By Goth Mohamed Goth
A well-attended ceremony marking the International Human Rights Day on Thursday was held on the 10th of December with activities led by the Somaliland National Human rights commission (SLNHRC).The Day marks the anniversary of the Assembly’s adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
Hon Farhiya Haji Hussein Jahur, the chairman of the Somaliland National Human rights commission (SLNHRC) in her speech during the function marking International Human Rights Day stated as follows:-
I am proud that today, we celebrate the world human rights day. On 10th of December 1948 is earmarked to become the Human Rights after the Second World War 1939-1945 massacre occurred in the world.
This day reflects on the human dignity and rights of all humans regardless of race, color, minority, religion and everything that affects the rights of a human being.
The theme for Human Rights Day 2015 is “Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always” – to mark the launch of a one-year campaign commemorating two international treaties adopted 50 years ago: Two Human Rights Covenants are the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both adopted in 1966.
In 2015, the focus is on “freedoms” – recalling the four freedoms that underpin the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and two major human rights covenants, and first articulated in 1941 by President Franklin D Roosevelt in his “four freedoms speech” to the US Congress. The four freedoms are: freedom from fear, freedom of speech, freedom of worship and freedom from want.
The International Bill of Human Rights consists of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols.
According to the National Human Rights Commission Act, the commission will conduct its duties freelyand without interference in accordance with the Act and the regulations of the International Human Rights.
The Commission deals with activities related to the entry of human rights violators and the fundamental freedoms of the citizens and residents of the country, while not violate laws.
Commission act of international rules related to human rights, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Convention on international political and social rights (ICCPR), the Convention on the rights of international social, cultural and economic (ICSECR) , call for international intervention to help end violence against woman (CEDAW) and the African Charter of Human Rights (African Charter). Commission break exercised in accordance with the Constitution and laws of the country.
Activities undertaken by Commission in 2015
The Somaliland Human Rights commission is constantly monitoring the 11 prison and 1 main Prison 6 regional prisons and four district level detention centers.
The Commission has in the course of this year (2015) inspected 45 police stations in all 6 regions of the country.
The commission has been monitoring the conditions in the following institutions:-
- Education Centers
- Internal displaced and Refuges
- Health centers such as hospitals and mental Asylums
- Orphaned centers and Juvenile rehabilitation centers
- We strongly urge the members of the National Assembly to pass the rape law.
- 125 complaints were submitted to the commission in 2015 all relating to Human Rights offenses and all we dealt with legally.
- Members of the commission while representing the country have participated in regional and international NGO meetings.
- We strongly recommend the legislative body to work closely all Human rights groups and concerned parties while drafting Human rights laws in order to safeguard human rights in the country.
7.We have being hold awareness training for the concerned communities.
- The Human Rights commission will continue to lobby rape bill to be enacted into Law.
- We have held numerous forums meant to address the effects Illegal migration, difficulties faced by people who suffer from mental illness, treatment, rape and we disseminate awareness program through the media.
- The commission after conducting inspections submits their findings and recommendations to the concerned ministries in order for them to take the appropriate action.
We recommend the current government to implement the following:-
1. Ministry of Government and the House of Representatives to propose legislation to make the protection of the fundamental rights of citizens guaranteed by the constitution, according to Article 25 section 3.
2. Legislative body to draft laws meant to control female circumcision.
3. Legislative body should speed up the adoption of the law rape.
4. We urge the ministry of justice and prisons department to improve conditions of jails and the overall wellbeing of prisoners.
5. We call upon Human rights and concerned stakeholders to cooperate in order to safeguard human rights of citizens living in the country.
6. The Commission proposes that the draft, any changes and additions to the journalist code No.27.2004 current parliament titles, as soon as possible in order to obtain approval of the democratic framework governing the press in Somaliland.
7. We suggest that the Ministry of Education and universities to establish faculties that teach journalism.
8. To create a bill of rights for children.
9. To implement the Children Act and, that they should tried in a special and unique court which guarantees and safeguards their rights.
10. To Introduce and adapt a bill for protection of mental illness patients in order to protect their rights.
11. We call on the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Religious affairs to make investigate and make sure persons suffering mental being treated in private asylums are treated humanely.
12. We urge the legislative bodies should allocated special quotas for women
13. The allocation of special quotas for minorities.
14. The Ministry of Education should provide education to visually impaired students and also equip them learning gear.
15. Community, we urge them to maintain the country’s laws in order to create a society free from tribalism and violence against human rights.