Kenya Event Marking the International Day for the Right to the Truth

Date and time: 
Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 08:00
Nairobi, Kenya

The 24th of March is the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims. It was introduced by the UN General Assembly in 2010, to honor the memory of victims of gross and systematic human rights violations and promote the importance of the right to truth and justice. The General Assembly invites Member States, international organizations and civil society to observe the day. The Secretary-General issues a statement every year.

OHCHR, Kenya National Commission for Human Rights and the International Center for Transitional Justice are planning to hold a joint event to honor the memory of victims of historical injustices including those of the 2007/2008 post-election violence and draw attention on the issue of reparations, with special focus on victims of sexual and gender based violence. This note provides background information on the rationale of the event and describes the objectives and agenda of the day.

The 24th of March provides an opportunity to renew government commitment to reparations, raise public awareness and promote an inclusive discussion on the design of a reparations policy and program, in line with the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law and the Guidance Note of the S-G on Reparations for Conflict-Related and Sexual Violence (which is also applicable in cases of SGBV outside of conflict settings).

The event will be held on 24th March 2016 at the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi starting 8 am and will be opened to media. It will consist of a half day symposium divided in two parts. The first part will include initial remarks by the KNCHR, a short video with testimonies from victims, sharing of experiences by 2 representatives of the National Victims and Survivors Network, the S-G statement (read by the RC a.i.), a statement by the High Commissioner for Human Rights (read by the SHRA) and a statement by a senior Government representative (from the Attorney General, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, or the National Commission on Integration and Cohesion). The second part will consist of a panel composed of KNCHR, ICTJ, the Department of Justice, the former chair of the TJRC, the Chair of the National Victims and Survivors Network, and the MP who has filed the petition for the adoption of the TJRC report. The panel will make recommendations on the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluations of reparations in Kenya.