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Concluding Observations on Somalia – CCPR 140th Session

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — The 140th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Committee met at Palais Wilson in Geneva, Switzerland this past week. The Centre submitted a report on the List of Issues for Somalia, particularly pertaining to question 30, referencing the lack of civic engagement and participation of civil society in electoral affairs. 


The Centre concluded dialogue with UN Human Rights Committee officials, members of the Somali government, and other representatives of civil society to bring awareness to the lack of focuses on Somali youth. CVIA also collaborated with the Centre for Civil and Political Rights (CCPR Centre) to engage in more detailed dialogue with Somali governmental officials on Wednesday, following the initial NGO briefings in Geneva. 


The report highlighted the educational and political disadvantages young Somali boys and girls have in participating in the electoral processes. Assistant Director Ms. Hanna Rohde spoke on the “perpetuated cycles of turmoil”, exacerbated by a lack of education. Without civic education, there will be no engagement in public affairs, therefore stifling progress for the Somali government to adequately represent the values of future Somali generations.  


The Centre was pleased to see the committee’s interest in our youth-centred focus. Our oral arguments and continuous dialogue led to the Committee’s concluding observations declaring the State of Somalia “should also promote the civic education of boys and girls in schools, particularly in regions over which it has regained control, in order to foster political engagement and contribute to the country’s future development.” 


These concluding observations reinforce the idea that Somalia as a nation should pursue meaningful civic education to cultivate a successful future generation. Article 30 of the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights declares the right of participation in public affairs, and the Centre looks forward to overseeing the status of electoral engagement improving in Somalia.

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