COVID-19 and human rights: Perspectives and lived experiences with regard to government COVID-19 response measures in informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya

Elizabeth W. Kimani-Murage, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
David Osogo, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
Florence Sipalla, African Population and Health Research Center
Hilda Owii, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
Faith Kathoka, African Population and Health Research Center
James Smart, Tazama Africa
David Ngira, Cardiff University
Jill Ghai, Katiba Institute
Christine Nkonge, Katiba Institute
John Harrington, Cardiff University

A number of response measures have been put in place by the Kenyan Government as central elements of response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures including the imposition of curfew, movement restrictions, social distancing and school closure, among others have disrupted livelihoods and resulted in human rights abuses. We aimed to document the perceptions and attitudes of slum residents regarding the impacts of the government response measures on their constitutional rights, with a focus on the right to food, as well as the impacts of these measures on everyday life. We conducted a qualitative study involving In-depth interviews, focus group discussions, key informant interviews and participatory methodologies (photovoice and digital stories) in Korogocho and Viwandani informal settlements of Nairobi. Data revealed escalated food insecurity and violation of the right to food among others as a result of the response measures. Response measures should be human-centered and sensitive to vulnerable groups.

Keywords: COVID-19, Health and morbidity, Ethics and human rights, Qualitative data/methods/approaches

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 149. Estimating COVID-19 Risks and Self-Perceptions