UNICEF in Action
UNICEF is working to rebuild the protective environment for Somalia’s most vulnerable children and women – both by helping to improve national capacity and legal protection, and by providing safe havens for those most at risk of abuse and exploitation.
Community mobilization and empowerment
UNICEF has been providing training to Child Protection Advocates (CPAs) to mobilize vulnerable communities to identify, prioritize and address the key child protection challenges they face.
Over 600 separated and unaccompanied children were identified through reception centres for Yemeni refugees and other displaced families. UNICEF is working towards having separated and unaccompanied children reunited with their families using community based networks, local radio and through setting up of an identification, documentation, tracing and reunification system across the region.
Support for survivors of gender-based violence
UNICEF has supplied post-rape treatment kits to all districts in Mogadishu through four hospitals and Maternal and Child Health centres (MCHs), and has also trained MCH workers on psychosocial support and clinical management of rape. UNICEF is ensuring that survivors of rape who are still at risk, are relocated to safer areas, and can access income generating activities to support their families. With the help of UNICEF and partners’ technical support, the Somaliland and Puntland Ministries of Health and Education have introduced Psychosocial Care and Support training into the teachers and health professionals training curricula. In South and Central Somalia, UNICEF is training teachers on basic emotional support, to ensure that schools have social workers able to prevent and respond to sexual violence and abuse against children.
Gender-Based Violence Information Management System (GBVIMS)
UNICEF partners are using the new GBVIMS to track trends and patterns of different forms of GBV conducted both against children and adults. The GBVIMS informs our programmes to better respond and prevent GBV.
Monitoring of grave violations of children’s rights
A network of 15 organizations with over 70 trained monitors has been established across Somalia to collect data on grave violations against children in situations of armed conflict: killing or maiming, recruitment into armed groups, attacks on schools and hospitals, rape or sexual violence, abduction, and denial of humanitarian access for children.
Advocacy for the release of children involved in military activities
In 2015 64 Children who were associated with armed forces/groups entered into a UNICEF-supported reintegration programme. At present 655 such children are being provided with education, skills training and psychosocial services.
Programme for Youth
UNICEF, UNDP and ILO are implementing a joint programme for youth in Somalia. The programme aims to contain and prevent violent conflict by engaging youth through the creation of employment and livelihood opportunities. Since September 2011, 2400 children from violence sensitive areas participated in life skills based education, vocational training, and mentorship programs and are being reintegrated back into the community. One of the highlights of the program has been the complete turnaround of a significant number of youth from the engagement in violent activities.
Advocacy and policy dialogue efforts on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) resulted in a Religious Declaration ‘Fatwa’, policy and draft legislation outlawing of all forms of FGM/C in Puntland. In addition, 150 communities declared total abandonment of FGM/C. Community dialogues are ongoing among 80 communities in South and Central Somalia and 40 in Somaliland.
Child protection policies
The Somali Parliament passed a bill approving the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in 2014 setting the stage for children’s access to their rights. The CRC was publically ratified by the President on 20 January 2015, and the depositary notification was made to the United Nations Secretary-General on 1 October 2015, and it formally entered into force on 31 October 2015.
UNICEF is working with Government in Somalia through the UN Joint Rule of Law Programme to support implementation of the CRC through creation of child-friendly domestic legislation, such as a Juvenile Justice Law and Child Rights Law and child-friendly policies. UNICEF support mainstreaming of children’s rights, and assist the Government to launch public awareness campaigns to educate the community about the CRC. UNICEF will assist in training Government employees and others who work with children regarding their responsibilities under the CRC.