The EU civilian and military Common Security and Defence Policy missions generally operate in conflict and post-conflict societies, often characterized by widespread human rights challenges. While supporting Somalia’s Security Sector Reform (SSR), and operating with state institutions and a wide variety of security actors, we have a huge responsibility in strengthening an accountable Somali security apparatus that operates effectively within the rule of law and in compliance with the international human rights standards.
Respect for human rights, democracy, equality and rule of law are among the European Union’s foundational values, which we promote in the areas in which we work. To attain this information, networking is paramount and we’re liaising with many different Somali actors for information, verification and advice.
Of equal importance is to work closely with the various international agencies operating in Somalia to promote and strengthen human rights awareness and standards among our Somali counterparts. Last but not least, human rights mainstreaming throughout the mission’s activities is key. That means systematic incorporation of human rights and gender perspectives in all the Mission’s activities. This, in part, contributes to the development of accountable Somali security sector institutions, that respect human rights and gender equality.
Ellen Vermeulen, Human Rights Advisor