The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said Friday it is reaching out to civil society, relevant government bodies as well as other various groups to help strengthen community protection mechanisms to prevent the recruitment of child soldiers in the country.
Gloria Jasse, AMISOM protection officer said the AU mission will step up efforts to conduct programs that are aimed at addressing the recruitment and use of children as fighters in Somalia.
“If communities are aware of the violations against children, they will be empowered and better informed and will take an active role to ensure children are not recruited into armed forces,” Jasse said according to a statement issued in Mogadishu.
The AMISOM official was speaking at the conclusion of a two-day awareness workshop on the dangers of recruitment and use of children in armed conflict.
The event held in Kismayo was attended by representatives from the civil societies and officials from Jubaland State responsible for child protection.
Participants were taken through topics on the rights of children, nondiscrimination, the various forms of child recruitment, child survival and development.
A recent report by the UN Secretary-General on children and armed conflict reveals that armed groups in Somalia forcefully recruited and used 2,228 boys and 72 girls in 2018.