Westernised children of Somalis are being forcibly detained for years ‘back home’ in unregulated, brutal dhaqan celis sites where sexual abuse is rife. (Cory Seamer, Alamy)
  • In Somalia and Kenya, children who grew up in the West are sent to re-education camps to “get them away from the Western world and learn about their culture”.
  • These unregulated centres called dhaqan celis have no age limit and operate outside of the law. Children who are found drinking or disobeying their parents are sent to these centres where they are beaten, starved, chained and sexually assaulted.
  • These young Somali women from the United Kingdom detail their experiences of sexual assault and physical abuse they were subjected to.

It was not until Fadumo* was sitting in an unfamiliar room on Mogadishu’s outskirts, and the smile vanished from her mother’s face, that the 16-year-old realised she was not going on holiday to Dubai.

In retrospect, there had been clues before they left England, when her mother suddenly announced, in 2022, that the two of them were going on holiday in a few days’ time. But it had been a difficult school year and Fadumo welcomed the idea of a break as a chance to repair their crumbling relationship.

Onboard the aeroplane, her mother had explained that they were flying via Mogadishu to see their family.