HRDC works with grassroots community leaders and elders to promote the protection of human rights within Somalia’s traditional systems for the most vulnerable people – women, children, marginalized groups, IDPs, and refugees.
HRDC chooses to work with traditional leaders (elders, Aqils, or chiefs, and Sultans) because, historically and symbolically, they are seen by communities as traditional resolvers of conflict and peacebuilders. This is due to the fact that they laid the foundations for peace and stability in Puntland and Somaliland. In this context, HRDC believes that a bottom-up approach to peacebuilding and working with those traditional community leaders is the best way to transform conflicts in Somalia.
Clan-based conflicts including land disputes, revenge killings, and other violent activities threaten the lives of communities, especially in the rural areas of whole Somalia. HRDC facilitates dialogue between the different clans and sub-clans to resolve conflicts and bring perpetrators to justice. Peacebuilding activities include inter-community collaboration, dialogue, and the re-exchange of looted properties.
HRDC also mobilizes and encourages community policing so that individuals can preserve peace in their own communities and continue to work with the authorities.
Competition for scarce resources between pastoralists has been a major source of conflict in the region. Therefore, HRDC works to educate communities on the management of grazing lands and other natural resources while also implementing practical changes such as building barracks for the sustainable use of resources and water by pastoralists.