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05 Jun 2017 description

NEW YORK—Kenya’s decision to acknowledge the land rights of the country’s Nubian minority, announced on June 2, 2017, marks a historic victory for community-based efforts to end patterns of entrenched discrimination against the Nubians, the Open Society Justice Initiative said today. 

16 May 2017 description

by Laura Bingham

This April, a mobile registration team was hard at work again in the Kibera neighborhood of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. For five days, a team offered people help in securing national identity cards—a document that also serves as vital proof of Kenyan citizenship—setting up in mosques, car parks and community halls that are frequented by members of the country’s Nubian minority.

28 May 2015 description

The reports are the product of longitudinal assessments of the management of elections in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with particular emphasis on each country’s EMB. They analyse the development of each country’s EMB over time, evaluating its strength and performance based on indices that are comparable to other similar bodies in the region. The studies provide an important context within which to review the evolution of EMBs in ongoing discussions about transforming the state through constitutional and legal reform.

27 Nov 2012 description

East Africa has emerged in recent years as a focus of both transnational terrorism and Western-backed counterterrorism efforts. Governments have a responsibility to combat terrorism in a lawful manner. But as this report documents, counterterrorism tactics and operations in East Africa have led to a variety of human rights violations. Governments in the region have cited the need to fight terrorism as a pretext to crack down on political opposition, human rights defenders, and lawful expressions of dissent.

30 Aug 2012 description

The international community’s attention to Kenya has been sharply focused on the upcoming March 2013 elections and preventing the type of horrific ethnic violence that surrounded the 2007 election. But other things, big things, are afoot.

06 Apr 2011 description

April 6, 2011 | by Mugambi Kiai

The following article originally appeared in The Star.

22 Feb 2011 description

February 22, 2011 | by Mugambi Kiai

The following article originally appeared in The Star.

Recently I came across an argument supporting tribalism in Kenya:

It is important that a community of interest put their votes in one basket based either on a political, economic, or ideological philosophy along the lines of the Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. The people of Mt Kenya region definitely have issues that are unique to their circumstances just like the people of other regions have certain situations specific to them.

07 Feb 2011 description

February 7, 2011 | by Mugambi Kiai

The following article originally appeared in The Star.

You should never take a knife to a gunfight. But that is exactly what will happen if we buy the argument that the freshly minted governance institutions established under the new Kenyan constitution can handle those bearing the greatest responsibility for the 2007 post-election violence.

The reason is very simple: unlike instant coffee that is ready as soon as it is stirred in hot water, governance reforms take time to settle, catch on, and spread.

03 Feb 2011 description

February 3, 2011 | by Tracey Gurd

Around the world, there are an estimated 5 million children without access to citizenship. The impact is enormous. These "stateless" children are denied the basic services most of us take for granted-education and health care, for starters-and most grow up in extreme poverty. Without rights, they are left vulnerable to a wide range of dangers, including trafficking and exploitation.

20 Jan 2011 description

Executive Summary and Recommendations

In creating the International Criminal Court (ICC), the drafters of the Rome Statute assigned primary responsibility for dealing with its specified crimes to national authorities.

20 Sep 2010 description

September 20, 2010 | by Adam Hussein Adam

"Are my documents in order?" I asked the official. This was my fifth attempt in ten years to obtain a Kenyan passport. Now I was before the Criminal Investigations Department for an in-person "vetting."

"Identification cards could be forged, and so people's pictures," was the official's response. Of course, the vetting process, which has existed in Kenya for the last 20 years, targets only members of select ethnic, religious, and racial groups.

06 Aug 2010 description

August 6, 2010 | by James A. Goldston

In recent weeks the International Criminal Court has once again sparked controversy, first by charging Sudan's President Omar-al-Bashir with genocide, then by threatening to abort its first trial and free a Congolese warlord. Shortly thereafter, the African Union refused the ICC's request to open a liaison office in Addis Ababa, and called on member states not to arrest Bashir.

21 Oct 2009 description

By Bronwen Manby


Laws and practices governing citizenship in too many African countries effectively leave hundreds of thousands of people without a nationality.

21 Oct 2009 description

First comprehensive analysis of Africa's citizenship laws highlights consequences of gender and ethnic discrimination

(Kampala, Uganda, 21 October 2009) - The lack of citizenship rights generates conflict and undermines democracy in many countries in Africa, according to two new studies by the Open Society Institute.

21 Oct 2009 description

Une analyse complète des lois sur la nationalité en Afrique met en exergue les conséquences de la discrimination basée sur le genre et l'appartenance ethnique

(Kampala, Ouganda, 21 octobre 2009) - L'absence de droits en matière de nationalité engendre des conflits et affaiblit la démocratie dans de nombreux pays africains, d'après deux nouvelles études réalisées par l'Open Society Institute.

21 Oct 2009 description

Par Bronwen Manby


Dans un trop grand nombre de pays africains, les lois et pratiques régissant la nationalité ont pour effet de laisser des centaines de milliers de gens sans nationalité. Les apatrides africains constituent l'un des groupes des populations les plus vulnérables du continent. Ils ne peuvent ni voter ni se présenter à des élections ; ils ne peuvent ni inscrire leurs enfants à l'école, ni voyager librement ou posséder une propriété foncière ; ils ne peuvent pas être employés par l'État ; ils sont exposés aux violations des droits humains.

16 Apr 2008 description

Lessons that should be learned for the future

Bronwen Manby