Nearly thirty human rights defenders representing organizations and in their own capacities formed the Somalia/Somaliland Human Rights Defenders Coalition in Hargeisa, Somaliland today.
The formation of the coalition is aimed at ensuring effective collective efforts to address the particular concerns and challenges that human rights defenders in Somalia and Somaliland face. The launch itself was preceded by a three-day workshop in order to identify particular challenges and the coalition’s plan of action to deal with them.
The coalition will encourage cooperation and collaboration between members with similar mandates and relevant stakeholders to better share and leverage resources; encourage regular documentation and sharing of information amongst human rights defenders and promote strategies and quick responses to situations in which human rights defenders are at risk.
For the last three years, EHAHRDP has implemented a European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) project with the overall objective of contributing to the protection and promotion of the right to defend human rights. The coalition will continue and build on this work.
The organizations present at the meeting signed a memorandum of understanding and considered a plan of action which will guide their activities going forward. Elections produced a steering committee with membership of fifteen organisations with an elected chairperson. The meeting concluded with the adoption of a communiqué in which the organizations pledged to work together to ensure recognition and promotion of the rights of human rights defenders.