In Mogadishu Child protection rarely exists, most of Somalia children are under constant violence like child soldier recruitment and drug abuse.
In 2010, the media reported the Somali Transitional Government employed child soldiers around Mogadishu. Anecdotal reports confirm that children as young as 10 years old are enlisted on the militia armies of the warring factions in Somalia. Many households in Somalia do not have adults as many children have lost both of their parents in the civil war which has been dragging on for two decades now. This creates a situation were children, especially young boys, are forced to find employment working as child soldiers. No adults at home to help children find other avenues for surviving.
The poverty, violence and the economic hardship have forced an unprecedented number of children on to the streets. These street children lack adequate shelter, healthcare, education, protection and guidance. Drug abuse is common and many are involved in activities such as pick-pocketing to cover drug costs. SOSWA staff met and interviewed 150 street children, scattered throughout the capital city of Somalia, and 88 percent confessed to have experienced different abuse, including sexual abuse and harassment.
Great number of children in Somalia, specially in the south and central regions of the country are doing adult jobs including working at warehouses handling and lifting material of heavy loads, working at dangerous work places such as restaurants, farms and shoe shining jobs on the streets of major towns all over Somalia.
The authorities were generally not committed to children's rights and welfare, in Somalia there also UN agencies, local NGOs and other institutions which look after children’s wellbeing as they claim are collecting data continuously and there is no nothing trustable protection from them to the street children in across Somalia.
The Somalia Social Workers Association (SOSWA) also acknowledged that in their struggle to survive, some of the children have committed crimes and found themselves in prison.
There are other street children who do not work but are instead engaged in begging to survive. Most of those beggars are from the more recently displaced people who have left their home villages to come to Mogadishu because of violence, famine or drought that prevent them from continuing to farm on their lands.
However, the Somalia Social Workers Association (SOSWA) calls international attention to these street children by creating or opening centers in which can make safe learning and growing environments for the children in the streets in across Somalia.
This report from SOSWA comes after when UNICEF celebrates today On the Universal Children’s Day, UNICEF issued a new research paper highlighting global demographic shifts forecast for the coming generation of children that present major challenges to policy makers and planners. For more information go to: http://www.unicef.org/media/media_66404.html