Somaliland Human Rights Organisations Network
SHURO Net is the umbrella group of various human rights organisations operating in Somaliland. SHURO Net can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org Tele: 252 2 517269 or 252 2 4112633 or 252 2 4409125, Hargeisa, Republic of Somaliland.
SHURO-Net: Protests about Government Interference: October/November 2007
1.Background and History of SHURO Net:
Somaliland Human Rights Organizations Network (SHURO-Network) is a Network of organizations bound together by common responsibilities on the promotion and protection of the Universal ideals of Human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in Islamic Shari’a, Somaliland Bill of rights, UDHR and other International Human Rights Instruments. The member organisations aim to reach their main goal through exchange of information, develop a collective voice, amplify their actions, and develop new tools and strategies in pursuing action oriented initiatives to protect all human rights and fundamental freedom in Somaliland territory.
In December 10, 2003, local human rights organizations from Hargeisa, Borama, Berbera and Burao collectively organized simultaneous symposium workshops that resulted in the Human Rights Defenders’ Declaration of Call to Action that outlined demands and appeals to various governmental institutions, international humanitarian organizations and UN agencies working in the country to expedite their action towards protecting human rights in Somaliland.
The first collaborative action of these rights-based organizations during the International Celebration of Human Rights Day resulted in the mobilization of more than 50,000 Somalilanders nationwide in simultaneous peaceful demonstrations held in four regional capitals. In December 19-21, 2003 during a nationwide assessment conference of the said celebration, participating organizations unanimously decided to form the Somaliland National Human Rights Network which now known as Somaliland Human Right Organizations Network(SHURO-Net).
2. Mandate of the Network:
2.1 Vision Statement:
SHURO-Net envisions a democratic, peaceful and progressive Somaliland that fully respects the basic human rights of its citizens, recognizing the rights of the marginalized and the excluded sectors of the society such as people with disabilities, women, youth, minorities, refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced Persons. A society that fully adheres to the fundamental freedoms of a free and democratic society with a government that respects and complies with all the International Human Rights Instruments such as UDHR, UN Covenants, Human Rights Conventions and Treaties to uphold the rights of human beings.
2.2 Mission Statement:
To strengthen and ensure coordinated efforts, share resources, information and collective action among human rights defenders and organizations to fully fulfill its role in protecting and defending victims of all human rights violations and promotion of fundamental freedoms without prejudice based on clans, color, language, religion and opinions through human rights awareness and education, advocacy, lobbying, victim support mechanisms and systematic monitoring and documentation of human rights violations.
2.3 The Goals of the Network
1. To develop a flexible, supportive, and decentralized structure that enables member organisation pursuing common interests in human rights and social justice and rule of law to work together. The primary means to achieve this goal is through the operation of thematic working groups, which enable groups to share strategies and approaches as well as initiate joint projects and actions for the promotion and defence of civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights.
2. To enhance the capacity of members and other stakeholders on human rights, including, but not limited to women, marginalized groups such as people with disabilities and minorities to use human rights as a tool to strengthen their own work. As well as to improve their capacity as human rights defenders through training, research; mobilization, lobbying, advocacy and reporting, monitoring and documentation procedures.
3. To establish direct links between member organizations in the regions and promote linkages with international human rights networks, organizations. This is aimed at strengthening and supporting each other's work through variety of means which include: exchanging information, coordinating actions, developing common agendas and strategies, creating new tools and joining national and international advocacy efforts.
4. To study, collect and disseminate information on human rights issues in 6 regions of Somaliland.
5. To promote skills sharing and information exchange among human rights groups.
6. To carry out any other objectives furthering or connected with the above objectives.
3. Network Operational System:
3.1 Human right Monitoring and Documentation
In Somaliland, Human right organizations have no skills for monitoring and documenting human right cases. SHURO-Network which is the first and only nation-wide network for Human right organizations, with the collaboration of Amnesty international special African program and International Cooperation for Development currently known as PROGRESSIO organized Human right monitoring and documentation training for 16 leaders coming from member organizations of the Network in Hargeisa, Borama, Berbera, Erigavo and Burao.
The main objective of this training was to establish Somaliland Human right monitoring and documentation group.
Monitoring and Documentation team of the network have being serving as volunteers since December 2004 which discouraged and resulted the regional monitoring and documentation groups to disappear. As a result of monitoring and documentation group, the network achieved to produce Somaliland Human right Reports 2004 and 2005.
SHURO-Network has its plan, to reorganize the monitoring and documentation group through out the country and get 16 active members for Human right monitoring and documentation in the different regions both urban and rural area. This Monitoring and documentation group will work with the regional structures and sectorial based network of SHURO-Network.
3.2 Sectorial based Network
The first plan of the SHURO-Network is to establish Sectorial based networks, and map the human right organizations into sector to strength the coordination and collaboration among its member organizations. One of the main reasons SHURO-Network was established was to improve coordinate human right organizations in the country and enable them to have common action towards improving their human right work.
Therefore, achieving the network goals, SHURO-network is on its effort for establishing this Sectorial based networks on January – April 2006:
- Organizations working for Minorities rights
- Organizations working for Disabilities rights
- Organizations working for child rights
- Organizations working for women rights
- Organizations working for youth rights
Each of these organizations shall have their own working strategy to achieve their ambition. SHURO-network assigned a group of people to develop assessment tool for mapping its member organizations into sectors, each sector report on to the executive director of the network and work under supervision of the network management team.
3.3 Regional Networks
SHURO-network is a nation-wide network that gathers 67 member organizations through out the country; it has leadership body elected at the general assembly from the regional members, and management team appointed/hired by the leadership body. Since the SHURO-Network exists as nation-wide its regional structures that services at regional level is one of the strategy for decentralizing the network structure and operations.
One important goal of the network is to collect Somaliland human right report through out the country, at regional level and at national level, and also responds on it regionally or nationally. Therefore, the network leadership realized that establishing regional structure, which operates under the supervision of the NCC regional representative, is one strategy for studying, collecting and disseminating human right situation report of the six regions Somaliland, this will also enable SHURO-network to respond the human right violations which needs action to be taken about it.
Each region, the member organizations of SHURO-network in the region will submit its report to the NCC regional representative whose responsibility is to consolidate the report and conduct regional level meetings to disseminate it, the member organizations also collaborate the regional monitoring and documentation group for further more information. The regional consolidated report will submitted to the network head Office, whose responsibility is to consolidate and produce national human right report, and its appropriate response.