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UNICEF: Sexual violations against Somali children continue at an alarming rate

Mogadishu (SD) – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in a released statement says sexual violence against children is on the rise in Somalia, adding that there is no opportunity to seek justice for the victims.

In a statement issued ahead of Somalia’s fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on October 2, UNICEF said that child marriage practices and female genital mutilation (FGM) were on the rise in Somalia.

“The CRC is the mostly widely ratified global treaty in the world, the cornerstone of this treaty is to recognize that anyone under the age of 18 is a child and their right to protection from all forms of abuse is clearly articulated.” said Werner Schultink, UNICEF Somalia Representative.

Nearly five years ago, on October 2, 2015, Somalia became the 196th country to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

“By signing the CRC, Somalia made a commitment to not only treat children with dignity but put in place legislation that protects them from harm, we know, that at both the Federal and State levels, relevant ministries have worked tirelessly to establish a legal framework to protect people, especially women and children, from all forms of abuse and uphold their rights and we continue to support those attempts. It is critical that acts of sexual violence and harmful practices are criminalized, and perpetrators are brought to justice.” said Schultink.

In Somalia, child sexual violence is on the rise, and UNICEF says forced marriages of girls under the age of 15 are on the rise.

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