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Human Rights Council 33, UK Statement during the Interactive Dialogue with Independent Expert on Somalia , 28 September 2016

UK Statement delivered during the Interactive Dialogue with Independent Expert on Somalia, delivered at the Human Rights Council.

The Human Rights Council takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva
The Human Rights Council takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

Mr President,

The United Kingdom thanks the Independent Expert for his report. Some progress has been made but overall, the human rights situation in Somalia remains severe.

Somalia has committed itself to upholding human rights, but implementation has been slow. We commend the Federal Government for its participation in the UPR process and urge the Government to implement the recommendations made.

A timely, credible and peaceful electoral process which respects freedom of expression, association and assembly, is crucial. We urge the Federal Government and regional administrations to uphold their commitment to deliver at least 30% of Parliamentary seats to women.

We call on the new Federal Government to uphold human rights and respect its international obligations. Key human rights legislation should be implemented swiftly and effectively. The drafting of the new Constitution provides an opportunity to comply with international standards.

We regret that the Independent Expert was not able to travel to the region, including Somaliland, and hope that he will be able to do so in the year ahead.

The UK calls for an end to use of the death penalty. We are concerned that the death penalty, including the passing of sentences on minors, continues to be used despite the Federal Government of Somalia previously indicating that it was in favour of a moratorium on this issue. There are worrying reports of extra-judicial killings. We are also concerned about military courts overseeing civilian cases, their ability to follow due process, and the treatment of former child soldiers in detention.

Women, members of minorities, people with disabilities, and survivors of sexual violence all face discrimination. Addressing stigma and providing better support for survivors is a priority for the UK’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative. We welcome the establishment of the new Presidential Office for Disability Affairs and urge it to ratify and implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Finally, Mr President, as the main sponsor of a resolution to extend the mandate of the Independent Expert for a further year, the UK strongly supports his work.

Thank you.

Published 28 September 2016