15 June, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —- Today South Sudan joins the African Continent in commemorating the Day of the African Child. Marked every year on 16th June, the continental theme for this year is Conflict and Crisis in Africa: “Protecting all children’s rights.” But the national theme is “Protecting all children’s rights in Conflict and Crisis in South Sudan.” This is perfectly fitting in the current South Sudan context.
In 2014 750000 South Sudanese children were internally displaced, 320,000 registered as child refugees, hundreds were killed, and more than 12,000 recruited and used by armed forces as child soldiers in armed conflict. The trauma associated with witnessing acts of violence can have lifelong consequences, especially in the prevailing absence of psychological care. Family separation is rife, and exacerbates rights violations for children concerned.
Despite strong national legal frameworks protecting children’s rights in South Sudan, the recent conflict and weaknesses of some existing laws and implementation of the same in some instances has increase vulnerability.
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While the Transitional Government has been formed, and relative calm has returned to South Sudan, the struggle to rebuild the lives of thousands of children and families who were badly affected by the war is only beginning.
As we start this journey together, “I call upon the Unity Government to urgently elevate the Child Protection Agenda for children affected by the conflict and to prioritise the protection of life and wellbeing of South Sudanese children.” Mr. says Peter Walsh Save the Children’s Country Director for South Sudan.
“The Unity Government should also enforce inclusive social and protective systems that respond to every child’s needs, whether in war or in peace. Emergency preparedness and resourcing for child-focused expenditure must be a priority.” He further stressed. END
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