June 2015: Child Abuse in South Sudan (Aguet)

Child abuse is when parent or caregiver act badly, whether through action or failing to act, cause injury, death, emotional harm or risk of serious harm to child. It can be neglect abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and emotional abuse.

The following are major child abuse in South Sudan; force marriage/sexual abuse, and physical abuse/mobilization of underage children to join army.

Force marriage is a major child abused in South Sudan, but especially girls. This is because parents’ force their daughters to be marriage so that they will get bride price to be rich. Girls have become first assets to South Sudanese. It has caused most of girls to drop out from school as being forced by parent to be married. It results in high rate of death at delivery time as some are being marriage while they are still young or underage. Boys are also force to get marriage while they are still young, because when parent are rich, they force their son to get marriage before the wealth get exhausted while it’s early for him to get marriage. It is also cause by insecurity because when parents have some cows, they can be worried of being raid by other tribes as it’s common in South Sudan. So parents let their son get marriage at early age so that they will not loose them to raiders, but pay them as their son’s bride price. Force marriage from both boys and girls results in divorce because there is no love among chosen couple, that is why there is high rate of divorce cases now a day then before. It is also because women are starting to have more of a say in their marriage and they don’t want to be abused. Therefore, it is good for parent to let their children choose their marriage partners at a right time according to their willingness.

Physical abuse or military mobilization of underage children to joined army. This is another major child abuse in South Sudan because children of below 16 year old are being mobilized to join army, instead of going to school. For example David Yaw-Yaw who mobilized more than 3,000 children from Greater Pibor. It is really so painful for innocence children to get serious injuries, and died in war, which they don’t know it cause and never think of war consequences before they joined. It cause some children mental problem and disabilities, and no one care for them. For they are still at stupid age, that is why they are being used as mechanism of getting good position in government without realizing it. The rate of death is so high because it is children of below 15 year old who are now fighting, and they don’t care about death. Therefore, it is good to mobilize children for school than armed them. It is good to be promoted at a right time and by right people than doing it by military to mobilize children to fight for an individual position.

In conclusion, United Nation must implement the laws against child abuse (physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect abuse, and emotional abuse) in South Sudan as they have tried to disarmed 200 children among 3,000 in Greater Pibor. South Sudanese by themselves must respect humanity and laws. And anyone who violated or not uploading the laws must come before court of justice. South Sudan will be home of peace and joy if God will for he makes a way where it seems to be no way.

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