GENEVA / SOUTH SUDAN CHILDREN CONFLICT

06-Nov-2018 00:04:23
The number of violations against children in South Sudan in the last four years are greater than those in such war-ravaged countries as Afghanistan and Syria combined, according to Virginia Gamba, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / SOUTH SUDAN CHILDREN CONFLICT
TRT: 4:23
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 6 NOVEMBER 2018 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
SHOTLIST
1. Wide shot, Palais des Nations exterior
2. Wide shot, podium
3. Close up, typing hands
4. Med shot, podium
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict:
“The amount of violations against children in South Sudan by all parties exceed in the four years exceed the numbers of Afghanistan and Syria. It is huge, the violations also are of all types – so it is rather unusual to have parties that are listed for more than one violation. In this case the SPLA is listed for five out of six violations.”
6. Close up, journalist
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict:
“For every day that a kid is in the bush they will be victimised. There is just no question about it. When we talk about recruitment and use of children we often forget that it is just one of the violations that are being committed against them. Many times these kids have been four or five times victimised: they might have been abducted, once they are abducted they might have been raped as part of the process of separating them from the possibility of returning to a community, because then the stigma will be such that they can only look forward and not go back. They will be forced sometimes to combat, sometimes to commit atrocities against their own people and their own family members, so that again their links to the past will be severed and they can only have the move push forward with the group to build a new type of family connection made out of violence.”
8. Med shot, journalists
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict:
“Killing and maiming is a violation, abduction is a violation, sexual violence against children is a violation as is recruitment and use, as is attacks on schools and hospitals. They are all of equal value. These kids can never go to a school because they have been abducted, they have been recruited, they have been used, they have been abused on a daily basis and the years passed.”
10. Close up, journalists
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict:
“It is quite gross. Decapitation of children, the use of sexual violence against very small children as part of a weapon and tactic of war to communities, the abduction of children, the recruitment of children, the forced use of children in the support of war efforts of one side or the other, all parties are committing this.”
12. Close up, journalists
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict:
“The prospects of separation and release of children in South Sudan are very very high. Already this year we have 900 children released and we integrated since January, beginning of the year. And this is a direct result of the initial peace agreement between one of the warring parties and the government.”
14. Close up, camera
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict:
“I think there are many more out there. When I talked to the children a month ago they were part of the first group of released children of only one group, and they kept telling me that at least two or three of their friends were still in the bush waiting to be released or waiting to be negotiated and asking me to intervene on their behalf. So, we have to really assume very large numbers on recruitment and use ongoing in South Sudan.”
16. Med shot, pull-focus from camera to podium
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict:
“The money for reintegration that the UN has in the last seven years has halved – the needs have doubled, but the amount of resources dedicated for integration program has halved. So today UNICEF has at least 50 per cent less funds to reintegrate at least double the amount of children that they had seven years ago.”
18. Med shot, journalist
19. Wide shot, briefing room
20. Close up, hands with telephones
21. Close up, camera
STORYLINE
The number of violations against children in South Sudan in the last four years are greater than those in such war-ravaged countries as Afghanistan and Syria combined, according to Virginia Gamba, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.

The figures refer to violent acts perpetrated by all parties to the conflict between October 2014 and June 2018, Gamba specified, speaking at a press briefing today (06 Nov) at the United Nations in Geneva.

Gamba said “the amount of violations against children in South Sudan by all parties in the four years exceed the numbers of Afghanistan and Syria. It is huge, the violations also are of all types – so it is rather unusual, to have parties that are listed for more than one violation: in this case the SPLA (Sudan People’s Liberation Army) is listed for five out of six violations.”

The six definitions of “grave violations” serve as the basis to gather information and report on violations affecting children in armed conflicts. They are: recruitment and use of children, killing and maiming of children, sexual violence against children, abduction of children, attacks against schools or hospitals, and denial of humanitarian access for children.

Gamba said,“for every day that a kid is in the bush they will be victimised. There is just no question about it,” adding that “when we talk about recruitment and use of children we often forget that it is just one of the violations that are being committed against them. Many times these kids have been four or five times victimised: they might have been abducted, once they are abducted they might have been raped as part of the process of separating them from the possibility of returning to a community, because then the stigma will be such that they can only look forward and not go back. They will be forced sometimes to combat, sometimes to commit atrocities against their own people and their own family members, so that again their links to the past will be severed and they can only have the move push forward with the group to build a new type of family connection made out of violence.”

A report recently issued by the Special Representative documents alarming levels of all six grave violations against children committed by all parties to conflict throughout the reporting period, as well as the intensification of the impact on children as conflict progressively expanded from the greater Upper Nile region to the greater Equatoria region of the country.

She said “killing and maiming is a violation, abduction is a violation, sexual violence against children is a violation as is recruitment and use, as is attacks on schools and hospitals. They are all of equal value. These kids can never go to a school because they have been abducted, they have been recruited, they have been used, they have been abused on a daily basis and the years passed.”

Recruitment and use, killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence and abductions by all parties to conflict were documented at particularly worrisome levels. Numerous incidents of attacks against schools and hospitals were verified throughout the reporting period. “It is quite gross,” Gamba said, “decapitation of children, the use of sexual violence against very small children as part of a weapon and tactic of war to communities, the abduction of children, the recruitment of children, the forced use of children in the support of war efforts of one side or the other. All parties are committing this.”

In addition, high levels of denial of humanitarian access to children were documented, denials which were exacerbated after the crisis of July 2016. That, in parallel with a worsening security situation, impeded the ability of the United Nations to document and respond to violations against children.

According to Gamba, the government of South Sudan has now agreed for the first time to engage in joining an action plan across the six violations which will allow for example the UN to get access to verify inside camps how many children are still there and need to be released. The fact that there are no birth certificates makes it difficult to screen the children. The government of South Sudan has now agreed to issue a children registration act.

The Special Representative stated “the prospects of separation and release of children in South Sudan are very very high. Already this year we have 900 children released and we integrated since January, beginning of the year. And this is a direct result of the initial peace agreement between one of the warring parties and the government.”

She added that “when I talked to the children a month ago, they were part of the first group of released children of only one group, and they kept telling me that at least two or three of their friends were still in the bush waiting to be released or waiting to be negotiated and asking me to intervene on their behalf. So, we have to really assume very large numbers on recruitment and use ongoing in South Sudan.”

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for children and armed conflict is launching a global coalition on real needs of integration to allow children being inserted in their community and then to break the cycle of violence. However, financial constraints are facing a challenge.

She said, “the money for reintegration that the UN has in the last seven years has halved – the needs have doubled, but the amount of resources dedicated for integration program has halved. So today UNICEF has at least 50 per cent less funds to reintegrate at least double the amount of children that they had seven years ago.”
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