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7th January 2010 - Statement by UNICEF’s Representative in Sudan to mark the official celebration of the ratification of the Federal Child Act

Khartoum - UNICEF’s Representative in Sudan, Nils Kastberg, welcomes the ratification of the Federal Child Act which is being officially celebrated today.

The adoption of the act by the National Assembly for north Sudan represents significant progress and brings Sudanese law in line with international standards including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

“This act is a breakthrough for the children of Sudan,” said Mr Kastberg, “The law increases the minimum age of criminal responsibility from seven to 12 years and clearly defines children as being anyone under the age of 18-years-old.”

“It also abolishes the death penalty for anyone under 18-years-old and spells out alternative measures for dealing with child offenders,” Mr Kastberg added.

He said “We welcome the fact that this law also lays out much harsher punishments for those found guilty of committing crimes against children including rape.”

Mr Kastberg said he was delighted to see that the new act established special provisions and protection for children with disabilities.

He noted that the act also established support for child victims of crime, provided increased protection for street and working children including decriminalizing those living on the streets.

“We are very pleased that this law has been approved by the National Assembly. I understand that the article dealing with female genital mutilation/cutting which was taken out of this bill will be included in the revision of the Criminal Act in the near future,” added Mr Kastberg.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information, please contact:
Amber Henshaw, Media & External Relations UNICEF Sudan,
Mobile: +249 (0) 912 177 291, Email:



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