Al-Shabaab is listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s (SG) latest annual report (S/2022/493) on children and armed conflict (CAAC) for all five ‘trigger’ violations, and Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama’a (ASWJ) is listed for recruitment and use. The Somali Federal Defence and Somali Police Forces (previously jointly listed as one entity) are each listed for recruitment and use, killing and maiming, and rape and other forms of sexual violence. In October, UNSOM’s mandate is up for renewal, per SCR 2632 (2022). According to the SG’s May report (S/2022/392), between February and March 2022, the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR) verified the recruitment and use of 94 children, killing and maiming of 138 children, abduction of 98 children, incidents of sexual violence against 38 children, three attacks on schools and hospitals, and one incident of the denial of humanitarian access. The Security Council should:
- Renew UNSOM’s child protection mandate, and ensure sufficient resources are allocated and swiftly deployed to allow UNSOM to fully deliver on this mandate;
- Call on the Federal Government of Somalia to strengthen accountability for all grave violations committed against children, to treat children formerly or allegedly associated with armed forces or groups primarily as victims, in line with the Paris Principles, and to consistently apply the 2014 Standard Operating Procedures for the reception and handover of children separated from armed groups to civilian child protection actors;
- Encourage the Federal Government to strengthen its legal framework for the protection of children and to implement its commitments under the Safe Schools Declaration;
- Urge the Federal Government to fully implement its 2012 action plans on recruitment and use and killing and maiming, as well as its 2019 roadmap, and to swiftly engage with the UN to strengthen its commitments to end and prevent rape and other forms of sexual violence against children.
The United Kingdom is the lead country on Somalia.
This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update – October 2022.
In May, the Secretary-General (SG) released his sixth report (S/2022/397) on children and armed conflict (CAAC) in Somalia, covering the period from October 2019 to September 2021. During this time, the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR) verified 8,042 grave violations against 6,501 children (5,108 boys, 1,393 girls). Al-Shabaab was found responsible for the majority (67 percent) of these violations. Government security forces, including the Somali National Army and the Somali Police Force, as well as regional forces, also continued to commit grave violations. Recruitment and use (2,852), abduction (2,502), and killing and maiming (1,857) accounted for 90 percent of the total verified violations. Rape and other forms of sexual violence continued to be reported at high levels and frequently occurred in internal displacement camps or in the context of abduction and forced marriage. Accountability remained low for such violations, and the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the handover of children were implemented inconsistently. Little progress was made to strengthen legal protections for children; rather, attempts were made to weaken draft legislation pertaining to child protection, such as lowering the age of majority from 18 to 15 in the third draft of the revised Constitution, a pending bill weakening protections for children from sexual violence and child marriage, and no progress on adoption of the Child Rights Bill. The Working Group should:
- Strongly condemn the staggering numbers of violations and abuses committed against children in Somalia, and demand that all parties fully uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights law (IHRL), immediately cease all abductions and recruitment and use of children, and release all children within their ranks;
- Call on the Federal Government of Somalia to strengthen accountability for all grave violations committed against children, to enact the Child Rights Bill, to adopt the original 2018 Sexual Offences Bill, to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child’s Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict (OPAC) and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, to treat children allegedly associated with armed forces or groups primarily as victims, in line with the Paris Principles and Commitments, and adopt age verification guidelines;
- Encourage the Federal Government to implement its commitments under the Safe Schools Declaration, developing comprehensive risk assessments and risk reduction strategies to prevent and respond to attacks, including child recruitment and sexual violence at, or on the way to or from, school;
- Urge the Federal Government to fully implement its 2012 action plans on recruitment and use and killing and maiming, as well as its 2019 roadmap; to swiftly engage with the UN to strengthen its commitments to end and prevent rape and other forms of sexual violence against children; and to consistently comply with its 2014 SOP on the handover of children to civilian child protection actors;
- Emphasize the need to allocate and swiftly deploy sufficient resources to allow UNSOM to fully deliver on its child protection mandate.
This information is based on Watchlist’s Children and Armed Conflict Monthly Update: July 2022.
Year listed: 2003
Action Plans signed: Somali National Army – recruitment and use of children (July 2012) and killing and maiming of children (August 2012); Roadmap to expedite the implementation of the two action plans adopted in October 2019.
Sanctions Committee: Somalia Sanctions Committee (Current Chair: Belgium)
Secretary-General’s reports on CAAC in Somalia: 2022; 2020; 2016; 2010; 2008; 2007
Security Council Working Group conclusions on Somalia: 2020; 2017; 2011; 2008; 2007
Missions: UNSOM, AMISOM
Perpetrators listed in the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual reports on children and armed conflict
|Transitional National Government||a|
|Juba Valley Alliance||a||a|
|Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council||a|
|Rahanwein Resistance Army (RRA)||a||a, b|
|Rahanwein Resistance Army (RRA/SNSC) of Mohamed Ibrahim Habsade||a|
|United Somali Congress/Somali Salvation Alliance (USC/SSA)-faction of Muse Sudi Yalahow)||a|
|Middle Shabelle Administration||a, b|
|Puntland Administration||a, b|
|Somali Patriotic Movement/Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council||a, b|
|United Somali Congress (USC) of Mohamed Kanyare Afrah||a, c|
|United Somali Congress/Somali Salvation Alliance (USC/SSA) of Omar||a, c|
|Lower Shabelle Administration||a|
|Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter Terrorism (ARPCT)||a, b, d|
|Union of the Islamic Courts (ICU)||a, b|
|Remnants of the former Union of the Islamic Courts (UIC)||a, b||a, b, d|
|Transitional Federal Government (TFG)||a, b, c, d, f||a, b, d||a, b||a, b||a, b|
|Al-Shabaab*||a, b, d||a, b||a, b||a, b||a, b||a,b||a,b||a,b,e||a,b,e|
|Hizbul Islam||a||a, b|
|Somali National Army (SNA) (Formerly listed as Somali National Armed Forces)~*||a, b||a,b||a,b||a,b||a,b|
|Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama’a (ASWJ)||a||a||a,b||a|
a: Parties that recruit and use children
b: Parties that kill and maim children
c: Parties that commit rape and other forms of sexual violence against children
d: Parties that engage in attacks on schools and/or hospitals
e: Parties that engage in abduction of children
f: Parties that deny humanitarian access to children
~ This party has concluded an action plan with the United Nations in line with Security Council resolutions 1539 (2004) and 1612 (2005).
* This party has been in the annexes for at least five years and is therefore considered a persistent perpetrator.