The unseen majority in Kenyas capital demand dignity

Amnesty International's Secretary-General Irene Khan concludes her high-level mission to Kenya today with the launch of a new report outlining the rights abuses faced by those living in Kenya's slums and informal settlements. 

The report, entitled 'The Unseen Majority' is the first report in Amnesty's new campaign to Demand Dignity for the worlds poorest people whose basic rights are denied, such as the right to adequate housing, clean water or appropriate health care.

The report highlights how half of Nairobis population live in slums and have limited or no access to a decent sewerage system, inadequate schools and clinics. 

For example in Kibera Africas largest informal settlement for example, residents have very limited access to a sewerage system and so in flat parts of the area, the smell of human waste is always present because sewage gathers and stagnates there.

Clinics and schools are scarce, and the lack of roads in the area means that its really difficult for people to access public transport.

The other real threat faced by people living in slums is the possibility that a bulldozer may come along in the middle of the night and destroy their homes.

In 2005, about 850 homes of residents in the Deep Sea Settlement were demolished by bulldozers.  Residents werent given prior notice and it took place in the middle of the night.  Since then the thousands of residents in this settlement live under that constant threat of another forcible eviction. Amnesty has been campaigning to stop forced evictions for the residents of the Deep Sea.  You can take action here.

This past week, Amnestys Irene Khan has met with senior figures in Kenyas Government, including Prime Minister Raila Odinga to discuss these matters and express Amnestys concerns about the lack of basic rights for the countrys poorest. 

She also echoed Kofi Annans call for the government to bring to justice the perpetrators of abuses in last years conflict to ensure that substantial reform is taken so that Kenyans do not witness a repeat of the brutal events of early last year.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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