According to a UN committee, 24 million children in Sudan are victims of abuse and human rights breaches.

GENEVA, March 18, 2024 — A year after the armed conflict in Sudan, a United Nations Committee on the Rights of Children said that 24 million children are at risk of a generational disaster and that their rights to life, survival, safety, education, health, and development have all been grossly infringed.

In a Monday media statement, the committee called on Sudan to immediately cease these serious violations and cease enlisting minors in the armed forces.

The statement claims that thousands of civilians have died as a result of frequent attacks on civilians and civilian property since the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) started fighting in April 2023. The committee has also noted widespread killings, including those motivated by ethnicity.

It noted that youngsters make up a large number of those slain in the ongoing conflict in Sudan.

Reports of the rape of civilians—including minors—reports concerning as well, as denials of humanitarian access that impact children’s access to basic requirements and other transgressions of international law, such as those pertaining to children’s economic and social rights.

These violations resulted in 24 million children in Sudan being at risk of generational catastrophe. Among these children, 14 million are in dire need of humanitarian support, 19 million are out of school and 4 million displaced, the UN Children Fund (UNICEF) said, making Sudan the largest child displacement crisis in the world.

In addition, UNICEF said it found 3.7 million children acutely malnourished, including 730,000 with severe acute malnutrition. It described the conditions of the children as appalling, with acute shortages of food and clean drinking water.

Concerns exist that, as a result of a serious scarcity of medical supplies, including life-saving medications, 70–80% of Sudan’s hospitals had to close, leaving at least two thirds of the population without access to health care.

UNICEF issued a warning, stating that in the absence of better access and further assistance—including more foreign funding—tens of thousands of children will probably perish.

Compared to a year earlier, there has reportedly been a significant rise in the number of children murdered or injured as a result of sexual assault used as a weapon of war. Due to the frequent armed recruitment of children, especially in Darfur and other regions like Eastern Sudan, children are more vulnerable.

When schools close, kids run the risk of being trafficked and used for prostitution.

According to international humanitarian law and international human rights law, the Committee on the Rights of Children expressed its profound concern over these blatant abuses of children’s rights to life, survival, education, and growth.

In order to put an end to these grave abuses and fulfill its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, it urged Sudan to act promptly and take all necessary and urgent steps. Additionally, it demanded collaboration with the Human Rights Council’s October 2023 establishment of the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission in Sudan in order to end impunity for crimes against children and other civilians, permit access to humanitarian aid, and advance the negotiation process between the parties to the conflict to restore peace and security.