AU to assess situation of children in conflict-hit South Sudan

By IAfrica
In Sudan
Jul 30th, 2014
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July 29, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) will conduct a one-week visit to South Sudan to assess the situation of children affected by its ongoing conflict.

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Children wait to receive a measles vaccine at the UNMISS camp in Bor, the capital of South Sudan’s Jonglei state (Photo: UNICEF)

The visit from 3-9 August is reportedly part of ACERWC’s mandate to promote and protect the rights of children pursuant to the African Charter on the Rights and welfare of the Child (ACRWC).

An assessment of the impact of the conflict on children will also be conducted in Juba, Bor and Bentiu towns.

“The main objective of this mission is to advocate for improved protection and response to children affected by the armed conflict in South Sudan,” the African Union said in a statement.

Particularly, it added, the committee will assess the impact of armed conflict on children in South Sudan and determine key capacity and resource gaps for the prevention and response for children affected by the conflict.

At its 23rd ordinary session held in April, the committee had expressed concerns on the humanitarian challenges hindering the protection and well-being of children in the world’s youngest nation.

The committee will, during the visit, hold high level meetings with government officials, partners and civil society organisations working on children rights issues.

The conflict in South Sudan, aid agencies say, has displaced some 1.5 million people from their homes. Also, over 1.1 million, more than half of them children are reportedly living in makeshift shelters with limited access to humanitarian assistance.

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