Abdikadir_Eyes on child safeguarding issues in Somalia.pdf
Eyes on child safeguarding issues
in Somalia: What works and what
Keeping Children Safe Summit 2020
Date: 8 October 2020
Speaker: Abdikadir Issa Farah
Organization: Formal Education Network
for Private Schools (FENPS)
OVERVIEW OF MY TALK
My presentation will share participants of the Summit with desk review and
primary data report that I learned from my child safeguarding study in
The case is not long research, but present current situation on Somali
children’s protection status and how educational institutions and NGOs
incorporate matters related to child protection and safeguarding into their
service delivery in Somalia. The case will also provide an overview about
existing chances and gaps in terms of protection and child safeguarding and
how education actors are working to address safeguarding issues within
The Case will present recommendations to the audience, and main
objective of the case is to encourage participants of the Summit to conduct
if possible further research on this matter in order to find a way that help
Somali children enjoy opportunities and services that are essential for
protection and safeguarding of their Human Rights.
SOMALI CHILDREN IN CONTEXT
Somalia is one of the countries that have least enrollment rates in the world
About 32% of Somali children mostly boys have access to quality primary education
opportunities-Somali Government records
The Somalia humanitarian Needs Overview 2020 highlights that an estimated 3.7 million
people need protection-related assistance, 1.37 million children (including 691,295 girls)
need assistance to either stay or enroll in school
“Due to the spread of COVID-19 all the schools across Somalia were closed in mid-
March by the government as a protective measure. That school closure disrupted the
learning of over 1.1 million children and have had negative impact on children’s right to
education as well as their human rights including the right to food and nutrition”
(SOMALIA PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE PLAN (CPRP) AUGUST 2020).
As of June 2019 SGs annual report on Children and Armed Conflict indicates “a total of
2,228 boys and 72 girls, some as young as 8, were recruited and used by parties to
conflict in Somalia”.
In 2018 Education Cluster reported 2,127 verified cases of child recruitment by non-state
Somalis are sunny Muslims and Islamic religion has given highest
consideration to the basic rights of the persons whether children or adults
October 2015 Somalia ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child
November 2017 Federal Government of Somalia launched its Child Rights
Bill drafting process as a foundation for the promotion and protection of all
child rights in the country.
Protection Against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) and
(2)Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) are also clearly
pronounced in humanitarian assistance and Donor supported programs
provided to Somali people as an accountability measure to implementing
partners and contractors
Education Cannot Wait (ECW), new Global Fund for education in
emergencies strongly defined child safeguarding standards to apply its
programs in Somalia-that is a must on implementing partners to ECW
AVAILABLE COORDINATION MECHANISMS AND
PROCEDURES FOR SAFE GUARDING OF CHILDREN
The education Cluster is the ideal coordination
body for child safeguarding and child protection
in the education sector
The education Cluster coordinates education
actors including local and international non-
governmental organizations, UN agencies, donors
and government ministries.
Education Cluster Partners are doing their best
to provide children with protection services
within education institutions
The concept “Safeguarding/Child Safeguarding” is new to Somali
Most of schools and universities are not aware of the subject of
safeguarding (i.e. 98% of 12 universities and 50 schools (33
primary and 17 secondary schools) that reviewed their management
system have not had clear policy/safeguarding measures to protect
children whom they were teaching in Somalia.
The systems, programs, policies, plans and operations of Ministry
of Educations have the greatest impact on children, yet this
institution has no special/separate unit within it that is entrusted
with the safeguarding and protection of children in education
settings whatever across the country, whose lack is a major
drawback in limiting or controlling violence against children (apart
from their mention of merely the need of observance of the safety
and well-being of students and school personnel in basic standards
policies of the draft private school policy without elaborating on
what they mean by these.)
Small number of schools has Teachers Code of Conduct and it is
almost missing or not precisely implemented at schools in Somalia 6
Formal Education Network for Private Schools (FENPS) is a member
of Education Cluster. It is not for profit and non-governmental
Organization that has been active in Somalia since 2003. Somalia is
located in Africa especially Horn of Africa. FENPS was established to
play a role in addressing the particular needs of especially vulnerable
groups in society who often lack education, health care, protection and
VISION: FENPS has a vision of a society where all children have
access to quality education and are not subjected to any abuse.
MISSION: The mission of FENPS is to uplift children and allow them
to grow in confidence and realize their fullest potential through
guidance, education and training in secure and caring environments
that are conducive to learning. The aim of FENPS is to provide youth
and children with positive values and skills for their personal and
For that reason FENPS joined Keeping Children Safe (KCS) in June
2019 to improve its child safeguarding policy and practices. 7
KCS supported FENPS in developing child safeguarding
manual, and now FENPS has its child safeguarding policy,
Standards and procedures improved
FENPS made presentations on child safeguarding in two
Education Cluster meetings (i.e.in July 2019 and in August
FENPS spread the word of child safeguarding and Keeping
Children Safe initiatives and at least 3 other local NGOs
applied to KCS to improve their child safeguarding policy and
procedures, following FENPS lead.
FENPS and Save the Children facilitated 2 days training
workshop on child safeguarding and child protection for 20
administration level persons from 20 local NGOs in October
2019 in Mogadishu.
WHAT IS FENPS DOING NOW?
FENPS is working towards promoting child safeguarding and protection in
education in Somalia that are in line with national and international legal
framework and policies in the following three ways:
I. Research: to study the nature and extent of the violations of child rights
and freedom by analyzing potential hazards and evaluating existing
conditions of vulnerability that could pose a risk to children and the
environment in which they learn or live.
II. Capacity building: to strengthen knowledge, abilities, skills and
behavior of FENPS staff and associates through induction and training
together with a clear code of conducts for acceptable and unacceptable
performance to prevent or reduce the negative impact of organization’s
employees on children.
III. Advocacy: to recommend other organizations establishing and
implementing child safeguarding measures on their own to freed
children from all forms of abuse, exploitation, neglect and violence.
Three important things should be done to improve child safeguarding in
Advocacy and outreach-Advocate for child safeguarding and mobilize
more organizations/institutions to implement child safeguarding
standards through existing forums/mechanisms (e.g. Education and
Capacity building- Build the capacity of organizations that work with or
for children and help them develop and implement their own internal
child safeguarding policy and practices
Accountability- Precise pronunciation of accountability for
implementation standards and safeguarding measures into contract
agreements among Donors, States, and Implementing entities
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