Contributing to making the world a safe and inclusive place for children to grow
Children need violence free communities to enjoy their childhood, rights and eventually realize their full potential.
However, far too many of the approximately 23 million children in Sudan are exposed to violence, abuse and exploitation. About 64 per cent of children below fourteen years of age experienced various forms of violence. More than 32,407 children across all eighteen states (13,183 girls and 19,224 boys) were in contact with the law as victims, witnesses and alleged offenders.
In addition, 38 per cent of girls aged 15-18 are married before the age of 18. Children living and working in the street and migrant children face serious challenges in accessing basic services and rights.
Many children in Sudan are not living with their families, mainly due to armed conflict, displacement and poverty. Only 82 per cent of children below eighteen years of age are living in a family environment, while 3.5 per cent live without their parents, including children living on the streets, or those engaged in child labour such as gold mining, or residing in institutions (UNICEF, 2019).
Sudan is among the five countries with the highest prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Sudan is among the five countries with the highest prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) with 87 per cent of women aged 15-49 years, and 31 per cent of girls below fourteen years of age have been subjected to the harmful practice.
As such, prevalence in Sudan is just below Somalia (98%, 46%), Guinea (97%, 45%), Djibouti (93%, 43%). The country also ranks high when it comes to child marriage (34 per cent of girls are married before the age of 18 years, and 12 per cent of girls are married before the age of 15 years) and lack of birth registration (SOWC, 2019).
Through its high impact interventions, UNICEF’s child protection supports:
- The continuation of the legal and institutional reform and ensuring harmonisation with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and other international human rights treaties.
- Establishing the comprehensive child protection information management system, to ensure timely and proper intervention.
- Evidence-based intervention through studies and research namely: conducting the ‘violence against children’ study and the assessment of the situation of children in Khalwas (Qur’anic schools).
- The scaling-up of UNICEF’s work related to peace, with more children associated with armed conflict expected to be identified and reintegrated.
- The finalisation of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) mandatory training manual and its roll-out will increase the knowledge of the armed forces on child rights and grave violations of child rights and support the protection of children in armed conflict.
- The provision of child protection specialised services to unaccompanied and separated children (UASC), children on the move, and children in contact with the law – with appropriate legal, medical and psychosocial services.
- Scaling-up birth registration efforts.
- Empowering adolescent and child participation; encouraging them to be ‘change agents.
- More families, children and adolescents are prepared to address and respond to gender inequality and violence against children as a result of UNICEF support for community dialogues, information campaigns,
youth forums, girls/ school clubs, trainings, and the Saleema Initiative that supports the protection of girls from FGM.