A group of civil society activists is calling for the decriminalisation of petty offenses in a bid to stop the gross violation of human rights of the poor and the vulnerable in the society.
KNCHR Commissioner Susane Chirusa says most people criminalised and punished for petty offenses in Kenya are majorly in the cities and major urban centers.
Speaking during a meeting on decriminalisation and reclassification of petty offenses with the ICJ Group, suggested that a special alternative means of dealing with petty offenders be formed instead of subjecting them to a court process.
Dr Gilbert Sebihoge ED, Network of African National Human Rights Institution (NANHRI) argues that criminalisation of petty offences leads to criminalisation of poverty.
He adds that petty offences are minor criminal acts which attract less severe punishment and are considered to be of a lower level of seriousness compared to felonies.
The petty offenses they want decriminalised include loitering, drunkenness, prostitution, idleness, begging, indecent exposure among others.