Criminalising a ‘way of life’: The human rights implications of the UK Government’s ban of khat (or miraa) on the farmers of Meru County, Kenya

  • Maker Mayek Riak University of New South Wales


This paper explores the human rights implications of the categorisation of khat (miraa) as a ClassC Drug under the UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 on farmers in the Meru County of Kenya. The paper willargue that the criminalisation of khat is a contravention of the obligations under the International Covenanton Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and other human rights instruments that provide forthe right of people to enjoy adequate standards of living. As the UK is signatory to the ICESCR and hasratified it into its domestic law, its obligations as a State Party to the Convention extend not only to the UKresidents, but also to the broader international community.