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AU trains Jubaland officials to combat the recruitment of child soldiers

AU trains Jubaland officials to combat the recruitment of child soldiers

The Protection Human Rights and Gender (PHRG) Cluster of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have concluded a five-day training of trainers’ course has concluded in Kismayo, Jubaland State, on the prevention and response to the recruitment and use of child soldiers in armed conflict. The training was attended by over 25 social workers and child protection committee members from Farjano, Fanole, Gulwade, Alanley, Dalxis IDP camp and other communities across the Jubaland State. The AMISOM Protection Officer and lead facilitator, Gloria Jaase, said the training was important to creating awareness and building response mechanisms to protecting children and preventing their recruitment as child soldiers. “The objective is to provide adequate knowledge and cascade the message down into the communities so that we can protect and prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers,” she said. She called for vigilance within the communities to protect children from the militant group, Al-Shabaab, who abduct and conscript children as fighters and sex slaves. “We need to work hard to protect children not only from recruitment but also from sexual violence and other severe abuse and violations,” said Jaase. A co-facilitator, Asha Abdullahi Mohamed said the participants were experienced and professional social workers already engaged in child protection from the various communities. “This is a Trainer of Trainees programme to support participants with deep insights that will help them impact the wider community by transferring the knowledge,” said Asha. A Community worker, Yusuf Deq Bashir, said the training had been interactive and incisive as they shared knowledge and experiences from their respective communities. “We have gained valuable lessons and knowledge on the protection of children. We can now share with our communities and influence them to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers,” Yusuf noted.

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