Somalia: Puntland to address street children welfare
Somalia’s autonomous state of Puntland would soon develop a policy to address the welfare of street children, a top official said.
A large number of children in the region remain exploited in various forms and most of them who should be in schools are in the streets, majority of them aged between 5-17 years old.
Puntland’s Vice President Abdihakim Abdullahi Amey said that his administration will put emphasis on addressing the issues of street children.
‘’There is really a need to address these children’s issue, we will cooperate with international donors to tackle it.’’
Minister of Women and Social Affairs of Puntland, Anisa Abdulkadir, disclosed that her Ministry has been working on enacting a new policy to address the welfare of street children since 2014.
She added that a delegation from the United States of America who recently visited the region was interested to help resolve this issue.
Following civil war that erupted in the country in 1991, many children became orphans. Others faced displacement and met financial difficulties which necessitated that many move to urban areas with and without parents and some escaped broken or abusive family environments.
According to local NGOs, over 20,000 children remain in the streets of the country’s biggest cities, including Mogadishu.
The issue of street children—like homelessness—is a worldwide phenomenon that does not spare even the most developed and rich countries. The life of street children is filled with hopelessness, loneliness and abandonment. Destructive behaviors like drugs, fighting, stealing, and acts of sexual violence against their little bodies are daily occurrences for many.