Tuesday September 22, 2020
NAIROBI (HOL) – Cases of gender violence in Somalia rose by 25 per cent in Somalia between January and June this year, the children’s agency UNICEF has said warning the increase was further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Somalia marks five year since the ratifiction of the Convention on Rights of Children (CRC), UNICEF said it was disturbing to see an increase in gender based violence with little or no legal recourse.
“While there has been an expansion in services to support victims of abuse, sexual violations against children continue at an alarming rate and there is little or no opportunity to seek justice,” UNICEF said in a statement Monday.
It noted the increase had ‘been compounded by the COVID-19 outbreak and demonstrates the need for protection policies to be put in place at the Government level.’The statement comes in the wake of rising cases of rape and sodomy reported in Mogadishu and Baidoa.
A five year old baby was raped in Mogadishu’s Kaaran district this past week barely a week after two cases of rape and sodomy in the city.
“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,” UNICEF country reprsentative Werner Schultink said, adding, “It is critical that acts of sexual violence and harmful practices are criminalized, and perpetrators are brought to justice.”
According to Government data Somalia has a 99 per cent prevalence rate of FGM – the highest in the world.