The first Kenyan Constitution, which was negotiated at independence, incorporated many of the conventional civil and political rights, but was conspicuously silent on socio-economic rights. This created a situation where very little attention was given to socio-economic rights and culminated in a socio-economic crisis. The socio-economic situation in Kenya has been so dire that it even attracted the attention of the United Nation’s Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights.  In November 2008, at its 41st session, the Committee asked the Kenya government questions on the steps it was taking, inter alia, to address what it perceived as a socio-economic crisis in the country. One of the important steps that the Kenya government took to address the socio-economic problem was the enactment of a new Constitution, the Constitution of Kenya 2010, which entrenched virtually all categories of socio-economic rights. The main challenge, however, has been how to translate the newly introduced socio-economic rights from paper rights to substantive rights. This article examines Kenya’s experience in this regard.

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