The Somali Republic is a member of the United Nations and the African Union. It has ratified many UN Human Rights Conventions (compare list on the right) and thus has made binding international commitments to adhere to the standards laid down in these universal human rights documents.
Somalia is a Somali- and Arabic-speaking country in the Horn of Africa. With an area of 637,661 square km it has an extensive coastline on the Indian Ocean. On a global scale, its population density is low. The capital of the country, which became independent on 26 June 1960 from the United Kingdom and on 1 July 1960 from Italy, is Mogadishu. Somalia is a member of the regional economic communities IGAD and CEN-SAD.
Somalia is not listed in the UNDP Human Development Report of 2009. Life expectancy of the 9.0 million inhabitants at birth is 48 years, population growth is 2.9 percent per year.
In as far as Somalia has ratified the Optional Protocols for UN Human Rights Conventions or has accepted the Competence of the corresponding UN Treaty Bodies (compare list on the right), the inhabitants of Somalia and their representatives are able to invoke their human rights through these bodies.
All inhabitants of Somalia may turn to the UN Human Rights Committee through procedure 1503, to the Special Rapporteurs for violations of specific human rights or to ECOSOC for women's rights violations.
Since Somalia is a member state of UNESCO, its citizens may use the UNESCO procedure for human rights violations in UNESCO's fields of mandate.
Employers' or workers' and certain other organizations (not individuals) of Somalia may file complaints through the ILO procedure in the cases of those conventions which Somalia has ratified.
Since Somalia is an AU member, its citizens and NGOs may file complaints to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
They may also file complaints according to the EU guidelines (on Human Rights Defenders, Death Penalty and Torture) to Embassies of EU Member States and the Delegations of the European Commission.
In cases of human rights violations by multinational enterprises, they may also invoke the National Contact Point in an OECD member state.
Somalia has not yet joined the International Criminal Court.