Amnesty International Kenya (AI-Kenya) says it has received complaints that people are being threatened by enumerators with arrest if they decline to answer some questions.
“We have received that persons are being threatened or the exercise is being stopped when they decline the request for their passport and identity number,” AI-Kenya tweeted on Sunday.
AI-Kenya says the 2019 census is regulated by the Official Statistics Act and the schedule does not include any information that personally identifies a person.
“By our law and international standards, censuses are anonymous exercises,” said AI-Kenya in a statement published on Twitter and spread on social media platforms.
As a result, the human rights body has launched a hotline for Kenyans to report if they are threatened with arrest by enumerators for not revealing their ID or passport numbers.
Kenyans are jittery over revealing their identity card and passport numbers, fearing that their right to privacy may be compromised in data breaches.
Responding to a tweet by columnist Rasna Warah who said that personal details would not be needed in the demographic, housing and health survey, Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua said she had been asked to reveal her ID number.
The census kicked off smoothly with minimal incidents on Saturday at 6am and resumed on Sunday morning.
In a media briefing on Sunday, Government Spokesman Colonel Cyrus Oguna said only data capture machines failed in some areas but they were replaced.
“Elaborate security arrangement has been put in place. [About] 100,000 police officers have been deployed,” said Col. Oguna.
The government has also set up a free toll line, 0800221020, for any emergencies regarding the census.