Stop the "Intercourse Bill" and pass the "Sexual Offence Bill 2018" - Sharciga Galmada

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The Federal Parliament of Somalia is set to vote on a heavily amended "Intercourse Bill" that will further violate the human rights, agency and bodily autonomy of children, women and girls in Somalia. The federal cabinet of ministers in 2018 passed the widely welcomed Sexual Offences Bill that offered protection against sexual abuse. However, the bill has not been ratified by parliament for unknown reasons. Now, a parliamentary committee has proposed a heavily amended version that dangerously erodes the human rights of our most vulnerable citizens.

We are deeply concerned with the amended Sexual Offences Bill as it sets a dangerous precedent in a country already marred by gender-based sexual violence. This amended bill is harmful in nature to all Somalis but especially to women, girls and children as it does not protect from child marriage, forced marriage, rape and other forms of sexual abuse.

We, the citizens of this great nation cannot turn a blind eye to the rampant abuse, misogyny and violence faced by women, girls and children in Somalia. Child marriage and rape are severe violations against human rights.
This abhorrent bill is against the provisional constitution of the federal government of Somalia and a severe violation of human rights. Recently Somalia became the 196th country to ratify and adopt the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a milestone achievement that is now dangerously jeopardised if this violent bill is passed in parliament.

We strongly demand our parliament and the parliamentary committee responsible for the development of the bill to throw out the amended "Intercourse Law" and swiftly pass the Sexual Offences Bill prepared by the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development and passed by cabinet in 2018. The Sexual Offences bill has been sitting in parliament for two years with no success.

We strongly urge the parliament and the parliamentary committee responsible for the drafting of the amended bill to follow the national constitution and signed International conventions.Please sign this petition and demand our parliament take appropriate steps to review the plight of sexual violence and the injustice faced by many women, girls and children in Somalia.

We, the citizens demand the leadership listed in the petition above take the necessary actions to ensure that Somali women, girls and children are protected by avoiding the legalisation of harmful legislation.

Copied in this petition are:

* Parliament of the Federal Government of Somalia

* Parliamentary Committee for the amended bill

* H.E - Mohamed Mursal Abdirahman - Speaker of Parliament

* H.E - Mahad Abdalle Awad - Deputy Speaker of Parliament 

* H.E - Mahdi Mohammed Guled - Prime Minister of Somalia

* H.E - Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo - President of Somalia


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