South Sudan

UNMISS training in Bor tackles problem of child soldiers

The UN Mission in South Sudan, Child Protection unit in Bor, has concluded a two-day sensitization training on protection of children against recruitment into the army.

The training was attended by 40 members of the organized forces, including the military, police, prison wardens and staff from the ministry of gender.

The training focused on creating awareness about the importance of protecting children from recruitment and any form of abuse.

Ms. Deborah Schein, UNMISS Head of Field Office in Jonglei, reminded the participants that using children in armed conflict is harmful and violates the international human rights laws.

“The issue of child soldier in armed conflict has irreversible consequences, the SPLA leadership to be close with UNMISS child protection to share the task of monitoring and reporting violations, I strongly believe that to strengthen partnership we can collectively achieve more.”

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates 15,000 to 16,000 children may have been used by armed forces and groups in the conflict.

In December 2015, Human Rights advocates advised the South Sudan’s government and SPLA/M – in opposition leaders to punish commanders accused of recruiting thousands of child soldiers to fight in the country’s two-year civil war.

Human Rights Watch named more than 15 military commanders from both the government’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the rebel force – the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) – who have allegedly forced children to join their ranks.