Comment by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on draft Sexual Intercourse Related Crimes Law in Somalia.

GENEVA:- “Legislation drafted by parliamentarians in Somalia risks legitimizing child marriage, among other alarming practices, and must be prevented from passing into law. Provisions of the Sexual Intercourse Related Crimes Law constitute serious breaches of international human rights norms and standards.

This new draft legislation would represent a serious step backwards for the rights of victims of sexual violence in Somalia, in particular women and girls. It would also send a worrying signal to other States in the region.

I strongly urge the Somali authorities to swiftly adopt the 2018 Sexual Offenses Bill, unanimously endorsed by the Council of Ministers, and put in place a comprehensive strategy and effective legislation to eliminate practices and harmful gender stereotypes that have a disproportionate negative impact on women and girls.”