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Human Rights Watch urges Somalia to strengthen laws


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

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The Somali parliament should strengthen its draft law establishing a human rights commission and involve civil society in the revision process, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released Wednesday (June 12th).

"The proposed human rights commission could play a valuable role in helping to tackle Somalia's ongoing human rights crisis," said Leslie Lefkow, deputy director of HRW's Africa division. "But a weak law will cripple the commission from the start and parliament should make sure that does not happen."

The Ministry of Justice and Religious Affairs presented a draft law to parliament on May 30th establishing the commission. The draft will undergo a second reading in parliament before it is presented to the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, Women and Humanitarian Affairs, which can recommend amendments.

HRW said the law should guarantee a "robust, independent body with a broad mandate and enforcement powers".

"A weak law rapidly rushed through parliament would be a profound disservice to Somalia's many victims of abuse," Lefkow said.

 



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