Sudan Signs Action Plan to Protect Children from Violations in Armed Conflict

Khartoum, Sudan– In an important milestone for the protection of children in Sudan, the Government signed an Action Plan with the United Nations to prevent the recruitment and use of children by Sudan Government Security Forces. The United Nations welcomes the Government’s commitment to protect children from violations in armed conflict.

“We will work to promote and protect children’s rights in areas of armed conflict and displacement. We are also committed to strengthen existing mechanisms that are included in the Child Act of 2010 and the Sudan Armed Forces law, ” said His Excellency Ibrahim Adam Ibrahim, State Minister of Social Welfare.

The State Minister of Social Welfare signed the Action Plan on behalf of the Sudanese Government in a high-level ceremony that took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was attended by cabinet ministers to highlight the Government’s determination to turn the page on the recruitment and use of children.

“The United Nations in Sudan stands ready to support every step of the implementation of this Action Plan, ” declared the three co-chairs of the United Nations Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting, Bintou Keita, Deputy Joint Special Representative for the African Union – United Nations Mission in Darfur, Marta Ruedas, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Representative.

The Action Plan sets out a series of measures to enhance the overall protection of children affected by armed conflict, including the cessation and prevention of child recruitment, and the release of children from national security forces.

The Government also committed to appoint a high-level focal point to coordinate the implementation of this Action Plan and to collaborate with the United Nations in monitoring the implementation of the Action Plan.

A new milestone for the campaign ‘Children, Not Soldiers’

With today’s signing of the Action Plan, all seven countries whose national security forces are listed by the Secretary-General for recruitment and use of children have committed to the objective of ‘Children, not Soldiers’, a global campaign to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children by Government security forces in conflict.

“Twenty years after my mandate was created, governments around the world now agree that children should not be associated with national security forces in conflict,” said Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. “The Action Plan signed today will bring about a more protected future for the country’s children. I look forward to its full implementation and reiterate my full support to the Sudanese authorities to reach this objective.”

Upon successful completion of all measures agreed to in the Action Plan by the Sudanese Government and verification by the United Nations, the Sudanese Government Security Forces will be removed from the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual report on children and armed conflict.

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For additional information, please contact:

Stephanie Tremblay, Communications Officer, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, +1-212-963-8285 (office), +1-917-288-5791 (mobile), tremblay@un.org

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