UNICEF hails new child protection measures by the government of Southern Sudan

UNICEF today welcomed the formation and launch of a Child Protection Unit by the government of Sudan within the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) as a milestone for the rights of children in the country.

The formation of the Child Protection Unit follows an Action Plan signed by the SPLA committing to release all children in its ranks by November 2010 and to end the exploitation of children as soldiers across Southern Sudan.

“The launch is testimony to the commitment of the Government of Southern Sudan and the SPLA to accelerate the establishment of an environment where the rights of all the children are respected," said Catherine Mbengue, UNICEF Southern Sudan, speaking at the launch. "Concrete measures must now be taken to ensure that all within the SPLA understand and respect their obligations.”

The Child Protection Unit is charged with the responsibility to ensure that no children are in the ranks of the SPLA. It will also work with partners during the verification, registration and demobilization of children still associated with the SPLA.

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