20 November 2011 - Call to end violence against children marks International Children’s Day
Khartoum - The National Council for Child Welfare (NCCW) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have urged stepped up efforts to eliminate violence against children.
The plea came in a joint statement issued to mark Universal Children’s Day (November 20) the date on which the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, and on which the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was signed in 1989. Sudan is one of 191 states to have ratified the CRC.
“Establishing a protective and stable environment for the development and welfare of children is the duty of each and every one of us,” said Dr. Gamer Khalifa Habani, NCCW Secretary General, adding: “This principle is included in the holy Hadith of Prophet Mohamed, may peace be upon him, where he says ‘Whoever that is unkind to our children is not part of the Muslim nation’. Clearly this is a general instruction to stop violence and abuse against children, and an invitation to treat them with dignity and preserve their mental and physical wellbeing.”
In collaboration with governmental and international partners and civil society, the NCCW has launched various initiatives to prevent violence against children. There is, however, a wide recognition that this work is only the beginning. Not least, alliances and partnerships need to embrace moral responsibilities and legal obligations that define the roles and responsibilities of partners in their work to eliminate violence against children.
Nils Kastberg, UNICEF Sudan Country Representative, said that the elimination of violence against children – the theme of this year’s Universal Children’s Day – is essential to ensure that efforts at social and economic development are not disrupted.
“Since children represent 48.5 per cent of the population, they are crucial strategic assets for the country’s comprehensive development,” said Mr. Kastberg.
Among the various treaties ratified by Sudan, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its two optional protocols, the recommendations of the United Nations Study on Violence Against Children (2006), and the declarations of the Islamic Countries’ Conferences on childhood, all call for combating violence against children whether in the street, at home, in educational institutions, the workplace or in the community at large.