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Recent Events/News

FGM as Torture, March – April 2017, London

In her capacity as a Visiting Fellow at LSE Centre for Women, Peace & Security, LAW Executive Director, Antonia Mulvey, has written two blog posts on FGM under international law.

The first explains how FGM can amount to torture under international law. The second post goes on to argue that in certain circumstances, FGM can amount to a crime against humanity under International Criminal Law.

You can read more about LAW’s work on FGM here.

Legal Inequities for Women in the Middle East, 23 March 2017, LSE, London

On March 23rd, Antonia Mulvey, LAW’s Executive Director spoke at the LSE Kuwait Programme-LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security workshop on ‘Legal Inequities for Women in the Middle East.’ Antonia’s presentation, ‘Assessing the Role of Security Forces on Women in Conflict Zones: Perspectives from International Law’ explored how sexual exploitation and abuse of civilians by security forces may constitute rape as a war crime and/or crime against humanity.

 

International Women’s Day, 8 March 2017

8 March is International Women’s Day. To celebrate, LAW prepared profiles of some of the inspiring women that we work with. You can read  LAW’s profiles of Hanan Omar, Deqo Abdi Olad, Faiza Abdi Mohamed and Kelly Matheson in full on LAW’s Facebook page.

Call to Action High-Level Panel, 1-2 March 2017, Geneva

On 1-2 March 2017, LAW’s Geneva-based legal fellow, Jitka Vrtelova, attended the High-level panel on Call to Action on Protection from Gender-based Violence in Emergencies with such panelists as Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF or Director General of ECHO. LAW is a member of Call to Action; for more information about the initiative, see here.

Training on Using Video to Document Evidence, January – February 2017, Mogadishu

On 28 January- 2 February 2017, LAW conducted a training on the use of video for evidence collection and advocacy purposes with a group of lawyers, paralegals and human rights activists in Mogadishu. The training was supported by the Australian Embassy and co-hosted by Witness, a global organisation focused on using video to document human rights violations, and Documist, a Nairobi-based videography organisation with expertise in using video for advocacy around human rights issues.

FGM Expert Roundtable, 20 January 2017, London

On 20 January 2017, LAW’s executive director, Antonia Mulvey, chaired an expert roundtable on how FGM can amount to torture under international law and how, in certain circumstances, may amount to a crime against humanity. The roundtable, hosted by Hausfeld in London, brought together senior barristers, solicitors and civil society actors from the UK and Somalia.

This contributes into LAW’s wider work on addressing FGM. You can read more about this work here.

UPDATE: In Spring 2017, Antonia Mulvey published two blog posts through LSE Centre for Women, Peace & Security on this topic. You can read them here.

Elder Consultations and Urban Land Management Workshops, 10-12 January 2017, Garowe

 

On 10-12 January 2017, LAW facilitated Elder consultations and Urban Land Management workshops Garowe, Puntland State of Somalia, on regulations formalising land dispute mechanisms. Here, Elders provided input on what role they should take in Land Dispute Committees that will be established in Puntland in 2017. Currently, Elders resolve 90- 95% of land disputes in the State.

The workshops and consultations follow the publication in 2016 of a report by LAW and UN Habitat, “Harmonisation of Legal Systems Resolving Land Disputes in Somaliland and Puntland.”  You can read more about LAW’s work on land dispute mechanisms in the Horn of Africa here.

 

International Human Rights Day, Somali Sexual Offences Bill, 10 December 2016

For International Human Rights Day, LAW released a short video raising awareness of the Somali Sexual Offences Bill. It is hoped that 2017 will be the year when the Bill becomes law throughout Somalia. You can read more about LAW’s work on the Somali Sexual Offences Bill here.

International Human Rights Day

It was International Human Rights Day over the weekend and an opportunity to reflect on all the progress made. The Somali Sexual Offences Bill has still not been passed but we hope that next year we can add this to the list of successes to celebrate.

Posted by Legal Action Worldwide on Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Rift Valley Institute Forum, 18 November 2016, Nairobi

In November 2016, LAW’s legal adviser, Clare Brown, presented at the Rift Valley Institute Forum. She discussed accountability for sexual violence in South Sudan, a topic on which LAW published a report in May 2016.

In July 2016, hundreds of women were raped, allegedly government forces (SPLA) and aligned militia, in a period of escalated violence in Juba. On 11 July 2016, SPLA forces broke into the ‘Terrain Hotel,’ an encampment known to host international aid workers. A number of aid workers were raped, while others were tortured and beaten. A prominent South Sudanese journalist was shot and killed by forces.

 You can read more about LAW’s work in South Sudan here.

Land Dispute Mechanisms Report Launch, November 2016, Hargeisa and Garowe

In early November 2016, LAW and UN-Habitat formally launched their report “Harmonization of the Legal Systems Resolving Land Disputes in Somaliland and Puntland” in Hargeisa and Garowe. The report makes recommendations on harmonising the formal and customary systems to resolve disputes over urban land in Puntland and Somaliland. The report was originally published in March 2016.

Alongside the launch, LAW and UN Habitat also organised a series of workshops with women and elders to get their feedback and input on Land Dispute Tribunals in Somaliland and Puntland, how they function, and how they can be improved.

You can read more about LAW’s work on land disputes and displacement issues here.

Antonia Mulvey appointed Visiting Fellow at LSE Centre for Women, Peace & Security, October 2016, London
Antonia Mulvey appointed Visiting Fellow at LSE Centre for Women, Peace & Security

LAW is excited to announce that our Executive Director, Antonia Mulvey, has been made a Visiting Fellow at London School of Economics Centre for Women, Peace and Security.

The Centre for Women, Peace and Security is a leading academic space for scholars, practitioners, activists, policy-makers and students to develop strategies to promote justice, human rights and participation for women in conflict-affected situations around the world.

Through innovative research, teaching, and multi-sectoral engagement, the Centre aims to promote gender equality and enhance women’s economic, social and political participation and security. The Centre’s work is grounded in two key initiatives, specifically United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security and the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI), which was launched by William Hague, then UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and Angelina Jolie, UNHCR Special Envoy.

Antonia’s research at the Centre will focus on sexual exploitation and abuse by security forces and whether, in certain circumstances, it can constitute international crimes. Emphasis is placed on using legal arguments to create practical and positive change in the actions of security forces and creating a new dialogue on the issue.

Gender-Based Violence Roundtable, 29 September 2016, Beirut

On 29 September 2016, LAW chaired a roundtable in Beirut with lawyers and legal experts to discuss challenges and strategies for increasing accountability for gender-based violence (GBV) committed in Lebanon, with a focus on trafficking, rape and domestic violence. Information available indicates that these offences are being committed in very high numbers across Lebanon and that very few of these crimes are successfully prosecuted.

You can read more about LAW’s work in Lebanon and Syria here.

 

 

Women in and at War Conference, 14-15 September 2016, Milton Keynes

On 14 and 15 September 2016, LAW attended the 3rd Women in and at War Conference at the Open University Law School in Milton Keynes. The conference is organised every other year by The Open University Law School, The University of Warwick and Aberystwyth University, and focusses on gender and the role of women in conflict.

LAW’s Executive Director, Antonia Mulvey, presented her research on sexual exploitation and abuse by security forces and whether, in certain circumstances, it can constitute international crimes.

Other topics discussed include the prosecution of gender-based crimes at the International Criminal Court,  gender and transitional justice, gender in the context of the Syrian Conflict, and  the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325.

 

Public Consultations + Technical Workshop on the Somali Citizenship Bill, Summer 2016, Mogadishu

Public consultations on the Citizenship Bill, supported by UNHCR and facilitated by the Somali Ministry of Interior and Federal Affairs (MOIFA), were held on 28- 30 July. The attack on Mogadishu International Airport on 26 July 2016 prevented LAW from attending.

On 17 August 2016, LAW facilitated a technical workshop to incorporate the feedback from the public consultations  into the Bill. The workshop resulted in the production of a final draft version of the Bill, which contains protections for women, minorities and stateless people. 

LAW is currently undertaking an extensive comparative research project, exploring citizenship laws around the world. This work will inform advocacy in 2017 to assist the passage of the draft Bill.

You can read more about LAW’s work on the Somali Citizenship Bill here.

High Level Panel on Addressing Sexual Violence, 17 May 2016, Mogadishu

participants 2On 17 May 2016, LAW and the Honourable Minister Zahra Samantar from the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development hosted the  second high level panel on addressing sexual violence in Somalia in Mogadishu, Somalia. The panel discussion focused on sexual violence in Somalia and included the following panelists:

  • Deputy Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia Mohamed Omar Arte
  • Honourable Minister for Women and Human Rights Development Zahra Samantar
  • Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG) Peter de Clercq
  • Special Representative of the AU Commission Chairperson (SRCC) Francisco Madeira
  • Attorney General Ahmad Ali Dahir
  • UK Ambassador Harriet Mathews
  • Swedish Ambassador Mikael Lindvall
  • EU Ambassador Michele Cervone d’Urso
  • Zahra Mohamed Ahmed, Legal Advisor, Somali Women’s Development Centre

LAW’s Executive Director Antonia Mulvey provided an overview of the 2015 high level panel at the beginning of the event, as well as closing remarks summarising the main messages and recommendations.

zahraPanelists discussed the ongoing challenge of high levels of sexual violence being committed in Somalia with near total impunity. The audience, comprised of over 70 members of Somali and international civil society, the Somali government, the donor community and the UN, listened to Somali and international panelists describe the challenges with investigating and prosecuting sexual violence cases in Somalia, the successes made to date and what, in their opinion, is yet to be done.

zahra samatarAll panelists agreed that the Sexual Offences Bill was crucial, and must be passed as a matter of urgency. Panelists also discussed a new strategy supported by the Swedish Embassy to for the first time give Somali investigators and prosecutors access to forensic evidence. It was emphasised by the Minister that extensive education, awareness raising and advocacy around this issue was still necessary, and that the momentum to address sexual violence and to pass the Bill must not be lost. Antonia concluded her summary of the event with three words for those in the room to keep in mind as they move forward with the challenge of meaningfully addressing sexual violence in Somalia: courage, leadership and action.

Commission on the Status of Women: 14-15 March 2016, New York

panelcLAW attended several side events to the Commission on the Status of Women in New York and was a panellist at event entitled ‘Mobilizing for Women’s Equal Nationality Rights: Lessons learned across regions’. The event was organised by the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), who coordinates the Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights. A link to an event description on WRC’s website can be found here.

At the event, LAW had the opportunity to speak with many other people advocating for changes in women’s citizenship globally. Nationality laws in over 60 countries do not award equal citizenship rights between men and women. Twenty-seven of those countries, including Somalia, do not permit a woman to pass on her nationality to her children on an equal basis with the children’s father. On the panel, LAW discussed the progress being made on the Citizenship Bill in Somalia, including successes that may be transferred to other regions experiencing similar challenges.

UN-Habitat Global Land Tool Network: 11 & 12 March 2016

In early November 2016, LAW and UN-Habitat formally launched their report “Harmonization of the Legal Systems Resolving Land Disputes in Somaliland and Puntland” in Hargeisa and Garowe. The report makes recommendations on harmonising the formal and customary systems to resolve disputes over urban land in Puntland and Somaliland. The report was originally published in March 2016.

Alongside the launch, LAW and UN Habitat also organised a series of workshops with women and elders to get their feedback and input on Land Dispute Tribunals in Somaliland and Puntland, how they function, and how they can be improved.

You can read more about LAW’s work on land disputes and displacement issues here.

Land Dispute Resolution in Puntland and Somaliland – Report Launch: 9 March 2016 

LAW and UN-Habitat jointly launched the report “Harmonization of the Legal Systems Resolving Land Disputes in Somaliland and Puntland” on 9 March 2016. The report was written by LAW as part of a project with UN-Habitat, operating under the Joint Programme of Local Governance and Decentralised Service Delivery (JPLG), as well as the Ministries of Interior in Somaliland and Puntland State of Somalia. It describes how land disputes are currently resolved in Somaliland and Puntland through the customary and formal legal systems, including in the Land Dispute Tribunals (LDTs) in Somaliland and the land dispute resolution committees (LDRCs) in Puntland, and challenges and advantages of each system. It then makes recommendations about how these systems can be best harmonized in the context of the LDTs and LDRCs.

ReportaThe launch featured a panel of land experts and stakeholders and was jointly chaired by LAW and UN-Habitat. Panellists discussed key issues and challenges relating to land dispute resolution in Somaliland and Somalia; engaged the audience in a discussion on the transformative potential of the LDTs and LDRCs in solving these issues, and brought together stakeholders from the government, the UN and civil society to agree together how to move forward. The event was very well attended and all participants agreed to work together and on ways forward.

You can read more about LAW’s work in this area here.

Open Letter to David Cameron, 29 January 2016, London

LAW along with six other human rights organisations including Redress, Human Rights Watch, FIDH, International Commission of Jurists, Freedom from Torture and Rights Watch UK signed an open letter to UK Prime Minister David Cameron expressing concern over the UK’s interference in the ongoing investigations of the allegations of abuses by UK armed forces against Iraqi civilians between 2003 and 2009. Cameron is warned that  his dismissal of claims against UK forces is “damaging to the important ongoing work of the Iraq Historical Allegations Team (IHAT)”. The letter concludes by urging the UK ‘to allow the investigative process to run its course without further interference or any appearance of interference.’. Read the full letter here.

High Level Panel Discussion on Addressing Sexual Violence, Geneva, 9 December 2015

High Level Panel Addressing Sexual Violence in Somalia, GenevaOn 9 December 2015 to commemorate 16 Days of Activism to End Gender- Based Violence (GBV), LAW and UNHCR jointly held a high level panel to address sexual violence in conflict with a specific focus on Somalia. Expert panelists included Volker Turk, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection (UNHCR), Mark Matthews, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Geneva and Tom Bahame, Independent Expert on Somalia with Antonia Mulvey, Executive Director of Legal Action Worldwide (LAW) moderating.

Panelists identified ten concrete ways for addressing sexual violence in Somalia

1. Practical application and translation of the International Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict
2. Address root cause of sexual violence: How does sexual violence take place and by who
3. Provide training and capacity building for the police
4. Explore other ways for regional and international prosecutions; criminal and universal jurisdiction
5. Implementation of the UN’s Due Diligence Policy and Zero Tolerance Policy
6. Support passage of Sexual Offences Bill
7. Advocate for Somalia to ratify Rome Statute
8. Focus more on command responsibility and criminal liability
9. Establishment of independent complaints mechanism
10. Integrate customary law and dialogue with elders and community leaders in the formal legal framework.

The panel discussion was preceded by a screening of ‘Sexual Violence in Somalia: Challenging Impunity’, a short film about how the newly drafted sexual offences legislation is the first landmark step to challenging impunity for perpetrators in Somalia.

Consultations on the Land Dispute Tribunal, Garowe, Somalia

The Ministry of Interior, LAW and UN-Habitat Joint Program on Local Governance (JPLG ) co-hosted an initial consultation on the establishment of Land Dispute Tribunals (LDT)  in Garowe.   The consultation was very well attended and included Mayors from Bandor Bayla, Gardo and Jariban, the Chairperson and members of the Land Dispute Resolution Committee in Garowe, representatives from dispute resolution bodies in Eyl, Gardo and Bosaso, representatives from the Ministries of the Interior, Agriculture, Environment, local government, lawyers, elders and religious leaders. Representatives of the Land Dispute Resolution Committees described how their committees function in different districts and, the procedure for hearing cases. Participants discussed whether and how the LDTs should merge with the existing land committees. The consultation resulted in the adoption of recommendations for the establishment of the LDTs and formalisation of the existing Land Dispute Resolution Committees.

LAW Launches a Short Film on Addressing Sexual Violence in Somalia

 

Sexual Violence in Somalia: Challenging Impunity is a short film about the widespread and increasing levels of sexual violence in Somalia and what can be done to address it. Through the voice of a brave survivor, the film provides an insight into the challenges and fears that Somali women face when reporting sexual violence. It explores how newly drafted sexual offences legislation will help survivors to access justice and end impunity for sexual violence in Somalia. The new legislation will enforce rights that are already guaranteed by Parliament under the provisional constitution, ensure all sexual offences are exhaustively listed and criminalised and increase the ability of the legal system to effectively prosecute sexual offences crimes.

This short film, supported by UNFPA, UNHCR and UNDP is a part of a larger multi-faceted strategy and will be used as an advocacy tool towards addressing sexual violence in Somalia. Prominent interviewees include UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, Head of International Protection UNHCR, Volker Turk, Executive Director of UNFPA Babatunde Osotimehin, Former Somali Minister of Women and Human Rights Development Khadija Mohamed Diriye and Executive Director of LAW Antonia Mulvey.

Volker Turk, Head of Protection for UNHCR has stated that Somalia is a ‘breeding ground for sexual violence’ due to the conflict.  The newly drafted legislation combined with advocacy, activism and training could be the first long term step towards addressing sexual violence and challenging the existing impunity for perpetrators in Somalia. In SRSG Bangura’s words ‘I don’t see women all the time as victims; I see them as agents of change and I know that once you give them the opportunity and the support, the space, these women can transform their lives and the lives of their community and country’

Validation Workshop for Somaliland’s  Sexual Offences Bil, Somaliland, July 29-30, 2015

Legal Action Worldwide (LAW), in collaboration with Nagaad Network organised a validation workshop on the draft Sexual Offences Bill in Somaliland on July 29-30, 2015 at the House of Representatives. The workshop brought together over 35 representatives from civil society, women’s rights organisations, legal aid providers, law schools and key government officials including Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and Members of Parliament.  Participating organisations included those from regions outside Hargeisa such as, Berbera, Buroa, Boorama and Laas- Annod.

Participants had fruitful discussions on the objective and the content of Bill and had the opportunity to give their comments and feedback. At the end of the workshop, participants validated the Bill citing its relevance to the Somaliland Context, and requested the Parliament to adopt and enact it soon as possible. To conclude, the Chairperson of the Legal, Justice and Human Rights Committee of the Somaliland House of Representatives emphasised that the Bill was a top priority for his committee and the House of Representatives and affirmed that the Bill would be enacted soon.

LAW Joins The Alliance For A Safe World

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We are excited to join The Alliance for a Safe World. The Alliance for a Safe World is an on-line resource centre, to help academics, researchers, journalists and members of the public etc. to more easily network with organisations which are working to help promote gender equality and inform the public of their rights among other issues.  In line with our advocacy and communication strategy, the membership to the alliance will raise visibility of our work via social media and will also be utilised as a great resource and an advocacy tool.

First Somali Legal Aid Network Roundtable, 19-20 June 2015, Addis Ababa

SLAN roundtable1LAW held the first roundtable for the Somali Legal Aid Network from 19-20 June 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Participants discussed the purpose and direction of the Legal Aid Network, key legislation and policies, the Somali Compact section on Rule of Law, issues for public interest litigation and legal advocacy, and funding strategies and future trainings/capacity building requirements.  A full summary of the roundtable is available here.

‘360′ Training for Legal Responders, June 2015, Addis Ababa

360 training1

LAW organised ‘360′ training’  for the entire cycle of legal responders to sexual violence, from the initial police officer or service provider who receives the complaint to the Criminal Investigations Unit, prosecutors, legal aid providers and judges. The training held inAddis Ababa was run by Legal Action Worldwide with training sessions by the International Institute for Criminal Investigations (IICI) and covers both the Sexual Offences Bill in each region and international best practice standards for the investigation and prosecution of sexual violence, including investigation planning and management, interview techniques and management of safety and security. It is hoped that the training will result in the forming of ‘360’ Units which will work together to better investigate, prosecute and convict perpetrators of sexual violence crimes.

Consultative Meetings on Land Dispute Tribunal in Somalia

ldt-hargeisiLAW and UN-Habitat in collaboration with the Somaliland’s Ministry of Interior and Public Works organised and facilitated two important consultative meetings aimed at increasing the capacity of Somaliland’s Land Dispute Tribunals.

The first was a one day consultative meeting was held on 27 May, 2015 at Maan-soor Hotel, Hargeisa, and focused on the administrative challenges to land dispute resolution in Somaliland with particular focus on land dispute tribunals. Over 45 participants from Key Stake holders on the land administration and land dispute resolution attended the event: Director Generals of Ministries of Interior, Public Works, Agriculture, Environment and Religious Affairs, Judges from Regional Appeal Courts of Hargeisa, Bebera and Boorama, Mayors of Berbera, Boorama, Zaila, Sheik, Odeweyne and Gabiley; Lawyers and members of Land Dispute Tribunals of Hargeisa, Berbera and Boorama attended and participated in the consultation meeting. Read More.

LAW Launches in London, March 2015

LAW along with six other human rights organisations including Redress, Human Rights Watch, FIDH, International Commission of Jurists, Freedom from Torture and Rights Watch UK signed an open letter to UK Prime Minister David Cameron expressing concern over the UK’s interference in the ongoing investigations of the allegations of abuses by UK armed forces against Iraqi civilians between 2003 and 2009. Cameron is warned that  his dismissal of claims against UK forces is “damaging to the important ongoing work of the Iraq Historical Allegations Team (IHAT)”. The letter concludes by urging the UK ‘to allow the investigative process to run its course without further interference or any appearance of interference.’. Read the full letter here.

High Level Panel Discussion on Addressing Sexual Violence in Somalia,  3 March 2015

high level panel discussion 03.03.15

LAW held a ground breaking high level panel discussion on addressing sexual violence in Mogadishu on 3 March 2015.  Antonia Mulvey chaired an eminent panel comprising of Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission to AMISOM (SRCC), The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), EU Ambassador to Somalia, the Minister of Women and Human Rights Development and Fartun Adan, Director of the Elman Centre, a prominent human rights NGO based in Mogadishu.

Panelists discussed sexual violence in Somalia and specifically allegations against the AMISOM peacekeeping mission. It was the first discussion of its kind and we identified concrete ways forward and will hold a second discussion in 6 months.  Panellists opened up for questions from an audience of more than 60 people comprised of civil society, UN, AMISOM and INGOs.

Please see here the joint statement from the AU/UN resulting from our discussion.

 

Roundtable on Accountability for Sexual and Gender-based Violence in the Horn of Africa, January 2015

In January 2015 LAW held a roundtable to discuss strategies for increasing accountability and access to justice for sexual violence committed in the East and Horn of Africa. The roundtable focused on Somalia, Darfur and South Sudan. Information available indicates that sexual offences are being committed in very high numbers in each of these regions and that very few of these crimes are prosecuted, leading to almost total impunity for perpetrators. The roundtable brought together local, regional and international legal experts to discuss how legal action or interventions may be taken at the domestic, regional and transnational levels. We are grateful to the Nuhanovic Foundation for their support of this Roundtable.  Click here to download minutes Minutes from RT on Accountability of the Security Forces for SGBV in East and Horn of Africa.

Roundtable on Housing, Land and Property Issues in Somalia, December 2014

On 8 December 2014, our Executive Director, Antonia Mulvey chaired an expert roundtable on housing, land and property (HLP) issues in Somalia which was co-hosted by the Norwegian Refugee Council  at the African Development Bank. The Roundtable was attended by donors, UN agencies, Somali and international NGOs.  Participants discussed  the legal and policy framework, insecurity of tenure, forced evictions and mechanisms for the resolution of disputes. Participants discussed the challenges in each of these areas, successes in addressing these challenges and legal and practical solutions that may be implemented moving forward.  The Roundtable identified seven key ways forward:

1. Establish a working group/ HLP Taskforce (under the Protection Cluster) at the Somalia (all three regions) and Nairobi level. This group will prepare an action plan for addressing HLP issues in Somalia and will provide a medium through which civil society is able to contribute to the relevant Somali Compact PSGs.

2. Strengthen and support government institutions to address HLP issues, including through the establishment of a Land Commission in Mogadishu and by supporting the Land Dispute Tribunals in Somaliland.

3. Identify a lead on reviewing and drafting legal frameworks.

4. Advocacy around HLP issues must be strengthened. The newly established working group and taskforce should take the lead in this.

5. A best practices document should be compiled from the experience of UN agencies and NGOs. It should include key recommendations on ways forward and should focus on practical, pragmatic and localised solutions.

6. Support Somali lawyers to both draft policies and legislation addressing HLP issues and challenge existing policies, legislation and practice through strategic litigation.

7. Funding for HLP projects needs to be long-term and flexible.

Occupied Palestinian territory: 4th Legal Strategies Roundtable, October 2014

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On October 31 – 1 November, LAW in collaboration with Nuhavonic Foundation organised the fourth roundtable to identify creative legal action to address human rights violations and abuses in the occupied Palestinian territory. The event was held at Amsterdam University. Over 30 legal leading legal practitioners attended.

House of Lords Panel, London, June 2014

IIDA picture

During the week of the UK Global Summit addressing sexual violence in conflict, LAW and the Somali Women’s Development Organization (IIDA), held a panel discussion in the House of Lords, UK to discuss sexual violence committed by security forces in Somalia. LAW’s Patrons Baroness Kennedy of the Shaws and Baroness Kidron of Angel OBE hosted the panel discussion. Panel experts included the Somali Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Deputy Head of Somalia Unit, UK Foreign Office and our Executive Director, Antonia Mulvey. The event was open to the public and more than seventy participants attended. The next House of Lords panel event will be held in March 2015.

Roundtable on Addressing Sexual Violence by Security Actors, May 2014

LAW along with six other human rights organisations including Redress, Human Rights Watch, FIDH, International Commission of Jurists, Freedom from Torture and Rights Watch UK signed an open letter to UK Prime Minister David Cameron expressing concern over the UK’s interference in the ongoing investigations of the allegations of abuses by UK armed forces against Iraqi civilians between 2003 and 2009. Cameron is warned that  his dismissal of claims against UK forces is “damaging to the important ongoing work of the Iraq Historical Allegations Team (IHAT)”. The letter concludes by urging the UK ‘to allow the investigative process to run its course without further interference or any appearance of interference.’. Read the full letter here.