The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Somalia, Michael Keating.
welcomed the signing into law of the National Human Rights Commission bill by Somalia’s Federal President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, at a ceremony today in Mogadishu.
Representatives from the executive and legislative branches of Somalia’s federal government, as well as civil society, witnessed the signing of the bill, which was approved by the federal parliament on 4 June. The new law sets out the principles, mandate, processes and regulations of an independent human rights commission, which will be responsible for the protection and promotion of human rights for all people in Somalia.
“This is good news for all Somalis. I congratulate the Government and all those involved from civil society for this important milestone in their efforts to enhance respect, protection and promotion of human rights,” said the SRSG. “After decades of conflict, the Federal Government and its partners have a duty to put in place effective human rights protection institutions. The National Human Rights Commission will be a key institution in this regard.”
Mr. Keating also commended the roles played by Somalia’s federal Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development led by its Minister Zahra Samatar and the federal parliament’s Committee on Human Rights in the preparation of the bill and its eventual enactment.
The human rights commission law fulfils an important pledge made by Somalia during two Universal Periodic Review sessions conducted by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011 and 2016. The legislation provides for the immediate formation of the commission in compliance with international principles and standards that govern such bodies.
“Once it is established, victims of human rights violations will be able to report abuses to an independent commission and seek redress for those violations,” said the SRSG. “The government will require significant resources to fully implement this law, and I call on Somalia’s development partners to support the government in this important undertaking.”
The United Nations will continue to provide technical support for the establishment of Somalia’s National Human Rights Commission as part of its mandate to strengthen the country’s capacity in the protection and promotion of human rights.