Sudanese children abducted for fighting and sex: U.N.
GENEVA (Reuters) - Children in Sudan, especially in the Darfur region, continue to be abducted for use in battle, forced labor or sexual exploitation, a U.N. human rights body said on Friday.
The U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child called on the Khartoum government to intensify its efforts to prevent children being abducted and to help reunify victims with their families.
The body, composed of 18 independent experts, issued its conclusions after holding a three-week session at which it examined the records of 11 countries, including Sudan.
It voiced concern that "abductions of children continue to occur for forced recruitment, forced labor, and in some instances, sexual exploitation, especially in Darfur and South Sudan".
The committee did not spell out whether the forced recruitment was by official Sudanese armed forces, by its allied janjaweed militias, rebel groups or all sides.
But street children and youths uprooted by the conflict which has racked Darfur since 2003 are particularly vulnerable to all forms of exploitation, the U.N. body said.
A revolt by mostly non-Arab rebels and a subsequent government counter-insurgency have driven 2.5 million people from their homes. International experts estimate 200,000 people have been killed in Darfur, while Sudan puts the toll at about 9,000.
The committee also had information that children may resort to prostitution or be forced into early marriages as "a means for survival in exchange of food, money or basic goods".
Sudan's delegation to the talks said it was illegal to use children in forced labor, sexual exploitation or pornography, and selling children was an offence not known in its society.
A unit for protection of the family and child had been set up 15 months ago, senior Sudanese officials said.
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this