Forced eviction is "the permanent or temporary removal against the
will of individuals, families and/or communities from the homes and/or land
which they occupy, without the provision of, and access to, appropriate forms
of legal or other protection" ( Committee on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights, general comment No. 7 (1997) on the right to
adequate housing: forced evictions

Evictions are due to factors embedded in the country's political economy, in
particular, the grossly inequitable land ownership structure which makes it
difficult for the poor to access land and decent shelter (Kefa, 2003).

Reasons for eviction include development and infrastructure projects, land acquisition
or expropriation, housing or land reclamation schemes, speculation, urban redevelopment and resettlement programmes, and to control the proliferation of informal settlements
– although, as elsewhere, slum clearance in Kenya has led to the creation of more
slums (NCCK, 1991; (Kefa, 2003) UNHCHR, 1993; Everett,2001)

Most evictions in Kenya are violent, unexpected and disruptive, conducted using overwhelming force, and timed to minimise resistance from the affected communities.

According to UNHCHR the socioeconomic, cultural and political consequences of evictions include:

  • Multiplying individual and social impoverishment,including homelessness and the growth of new slums
  • Physical, psychological and emotional trauma
  • Insecurity for the future
  • Medical hardship and the onset of disease;substantially higher transportation costs
  • Loss of livelihood and traditional lands
  • Worsened housing conditions
  • Physical injury or death resulting from arbitrary violence
  • The removal of children from school
  • Arrest or imprisonment of those opposing an eviction
  • Loss of faith by victims in the legal and political system
  • Reduction of low-income housing stock
  • Racial segregation
  • Loss of culturally significant sites
  • The confiscation of personal goods and property
  • Substantially higher housing costs
  • Absence of choice of alternative accommodation
  • Criminalizing self-help housing options
  • Increased social isolation
  • And tension with dwellers already at resettlement sites.

There is need for a more inclusive economy, domestication of it county plans and related by-laws, and create a proactive slum settlements policy. Where evictions are inevitable Land Amendment Act 2016 procedures should be followed. Article 2 (6) of the Constitution of Kenya recognises that "Any treaty or convention ratified by Kenya shall form part of the law of
Kenya under this Constitution". Ultimately article 43 of the constitution of Kenya need to be observed.

Forced Evictions

Mapping recent forced evictions in Kenya

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