Monday, December 31, 2018

Somaliland - Annual Review of Human Rights Centre - 2018

Human Rights Centre (HRC) was founded six years ago for the purpose of defending human rights in Somaliland.

 Looking it back, I see progress made by HRC as an institution. It was an institution created by young lawyers who were new to the field. HRC volunteers are now based in all the six regions of the country. They help many  people who seek support when they are in a predicament. And above all, it is a platform to train young human rights defenders who want to contribute to improving the human rights situation of the country.
This is the last report of the Human Rights Centre in which I will be writing the Foreword. I am leaving after six years as the head of the organization I founded. I am stepping down very confident that the Centre will continue to grow and will stay strong to speak the truth when those in power do not want to hear it.
Human Rights Centre is unapologetic about speaking up for those whose voices are not heard. The people of Somaliland clearly expressed their will by ascribing in the Constitution fundamental
freedoms and rights which the “legislative, executive and judicial branches of the state and the local government of the regions and the districts of the Republic of Somaliland, of all levels, shall be bound by the provisions” of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. The interpretation of the fundamental rights and freedoms “shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the international conventions on human rights,” the constitution emphasises. Human Rights Centre stands for human rights as protected by the Constitution and international human rights law.
I commend the heroic work of the Human Rights Centre’s volunteers who, despite the challenges of intimidation and pressure, remained strong and committed.
The irreconcilable mixing of a progressive constitution and authoritarian laws and practices are the main obstacle holding back improvement of human rights in Somaliland. Laws that predate and
contradict the Constitution are still applicable in Somaliland and deprive people of their fundamental freedoms and rights.
The annual report is a vital aspect of the work of the Human Rights Centre. The report aims to show the gaps that exist, areas that need improvements, abuses that occurred throughout the year, and
provides recommendations. Based on carefully conducted data collection and documentation, the report is founded on facts. Hence it can help anyone who desires to improve the human rights situation of Somaliland.
Read the Report here
Guleid Ahmed Jama
Acting Executive Director of Human Rights Centre
December 2018