Worldwide, 10th December is celebrated to mark the date the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, in 1948. This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which declared the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being – “regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”.
Human Rights Centre held an event in Burao to observe Human Rights Day. Burao is the second largest city in Somaliland and is located in the eastern part of the country.
Regional and district administration officials including the regional coordinator of ministries of Justice, Employment and Social Affairs, Religious Affairs, and Burao district officials attended the celebration with community members, IDPs, youth activist and civil society activists.
Aisha Ali Qabile, the regional coordinator of the Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs
Aisha Ali Qabile, the regional coordinator of the Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs, called on the public to stand with human rights, particularly minority groups, women and children.
Sabaah Aar, the deputy chairperson of the national women organization (NOW), empathized women in political participation.
“We warmly welcome the celebration. It is the first time such event is held in our city, Burao.We are thanking Human Rights Centre for coming to here,” the secretary of Burao local government, Osman Shiekh, said. “Somaliland constitution upholds human rights. We have to all work toward its realization,” he added.
“Today we are marking the 70th anniversary of an important document, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted after the horror of the Second World War. Human rights did not start with the Declaration, but the declaration represents recognition of nations to strive towards protection of human rights,” Guleid Ahmed Jama, the director of Human Rights Centre said.
He added: “we should not watch and become bystanders when the rights of others are violated. Each and every one of us has to be part of human rights defence and advocacy. We should side with victims and tell the truth to aggressors.”
At the same time, HRC celebrated with the law students of the University of Hargeisa. Human rights defenders and activists encouraged the students to advocate for human rights and raise awareness. Students, activists, academics and other members of the public attended the event.
Faculty of law of Hargeisa
Different human rights issues were discussed in these events.
The objective was to celebrate with the rest of the world, raise human rights issues in Somaliland and use for an awareness purpose. The Constitution of Somaliland has a Bill of Rights and accepts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This year also marks the 20-year anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Human rights defenders endure tremendous pressure and intimidations. The marking will elevate their work and will call on the government of Somaliland to respect the work of human rights defenders as recognized in the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.