UNICEF and partners call for the passage of the Child Rights Bill
A landmark piece of legislation that will provide the legal foundation to uphold the rights of Somali children
Mogadishu, November 20, 2020 – As the world celebrates the 31st anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), UNICEF and the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development of the Federal Government of Somalia (MoWHRD) continue to push for the ratification of the Child Rights Bill which is currently with the Somali Cabinet for approval.
“This historic legislation will lay the legal foundation for the promotion and protection of all child rights in Somalia,” said H.E Minister Hanifa Mohamed Ibrahim, MoWHRD. “Children are the next generation and if we are to rebuild Somalia, our children’s futures must be safeguarded by guaranteeing their basic rights so they can grow and prosper.”
Somalia signed the CRC in 2015 and it is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in the world. It spells out the basic human rights that children should have wherever they live. These include: their right to develop to the fullest; to an education; and to be protected from exploitation.
The Child Rights Bill demonstrates the commitment of the Federal Government to ensure the articles under the CRC are upheld.
“We thank the Ministry of Women and Human Rights Development for their leadership in making The Child Rights Bill a reality,” said Jesper Moller, UNICEF Acting Representative in Somalia.
“Every child in Somalia deserves to fully realize their rights, especially their right to protection and an education. If children are able to learn, safe from harm, they will gain the skills and knowledge they need to become agents of change and help contribute to creating a peaceful society.”
Once the Cabinet approves the Bill, it will then go to Parliament for debate and adoption. When passed, it will result in the most comprehensive child-focused legislation in Somali history.
Press release in Somali [PDF]
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
UNICEF has been working in Somalia since 1972 when its first office opened in Mogadishu. Today UNICEF has over 300 staff working in Mogadishu, Baidoa, Dollow, Garowe, Hargeisa and also Nairobi, Kenya. Together with 200 international and national NGOs and community-based organizations, UNICEF delivers services in Health, Nutrition, WASH, Education and Child Protection, and responds to emergencies and supports peace-building and development.