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Darfur state accepting children’s money “is accepting child labour”

September 4 - 2018 NYALA
A child with a donkey and a queue of water carts in Sudan (file photo)
A child with a donkey and a queue of water carts in Sudan (file photo)

People have criticised the South Darfur governor’s recent move to receive a financial donation from children and students. “Child labour is legally prohibited.”

Activists and lawyers strongly criticised Governor Adam El Faki for his receipt of a donation from children who make money with dardagat (wheelbarrows). In addition the state received, as a donation from students, two Pounds each in support of inter-school competitions that are planned in South Darfur in November.

Lawyers described the children’s contribution to the state as a “crime”: “Child labour is legally and internationally prohibited.”

Legal expert Saleh Mahmoud said that the acceptance of the donations by the state and its governor violate the Constitution, law and ethics. “The governor of South Darfur’s acceptance is tantamount to encouraging them to continue this kind of work,” Mahmoud told Radio Dabanga.

“Many of these children have been classified as children of conflict; these children are missing parents, or their parents are unable to earn a living because of displacement. So they must be protected in accordance with the international conventions, constitutions and national laws.”

“Their place should be in school rather than on the streets pushing wheelbarrows.”

A member of the Council of States, Salah Karrar informed Radio Dabanga through the chat application WhatsApp: “The governor celebrated donations by children whose place should be in school rather than on the streets pushing carts – which they are forced under the circumstances of their family.”

Meanwhile a MP for the Federal Umma Party, Hayat Adam Abdelrahim, has called on the parents and guardians to urge their children to boycott the inter-school competitions.

Instead of a boycott, Saleh Mahmoud suggested that Governor Adam El Faki can make use of the inter-school competitions as a moment to address the issues of the working children, to return to the school classes.

According to Sudanese government policy, basic education is free and compulsory for children aged 6 to 13 years. Basic education consists of eight years, secondary education of three years.


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