Who we are
UNMISS Child Protection Unit monitors and reports on six grave violations perpetrated against children in armed conflict -- recruiting and using children, sexual violence against children, killing and maiming children, abducting children, attacks on schools and hospitals, and denying humanitarian access to children in contravention of international law.
Why we are here
The effects of the long civil war continue to have an impact on South Sudan’s children. In the post-independence period, the country has also faced various political, humanitarian and development challenges, resulting in multiple protection risks for children, including the six grave violations. The UNMISS Child Protection Unit, working with the government, UNICEF and other partners, monitors and reports on these violations, and supports implementation of measures to address them.
What we do
The Child Protection Unit’s activities include the following:
- Monitoring and reporting on grave violations committed against children by parties to conflict in South Sudan and fighting against impunity for perpetrators;
- Establishing referral pathways for children in need by coordinating with government organs, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other child protection actors;
- Supporting UN Country Task Force with Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism on grave violations against children;
- Following up on recommendations made in UN Secretary-General’s reports on children and armed conflict in South Sudan;
- Supporting adoption of action plans by parties to conflict in South Sudan; the unit in conjunction with UNICEF, works with Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and South Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (SSDRC) to support implementation of UN-SPLA Revised Action Plan, signed on 12 March 2012;
- Promoting institutionalization of child protection within SPLA through SPLA training curriculum on child protection as well as establishment of SPLA Child Protection Units and appointment of SPLA Child Protection Officers serving as liaison Officers;
- Strengthening efforts to achieve justice for children through regular visits to detention centres (police stations, prisons, military detention facilities, etc.) to monitor situation of children in conflict with law;
- Advocating best practices in handling children in conflict with law as per South Sudan Child Act (2009) and other applicable national and international legal standards;
- Mainstreaming child protection concerns across UNMISS in conjunction with various mission components (civilians, military, UN Police and corrections).
What we have done
Working with the SPLA, the SSDDRC, UNICEF and other partners, UNMISS Child Protection Unit has:
- Supported release of more than 260 children associated with SPLA and more than 140 children associated with Other Armed Groups, and reintegration with their families (from July 2011 to date);
- Provided training and awareness-raising on Revised Action Plans, national and international laws on child protection, and military command orders for more than 21,000 SPLA officials;
- Supported SPLA in developing preventive and accountability measures for ending recruitment of children and occupation of schools through eight military command orders and directives;
- Seeking to strengthen monitoring of grave violations against children and facilitate implementation of Revised Action Plan, supported establishment of SPLA Child Protection Units in seven divisions, and appointment of more than 1,000 SPLA Child Protection officers;
- Supported SPLA in developing child protection training modules, which will be incorporated into SPLA training curriculum.
Where we are
UNMISS Child Protection Unit has national and international staff as well as UN Volunteers deployed in seven of South Sudan’s 10 states as well as UNMISS Headquarters in Juba. Recruitment and deployment of staff is still pending in three states.
Who we work with
UNMISS Child Protection Unit works with:
- Government organs -- SPLA, South Sudan Police National Police Service, National Prisons Service of South Sudan, legislative assemblies (at state and national levels) and government ministries;
- UN agencies, especially UNICEF
- Other child protection stakeholders, partners, NGOs, lobby groups, media and donors.