UNICEF has described last week's stoning of a 13-year old girl in Somalia as 'deplorable.' The girl was stoned to death in a stadium of spectators in Kismayo on 27 October 2008 after having been found guilty of adultery. Reports indicate that she had been raped by three men while traveling on foot to visit her grandmother in the war-torn capital, Mogadishu. Following the assault, she sought protection from the authorities, who then accused her of adultery and sentenced her to death.
“This is a tragic and deplorable incident,” said UNICEF Representative for Somalia, Christian Balslev-Olesen.
The incident highlights the extreme vulnerability of girls and women in Somalia, for whom violence and discrimination are intensified by the effects of chronic conflict and displacement. Sexual and gender-based violence is commonplace in Somalia and the vulnerability of girls and women is further exacerbated through gender inequalities in access to essential social services.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.