South Sudan becomes 195th State to ratify Convention on the Rights of the Child

May 5 2015 – Unicef welcomed today South Sudan’s ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, making the country the 195th State to adopt the landmark child rights treaty, and urged the Government to make child rights the cornerstone of the world’s youngest nation. 

The Convention, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly over 25 years ago, is the most widely adopted international human rights treaty in history. 

Unicef Representative in South Sudan, Jonathan Veitch, welcomed the Government’s commitment to child rights through ratification of the treaty but warned that the future of the world’s youngest nation is at stake unless current violations of children’s rights are stopped. 

“We must use this historic occasion to focus our minds on the hundreds of thousands of children in South Sudan who have been left behind because of conflict,” Veitch said.  

“These are the children struggling to access food, recruited by armed groups and forced to drop out of school. 

“All children in South Sudan have the right to nutrition, education, improved water and sanitation, protection and health services. Once implemented, the Convention has the potential to transform South Sudanese children’s lives.” 

Children continue to bear the brunt of 16 months of conflict in South Sudan:

• 680 children have been killed.

• 235,000 children, including many who have fled to hard-to-reach areas, are at risk of suffering from severe acute malnutrition this year.

• 400,000 children have been forced to drop out of school as a direct result of the crisis.

• 600,000 children need psychological support.

• Over 13,000 children have been recruited by armed groups on both sides of the conflict.

Unicef is urgently appealing for additional funding of $27 million to continue its child protection response in South Sudan.

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Notes for editors:

For further information please contact the Unicef UK Press Office on +44 (0)20 7375 6030 or media@unicef.org.uk

About Unicef

Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.  

Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children.  As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visit unicef.org.uk