Kenya National Commission on Human Rights

National Human Rights Institution


Accreditation status: A

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) is an autonomous national human rights institution. It was established under the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Act, 2011, pursuant to article 59 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

It replaces the former Kenya National Commission on Human Rights established under the Kenya national Commission on Human Rights Act, No. 9 of 2002.

The commission is a member of the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions.

The Commission plays the broad mandates of providing key leadership towards a human rights state and to act as a watch-dog over the Government in this area.  

Who can access it? 

Any member of the public, Civil Society Organizations, Community-Based Organizations and Faith-Based Organizations can complain to the Commission. Members of parliament can complain on behalf of their constituents.

How does it work?

Complaints not admitted include:

  • Labor complaints, unless they touch upon a human rights issue, such as discrimination;
  • Refugee matters;
  • Complaints of a criminal nature that require action of police officers in the first instance;
  • Matters that form the subject of pending cases before courts or tribunals.

Complaints disclosing any breach of human rights are admitted and can be submitted by:

  • mail;
  • Telephone, stating that you want to lodge a complaint;
  • e-mail;
  • online form

The Complaints and Investigations Programme investigates complaints and endeavors to resolve the matter by conciliation, mediation and negotiation. It also advises the Commission on possible options for redress.

The redress department of the Commission coordinates the redress mechanisms for established human rights violations, including:

  • Human rights litigation;
  • Coordinating the Commission’s Public Inquiries on specific human rights themes: an inquiry into systemic human rights problems in which the general public is invited to participate;
  • Conducting Alternative Dispute Resolution in appropriate circumstances, including mediation, negotiation and conciliation.

Once a complaint is submitted, the Commission may initiate an inquiry. The Commission may decline to investigate a complaint if it considers that there are adequate remedies under law or administrative practice, or if it finds the complaint trivial or not made in good faith.

The commission does not charge fees in the lodging or determination of a complaint, nor does it provide legal aid or representation to complainants. 


Website of the KNCHR.

Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Act, 2011.

Constitution of Kenya 2010.

Last edited: 
June, 2015

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