Publication 4 - Assessing the progressivity of the juvenile justice system in Somalia by Wafaa Hassan

 The age of criminal responsibility under Article 59 of Somalia’s Penal Code is 14 years. However, the Code contains no provisions guiding the handling of children in correctional facilities or special measures for children in detention. Juveniles aged 15 to 18 are liable for any criminal act they commit if they have the capacity of “understanding as well as volition.” Studies have shown that the implementation of this law has been regressive for minors.


The aim of this study was to assess the progressivity of the juvenile justice system in Somalia. Its specific objectives included the following:
  • To examine the mechanisms used by members of the criminal justice sector to determine the age of minors
  • To understand the process of criminal liability for minors in Somalia
  • To establish whether the juvenile justice system in Somalia is proportionate.