Sudan signs UN action plan to protect children in conflict areas
In what has been hailed a milestone for the protection of children in Sudan, the Government of Sudan signed an Action Plan with the UN to prevent the recruitment and use of children by Sudan Government Security Forces.
The UN welcomes the government’s commitment to protect children from violations in armed conflict, the UN Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict said in a statement today.
“We will work to promote and protect children’s rights in areas of armed conflict and displacement. We are also committed to strengthen existing mechanisms that are included in the Child Act of 2010 and the Sudan Armed Forces law,” said Ibrahim Adam Ibrahim, State Minister of Social Welfare.
The Minister signed the Action Plan on behalf of the Sudanese Government at a ceremony that took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Khartoum, and was attended by cabinet ministers to highlight the government’s determination to turn the page on the recruitment and use of children.
“The UN in Sudan stands ready to support every step of the implementation of this Action Plan,” declared the three co-chairs of the UN Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting, Bintou Keita, Deputy Joint Special Representative for Unamid, Marta Ruedas, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, and Geert Cappelaere, Unicef Representative.
The Action Plan sets out a series of measures to enhance the overall protection of children affected by armed conflict, including the cessation and prevention of child recruitment, and the release of children from national security forces.
The Government also committed to appoint a high-level focal point to coordinate the implementation of this Action Plan and to collaborate with the United Nations in monitoring the implementation of the Action Plan.
‘Children, Not Soldiers’
With today’s signing of the Action Plan, all seven countries whose national security forces are listed by the Secretary-General for recruitment and use of children have committed to the objective of ‘Children, not Soldiers’, a global campaign to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children by government security forces in conflict.
“20 years after my mandate was created, governments around the world now agree that children should not be associated with national security forces in conflict,” said Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. “The Action Plan signed today will bring about a more protected future for the country’s children. I look forward to its full implementation and reiterate my full support to the Sudanese authorities to reach this objective.”
Upon successful completion of all measures agreed to in the Action Plan by the Sudanese Government and verification by the UN, the Sudanese Government Security Forces will be removed from the annexes of the Secretary-General’s annual report on children and armed conflict.
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