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24 million children exposed to brutality, rights violations in Sudan, says UN committee

By Sudantribune

March 20, 2024

Credits @FFHR.CZ

March 18, 2024 (GENEVA) – 24 million children are at risk of a generational catastrophe, and their rights to life, survival, protection, education, health, and development have all been gravely violated, a year after the armed conflict in Sudan, a United Nations Committee on the Rights of Children said.

The committee, in a statement to the media on Monday, urged Sudan to immediately put an end to these grave violations and stop recruiting children to the armed forces.

According to the statement, since the conflict began in April 2023 between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the committee has observed repeated attacks on civilians and civilian objects, widespread killings, including ethnically motivated, and the death of thousands of civilians.

Many of those killed in the ongoing conflict in Sudan, it observed, are children.

Also worrying are reports of rape of civilians, including children, denial of humanitarian access affecting children’s access to basic necessities, and other violations of international law, including violations of children’s economic and social rights.

These violations resulted in 24 million children in Sudan being at risk of generational catastrophe. Among these children, 14 million are in dire need of humanitarian support, 19 million are out of school and 4 million displaced, the UN Children Fund (UNICEF) said, making Sudan the largest child displacement crisis in the world.

In addition, UNICEF said it found 3.7 million children acutely malnourished, including 730,000 with severe acute malnutrition. It described the conditions of the children as appalling, with acute shortages of food and clean drinking water.

There are also concerns that at least two-thirds of the population in Sudan lack access to health care services, after 70-80% of hospitals ceased operation following a severe shortage of medical supplies, including lifesaving medicines.

UNICEF warned that tens of thousands of children will likely die without improved access and additional support, including increased international funding.

There has, according to various report, been a sharp increase in the number of children killed or victimized by sexual violence as a weapon of war compared to a year ago. Children are at higher risk given the widespread armed recruitment of children, particularly in Darfur and other areas, including in Eastern Sudan.

Closure of schools expose children to risks of sexual exploitation and trafficking.

The Committee on the Rights of Children said it is deeply concerned by these clear violations of children’s rights to life, survival, education and development under international human rights law as well as international humanitarian law.

It urged Sudan to immediately take all urgent and necessary measures to end these severe violations and fulfil its commitments under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It further called for cooperation with the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission in Sudan, established by the Human Rights Council in October 2023, to put an end to impunity for crimes committed against children and other civilians, to allow access to humanitarian aid and to move forward in the negotiation process between the parties to the conflict to restore peace and security.


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