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Juma Idris Khemis-Radio Emmanuel
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 09:50
The increasing economic crisis in South Sudan is forcing some parents to convert their kids to child labourers.
 
This prompted Torit municipal authorities to carry out an inspection on children doing hard labour along the streets and in the markets. 
 
The United Nations aims to end child labour by the year 2023. But in places like South Sudan which has been affected by conflict, achieving this goal might be difficult.
 
In Torit, several Parents tend to let their children hustle in the markets or streets instead of sending them to school.
 
Many activists and other citizens say the living conditions in many families due to the current economic crisis forced some children to run away from home to look for food in the streets. Some send their kids to hustle for their own benefit. 
 
Torit Day Secondary School Deputy Head Teacher, Richard Pitia says children should not be blamed for getting involved in hard labour instead of attending school. He said illiteracy is also a contributing factor.
 
The deputy head teacher says the government should lead the public in curbing out child labour in the state.
 
Anek Rose John is a mother from Ayaci County in Torit state. She says allowing children to stay in public places like markets exposes them to bad practices such as stealing and drug addiction.
 
She urges parents to take the responsibility of educating their children seriously.
 
Earlier last month, the Torit state Deputy Governor while addressing stakeholders on Actions against Child Abuse called for the implementation of the Child Act on parents who ignore their responsibilities.
 
Meanwhile Torit state’s education director Gabriel Oliha questions the role of parents who are not complying with the law. 
 
Oliva Bona, a student at Torit Day secondary school calls on the government to observe children’s right to education.
 
Oliva Bona adds that parents should also reduce workloads given to school children at home so they can focus on their school work.
 
The Torit municipality committee for child labor carried out an inspection at Torit market last month and collected 18 school age children selling commodities along the streets during school hours.
 
Child protection and gender officer for SPIDO Susan Iffe James believes joint communal efforts towards child protection is very vital.
 
On the other hand, Flora Sebit who is the Vice Chairperson of Civil Society network in Eastern Equatoria in Torit blasted some South Sudanese parents for giving birth to children they cannot afford to take care of.
 
‘‘In South Sudan we are good at giving birth to many children. People can’t even think about their income to be able to take care of them. How can you give birth to children you cannot take care of’’ Flora ask?
 
A new UN report says 152 million children between 5 and 17 years are victims of child labor worldwide. Almost half of them are working in hazardous conditions and half of them, around 72 million, live in African countries.
 
Part Two article-17- 1(d) of South Sudan’s transitional Constitution 2011 says “Every child has the right not to be subjected to exploitative practices or abuse, nor to be required to serve in the army nor permitted to perform work which may be hazardous or harmful to his or her education, health or well-being”.
 
But in South Sudan, some parents believe their kids should be the ones to sell and do other jobs to take care of them. This makes the children exposed to various dangers such as mining, hazardous farming practices and so on.
 
This story is produced with support from Journalists for Human Rights strengthening media in South Sudan. 
 

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