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Active Citizen appeals for child rights

By Yiep Joseph

Active Citizen South Sudan has  appealed  for respect of child rights as protected in South Sudan Transitional Constitution 2011 as amended and Bill of Rights.

The entity in its assessment report revealed that most parents do no put children’s rights into consideration in the communities and that it was high time such gaps be closed as stipulated in the law. 

“We conducted campaigns on child rights sometimes back, but we realized that most of the people never took them serious. In some communities, people don’t believe that child rights exist,” said Angelina Stephen Ban, the Project Coordinator of the Organization.

According to Counsel Reech Malual, a practicing lawyer, who also heads Screen of Rights, a human rights organization in South Sudan, child rights are clearly covered under the country’s constitution as well as in Child Act, 2008.

Both provisions specify various rights related to children, for instance, naming a child eloquently; the right to education, health and girl child right as well as the interest of child covered under Article 6, of the Transitional Constitution. 

Article six of the Constitution articulates that when people are dealing with children, they should be considerate of the best interest of a child.

Ms. Ban then figured out that such provisions have continued to be violated in the communities across the country.

“Some people have been neglecting and violating these rights; particularly the rights to education, rights to parental guidance/care, the rights to basic needs,” she said.

“We mostly see some of the kids roaming on the streets during school times. They are never at school, so we decided to conduct this campaign knocking at the people’s doors to inform them about these irregularities,” the coordinator added.

At least a total of about 3,800 people, segregated as 2,200 females, 1600 males and 536 households were reached.

The campaign was conducted through a funding of the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA).

Jok Samuel, a resident of Mangateen in Juba said it was a timely opportunity for the organization to reach out to the communities on such gaps.

“We will start reporting parents who unlawfully beat their kids, and those letting their children not to go to school as well as ensuring that we talk to parents and community members on this gap. All the parents need to cooperate with us,” he said. 

The coverage was in the entire Greater Luri areas under Luri Payam in Central Equatoria. These include Mangateen, Hai Referendum, Mia-Saba and Eden respectively.

“Our major expectation is that we want the parents to be responsible for their children. We want the parents to take care of children, knowing their welfare and to give these children the basic needs especially medical care, attention and love so that they can grow to be the future leaders of our country,” said Michael Biphal, the Executive Director of the organization.

South Sudan Constitution 2011 as amended stipulates that every child has the right to live and urges everyone to respect the right of the children.

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