According to UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa comments on the recent protests in Sudan, children were reportedly killed in ongoing turmoil that broke out last month, calling on the authorities in Sudan to prioritize the protection of children, noting that scores of children were also injured and others detained. But the same statement affirmed that while it is difficult for UNICEF to verify these reports, children must be protected at all times from all forms of violence, harm, cruelty and mistreatment whether physical or mental. However, the UNICEF is one of the UN agencies operating in Sudan since long times in the children’s fund programme in all the areas of the country.
Accordingly, its statements or reports should be neutral and objective, considering that the Sudanese official reports none of the children was injured or killed as mentioned in the statements. Even the child whose photo was widely distributed in the social media outlets as one of those who were killed in the protests is alive and the photo distributed was a photo of a Brazilian kid. On the other hand the Ministry of Educations suspended the study in the schools and universities to protect the lives of the students. We would like to remind the international community that the child labour is prohibited in Sudan according to the local legislations and the international charters ratified by Sudan.
Even those children who are working in marginal jobs, the government is endeavoring to deal with them through its continuous campaigns aiming at bringing them to their families or otherwise transferred to the social rehabilitation centres. On April 2016 Sudan and the UN Resident Representative, UNAMID, and the UNICEF signed a joint action plan to protect the children from the violation in the war-affected areas aiming at banning recruiting children as soldiers or exploiting them in other purposes. The Chair of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict commended the measures taken to ensure that no children are recruited within the armed forces, and the access provided to the UN for monitoring and verification, including to military bases, training facilities and recruitment units. Furthermore, the delegation was very pleased by the commitment of the Government to continue and institutionalize the measures established under the Action Plan to prevent any recruitment of children into its forces.
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