Human Rights in Somalia post the Horn of Africa food crisis

Topics: Human rights, Somalia, Transitional Federal Government Pages: 15 (4744 words) Published: December 2, 2013

The Dual Track Policy
London Conference on Somalia
Questions to be considered
Supplementary Reading
Other Sources

Human Rights in Somalia post the Horn of Africa food crisis

Since the overthrow of Siad Barre’s government, Somalia has suffered a human rights crisis for the last 20 years, characterized by serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law. The protection of civilians in the context of the armed conflict, combined with impunity and lack of accountability, is of major concern. The lack of rule of law and the climate of insecurity has created an environment in which certain categories of professionals, such as journalists and judges, are increasingly targeted for extrajudicial killings. An entire generation has grown up with access to education and the country as a whole suffers from a lack of knowledge about human rights. Women and children’s rights are routinely violated. Year after year it is ranked as one of the poorest, most violent countries, plagued by warring militias, bandits, warlords and pirates. The collapse of the humanitarian situation owing to the Horn of Africa food crisis has further aggravated the human rights crisis and resulted in massive displacement of Somalis from the Southern regions into TFG-controlled territories and across the borders into Ethiopia and Kenya. The vulnerability of the displaced has raised acute protection concerns. In 2011, The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights facilitated Somalia’s engagement in the Universal Period Review of the Human Rights Council. Somalia accepted, fully or in partial, all 155 recommendations formulated by Member States for the improvement of its human rights situation. These recommendations cover a wide range of issues, such as the political process, peace and reconciliation, the protection of civilians in the context of the armed conflict, ratification of international human rights instruments, the development of human rights-compliant legislative and policy frameworks, including at the level of the Constitution, the establishment of a national human rights institution, and the strengthening of civilian police and the judiciary, among others. The UPR recommendations provide a comprehensive roadmap for improving the human rights situation in Somalia. Because of the failure of seasonal rains, Somalia has been in the grip of a severe drought that started in October 2010 and had dramatic humanitarian consequences in 2011. Nearly two decades of conflict, poor security conditions, and widespread lawlessness continue to exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in the country and have let to excessive violations of Human Rights . The combined effects of recurring man-made and natural disasters have resulted in severe food insecurity and high malnutrition rates in many areas. According to The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the food crisis in Somalia is no longer at emergency levels but the needs remain "huge” and it will take at least two years for the country to recover, A deadly combination of war and drought left the chaotic nation at the epicentre of a hunger crisis affecting 13 million people across the Horn of Africa. Fighting between armed Islamist groups and pro-government forces has subjected southern and central Somalia to violence and instability. Civilians are killed and injured as a result of indiscriminate attacks and generalized violence, and conflict has forced over two million people to leave their homes, seeking refuge as internally displaced persons (IDPs) or as refugees in neighboring countries. Access by aid agencies to civilians and the displaced is restricted by armed groups and insecurity. Humanitarian workers, journalists and human rights activists are at risk of killings and abductions. Armed groups (Al-Shabab) control most of southern and central Somalia and they often carry out unlawful killings, torture and forced recruitment. The...
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