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Laws against child labour not enforced: Sudan Child Welfare

March 10 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Children in Hamidiya camp, Central Darfur (Lynsey Addario)
Children in Hamidiya camp, Central Darfur (Lynsey Addario)

The Sudanese Council for Child Welfare warned of the spread of child labour in the country, criticising the non-enforcement of the Children’s Act.

Yesterday Chancellor Oumeima Abdelwahab Abdeltam revealed the presence of Sudanese children under the age of 14 who are enrolled in work.

She made her statements during a workshop on fighting child labour with experts and organised by Sudanese women's unions. The workshop discussed topics such as the death of children in the traditional gold mining areas of Sudan.

‘The Ministry of Labour has not ratified a list of jobs which children should not be allowed to exercise.’ - Oumeima Abdelwahab Abdeltam

Chancellor Abdeltam complained of the lack of accurate statistics on child labour in the country. She said the Ministry of Labour has not been committed to ratify a list of jobs which are not allowed for children to exercise, stressing that Sudan has ratified a number of international agreements and has domestic legislation and laws on this topic.

“But some of those agreements and laws have not been enforced on the ground. [...] Withdraw business licenses of institutions and private companies that employ children.”

Abdeltam pointed to an increase in work-related injuries among children. Social security, increased support to families, fighting poverty and increased international support would aid the current fight against child labour, she explained.


In December last year, the federal Minister of General Education, Suad Abdelrazeg, acknowledged an increase in school drop-outs in some areas because of poverty and destitution in Omdurman.

Iman Syed Ahmad, the Secretary of Women and Children's Affairs in the Sudanese General Workers Union, thus commended Bahri locality’s experience with children through an education-for-work project, appealing to circulate the experience to more localities.

Furthermore the Ministry of Education should issue a decree for school and university administrators, criminalising the expulsion of students because of the non-payment of tuition fees in cases where they are exempt from paying tuition, Chancellor Abdeltam added.

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