Child Rights Coalition’s representatives from the States and national secretariat pose for a group picture after the validation workshop on Tuesday in Juba (Photo: Supplied)

South Sudan Child Rights Coalition Finalizes Discussions on UPR

By Manyuon Mayen Manyuon, Juba

The South Sudan Child Rights Civil Society Coalition, a loose collection of about 36 member organizations that advocate for child protection in the country has finalized discussions on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on the children’s situation.

The coalition is set to submit its findings to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland by July.

“Our role as civil society is to provide an alternative report to see how things are taking place in the country. These are the opinions from the civil society on the progress and the realization of the children’s rights,” said Marko Madut Garang, the Chairperson of the Coalition in a closing session on Tuesday.

The program held in Juba under the auspices of the Child Right Coalition was supported by Save the Children International.  

Over ten representatives were brought from across the States to participate in data’s validation that was collected along rights and children’s welfare thematic areas.

“The report looks at the right of the children, and it will help push the government to implement most of the rights that we see are not being implemented correctly,” Mr. Garang revealed.

The activist called on the government to fulfill its commitment to the international instruments without failure.

“We appeal to the government to abide by the provisions that they have signed. For example, there are a lot of laws that talk about the rights of the Children, one of them being the Child Act 2008.

“It has provisions which the government has obliged to inspect, so we urge the government to fulfill its commitment so that we are also seen as part of the community respecting and fulfilling the children’s rights in the community,” Garang concluded.

Ogen Ruot Denish, Communication and Advocacy lead at Hold the Child Organization disclosed that the children’s situation was alarming.

“There are still issues that need to be dealt with, and those issues affect children,” he said while speaking on behalf of the 10 states and three Administrative Areas.

“Some of these issues include education. Education system is seriously alarming. Cultural issues continue to affect children. For example, child and forced marriages, and other rampant cases” he said.

Mr. Ruot added that the continuous conflict especially communal clashes and revenge killings have also affected the children in one way or the other as some of them have been killed in crossfire sometimes.

Samuel Chor Alier, the national Coordinator for the Coalition reiterated that the document captured the Children’s situation across the country for the last five years ranging from 2016 to 2021.

‘The main purpose is to ensure that the recommendations are raised so that UN member organizations to recommend to South Sudan best practices. If these recommendations are recognized, acknowledged or accepted to implement then the children’s rights in the country will be in full force,” he cited.

The validation workshop approved the information collected from 10 States and the 3 administrative areas at the end of the validation in Juba on June 22.

The document reflected issues on legal and policy frame work, children in conflict with the law, children in arm conflict; violence against children including traditional and harmful practices.

South Sudan is a signatory to the UN on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN-CRC) and it is a mandate of the government to implement all the provisions of the UNCRC, according to the group.

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