Street Children In Somaliland: The Neglected And Unwanted

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Street Children in Somaliland: The Neglected and Unwanted
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Mohamed Rashid

Economy of Somaliland

To make matter worse, there are weak governmental institutions and other public agencies that are mandated to be responsive to the needs and priorities of street children.

Somaliland has a wonderful history with great achievements in the profile of democracy and the dynamics of socio-economic and political development since 1991. With all these, as urbanization takes place, the number of street children have been increasing thus remain threatened, isolated and neglected in this contemporary society where every social problem is concerned but needs of street children are not addressed.

Much of what we now know as street children in Somaliland was caused by family breakdown which weakened family functioning and the overall structure of the family. In other cases, children join street children when both families and children fail to fulfill socially and religiously constructed family roles in the society. Further, street children often face huge social, physical and emotional problems which not only affect the biological systems of the street children but also leave psychological consequences that take all their developmental stages. It is very common to see large number of street children is endangered by the society attacking them to harm since they are powerless and their voices are never heard. Moreover, they are weakened by the extreme weather conditions and it is because of these that some of them remain unhealthy, and die of different diseases.

To make matter worse, there are weak governmental institutions and other public agencies that are mandated to be responsive to the needs and priorities of street children. As a result, the condition of street children is not considered as new and emerging social issue which can result the development of gang groups that can disturb peace and stability which is one of the foundations of Somaliland existence. Besides, young girls are also part of the street children that are more vulnerable and often face sexual and emotional violence from gang groups, men and sometimes are exploited in enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy and sexual slavery. In recent years, these children are used by gang groups and smugglers to rob and sell illegal drugs in the black matter.

To address the growing risks of street children, transformative and collaborative approach to support street children which gathers together youth-led organizations working on the protection of children; government agencies aiming to safeguard children and youth; and child care and rehabilitation services. Programs encompassing education, health, social protection and child protection are regarded to be the most effective responses that can lower the stress of street children. Some voluntary youth networks like Save a Street Child Foundation and many others paid close attention to street children by distributing clothes, connecting them to rehabilitation centers and seeking further contributions for them. 

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