Kenya faces the Music

I spent three hours watching Kenya, a large and complex African nation, being assessed on its human rights record. Over 78 countries had lined up to speak to Kenya about this, and most of them, in the two minutes allotted them, spoke succinctly and wisely. It was analysis, encouragement and challenge: Kenya was being judged by its peers.

They all know that they too will sit where Kenya sat, and take questions, comments and recommendations. Some countries were friendly and gentle; some were critical, even blunt; none were overtly hostile. I was listening for the muted cries of Kenyans who could not afford to attend this process, the four-yearly Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

Someone has said, “All human suffering flows to Geneva.” This Review is the moment when their cry may be heard, and a commitment made to respect their right to life and health. There may not be miracles, but it is a time when human happiness seems to hang in the balance, and maybe a better world.

Moy Hitchen cfc

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