On World Children’s Day, UNICEF takes stock of gains for children
KHARTOUM, 20 November 2022 - On World Children’s Day, UNICEF Sudan reiterates its commitment to creating a safer and better future where all children enjoy all rights as stipulated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Thirty-three years ago, world leaders made a historic commitment to the world’s children by adopting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child – an international agreement on childhood. They made a promise to every child, regardless of where they live, to promote, protect and fulfil their rights. The convention is the most widely ratified international human rights document and continues to guide the ethical and legal framework around children’s rights in the world. It clearly explains the rights of children and the responsibilities of governments towards them.
Sudan ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, committing to advocate for the promotion and protection of child rights, while ensuring all children fulfill their basic needs and expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.
This year UNICEF celebrates its 70th anniversary in Sudan, delivering humanitarian and development results for children across the four broad principles of the CRC - Survival, Protection, Education and Participation, that provides the basis for promotion and fulfilment of the rights of every child, since 1952.
Survival – UNICEF has been at the forefront of implementing high impact health and nutrition programmes – immunizing children against killer diseases, addressing malnutrition and promoting the health of mothers. However, three million children under-five years currently suffer from malnutrition in Sudan. It is estimated that of these three million children, about 650,000 children under-five will suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). If left untreated, about half of them will not survive.
To accelerate results for children, UNICEF and partners launched the Mother and Child Cash Transfer Plus Programme that aims at reducing food insecurity and malnutrition, decrease maternal and infant mortality and empower women and girls. The innovative cash plus approach directly supports beneficiaries through provision of cash and essential services to women for the first 1,000 days of their children - from conception to 2 years.
Protection – In addition to keeping children healthy, UNICEF is also working to ensure that children are protected from exploitation and abuse. UNICEF’s advocacy efforts contributed to the passing of the anti-Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) law, creating safer communities for children especially girls. Implementation of the law especially at the State level continues with UNICEF and partners’ support. Moreover, advocacy continues on the importance of protecting children in conflict areas and politically charged situations.
Development - Between 2009 and 2018, the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) for basic education increased from 71.1 to 73.5 per cent and during the same time-period, the total number of schools (public and private) increased by 2,800, allowing a million more children to access education. However, these gains remain at great risk due to economic pressures, conflict and the negative consequences of COVID-19 pandemic. Today, around 7 million children are out-of-school and 12 million face learning disruptions in the country following prolonged and frequent school closures. Education is life saving and a right for every child. For them to enjoy this basic right, schools should and must remain open for them to access and learn.
Participation – UNICEF is committed to ensuring the participation of children and adolescents in decision-making through building their capacity. Children and adolescent clubs have been created in schools and Alternative Learning Programmes empowering them to understand and advocate for their rights as well as acquire life skills.
UNICEF remains committed to strive for every child in Sudan until no child is left behind.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child and is committed to the children of Sudan. We never give up on finding solutions that provide immediate help to save the lives of children or provide durable support so that those children grow up with dignity, health and an education.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/sudan