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After recruitment by Al-Shabab, children face difficult conditions in detention

How is it that children get involved with Al-Shabab in the first place?   Al-Shabab uses many means to recruit children, including enticements, deceit and force. Poor rural communities, with little protection, are particularly vulnerable to…
Photo of Somali children blindfolded.
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Emphasize Rehabilitation, Develop Child-Specific Procedures

(Washington) – Somali authorities are unlawfully detaining and at times prosecuting in military courts children with alleged ties to the Islamist armed group Al-Shabab, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. …
A prison warden at a prison in Garowe, Puntland state, in northeastern Somalia, December 2016.
News

Residents Threatened to Hand Over Boys, Girls

(Nairobi) – The Islamist armed group Al-Shabab has threatened and abducted civilians in Somalia’s Bay region to force communities to hand over their children for indoctrination and military training in recent months. …
Children learning to read the Quran at the Gaabow Islamic school in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, August 2013. Parents and teachers told Human Rights Watch that Al-Shabab militants threatened and on occasion abducted teachers and children from schools in
Report
Summary My brother asked, “Can I have your identity? What is your force? Are you RAB, CID, DB?” They did not identify themselves. He asked several times. They did not wear any uniform and they had no legal arrest warrant. Nothing. They just said, “…
Report
Summary On the morning of February 28, 2013, the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami party called a strike to protest the death penalty handed down against its leader, Delwar Hossain Sayedee, who had been convicted by Bangladesh’s International Crimes…
News

Carry Out Proper Investigations to Identify and Prosecute ‘Machete Attacks’

(New York) – The Bangladeshi authorities should investigate attacks on secular writers, gay rights activists, and religious minorities, and identify and prosecute the perpetrators, but should immediately stop arbitrarily arresting people without proper…
Police stand guard during a rally by activists demanding capital punishment for a group of bloggers in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 12, 2013.
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This week, President Barack Obama announced that four countries that use child soldiers — the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan – will continue to receive United States military assistance. The…
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When the new Somali president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, took office in September, the United States encouraged him to “usher in a new era of governance that is responsive, representative, and accountable.” This week, President Hassan Sheikh is in Washington…
News
Like many of the Somali youth I interviewed in Kenya, “Xarid M.” had braved the streets of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, for as long as he could to go to school. But that all changed the day the Islamist insurgent group al-Shabaab brought the war to his…
News

Al-Shabaab Rebels Impose Forced Marriages, use Students as ‘Human Shields’

(London) – Somalia’s warring parties have all failed to protect Somali children from the fighting or serving in their forces, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Islamist insurgent group al-Shabaab has increasingly targeted children…
Report
No Place for Children Child Recruitment, Forced Marriage, and Attacks on Schools in Somalia Map of Somalia Summary Key Recommendations To the Transitional…
News

United Nations Should Establish International Commission of Inquiry

(New York) - The scale and severity of the crimes during the intense fighting in Somalia in recent months demonstrates the need for an international commission of inquiry, Human Rights Watch said today. A recent Human Rights Watch investigation found that…
News

New US Report Names Six Governments That Could Lose Military Aid

(New York) - The United States should put pressure on governments identified by the State Department as using child soldiers to end the practice or lose US military assistance, Human Rights Watch said today. The State Department's 2010 annual report on…
News
(Hagadera Refugee Camp, Kenya) - For months, 18-year-old Ahmed Abdullahi had dodged the mortar shells that whizz daily through Mogadishu, the war-ravaged capital of Somalia. The one that finally drove him from Somalia tore though his family's house and…
News

Deception Used to Enlist Refugees to Fight in Somalia

(Nairobi) - The Kenyan government should immediately stop the recruitment of Somalis in refugee camps to fight for an armed force in Somalia, Human Rights Watch said today. Kenyan authorities have directly supported the drive, which has recruited…
News

Strengthening the Security Council’s Response to Sexual Violence and Attacks on Education in Armed Conflict

For a full decade, the UN Security Council has addressed the severe abuses that children experience in armed conflict. Its response has included a series of six resolutions (1261, 1314, 1379, 1460, 1539, and 1612), the creation of a specialized working…
News

The US-backed Ethiopian military has secreted away scores of "suspects" – including pregnant women and children – and fueled anti-American rancor in Africa

Ifo Refugee Camp, Kenya - Ishmael, a 37-year-old shepherd from the Ogaden region in Ethiopia, looked at me with tears in his eyes. Ethiopian forces – who had already killed his mother, father, brothers and sisters – murdered his wife days after they were…
Report
Summary Tens of thousands of ethnic Somali civilians living in eastern Ethiopia's SomaliRegionalState are experiencing serious abuses and a looming humanitarian crisis in the context of a little-known conflict between the…