In Kenya, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur has long-standing concerns over the situation of several Indigenous Peoples, including the Sengwer, Ogiek, and Maasai, in particular in relation to conservation and climate change projects. In the past two years, there has been an escalation of violence in the Embobut forest where the Kenya Forest Service has repeatedly evicted and burned Sengwer homes as well as arrested community members. These acts have taken place despite the fact that the Sengwer are in litigation challenging the evictions and an injunction was issued preventing such evictions in the interim. Several Sengwer have been shot by the Kenya Forest Service, including one herder who was killed in January 2018. The European Commission funded a climate change project in the area, with the Kenya Forest Services among the recipients of funding. The Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous Peoples made a public call for the project to ensure respect for human rights, and the European Commission decided to suspend the climate change project pending an assessment of its human rights compliance.
The landmark judgement in favor of the Ogiek peoples in Kenya by the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights issued in May 2017 affirms the Ogieks’ collective rights to the Mau Forest and sends a strong signal in the region that indigenous land rights are to be protected and forced evictions halted.