UNMISS’s protection of child rights

Children running along a path Children running along a path Seth Doyle on Unsplash

30 September 2021

 UNMISS trains members of South Sudan's forces in Pochalla on upholding child rights

 Africanews reported that the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) set up an initiative in order to train officials and parts of the South Sudan forces to protect and further child rights. The recent initiative took place in Pochalla, in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area.

 According to UNICEF’s report, South Sudan remains one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with 8.3 million people - including 4.5 million children - in need of humanitarian assistance. The source states that increased political violence hit over 80,000 people in Western Equatoria in August, creating significant humanitarian needs, with women and children most severely impacted amidst reports of grave violations against women and children in the affected communities. The most worrying issue regards the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict, killing and maiming, sexual violence, attacks on schools and hospitals, abductions, and the denial of humanitarian access to children in need. For this reason, since the signature of the Comprehensive Action plan in February 2020, UNMISS, UNICEF and the Government of South Sudan have embarked on a nationwide outreach and capacity building programme in order to end and prevent grave violations towards children. Among the initiatives, the most recent one in Pochalla involved 50 participants, including 35 officers from the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces (SSPDF), community leaders, wildlife officers, prison services officers, fire officers and local police: they were trained on staving off and stopping the abovementioned grave violations of child rights.

 UN Peacekeeping news stated that from July 2021 UNMISS has undertaken its Peace Fellows Program, a joint initiative with South Sudan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in order to collaborate on bringing peace in the nation and guaranteeing children’s safety. Despite the adoption of Comprehensive plan that brought sensitive progress in their protection in armed conflict, Colonel Joseph Olony, commander of the SSPDF in Pochalla, declared to Africanews that much work is still to be done in the young nation.


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by Jasmina Saric

edited by Silvia Luminati


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