World Vision condemns abduction of 89 children in South Sudan
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Feb. 23, 2015 /CNW/ - World Vision wholeheartedly condemns the forcible conscription of 89 boys in South Sudan and joins the United Nations in calling for their immediate release and return to their families.
The raid took place in the village of Wau Shiluk in Upper Nile State, where World Vision is one of only two aid agencies at work, and is the only agency to operate child protection programs.
"World Vision is child-focused and we have tried hard to protect these children but, clearly, this is not enough. Since late last year, we have been asking donors to fully fund child protection and education programs," said Perry Mansfield, National Director of World Vision, South Sudan.
"What these children and others across South Sudan need is for the international community to fully commit to their protection and education; a commitment that is matched in dollars, not just words," Perry Mansfield said.
"Canada has made a significant commitment to the humanitarian response in South Sudan, and it can continue to help by urging others in the international community to fund efforts to protect children and families in these horrific situations," said Martin Fischer, World Vision's Director of Policy & Advocacy.
Background: Fear & Want
In a recent report, Fear & Want – Children Living in Fear in South Sudan, World Vision called upon the Government of South Sudan and the international community to prioritise the needs of children while working towards an end to the conflict which flared up more than a year ago.
World Vision spoke to 160 children many of whom said that their displacement has increased the amount of time they spend working and reduced the amount of time they spend in school. A failure to address the distress and fear that these children feel can have a significant effect on them. Protecting children now has the potential to secure a better future for South Sudan. Their needs are immense and need to prioritized if the prospects for the country are to improve.
The report surveyed children in Central Equatoria and Upper Nile States (places where hundreds of thousands of people have been internally displaced). It found that one year after conflict began in South Sudan, children are still at risk from physical harm and violence. Children want to return home, but they can't.
How Canadians can help
World Vision's Raw Hope program is saving and protecting children in some of the world's most dangerous places.
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our News Centre at worldvision.ca
SOURCE World Vision Canada
For further information: FOR INTERVIEWS WITH WORLD VISION STAFF IN SOUTH SUDAN OR CANADA: Contact: Britt Hamilton, mobile: 416-419-1321, [email protected]