This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), a demonstration of the world's commitment to children, but also a reminder that the convention exists because children require special protection by the individuals, families, communities, and systems around them.
“I think of how humanitarian crises disproportionately affect girls and boys. In South Sudan, over 1.9 million children have been affected by crisis and ongoing conflict (a violation of Article 24: the right to healthcare, clean water, healthy food, and a safe environment to live in)”, says Vanessa Saraiva, World Vision’s Senior Gender and Protection Advisor in South Sudan.
“Universal Children’s Day is an opportunity to recommit to children and to fulfill their rights,” says UNICEF South Sudan Representative Mads Oyen. He adds, “While we have seen progress for children across the world since the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted 30 years ago, many children are left behind including children in South Sudan. It is their time now, and we call on all partners and stakeholders to do their utmost to help fulfill the rights of children in South Sudan.”
South Sudan’s long-running conflict has brought untold misery and suffering to its population. But more painfully, it has set-back the future of its 12 million population, half of them children. As the gains of the convention is being celebrated, the world must act on these realities for South Sudan’s children to reach fullness of lives.
- One in three schools has been damaged, destroyed, or occupied since 2013, leaving 2.2 million children out of school (a violation of Article 28, the right to an education).
- Over 8,500 children need family tracing to be reunited with their families and caregivers (a violation of Article 9, focused on keeping families together)
- Over 19,000 children have been associated with armed forces and groups (a violation of Article 38, the right for children to be protected during conflict and not partake in it).
Girls and boys are the future of South Sudan; together, we must protect the future generation and prevent violations from occurring in the first place.
“The success of the peace process in South Sudan will no doubt pave the way for many of the urgent changes needed to change the lives of the children. The conditions at the moment are deplorable as it hinders their full potential. They are the country’s future leaders and stunting their growth will also hinder the country’s. This needs to change”, says Mesfin Loha, World Vision South Sudan’s Country Programme Director.
World Vision’s programs in South Sudan has reached out to over 1.5 million people, giving priority to protecting and upholding the rights of children, the country’s future.
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