Human Rights Council - 30th Regular Session
Australian statement on Somalia
29 September 2015
Australia welcomes the oral update on the human rights situation in Somalia.
Australia welcomes the commitment of the Federal Government of Somalia to improving human rights in Somalia and, in this respect, also welcomes the formation of the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development as the lead Federal Government body to advance the human rights agenda in Somalia.
Australia remains concerned with the situation in Somalia and condemns the grave human rights violations that continue to be perpetrated against civilians, including women, children, journalists and human rights defenders, and urge the Federal Government of Somalia to immediately address this.
Australia strongly condemns the recent use of the death penalty by Somali authorities. Australia is opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances.
Australia expresses serious concerns that internally displaced persons continue to bear the brunt of ongoing violence and abuses, especially those most vulnerable, like women, children and persons belonging to minorities. We condemn widespread sexual violence against women, including female genital mutilation, and abuses against children.
Australia urges a zero-tolerance policy on violence against women and children. Women are critical to achieving peace and security in Somalia, and must be given protection, and the opportunity to participate safely in decision-making without fear of violence and reprisals.
Australia encourages continued work toward meeting the goals established in the Somali Compact, and were pleased to attend the successful High-Level Partnership Forum held in Mogadishu in July 2015. We strongly encourage the Federal Government of Somalia to finalise and adopt a constitution as soon as possible, and to hold credible, transparent and inclusive elections in 2016.
We would request the OCHRC further advice on the actions it is taking to protect the rights of minorities, including women and children, in Somalia.