The UN special envoy to Somalia Michael Keating has lauded the signing into law of the National Human Rights Commission bill Monday by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud terming it a milestone to protection of human rights in Somalia.
Keating said the new law will be instrumental in enabling the government put into place measures to curb human rights violations.
“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.”
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.
The envoy also commended the role played by the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development headed by Minister Zahra Samatar and Parliament’s Committee on Human Rights which prepared 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.
Keating said the government will need significant resources to fully implement the law calling on development partners to support the government in undertaking this task.
He added the UN will continue to provide technical support for the establishment of the human rights body as part of its mandate strengthen the country’s capacity in the protection and promotion of human rights.
The Commission will be run by a 9 member team headed by a chairman whose term will term will run for a period of four years.