On Human Rights Day, UN envoy calls on Somali youth to build on progress

10 Dec 2019

On Human Rights Day, UN envoy calls on Somali youth to build on progress

PRESS STATEMENT 28/2019

Mogadishu – On the occasion of Human Rights Day, the UN envoy to Somalia today called on the country’s youth to build on progress made to date in enshrining human rights as a vital foundation of their society.

“The promotion and protection of human rights is a key element in a country’s path to peace and stability. Somalia has made progress in this area. With youth making up the majority of the country's population, the onus will lie with them to ensure that Somali society continues in this direction,” said the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, James Swan.

“I encourage the youth to advocate for their rights and the rights of others.  Our hope is that they -- together with Somalis of all ages and backgrounds -- can build a better future,” he added.

According to estimates, people under 30 years of age represent more than two-thirds of Somalia’s population – one of the largest demographic youth bulges in the world.

Observed on 10 December around the globe, Human Rights Day commemorates the day in 1948 on which the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The theme of this year’s observance is ‘Youth Standing Up for Human Rights.’ It aims to spotlight the potential of youth as constructive agents of change and to amplify their voices. 

In Somalia, the United Nations is encouraged by the steps made by the Federal Government this year to increase the protection of human rights and to uphold its international obligations.  This progress includes the Government’s re-engagement with international human rights mechanisms such as the Human Rights Council, the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the passing of the Women’s Charter for Somalia.

The UN system in Somalia remains committed to support the promotion and protection of human rights for the benefit of the Somali people.