Technical Committee for upholding children’s rights formed in Upper Nile

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Upper Nile state joins its nine counterparts in South Sudan by establishing a Technical Committee to protect and uphold child rights. Photo by Samuel Adwok/UNMISS

1 Nov 2021

Technical Committee for upholding children’s rights formed in Upper Nile

Samuel Adwok

Upper Nile state finally witnessed the creation of its long-awaited Child Protection Technical Committee, which is tasked with implementing the Comprehensive Action Plan aimed at ending and preventing the six grave violations against children.

These consist of the recruitment and use of children, killing and maiming, sexual violence, attacks on schools and hospitals, abductions, and the denial of humanitarian access to children in need.

“Upper Nile is the last among 10 states in South Sudan to form its own Committee to uphold child rights and ensure children who may have been recruited by armed movements during conflict are released as well as reintegrated into society,” stated Ologo Andrew, co-chair of the National Technical Committee on Child Protection-Juba.

“The process was stalled due to delays in the formation of the state government, he continued. “But now that we are up and running, we hope we will be able to fulfil our mandate and ensure that every child in Upper Nile is safe and can look forward to completing their education.”

Mr. Andrew revealed that the committee will not only advocate for children who may still be associated with armed activities but also verify whether any learning facilities which are still being occupied by armed forces in the area.

“The committee will coordinate, provide technical support, and facilitate implementation of activities outlined in the framework of the Action Plan and will also be responsible for addressing core issues affecting children’s rights in line with international norms and standards,” he assured.

The Technical Committee was created following a three-day workshop organized by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), in partnership with UNICEF, the state Ministry of Child and Social Welfare and the National Coordination Mechanism for the release of minors affiliated to armed groups.

The workshop brought together participants in interactive sessions that dealt with myriad issues related to major violations of child rights. It also gave participating commanders insight into the Comprehensive Action Plan signed in 2020 that is the roadmap towards stopping such egregious offences.

For his part, James Tor Monybouny, Deputy Governor of Upper Nile, reaffirmed his government’s commitment to ensure that all violations against children stop immediately.

“These children are our future and as a government, we are committed to ensuring that their rights are upheld, they are educated and can look forward to a peaceful, prosperous future,” averred the Deputy Governor.

The Committee consists of some 17 members drawn from various ministries, military groups and other stakeholders.

UNMISS, through its Child Protection Section, will be supporting the Committee and its objectives