The UN children’s fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday called for rights of all Somali children after the Horn of Africa nation ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2015.
UNICEF Representative for Somalia Jeremy Hopkins also called for work on implementing human rights for all Somali children to be prioritized.
“These children may be living in inaccessible rural areas, displacement camps, they may be members of minority groups or have specific and special needs,” Hopkins said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
His remarks comes as UNICEF publishes its annual flagship report, The State of the World’s Children, which this year focuses on the plight of the most disadvantaged children in the world.
“We call on everyone in the country who cares about the future of Somalia- governments, donors, civil society organisations, community leaders, mothers and fathers- to unite their efforts for the most vulnerable children and those children most difficult to reach,” said Hopkins.
The report points to evidence that investing in the most vulnerable children can yield immediate and long-term benefits.
On average, each additional year of education a child receives increases his or her adult earnings by about 10 per cent.
The State of the World Children’s report found that Somalia is highly unlikely to reach the Sustainable Development Goal of cutting under-five-year old mortality by the target date of 2030 unless more is invested in the future of the disadvantaged.
Peter de Clercq, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia said the children in Somalia deserve the opportunity to go to school, to be healthy, have clean water and be protected from abuse or being forced to join armed groups.
“The Somalia authorities demonstrated their commitment to children and young people by ratifying the Convention on the Rights of the Child and we are providing support to make this a reality,” de Clercq said.
The report shows that globally there has been some progress in saving children’s lives, getting children into school and lifting people out of poverty.
In Somalia the number of children who die before their fifth birthday has dropped from 180 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 137 in 2015.