MOGADISHU, Somalia — A Somali boy, Isaq Abdi, works 15-hour days with a Somali woman who sells the narcotic leaf khat. Abdi tends the kiosk and delivers the stimulant to customers. At day’s end, the homeless boy receives a handful of chewed sticks that he rebundles and sells to Mogadishu’s poor, earning less than a $1.
Children in Somalia have long suffered from poverty and war. Very few are lucky enough to go to school.
Watch a documentary on Somalia’s child soldiers here:
Last week, Somali leaders approved a provisional constitution that greatly expands the rights afforded to children. It bars child labor and protects children from neglect and abuse. It outlaws the use of child soldiers and bans child marriage. Despite good intentions, most of the new rights will remain distant dreams for Somali children like 10-year-old Abdi.