Last updated: June 2022

In addition to the general situation in the area of potential IPA, the assessment whether it is reasonable to settle in that part of the country should take into account the individual circumstances of the applicant.

The individual considerations could relate to certain vulnerabilities of the applicant as well as to available coping mechanisms, which would have an impact in determining to what extent it would be reasonable for the applicant to settle in a particular area.

Please note that this is a non-exhaustive list:

  • Clan affiliation and support network: clan affiliation has a prominent role in the Somali society (for more information see The role of clans in Somalia) and support network is strongly embodied by clan affiliation. Therefore, the applicant’s clan and sub-clan(s) should be taken into account. The majority of Mogadishu’s districts are heterogenous in terms of clan distribution, but the dominant clans of these districts de-facto govern and control these areas and their support would be needed for business activities. In Hargeisa and Garowe, some neighbourhoods are dominated by one clan/sub-clan and others are mixed. [Socio-economic 2021, 1.4, 2.4, 3.4]

A support network can be the family network, not restricted to the core family, but also including the extended family, and/or a social network, in particular: friends, employers, classmates, members of the same clan, etc., taking into account their willingness and ability to assist the person in accessing basic subsistence. IDPs, minority groups and returnees who have been absent for several years may lack clan support and large numbers of returnees who lack financial means end up in IDP camps where the living conditions are no different than for those internally displaced, thus with limited access to basic services [Socio-economic 2021, 1.4].

  • Age: young age as well as elderly age could significantly limit the applicant’s access to means of subsistence such as through employment, making him or her dependent on other providers. Therefore, this element should be seen in conjunction with the available support by family or a broader support network. In the case of children, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration, for example, with regard to access to basic education. The out-of-school population in Somalia is one of the world’s most significant. Populations’ movements (60% of the population pursues pastoralist activities) and displacements due to violent conflicts or climatic shocks are the main impediments to children’s access to formal education. Many low-income families could not afford education for their children. Access to education of children from minority clans is also difficult. Educational facilities are present in the three cities. [Socio-economic 2021, 1.3.5, 3.3.5, 3.4.2]

  • Gender: women and girls in Somalia may be subjected to discriminatory restrictions and may need the support of a male family member or chaperone in order to access different services and to exercise certain rights. Further difficulties have been reported for single women without a clan network and internally displaced women [Socio-economic 2021, 1.4.2]. Therefore, the gender of the applicant should be taken into account when considering reasonableness in conjunction with their family status and available support.

  • State of health: access to healthcare is strained in the three cities, making the health status of the applicant an important consideration when assessing the reasonableness of IPA for those who require medical treatment, also taking into account that their state of health may affect their ability to work and travel. For those with disabilities, access to basic subsistence such as through employment, would be further limited.

  • Religion: given the predominance of Islam in Somalia, the religion of the applicant should be taken into account.

  • Local knowledge: local knowledge, including linguistic knowledge, and the existence of certain social ties and connections, either through relatives or through school education or professional experience, would be a relevant consideration, as such ties and knowledge would assist an applicant in settling in the area and in particular in accessing basic means of subsistence and basic services.

  • Social, educational and economic background: the background of the applicant, their level of education and available financial means should be taken into account when assessing the reasonableness of IPA, and in particular the access of the applicant to means of basic subsistence. Uneducated persons are particularly affected by severe lack of access to the labour market in urban settings. [Socio-economic 2021, 1.3.6]

  • Civil documentation: identity documents may be required in order to get passage through security checkpoints (see also 5.3 Travel and admittance).

It should be noted that these factors would often intersect in the case of the particular applicant, leading to different conclusions on the reasonableness of IPA. In some cases, one or more elements of vulnerability would confirm a conclusion that IPA is not reasonable for the particular applicant (e.g. unaccompanied child, or person with disabilities without support network), while in other cases, personal circumstances would balance each other (e.g. non-educated male with strong clan/support network).