The HRBA and the Approach Used by Kenya Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1797 Words
Date:  2022-05-17


The commitment of the United Nations to human rights has been significant across the world. In this paper, both the theoretical and empirical approaches to the implementation of human rights-based approach concerning will be analyzed. The main points of references to this analysis will be on various United Nations documents that emphasize on human rights protection and analysis on how Kenya has fared on HRBA. However, the Kenyan government has not fully achieved effective and efficient administration of equal rights and freedoms to its citizenry that can allow sustained development for all.

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Theoretical Approach to Human Rights

The human rights-based approach is a strategic framework that is geared towards human development by international human rights of the people. The primary objective of this approach is the eradication of any inequalities that may hinder the progress of any nation. It seeks to empower every individual to promote a more holistic development. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a document that was drafted and in it lies the articulated rights that are entitled to every individual. Human Rights-Based Approaches can be stated as "the recognition of the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world" (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948). The Human Rights-Based Approach recognized the right to life and free will as inherent and that no person should be held in slavery or servitude, torture or cruel, inhuman punishment. These Declarations provides citizens with the rights to leave the country and return without prevention, and that citizens of a country cannot be deprived of their nationality or the right to change it (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948).

These declarations further gave the citizens of a country the right to own property and to associate with other people. The HRBA highlighted that individuals, groups or even family should not be deprived of their property. The citizens of a country have the right to receive healthcare from their country and that the rights to resources economic, social, cultural or state are indispensable towards one dignity and the free development of one's personality. The declarations gave people the freedom to work and the freedom to the choice of employment, good working conditions and that people should be protected against unemployment (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948). The HRBA advocates that that a person who is working is entitled to favourable remunerations and the all this should be supplemented by a social protection mechanism.

HRBA also tries to promote the standards of livings in the world, enhance employment and promote good conditions towards both economic and social progress. To achieve social development, people needed to coexist in peace, different nations needed to cooperate properly in the different aspects of social, economic and political progress. HRBA advocated that all nations and international organizations should help fight all evils that inhibit social progress which include vices like inequality, wars, colonialism, exploitation, and racism. As a result, this would help promote the standards of livings towards humanity and also prevent the obstacles that would hinder the realization of the same (Declaration on Social Progress and Development, 1969).

Human rights are defined as inalienable because everybody is entitled to participate in social, economic, cultural and political development to realize the full potential of development they are entitled to. The HRBA give people the right to full sovereignty, self-determination that involves popular participation in development and elections, equality and equal opportunities that enables people to enjoy their civil, political, cultural and social rights (Declaration on Social Progress and Development, 1969).

The 1986 declaration on the right to development set to ensure that people were entitled personal and financial progress. The rights to development are pinned on human dignity whereby people have a right to self-determination and full sovereignty over the natural resources and the wealth of a nation. The main goal aimed by these declarations is to put people as the cornerstone of development by ensuring that they actively and meaningfully participated in the social progress, zero tolerance to discrimination, freely distribution of the rewards of development and respect to self-determination and sovereignty over the natural resources in a process that equally advances all human rights (United Nations General Assembly Declaration on the Right to Development, 1986).

HRBA should help people enjoy and implement the human rights and the fundamental freedoms. There is lack of political will to enforce global human rights, and thus the main aim of HRBA is to take care of these challenges and to translate them to duties and responsibilities. Globalization, technology, and modernization have come with their challenges, and some of the effects have trickled down to human rights enjoyment, and that need to be addressed (United Nations General Assembly Declaration on the Right and Responsibility, 1998).

Thus, there is every need for action to be taken towards poverty, preservation of the universe and ensuring that peace and prosperity prevailed in the world HRBA is concerned with the cause of poverty and the call to unite people to make a positive impact to the universe. The agenda to eradicate poverty is pegged by the year 2030 with the aim of taking the world on a prosperous and sustainable development path. The key areas of focus include poverty eradication, building democratic domestic governance and peace, enhancing economic equality among people and climate change (Sustainable Development Goals, 2016).

Empirical Approaches in Kenya

Kenya has actively and sustainably tried to achieve its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The assessment of these goals is coordinated by the Civil Society Organization (CSOs), SDGs and MDGs coordination unit and the Ministry of Devolution and Planning. During this assessment, the government has engaged the CSOs and other stakeholders directly on all the progress being realized around the SDGs and MDGs processes like the development of Kenya's roadmap and during seminars, workshops, retreats, and forums. The Kenya long-term development blueprint (Vision 2030) is an important integration point of these development goals that are used to measure the country's progress ("2014 MDG Status Report for Kenya," n.d.).

The MDGs focuses on building a resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization that will, in the long run, make Kenya a middle-income country. Of late, Kenya has constructed the Standard Gauge Railway, expanded the road network and the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport which has in return enabled the country has a higher status of direct international flights. Kenya has improved its shipping and maritime facilities by widening the Port of Mombasa, expansion programs of roads and the Standard Gauge Railway, initiation of Lamu Port Southern Sudan and Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) and the completion of Thika-Nairobi super-highway (SDG Kenya Forum - For Sustainable Development, n.d., 26).

However, these developments on infrastructure and industrialization have been a challenge to the HRBA of the people and have come at a price. The development of infrastructure has in most cases caused the destruction of the ecosystem as well as the displacement of people. The adverse climate change has also predisposed these infrastructures to adverse events which include flooding which ends up destroying the infrastructure thus resulting in economic costs (SDG Kenya Forum - For Sustainable Development, n.d., 26).

The MDGs and SDGs help promote a peaceful and inclusive society which aids in sustainable development by providing justice to all and help in building an effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. The main aim of this is by ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all other forms of abuses on children in Kenya. Kenya is using these SDGs to help fight terrorism, crime and prevent violence. However, the MDGs often failed in addressing the importance of respecting the rule of law unlike SDGs which advocates for justice and good governance in all development policy made ("2014 MDG Status Report for Kenya," n.d.).

To ensure that goal 5 of Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls is a reality, Kenya must build the political will and work on policies and programs at the national level that will provide a conducive environment for implementation of gender equality goal by 2030. This will call for innovative approaches, strengthened capacity and coordination amongst African women rights organizations in partnership with the national government (SDG Kenya Forum - For Sustainable Development, n.d., 21). The targets capture key structural constraints to gender equality such as discrimination, violence against women and girls, harmful practices, unpaid care work, lack of participation in the decision-making process and inadequate access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. Kenya has ratified CEDAW (Convention on Elimination of all form of discrimination against women). UN Women points out that globally 1 in 3 women experience physical or sexual violence. In Kenya, GBV remains an area of significant concern (SDG Kenya Forum - For Sustainable Development, n.d., 21).

The 2014 KDHS (Kenya Demographic and Health Survey) on Sexual and Partner Violence indicates 15% of women and 6% of men age 15-49 reports having been sexually violated at least once in their lifetime. Overall, 39% of ever-married women and 10% of men age 15- 49 reports having experienced spousal physical or sexual violence. FGM that account for 20% of Kenyan girls and early child marriages that account for a further 27% of girls and women (SDG Kenya Forum - For Sustainable Development, n.d., 21). Even though Kenya is signatory to many normative frameworks on gender equality and women's empowerment, reporting remains a challenge. Such include Maputo Protocol (protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights). Financing to implement the commitments remains a challenge, and gender-responsive budgeting remains underutilized as a tool to advance and accelerate Gender Equality and women's empowerment.

For Kenya to achieve meaningful development, it has tried to reduce violence and corruption within its institutions, improved on its rule of law as well as creating inclusion of all gender and ethnic groups in its institutions thus delivering a just and fair society. In Kenya, human trafficking is prohibited and is regarded as an assault on human dignity and freedom of a human being. However, despite this pronouncement by Kenya, it ranks in tier 2 because it has failed to curb human trafficking in totality. Kenya is a source, transit point and also a destination of the human being who are trafficked as a source of forced labor and sexual exploitation (US State Department Trafficking in Person's Report 2016). Kenya has porous borders that are used as transit corridors. People with disabilities (albinos) are known to be trafficked from Kenya to Tanzania for the extraction of some of their body parts that are used in certain rituals (SDG Kenya Forum - For Sustainable Development, n.d., 29).

Kenya SDGs goal number 17 advocates for strengthening the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development. With the call to leave-no-one-behind civil society, the private sector, and academia, among others are now proactively involv...

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