Kenya’s human rights watchdog has released a report recommending that gay relationships and sex work be decriminalised.

The National Human Rights Commission (KNHRC) made the recommendations in a report on “the Public Inquiry into Violations of Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights in Kenya”, which was released last week.

The organisation said that it had undertaken an inquiry into the matter after it received complaints that the rights of various groups were being violated.

The KNHRC found “that sexual minorities such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons (LGBTIs) suffer numerous human rights violations on the basis of their sexual behaviour and orientation”.

It went on to recommend that the government “decriminalise same sex relationships and sex work with a view to ensure that they enjoy the human rights enshrined in the Constitution 2010 under the Bill of Rights”.

The KNHRC also said that health care providers should put in place programmes that respond to the needs of sexual minorities and that there is a need for community sensitisation to cultivate tolerance and acceptance of sexual minorities in society.

It furthermore urged the government and other stakeholders to respond to the needs of transgender people such as offering affordable gender reassignment services.

The report has been met with outrage by Kenyan religious leaders. The National Council of Churches of Kenya and the Nyanza Province Council of Church Leaders both slammed the recommendations.

“Kenya is a God-fearing state and to make such disgusting recommendations is a great abomination before God,” said Bishop Washington Ngede, who urged the government to not allow “acts of indecency to take place in the country”.

Same-gender sex is illegal in Kenya with penalties including five to 14 years imprisonment.

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