The protection and well-being of children and youth in Sudan are at a crucial juncture. While children in the South are enjoying increased protection and access to services, those in Darfur and other areas of Sudan are enduring unspeakable acts of violence and abuse.
Humanitarian agencies in Darfur operate in an extremely volatile environment that poses significant operational challenges and threatens the security of civilians and humanitarian personnel. Government policies that restrict the movement of humanitarian workers and attacks and threats by armed forces and groups have stymied aid operations throughout Sudan, particularly in Darfur, in the East and around Khartoum.
Watchlist is concerned about apparent deliberate efforts by the Government to suppress information and prevent agencies from collecting and disseminating details on attacks against children and their protection needs, particularly in Darfur and the East. These efforts prevented many reliable experts working in Sudan from contributing information to this report, as they expressed concern about the safety of staff and beneficiaries of programs and potential retributive attacks or threats. As a result, some pertinent information related to the well-being of children in Sudan was not included.
Access to information on violations against children is also limited by chronic insecurity. As a result, some sections of this report may detail attacks perpetrated by only a few armed groups. This does not imply greater culpability but reflects instead the limited access to information. Many actors in Sudan have acknowledged that all parties to the conflict have violated children’s rights.
In this report, Watchlist has included information on violations against children in Sudan in each of the major categories identified by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1612 (2005) on Children and Armed Conflict. These violations include killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, abduction, denial of humanitarian assistance, attacks on schools, and recruitment and use of children by armed forces and groups. In addition, various other violations, such as forced displacement and torture, also continue to be committed against children and their families.