UN lauds Sudan’s efforts to protect children affected by armed conflicts
Khartoum, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba expressed satisfaction with the progress made in the implementation of the Action Plan to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict, signed in March 2016 by the government of Sudan.
In a statement issued on Thursday at the conclusion of her several-day visit to Sudan, Gamba noted that more needs to be done to ensure that all children in the country are and continue to be protected from violence.
“The engagement of the Sudanese government on the Action Plan with the United Nations is encouraging � we are close to completion,” the UN official said following a five-day mission to Sudan including to Darfur and South Kordofan states.
“We hope that Sudan will soon join Chad, Ivory Coast, Nepal and other countries who have completed their Action Plans and will become a champion of child protection at the regional level,” she added.
The statement pointed out that the progress includes the issuance of command orders by all government security forces and allowing dialogue between the UN and non-state armed groups who are also engaged in Action Plans with the global body. Joint UN-government monitoring and verification missions have been allowed access to all affected-conflict states in 2017.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has also had access to children released by armed groups to support reintegration. Ensuring the continued delivery of humanitarian assistance and access for verification missions are imperative, the statement said.
It added that despite those successes, the people and government have to be consistent in their efforts to ensure that everywhere in Sudan, children can be children, play and go to school in an environment free from fear and violence, an environment which allows them to study and dream of a better future.
Ms. Gamba also encouraged the Sudanese government to expedite the completion of the missing measures to complement its Action Plan. These include the final development and adoption of a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the handover of children released by armed groups to civilian actors to allow swift reintegration, the institutionalization of a complaint mechanism for the people and the launch of an awareness campaign about all the grave violations against children.
“It is important to put in place a sustainable prevention framework across the country, including standardized training curriculum for armed forces, increasing accountability, strengthening birth registration, and building the capacity of social workers,” she said. “And therefore I encourage the government to transform its Action Plan into a National Plan for the prevention of violence against children.”
The UN official commended the work of Sudan’s Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR), particularly its co-chairs � the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) and UNICEF for its excellent work in the midst of decreasing resources.
Source: International Islamic News Agency