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Somalia[1] [print]

Last edited: November 2005



Summary and Analysis


We were unable to find any information pertaining to Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child or the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child with respect to the child's right to be heard in child protective proceedings. Somalia is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child[2] and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child,[3] but has not ratified either.


Somalia has been called a “failed state” and as such does not have a functioning government; “In most regions the judicial system relied on some combination of traditional and customary justice, Shari'a (Islamic) law and the pre-1991 Penal Code. … Abuse of children remained a problem.  … Child labour and trafficking remained problems.”[4]   Despite a thorough search, we were unable to find any statutes or programs in place addressing child protective proceedings or the opportunity for children to be heard in these proceedings. The country has had no effective government for the last fifteen years and remains one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world.


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[1] This page is also available as a .pdf Document, and Word Document.

[2] United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child art. 12, Dec. 12, 1989, UN General Assembly Document A/RES/44/25, available at http://www.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm.

[3] African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, opened for signature July 11, 1990, OAU Doc. CAB/LEG/24.9/49 available at http://www.africa-union.org/.

[4] James T. Lawrence, Human Rights in Africa (2002).


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