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UNICEF reminds South Sudan of ratification of convention for rights of the child


May 6, 2015 (JUBA) – South Sudan became 195th country to ratify convention on the rights of the child (CRC) two years ago but was on Wednesday reminded by UNICEF body to fully implement the treaty in the backdrop of souring alleged child abuses.

Child soldiers sit with their rifles at a ceremony held on 10 February 2015 as part of a disarmament campaign overseen by UNICEF and partners in Pibor (AFP)

The UN’s children advocacy, UNICEF, welcomed the move as “a cornerstone” for children’s rights, but however registered the ongoing appalling situation children continued to face in the war-ravaged nation.

The Convention, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly 25 years ago, is the most widely adopted international human rights treaty in history.

The CRC is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights - civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. It spells out the basic human rights that children everywhere have.

Jonathan Veitch, the UNICEF Representative in South Sudan, said this move demonstrates government’s commitment to child rights through ratification of the treaty but called for further efforts to protect children from the 17-month old conflict.

“We must use this historic occasion to focus our minds on the hundreds of thousands of children in South Sudan who have been left behind because of conflict,” said Veitch in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.

“These are the children struggling to access food, recruited by armed groups and forced to drop out of school,” he said.

UNICEF used its press statement released early on Wednesday to remind South Sudanese leaders about the cost of the war on children including 680 killed and 235,000 others in the so-called hard-to-reach areas facing greater risk of suffering from acute malnutrition this year.

400,000 children are forced out of schools as the direct result of the conflict, UNICEF claimed, adding 600,000 need psychological support and 13,000 children are estimated to have been recruited as soldiers by armed groups.

“All children in South Sudan have the right to nutrition, education, improved water and sanitation, protection and health services,” he added.

He said once implemented, the convention had the potential to transform South Sudanese children’s lives.


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