Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 July 2014, 15:15 GMT

Somalia: Information on how clans treat the minor children of their own clan who have been separated from their parents and other immediate family members

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 April 1996
Citation / Document Symbol SOM23733.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Somalia: Information on how clans treat the minor children of their own clan who have been separated from their parents and other immediate family members, 1 April 1996, SOM23733.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ad1110.html [accessed 30 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

 

Published information on the above-mentioned subject is currently unavailable among the sources consulted by the DIRE.

During a 19 April 1996 telephone interview, a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania stated that a child without parents or close relatives would be under the guardianship of members of the child's extended family, provided the extended family is able to look after the child. However, the source added that the more distant the extended family, the more uncertain is the protection provided to the child (ibid.).

The assistant director of the Somali Canadian Women's Organisation (SHAASH) explained during a 18 April 1996 telephone interview that, in absence of the parents and immediate family, the protection and the care of the separated minor children would be provided by members of the extended family within the sub-clans or clans. The source added that the child's treatment is dependant upon the means and goodwill of the extended family members charged with the care of the child (ibid.).

A representative of Somali Immigrant Aid explained that there are no government agencies able to care for such children in Somalia and that minor child would be placed under the guardianship of someone closely linked to the child by blood (18 Apr. 1996). If there is no one available to fill this role, a guardian will be sought from within the child's sub-clan, or if no one can be found in the sub-clan, in the child's clan (ibid.).

According to this source, the closer the blood linkage between guardian and child the better will be the treatment and protection afforded to the child (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

References

Professor of history, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 19 April 1996. Telephone interview.

Somali Immigrant Aid, Toronto, Ontario. 18 April 1996. Telephone interview with a representative.

Somali Canadian Women's Organisation (SHAASH), Etobicoke, Ontario. 18 April 1996. Telephone interview with assistant director.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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