Podcast: Social Protection in Kenya

According to Kenya’s Social Protection Policy, poverty, disease, and ignorance were identified at the time of independence in 1963 as the critical challenges facing the new nation of Kenya. While some degree of success has been achieved in the area of education, progress in reducing poverty and providing healthcare has barely been made. 56 years after independence, “poverty and vulnerability remain major challenges, with almost one in every two Kenyans trapped in a long-term, chronic and inter-generational cycle of poverty.” Our Constitution in Article 43 guarantees all Kenyans their economic, social, and cultural rights. It asserts the “right for every person…to social security and binds the state to provide appropriate social security to persons who are unable to support themselves and their dependents.” This right is closely linked to other social protection rights, including the right to healthcare, human dignity, reasonable working conditions, and access to justice. Article 21 establishes the progressive realization of social and economic rights and obligates the state to “observe, respect, protect, promote, and fulfill the rights and fundamental freedoms in the Bill of Rights.”