characterized by much sedimentation
- Right to Health: The nearest health facility is a dispensary in Maseno and is 5 km from the resettlement area. Maternity services can only be accessed in Subukia which is 11 Km away.
“We urge the government of Kenya to take action and ensure that the human rights of IDPs in Ndatho are respected and protected. We call on the Government to design and implement a reintegration plan that ensures an adequate standard of living for Ndatho IDPs, with particular attention to children and women” continues Ms. Restifo.
The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) contacted Franciscans International (FI) before the visit of the SR to receive background information on the situation and to collaborate with the Franciscan family in Kenya.
A delegation from the office of JPIC FA (a programme of the Franciscan Family Association in Kenya) worked with the local coordination team of Franciscans International to prepare the written report.