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Somalia, 2 October 2015: The 196th nation to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child

© UNICEF 2015
Prime Minister of Somalia, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke (3rd left) with Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Violence against Children, Marta Santos Pais, SRSG for Children & Armed Conflict Leila Zerrougui, UN and Somali officials.

2 October 2015 – Somalia has become the 196th nation to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) – the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history. The Convention outlines the rights of and means to protect children and provides the basis for the Federal Government of Somalia to realise the rights of all Somali children.

The Prime Minister of Somalia, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, deposited the instrument of ratification of the CRC during the final afternoon of the annual Treaty Event in New York on 1 October 2015, formalizing the ratification process.

The President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, signed the ratification on 20 January this year at a ceremony in Mogadishu attended by Nicholas Kay, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Steven Lauwerier, UNICEF Representative for Somalia, Ministers and MPs after it was ratified by the Federal Parliament on 13 December 2014. On 29 January 2015 the signed instrument was submitted to the UN Secretary-General.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in January, the Somali President outlined what the ratification of the CRC would mean for Somali children and youth saying ”We have promised you full and equal access before the law. We have promised to make sure that you never have to become a soldier until you are old enough to make that decision for yourself. We have promised to support your families to love and care for you and not to abandon you, or try to profit from you. We have promised to protect you from people who may have bad intentions. We have promised that regardless of whether you are a boy or a girl, you will have equal access to all the opportunities that life will bring you: to have a good education and to get a good job. We have promised to respect your right to thinking independently and to express those thoughts.”

Following the ratification, the Federal Government is expected to work on drafting and adopting child friendly policies and systems, and implement measures to target child survival, development, participation and protection, and provide regular reports on its progress to The Committee on the Rights of the Child.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 20 November 1989.

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Text of the Convention on the Rights of the Child 

The Treaty Event has been held annually since September 2000, usually coinciding with the general debate of the General Assembly and has resulted in 1,959 treaty-related actions, including signatures, ratifications and accessions. 

The Convention on the Rights of the Child ratified by the Somali President in front of hundreds of schoolchildren
20 January 2015 – Crowds of enthusiastic students gathered at Hamar Jajab primary school to watch their President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child guaranteeing them binding rights. 



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