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Lobby challenges certificate of good conduct requirement for job seekers

A lobby has moved to court to challenge the requirement of a certificate of good conduct for job seekers.

Most employers, especially in government, ask job seekers to get the certificate. But the Legal Resource Foundation has said the requirement is a breach of the Constitution.

The organisation’s executive director, Ms Janet Munywoki, said the check mechanism is prone to abuse and termed it a violation of rights.

“We have gone to court and what we are saying is that the requirement curtails the productivity of Kenyans particularly those seeking jobs,” she said in Naivasha where she was attending a paralegal workshop.

According to the lobby, former prisoners were the most affected by the requirement, yet the law gives leeway to have their records cleaned once they are released from jail.

PRISONERS FACE CHALLENGES

“If you look at the Prisons Act, it requires that at the time the person is released from prison, the record needs to be erased but that does not happen in practice,” she said.

Ms Munywoki said many former inmates, whose fingerprints had not been expunged from the record, faced challenges when looking for jobs.

The organisation now wants all stakeholders involved, including the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the courts, to deliberate on the matter to find a way forward.

Ms Munywoki called for discussions involving the institutions on how the records can be managed for the public good.

GUIDING FRAMEWORK

“Our argument is that there is a need for a guiding framework which is very clear on how such documents should be issued,” said Ms Munywoki.

She called for enjoinment of the public and institutions affected by the requirement in the case.

“It is a case that is likely to set a precedent in the country since it is a practice that silently continues to deny Kenyans jobs,” said the executive director.

She said the roles of the paralegals are often among the first public individuals who come into contact with the potential litigants as they transverse various places.

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