The 50th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council
13 June to 8 July 2022
Statement of International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD) and
Geneva International Centre for Justice
Item 6 : Universal Periodic Review - Adoption of the Sudan UPR review
4 July 2022
By Natalia Venegas
Thank you, President,
We welcome the report of the Working Group and thank Sudan for participating in the Universal Periodic Review. Nevertheless, we would like to address the issue of violence against children.
We welcome all the measures taken by the government of Sudan to protect children, including public policy to prevent child marriage and the prohibition and the inclusion of female genital mutilation as a criminal offence, which affects girls primarily. Also, the creation of special mechanisms to prevent and combat child recruitment as the children's rights unit.
Nevertheless, the reality on the ground demonstrates that children continue to face additional human rights challenges including killing, mutilation and sexual violence. . Children are also at risk of being subjected to corporal punishment, however any form of punishment, whether corporal or otherwise, should not be used at home or in any other setting in which adults have authority over children.
It is essential to highlight that girls form part of the most vulnerable group of the population. Most women in Sudan are married young, with the legal age for marriage being ten years old, if permission is granted from an elder. Child marriage is still a common practice in Sudan, despite all the international conventions that protect girls, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
EAFORD and Geneva International Centre for Justice strongly encourage the government of Sudan to protect children against violence, as they are the future of our society. Children are one of the world's most vulnerable groups because they are unable to protect themselves. It is particularly concerning to see children in armed conflict, as everything they experience during their youth shapes them forever, traumatic events such as being recruited or being a victim of violence can have a devastating effect on a child's psychological development and future. We urge the government of Sudan to strengthen national mechanisms to combat violence against children, especially in armed conflicts, and to ensure the safety and well-being of children, as well as hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes.