Somaliland: Causes and Plight of Street Children in the Country


A homeless girl takes a nap at her street bedroom in Hargeisa Somaliand

By: Hibo Isse Basbaaso

Somalilandsun -Street children refer to the children for whom the street more than their families has became their real home.

Homeless people are all around the world, whether the developed nations or underdeveloped countries, they are homeless because of financial crisis, family problems or mental illness, whatever the cause, children are more vulnerable to this situation more than the old ages.

Causes of children to became street Factors

Poverty: children living in poverty experience lack of material, spiritual and emotional resources, they need to survive, develop and thrive. And at the end go out to the streets to get income, they do car washing, baalash and become bus boys, where they get friends form the street and become drugs addicted.

Weakening family relationships: broken marriage through divorce or desertion or separation, leave the responsibility of nurturing the children in the hands of one parent or sometimes no one, older children are first casualty to drop out of school to work on the streets to support the family, they are un likely to break from the vicious circles of poverty.

Polygamous marriages: marrying one, two, three and four wives is common practice in our religion, under normal circumstances, yes the man is allowed to marry more than one wife as the sharia law allows, as long as he has the means to look after all his children and wives . Unfortunately the unwritten norms of proven social and economic maturity and fairness which go hand in had with a polygamous marriage are not considered when decisions are made to marry additional wives.

Domestic Violance: violence with in the family is alluded to as one of the casual factors for children running away from home to live on their own.

Situation of street children

Street children live in a touch life, they have no rights to quality life, education, shelter, food, health care, parental care, protection form physical and emotional abuse, harmful child labor and use of harmful drugs are violated or denied.

They are homeless and have no protection, supervision, and direction of adults.

Their food: street children always eat the left over foods from the restaurants. And foods in the rubbish backs, these foods are dangerous for health, sometimes they use the expired foods and drinks for surviving, which can cause them to die.

Their Shelter: street children live on the sides of the streets also they live inside valleys, where people lay rubbishes; they have no shelter to hide from the cold weather and the heat of the sun. That situation can cause violence and poor health

Their Health: According to the foods they eat and the use of intoxicating drugs, chat, and glue they face serious health situation, and it’s hard for them to get medications, moreover being undernourished from such a very young age causes bad side effect on their health like mal nutrition which effects their immune system and as result shorter life expectancy.


Abuses against street children

On the streets their situation is precarious, street children live in dirtiness and total in security, they have no rights and no access to education, healthcare or security. They are beaten and kicked, they are victims of sexual violence, and they are at risk of economic exploitations, Bandits and gangs, girls are especially vulnerable to rape and sexual assault.

Effects of street children on the society

There are devastating effects on street children on the society they belong to. The children without education or without future, which means that they will not be able to defend their future and they will face lots of difficulties to have better life.

Criminal gangs which really represent a huge disaster, as they use those street children to do criminals and violence. Those children have no criteria to know what is right and what is wrong. They may expose themselves to very cruel situations like prostitution, sexual violence, drug consumption and other forms modern slavery.

Street children in the third world, having no access to basic needs always become an easy Pray of flesh traders.

How to prevent increasing street children

The government institutions which are responsible for social care should make plans to decrease those children’s in the streets, also the international agencies that work in children affairs should take part the survival of the vulnerable children from the streets.

Copyright: Somalilandsun, 2016. 

Hibo Isse BasbaasoThe author Hibo Ciise ‘Basbaaso’ is a senior civil servant based in Hargeisa Somaliland