Category Page: Manuals


Code of Conduct for Election Monitors and Observers

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HRDs Award 2016

HRD award 2016

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The State of Surveillance in Kenya is the result of an ongoing collaboration by Privacy International and National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders – Kenya.

Right to Privacy

The constitution

Article 31 of the Constitution specifically protects the right to privacy. It states:

“Every person has the right to privacy, which includes the right not to have—

(a) their person, home or property searched;
(b) their possessions seized;
(c) information relating to their family or private affairs unnecessarily required or revealed; or
(d) the privacy of their communications infringed.”

Furthermore, Article 2 of Kenya’s Constitution states that Kenya’s international obligations, such as its commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which include privacy rights, are part of Kenyan domestic law. It states:

“(5) The general rules of international law shall form part of the law of Kenya.

(6) Any treaty or convention ratified by Kenya shall form part of the law of Kenya under this Constitution.”

Regional and international conventions

Kenya is a signatory to or has ratified a number of international conventions with privacy implications, including:

Communication Surveillance


The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) collects statistics on the communications sector. Mobile penetration was recorded at 83.9% in June 2015, with 36.1 million mobile subscriptions. There were an estimated 29.6 million internet users in Kenya in June 2015, with 69% of the population having access to the internet, according to the CA.

Social media is widely used in Kenya. According to a June 2015 report by the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE), social media platforms such as blogs, Twitter and Facebook have “become an effective tool through which Kenyans can write on topics of interest to them as well as exercise their freedom to free speech.”

Popular platforms include Twitter and Facebook. Facebook had 4 million Kenyan users in June 2015. Kenya had over 700,000 confirmed monthly active users on Twitter, the majority of which accessed Twitter on a daily basis.


Staying Safe – A Protection Guide for Journalists in Kenya

The idea of producing a safety guide for journalists had not quite taken root when we came together as a media working group. Our primary interest then was to explore the media landscape to find out the status of journalists’ safety and protection when discharging their duties. It was the astonishing results of the subsequent National Baseline Survey on Journalists’ Safety and Protection that motivated and guided our foray into the complex but essential realm of safety and protection guides.

With funding from the Kenya Media Programme, which is a programme of the Dutch humanist organisation, Hivos, our first step was to consolidate the findings of the baseline survey and its recommendations. We then delved into a sampling of international safety guides for journalists and tried to discern their common denominators. Finally, a working draft in hand, we sat with various media representatives drawn from a broad spectrum of the industry – field correspondents, newsroom journalists, editors, and media executives/owners, journalists and editors associations – to review the draft. The feedback helped improve the draft, which we finally presented to a select representative group of the industry for input and validation.

The content in the following pages is the result of that exhaustive but decidedly rewarding process and while we would like to think we have covered all possible angles, we are aware that some areas may require deeper focus. This manual is being offered as a living document, to be adjusted and updated to respond to the inevitable changes in our society.

The project is divided into two parts. The first is a national Protocol, which sets the framework for the safety guide. Alongside the Protocol is what we consider a critical corollary, a 10-point Charter for Media Owners and Managers, which commits them to a number of obligations intended to make the journalists’ environment safer than it is currently. It is hoped that as many of them as care for the safety of their human capital will sign the charter and thereby give this whole project some practical meaning. The second, and larger part, is taken up by a discussion of practical and tested guidelines that journalists can and should adopt to secure their safety.

For this seminal and groundbreaking project, we are grateful to the Kenya Media Programme and Hivos, without whose support and encouragement we would not have been able to undertake let alone accomplish the task. We are also grateful for the encouragement we received from the media owners/executives, editors and journalists with whom we interacted to test our hypothesis and validate our many assumptions. We hope the manual will serve its intended purpose and that it will form a valuable addition to the curricula of journalism training schools.

Safety Manual Final KMP


Safety Manual Final KMP 1

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