NATIONAL REGISTRATION AND IDENTIFICATION BILL, 2012

Bill status: 
Undergoing internal review & stakeholder consultations

AN ACT of Parliament to provide for the notification and registration of births and deaths, for the identification of Kenya citizens, the issuance of documents of registration and identification, and for connected purposes


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I am a Kenyan living in Luxembourg and i hope that the bill on citizenship will be passed a.s.a.p.I hold both Kenyan and Luxembourg passports,therefore the passage of this bill is of outmost importance to me.I ask the Kenya government to keep up the good work and wish them all the best as they seek to enact the all important constitution.Kenya inchi yetu.Thanks.

we should also look to the globe to encourage more of the diverse humanity to have the chance to easily become citizens of our beloved nation, kenya. the benefits of doing so should allow establishment of new settlements (towns) and social or business ventures in uncolonized regions/tracts of land and resources set up a self sustaining immigration system that does not entertain immigrant fatigue as witnessed in the developed western nations.

The TEA would like to highlight a number of articles clauses in some proposed bills and if enacted how they may be used to violate the rights of gender minorities/transgender persons. We request the Committee on the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) to consider our views as urgent and of greatest importance in defending the human rights and fundamental freedom of one of Kenya’s most marginalized minority group. 1. Identification and Registration of Kenya Citizens Bill, 2011 18 (3)Where the facial features or biometrics or both the facial features and biometrics of a registered person have been permanently defaced or otherwise altered whether through accident, medical procedure or other cause the registered person shall be required to report such event to a registration officer and the registration officer may issue a replacement National Identity card and enter the particulars of the replacement in the register (4)The Director may decline to change the particulars of a registered person appearing in the register if in his or her opinion such change will result in a change of the registered person’s Identity, not withstanding that such a change is permissible under any other written law or registration system. These articles are bound to be used to infringe on the human rights of transsexual individuals. 1. These clauses give the state powers to grant rights or fundamental freedoms to certain persons yet the Bill of Rights states that the State does not grant rights. (3) The rights and fundamental freedoms in the Bill of Rights— (a) belong to each individual and are not granted by the State; (b) do not exclude other rights and fundamental freedoms not in the Bill of Rights, but recognised or conferred by law, except to the extent that they are inconsistent with this Chapter; and (c) are subject only to the limitations contemplated in this Constitution. If any person is distressed because they were born in one particular sex and have no option but to undergo a sex transition then they and their choices should be respected. But, to further complicate the lives of these persons by sneaking in clauses to deny them a chance to live decent lives is inhumane and a worst form of psychological torture. Identity construction is a private affair not a subject of State regulation. The Bill of Rights states that: “29. Every person has the right to freedom and security of the person, which includes the right not to be— (d) subjected to torture in any manner, whether physical or psychological; (f) treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading manner.” Gender identity construction is a complicated process involving congenital predisposition and environmental factors. Its not a parameter to be subjected to state scrutiy or hostility. Also, denying persons the right to make ammendments in their National Identity card to reflect the new changes pose security risks to transsexual persons. Transsexual persons operate bank accounts, Mpesa accounts, do travel, own or would like to own property, use driving licences or passports and have to undergo security checks. Additionally, they may at times go through sex dichotomized institutions such as colleges, hospitals and prisons. Failing to change particulars in the National Identity card is a form of punishment for those undergoing sex transitions. The State should not be part and parcel of such oppresive and cruel mechanizations against minorities in Kenya. The article/clause further vilifies all persons changing their identity. The TEA accedes to the need for the state to enhance security in the country. But, there has not been a documented case whereby an Kenyan individual changed their name and sex in National Identity card for the purpose of committing a crime. Making blanket condemnation for all individuals changing their identity that they are criminals running away from justice or have a sinister motive is an act of vilifying transgender persons and no excuse should be accepted to have such retrogressive bills or laws. The Bill of Rights states that: (2) The right to freedom of expression does not extend to— (d) advocacy of hatred that— (i) constitutes ethnic incitement, vilification of others or incitement to cause harm; or (ii) is based on any ground of discrimination specified or contemplated in Article 27 (4). 4. The Identification and Registration of Kenya Citizens 2011 fails to meet acceptable standards of protecting Gender Minorities (transgender persons) from the tyranny of the Majority (cisgender persons). It marginalizes gender minorities/transsexual persons by failing to grant minorities protection and binding the state to the role of protecting vulnerable and minority group; in fact State officials plan to subjugate the transsexual community in Kenya by sneaking in oppressive clauses in Kenya’s laws. Yet the Bill of Rights states that: 21. (1) It is a fundamental duty of the State and every State organ to observe, respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights and fundamental freedoms in the Bill of Rights. (3) All State organs and all public officers have the duty to address the needs of vulnerable groups within society, including women, older members of society, persons with disabilities, children, youth, members of minority or marginalised communities, and members of particular ethnic, religious or cultural communities. Recommendations (A) 18 (3)Where the facial features or biometrics or both the facial features and biometrics of a registered person have been permanently defaced or otherwise altered whether through accident, medical procedure or other cause the registered person shall be required to report such event to a registration officer and the registration officer may issue a replacement National Identity card and enter the particulars of the replacement in the register “May issue a replacement National Identity card” should be replaced with “shall issue a replacement National Identity card bearing a photo of the closest resemblance to the applicant at the time of re-applying for a Replacement National Identity Card. Where the change is as a result of Medical Procedure(s) or treatment, the applicant must provide proof of such” (B) (4)The Director may decline to change the particulars of a registered person appearing in the register if in his or her opinion such change will result in a change of the registered person’s Identity, not withstanding that such a change is permissible under any other written law or registration system. The Identification and Registration of Kenya Citizens 2011, needs to state a time limit within which a Director is supposed to act on issues such as change of particulars. We hereby recommend that an applicant must have received written communication of whether an application has been accepted or rejected within a month. If approved, a replacement National Identity card must be handed to its owner within 30 days after the date of approval and if rejected written communication must be submitted to the applicant explaining why the application was rejected and the amendments to be made. Additionally, the State does not grant rights. People’s dignity, choices and humanity should be respected. The State should not interfere with the exercise of one’s rights and fundamental freedoms. The Director should not overrule a change of particulars for any transgender person.

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The requirement to produce a copy of a parent's Identity card is impractical and unconstitutional. It fails to take into account Orphans or children found within the country. How will a child found abandoned for example be able to produce his/her parents Identity card? he will be denied registration yet he is a kenyan citizen. The Act presupposes that it gives citizenship yet it is not true. for example if my ID is cancelled, does that mean i am not a kenyan and not entitled to rights and obligations of a kenyan citizen? The Act should instead provide amendment etc The provision about providing false entries and misrepresentation will target intersexed and transgender people. They can easily be charged and prosecuted because someone thinks the applicant is of a different gender from that in the ID. The gender of an intersexed or transgendered person may not conform to the pysical genital manifestation. There should also be a provision allowing Intersexed and transgendered persons to change the sex as appearing on the ID and other documents.

The requirement to produce a copy of a parent's Identity card is impractical and unconstitutional. It fails to take into account Orphans or children found within the country. How will a child found abandoned for example be able to produce his/her parents Identity card? he will be denied registration yet he is a kenyan citizen. The Act presupposes that it gives citizenship yet it is not true. for example if my ID is cancelled, does that mean i am not a kenyan and not entitled to rights and obligations of a kenyan citizen? The Act should instead provide amendment etc The provision about providing false entries and misrepresentation will target intersexed and transgender people. They can easily be charged and prosecuted because someone thinks the applicant is of a different gender from that in the ID. The gender of an intersexed or transgendered person may not conform to the pysical genital manifestation. There should also be a provision allowing Intersexed and transgendered persons to change the sex as appearing on the ID and other documents.

When can I expect this bill to be enacted?

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Hi, i wish to gather information on the duration of applying for an ID to actually getting it at your collection centre, also the number of ID replacements carried out in an year (for the last 5years) I am working on a documents collection system for the Govt of Kenya and I wish to use this information for statistical purposes only. this is a system that will help in significantly lowering the number of replacements, help with ID tracking and also help make the system more efficient interms of delivery.

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