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Somali children 2

The failure of the international community to address and acknowledge the problem of child piracy is leading to serious children’s rights abuses, as they are continually recruited and used by pirate commanders for the same reason warlords recruit children to be soldiers: they are easier to manipulate and are seen as expendable by the groups which recruit them.

Julie Barton and AWCC logo

Julie Barton is a campaigner against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). She is currently in the process of setting up a nonprofit to support Action for Women and Children Concern in Somalia.

Abdirahman Ali Awale is a psychiatrist at Habeeb Hospital

In Somalia there’s a belief that a mentally ill person can be cured by shutting them in a room with a hyena.

Mentally ill people in the war-ravaged country are often chained or locked up. Others are tied to trees and abandoned when their families are forced to flee fighting

School in Somalia

For decades, Somalia has had no government and thus no state education system.

About 40 percent of Somali children attend school, according to UN figures. Most of these schools are run by parents.

Lido Beach in Mogadishu

In Somalia women in particular are vulnerable after years of conflict. The UN recorded 1,700 rapes in refugee camps last year - many are thought to have been carried out by members of the Somali security forces.


Feb 2013: "Witnessing the FGM-associated complications that many were suffering caused me to speak out against it in public in 1976 which at that time shocked my family and my people...."

Hawa Aden Mohamed

Hawa Aden Mohamed wins Nansen Refugee Award for her work in educating women and girls in Somalia

Dr. Hawa Abdi Dhiblawe with her two young daughters, Dr. Amina Mohamed Abdi, and Dr. Deqa Mohamed Abdi | Photo:

Hawa Abdi is an obstetrician and gynecologist who in 1983 established a one-room clinic near Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

In 2010 Islamist militants invaded her camp and held her hostage for several days.

Kenya UNHCR Camp

The supposed sanctuary of Kenyan refugee camps can’t protect Somali women from the horrors of a growing rape epidemic.

Long treks for needed supplies leave women vulnerabel to attacks from men hiding in the bushes along the isolated trails.


Children warriors of Al Shabbab

The Child Soldiers of Somalia

In a country, at permanent war with itself, over 100 children were injured in weapon related incidents in one week.

In a recent report the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that, in the first week of May, nearly a hundred children aged under five, were admitted to hospital in Somalia, suffering from weapon-related injuries.

Exact number of child soldiers In Somalia is unknown, but one NGO suspects between 2,000 and 3,000 children are in different armed groups.


June 2011: Interview with Amanda Lindhout - "I thought: I am going to do something to make this a better place for these women and I had 15 months of being held captive to focus my energy on this..."