Human Rights Council Thirty-sixth session

11–29 September 2017

Agenda item 10

Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 29 September 2017

36/27. Assistance to Somalia in the field of human rights

The Human Rights Council,

Guided by the Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

Acknowledging that peace and security, development and human rights are the

pillars of the United Nations system,

Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political

independence and unity of Somalia,

Reaffirming also its previous resolutions on Somalia,

Recalling its resolutions 5/1 and 5/2 of 18 June 2007,

Recognizing that the primary responsibility for promoting and protecting human

rights in Somalia rests with the Federal Government of Somalia, and that enhancing the

legal framework, human rights protection systems and the capacity and legitimacy of

institutions is essential to help to combat impunity, improve accountability for human rights

violations and encourage reconciliation,

Recognizing also the need for all authorities engaged in security to uphold

international human rights commitments and obligations and to address abuse and the

excessive use of force against civilians,

Recognizing further the importance and effectiveness of international assistance to

Somalia and the continued need to step up the scale, coordination, coherence and quality of

all capacity development and technical assistance to Somalia in the field of human rights at

the national and federal Member State levels, and in that regard welcoming the outcomes of

the London Somalia Conference held in May 2017, including the adoption of the New

Partnership for Somalia, which sets out the terms of international support for Somali

priorities, including on human rights, and the Security Pact to provide Somali-led security

and protection in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human

rights law, as appropriate,

Recognizing the sustained and vital commitment of the African Union Mission in

Somalia and the loss and sacrifice of personnel killed in action, and recognizing also that

the commitments from the Mission and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development

are creating the conditions for Somalia to establish political institutions and to extend State

authority, which are key to laying the foundations for a staged transfer of security

responsibility to Somali security forces,

Recognizing also the role that women have played and will continue to play in

community mobilization and peacebuilding in Somali society, and the importance of

promoting their economic empowerment and participation in political and public decision-

making processes, including within Parliament and at all levels of government, in line with

Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) of 31 October 2000 on women, peace and security,

1. Welcomes the commitment of the Federal Government of Somalia to improve

the situation of human rights in Somalia, and in that regard welcomes:

(a) The New Partnership for Somalia, adopted at the London Somalia

Conference by Somalia and international partners, which sets ambitious but achievable

goals for progress on the priorities of Somalia for stability and development, including on

human rights and the rule of law, constitutional settlement, inclusive politics, good

governance, measures to tackle corruption, security and economic recovery;

(b) The endorsement of the first national development plan in 30 years and the

commitments made therein to protect human rights, to promote gender equality and to

empower all women and girls;

(c) The Security Pact, adopted by Somalia and international partners at the

London Somalia Conference, which sets out a vision of Somali-led security institutions and

forces that are affordable, acceptable and accountable, and have the ability to provide the

security and protection that the Somali people deserve and need, in accordance with

international humanitarian law and human rights standards;

(d) The high-level commitment made at the London Somalia Conference to

continue dialogue and to work towards closer partnership between the Federal Government

of Somalia, civil society and diaspora organizations, in recognition of the important

contribution of civil society and the diaspora in supporting ongoing peace and development

in Somalia;

(e) The increased representation of women in the cabinet and the Somali national

parliament from 14 per cent to 24 per cent as a result of the electoral process, which,

although falling short of the commitment to reach 30 per cent representation of women,

marks a hard-won step towards more representative, inclusive and effective governance;

(f) The work undertaken by the Ministry for Women and Human Rights

Development as the lead federal government body to advance the human rights agenda in

Somalia, including efforts to establish a national human rights commission to monitor and

provide accountability for violations and abuses, with representation of women,

marginalized groups and persons with disabilities;

(g) The development and agreement of key policies and plans, including a post-

transition human rights road map, a national gender policy and a national plan of action on

eradicating sexual violence in conflict;

(h) Progress on key legislation, including the enactment of the child protection

bill, progress towards the adoption of a bill on sexual offences and the implementation of a

media law, through consultation with media organizations and civil societies, in order to

provide a framework for upholding freedom of expression;

2. Also welcomes the continued commitment of the Federal Government of

Somalia to the universal periodic review process, and in this regard welcomes its

acceptance of the many recommendations made during the review, and encourages their


3. Expresses concern at reports of violations and abuses of human rights in

Somalia, and underscores the need to end impunity, to uphold the respect for human rights

for all and to hold accountable all those responsible for such violations and abuses and

related crimes;

4. Expresses particular concern at the abuses and violations perpetrated against

girls and women, including sexual and gender-based violence, child, early and forced

marriage and female genital mutilation, expresses concern at the abuses and violations

committed against children, including the unlawful recruitment and use of child soldiers

and children in armed conflict, killing and maiming, rape and other sexual and gender-

based violence, and abductions, and emphasizes the need for accountability and justice for

all such violations and abuses;

5. Expresses concern that internally displaced persons, including the most

marginalized and vulnerable, which may include women, children and persons belonging to

minority groups, are the most at risk and can bear the brunt of violence, abuses and


6. Also expresses concern at the attacks against and harassment of human rights

defenders and the media, including journalists, in Somalia, and emphasizes the need to

promote respect for freedom of expression and opinion and to end impunity, holding

accountable those who commit any such related crimes;

7. Recognizes the efforts of those States hosting Somali refugees, urges all host

States to meet their obligations under international law relating to refugees, and urges the

international community to continue to provide financial support to enable host States to

meet the humanitarian needs of Somali refugees in the region, to support the reintegration

of those returning to Somalia when conditions are suitable, and to support internally

displaced persons in Somalia;

8. Calls upon the Federal Government of Somalia, with the support of the

international community:

(a) To implement the commitments in the New Partnership for Somalia and the

London Conference communiqué on constitutional reform, noting the importance of

reaching a settlement on outstanding constitutional issues, completing the constitutional

review process in a manner that promotes the building of peace and rule of law, and

establishing a more inclusive model for elections in 2021;

(b) To end the prevailing culture of impunity and to hold accountable those who

commit human rights violations and abuses by concluding the establishment of a resourced

and independent national human rights commission and through reform of State and

traditional justice mechanisms, to increase representation of women in the judiciary, and to

improve access to justice for women and children;

(c) To impose a zero-tolerance policy on sexual and gender-based violence,

including female genital mutilation, ensuring that those responsible for sexual and gender-

based violence, exploitation and abuse are, regardless of their status or rank, held to


(d) To ensure security sector reform consistent with international law in order to

ensure that Somali security forces and institutions comply with applicable national and

international law, including international human rights law, including on the protection of

individuals from, inter alia, sexual and gender-based violence, and on the prevention of

extrajudicial killings, and to strengthen internal and external accountability of all relevant

security forces and institutions;

(e) To increase the support and resources allocated to the ministries and

institutions responsible for the administration of justice and the protection of human rights,

particularly the Ministry for Women and Human Rights Development at the federal and

State levels, the judiciary, the police, and correctional services;

(f) To ensure the meaningful participation of women in public and political life

and decision-making by ensuring that the electoral model for national elections in 2021

enables the increased representation of women, alongside elections at the federal Member

State level;

(g) To realize the commitment made at the London Somalia Conference to

establish closer dialogue and cooperation with civil society, with representation of women,

marginalized groups and persons with disabilities;

(h) To promote reconciliation and dialogue at the federal, regional state and

subnational levels, while recognizing the importance of the valuable assistance provided by

the Intergovernmental Authority on Development;

(i) To implement the media protection law to protect and uphold freedom of

expression and a free media and to create a safe and enabling environment in which

journalists and human rights defenders can operate free from hindrance and insecurity, to

continue efforts to prohibit, prevent and protect against all kidnapping, killings, attacks,

acts of intimidation against and harassment of journalists, to initiate timely, effective,

impartial and transparent investigations into killings of journalists, and to prosecute all

those responsible for unlawful acts in a manner that is in line with provisions in the media

protection law and is consistent with other applicable domestic and international legal


(j) To ensure the equitable participation of women, young people, members of

minority groups and other marginalized groups in national political processes, and to

establish skills development centres to empower women, young people and members of

minority groups to participate;

(k) To consider acceding to and ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of

All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with

Disabilities and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of


(l) To finalize the review of and raise awareness about the new sexual offences

bill, and to pass the bill into law and implement it and other laws as necessary to prevent

sexual and gender-based violence;

(m) To harmonize national and federal Member State-level political policies and

legal frameworks with applicable human rights obligations and other commitments;

(n) To treat former combatants in accordance with applicable obligations under

domestic and international law, in particular international human rights law and

international humanitarian law, as applicable;

(o) To continue measures to implement the plans of action to prevent the

unlawful recruitment and use of children in the Somalia national armed forces, and to work

with specialist agencies, such as the United Nations Children’s Fund, to ensure that former

child soldiers and children under 18 years of age used in armed conflict are treated as

victims and rehabilitated in accordance with international standards;

(p) To implement the Declaration on Durable Solutions for Somali Refugees and

the Reintegration of Returnees in Somalia, adopted in Nairobi on 25 March 2017, to

promote the well-being and protection of all internally displaced persons, including from

sexual and gender-based violence, and also from exploitation and abuse committed by State

or international military or civilian personnel, to facilitate the voluntary reintegration or

return of all internally displaced persons, including the most vulnerable, in safety and with

dignity, to ensure a fully consultative process and best practice for relocations, to provide

safe sites that provide safe access to essential food and potable water, basic shelter and

housing, appropriate clothing and essential medical services and sanitation, to ensure

unhindered access for humanitarian organizations, to recognize the acute vulnerability of

internally displaced persons, to facilitate full, rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access to

people in need, wherever they are in Somalia, and to safeguard the neutrality, impartiality

and independence of humanitarian actors from political, economic and military

interference, while remaining sensitive to the needs of persons belonging to ethnic

minorities requiring humanitarian assistance;

9. Stresses the important role of joint monitoring and reporting on the situation

of human rights in Somalia by domestic and international experts and the Federal

Government of Somalia, and the vital role that those monitoring human rights can play in

evaluating and ensuring the success of technical assistance projects, which in turn must be

for the benefit of all Somalis;

10. Underlines the importance of the realization by the United Nations

Assistance Mission in Somalia of its mandate throughout Somalia and the need to ensure

synergy with the work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human


11. Commends the engagement of the Independent Expert on the situation of

human rights in Somalia;

12. Decides to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert, under agenda item

10, for a period of one year, to assess, monitor and report on the situation of human rights

in Somalia with a view to making recommendations on technical assistance and capacity-

building in the field of human rights;

13. Requests the Independent Expert to continue to work closely with the Federal

Government of Somalia at the national and subnational levels, all United Nations bodies,

including the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia, the African Union, the

Intergovernmental Authority on Development, other relevant international organizations,

civil society and all relevant human rights mechanisms, and to assist Somalia in the

implementation of:

(a) Its domestic and international human rights obligations;

(b) Human Rights Council resolutions and other human rights instruments,

including associated routine reporting;

(c) Recommendations accepted during the universal periodic review;

(d) Other human rights commitments, policies and legislation to promote the

empowerment of women, young people and marginalized groups, freedom of expression

and assembly, the protection of the media, access to justice for women, and increasing the

capacity of ministries and institutions responsible for the administration of justice and the

protection of human rights;

14. Also requests the Independent Expert to report to the Human Rights Council

at its thirty-ninth session and to the General Assembly at its seventy-third session;

15. Requests the Office of the High Commissioner and other relevant United

Nations agencies to provide the Independent Expert with all the human, technical and

financial assistance necessary to carry out fully his mandate;

16. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

42nd meeting

29 September 2017

[Adopted without a vote.]