Article 13 of the 2012 Provisional Constitution of the Federal Republic of Somalia provides that: "Everyone has the right to life." Article 15(2) stipulates that:
Every person has the right to personal security, and this includes: the prohibition of illegal detention, all forms of violence, including any form of violence against women, torture, or inhumane treatment.
Article 20 governs "Freedom of Assembly, Demonstration, Protest, and Petition":
(1) Every person has the right to organize and participate in meetings, and to demonstrate and protest peacefully, without requiring prior authorization.
Article 126 governs the Somali police forces:
(4) The federal police force has the mandate to protect the lives and property, the peace and security of the citizens and other residents of the Federal Republic of Somalia.
(5) The police forces established by the laws of the Federal Member States have the mandate to protect lives and property and preserve peace and security locally, alone or in cooperation with the federal police force.
|1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)||State Party|
|ICCPR Optional Protocol 1||State Party|
|1984 Convention against Torture (CAT)||State Party|
|Competence of CAT Committee to receive individual complaints||No|
|CAT Optional Protocol 1||Not party|
|1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court||Not party|
|1981 African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights||State Party|
|1998 Protocol to the African Charter on the African Court||Signatory|
|Article 34(6) declaration regarding individual petitions||N/A|
|Malabo Protocol on the African Court of Justice and Human Rights||Not party|
Police Use of Force
The Somalia Police Force is the nation's main federal law enforcement agency. There does not appear to be national legislation governing its use of force and firearms. In its 2020 List of Issues for reporting by Somalia on its implementation of the ICCPR, the Human Rights Committee asked for details regarding the legal standard applied in Somalia "for appropriate uses of force and firearms by law enforcement officials and the source of that standard in domestic law". The Committee also asked about the steps Somalia has taken "to ensure that such standards are respected by law enforcement and security personnel in practice".
UNSOM Police (the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia) provides strategic advice to the Somali government at the federal and state levels with a view to establishing and strengthening capable, accountable, and rights-based police services. The Joint Policing Programme (JPP) has committed oversee the development of a legal framework and accountability for policing.
Certain provisions of the 1962 Penal Code relate to the conduct of a public officer, including by permitting the use of firearms to avoid the escape of a person lawfully arrested or detained, which is more permissive than international law allows.Art. 35, Penal Code (1962).
Somalia has no dedicated independent civilian police oversight body.
Views and Concluding Observations of United Nations Treaty Bodies
Somalia has not come before the Human Rights Committee in recent years.
Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia
Human Rights Council Resolution 39/23 adopted on 28 September 2018 extended the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia for a period of one year to assess, monitor and report on the situation of human rights in Somalia. In his report of July September, the Independent Expert called on Somalia to:
Coordinate with the Federal Government and AMISOM regarding the implementation of the financing of the transition plan in the security sector and the training of Somali National Security Forces and the police, in order to ensure that they discharge their law and order, security and defence obligations effectively....
Somalia has not ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, allowing the African Court to hear cases alleging a violation of the Charter by the state.