On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day the Somalia Human Rights Working Group (HRWG), consisting of the EU, its Member States, Norway, Switzerland and the US, takes the opportunity to praise the Federal Government’s engagement with the international human rights framework, including its active participation in the Universal Periodic Review process as well as hosting the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in Somalia and the Assistant Secretary General on Human Rights. The UPR process and the endorsed Human Rights Action Plan are important milestones towards addressing some of the key challenges facing Somalia.
This year’s Human Rights Day Theme “Our Rights, Our Freedom”, recalls the four freedoms that underpin the International Bill of Rights: freedom of speech, of worship, of want and of fear. Freedom of fear reminds us of the nexus between insecurity, the lack of rule of law and enjoyment of basic human rights. Despite the many gains in Somalia’s path towards peace and security, the numerous civilian casualties in the wake of military operations, constitute a main concern. Continued extrajudicial and summary executions, including civilians tried by military courts, as well as acts of sexual violence, add to our concern. The HRWG calls upon all parties in Somalia, including the Somali National Army, AMISOM and other foreign forces to take effective measures to prevent and address human rights and international humanitarian law violations during military operations.