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Sub-Saharan Africa


Somalia is not included in the Gender Inequality Index. Women should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.


Somalia has a Workplace Index score of 9.1, a Marketplace Index score of 6.4 and a Community and Environment Index score of 9.0 in the Children’s Rights and Business Atlas, where countries receive scores between 0 and 10. A score closer to 0 reflects a need for basic children’s rights due diligence, while a higher score reflects a need for enhanced or heightened due diligence. Children should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though. 

Persons with Disabilities

Due to differences in data collection and definitions it is difficult to compare countries on disability prevalence rates. Persons with disabilities should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.

Minorities and Indigenous Peoples

According to the World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, minorities in Somalia include ‘Bantu’ (Gosha, Shabelle, Shidle, Boni), occupational caste groups (Gaboye, Tumal, Yibir, other), Oromo and Benadiri Swahili-speakers (including Rer Hamar Amarani, Bajuni), religious minorities (Ashraf, Shekal, Christians). Occupying the south-central portions of the country, Hawiye (part of the Irir clan family) is probably the largest clan within Somalia, while Darood is the largest clan among all Somalis across borders. Since independence Hawiye have occupied important administrative positions in the bureaucracy and the top ranks of the army. Among other groups, Somalia’s ethnic minorities include the Bantu, Benadiri (or Reer Xamar), as well as the Asharaf and Bravanese, who are based in Southern Somalia. During the civil war many members of these communities were displaced and a large number are still based in IDP settlements in Mogadishu, Puntland and Somaliland. There are also small religious minority communities. The Ashraf and the Shekal are minorities within the majority religion of Islam. While they often experienced discrimination on the basis of their differing religious practices, Ashraf and Shekhal traditionally played important conflict-resolution roles and were respected and protected by clans with whom they lived. However, some were badly affected by the civil conflicts of the 1990s and lost this customary protection, becoming targets for human rights abuses by clan militias and warlords. Ashraf from some areas are affiliated to and counted as Benadiri, while Ashraf living among Digil-Mirifle are affiliated with them as a sub-clan. Shekhal (also known as Sheikhal or Sheikash) are a similar dispersed religious community of claimed Arabian and early Islamic origin. Both Ashraf and Shekhal achieved political influence and success in education and commerce with Arab countries, yet they can still face discrimination and human rights abuses on account of their non-clan origins. The very small Christian minority, comprising first- or second-generation converts from Islam, is under extreme threat with the presence of al-Shabaab. There are currently no reliable population statistics due to years of chaos and war. What is clear is that minorities are splintered within society, and generally lack political and military organization compared to majority groups. Minorities overall are not evenly distributed throughout the country – South-Central Somalia is believed to have a higher concentration of minorities than Somaliland and Puntland. The vulnerability of IDPs, 70 to 80 % of which are women and children, is especially pronounced among minority communities.

Migrant Workers​

According to the ILO Global Estimates on International Migrant Workers, migrant workers as a proportion of all workers is 3 % in the subregion Sub-Saharan Africa.

Persons in Armed Conflict

Somalia ranks 2 out of 179 countries in the Fragile States Index, where a high rank equals high fragility. For monthly crisis updates, check out CrisisWatch

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