Report of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia (A/HRC/36/62) (Advance unedited version)
Human Rights Council
11-29 September 2017
Agenda item 10
Technical assistance and capacity-building
Note by the Secretariat
The Secretariat has the honour to transmit to the Human Rights Council the report of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, Bahame Tom Nyanduga, prepared pursuant to Council resolution 33/17. The report highlights the significant improvements in the human rights situation in Somalia in terms of governance and the peacebuilding process, notwithstanding the continuing threat by the armed opposition group Al-Shabaab.
The election of Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo” as President on 8 February 2017 completed a peaceful transition of power, which is a testimony to the peacebuilding efforts and the consolidation of State institutions in Somalia. The international community’s engagement with Somalia continued through successful missions by, among others, the Secretary-General and the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, and through the summit of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, held in Mogadishu in September 2016.
International engagement also manifested itself through the continued presence of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia and the African Union Mission in Somalia. That presence is critical to the stabilization and peacebuilding process. The international community offers much-needed support to the Federal Government of Somalia in many areas.
The successful conclusion of the London Conference on Somalia on 11 May 2017 underlined the need for continued reforms and support in the governance, security, rule of law and justice sectors and for political frameworks at the federal and state levels.
The clan system of Somali society, which is heavily influenced by male traditional elders, continues to pose grave challenges to the enjoyment of women’s rights, despite the progressive policies and legislation adopted at the federal and state levels to combat sexual offences and harmful traditions and attitudes. The Independent Expert urges the authorities to address the role of traditional elders in resolving sexual and gender-based violence. He encourages the Federal Government and the Puntland and Somaliland authorities to adopt, where necessary, policies and legislative and judicial sector reforms to guarantee women the right to access to justice.
Somalia has continued to face terrorist attacks by Al-Shabaab that threaten to weaken or reverse the gains made to date in the enjoyment of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. Moreover, the three-year drought has caused a humanitarian crisis affecting more than half the population and decimating about 60 per cent of livestock, which has brought economic hardship to the population.
The process of establishing the national human rights commission has begun, based on the bill adopted by the Federal Parliament on 6 June 2016 and signed into law by former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in August 2016. The Independent Expert encourages the Government to expedite the process and ensure that the commission is credible.
The Independent Expert concludes by recommending, inter alia, that the international community promote the smooth disengagement of the African Union Mission in Somalia by ensuring that the Somali National Army is properly trained and funded. He recommends that the Federal Government ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and that the federal, state and subnational authorities adopt or implement policy, legislative and institutional reforms aimed at the promotion and protection of the rule of law and human rights, particularly women’s rights.