South Sudan Joins World in Commemorating Children’s Day

As South Sudan joins the rest of the world in commemorating Children’s Day, there are still a number of challenges in realizing children rights including the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) South Sudan being one of very few countries yet to complete the ratification.

South Sudan Joins World in Commemorating Children’s Day
Pupils get into a prayer at Dumak Primary School in Torit town as the Primary Examinations commenced yesterday. [Gurtong | File]

 By Misuk Moses Mule

JUBA, 20 November 2012 [Gurtong]- The commemoration of the 23rd anniversary of the CRC is marked today by a parliamentary debate on the rights of children and an Art exhibition by children as a call to their caregivers and leaders to realize children’s rights according to UNICEF.
The CRC is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights—civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights spells out the basic human rights that children everywhere have: the right to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life.

By agreeing to undertake the obligations of the Convention, national governments commit themselves to protecting and ensuring children's rights and agree to be held accountable for this commitment before the international community.

“The South Sudan Child of Act of 2008 is a good example of how South Sudan has made efforts to domesticate the CRC even though there are still some challenges in the implementation of their national legislation.

To cement these efforts and to ensure greater investment, the Republic of South Sudan needs to demonstrate to the rest of the world its commitment to its children by ratifying the CRC,” said UNICEF’s Officer-in-Charge, Elizabeth Quaye.

One of the important rights under the convention is the Right to Protection from Marriage which is quite prevalent in South Sudan. Child marriage is increasingly being recognised as a serious problem, both as a violation of girls’ human rights and as a hindrance to key development outcomes.

“Child marriage is still a common practice in many parts of South Sudan and continues to affect thousands of girls in this new nation. It is important for all of us to campaign against it as it robs young girls of their childhood, a chance to go to school and exposes them to domestic violence, HIV, and even death during childbirth,” said Honorable Rebecca Okwaci, Deputy Minister for General Education and Instruction.

The Ratification of the Convention and Child Marriage are the two subjects being debated at length during the Parliamentary panel discussion.

Children's Day is celebrated on various days in many places around the world, to honor children globally. It was established in 1954 to protect children working long hours in dangerous circumstances and allow all children access to an education.

The UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should establish a Universal Children's Day on an "appropriate" day.

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