Decades of war and on-going inter-communal conflicts within South Sudan have caused widespread internal displacement and destroyed the protective environment for children. Many children remain vulnerable to recruitment into armed groups, family separation and abduction, sexual and economic exploitation, physical violence and psychological trauma, and in some cases lack necessary and adequate adult care or support.
Save the Children is implementing Child Protection programmes in Jonglei, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes and Upper Nile states, responding to long-standing child protection issues, as well as those arising from emergencies.
Our work is focused on strengthening national systems to be able to address four key child protection issues:
- separated and unaccompanied children
- children without appropriate care
- economic and sexual exploitation of children
- violence against children, including violence against children in armed conflict.
We are the national Focal Point for family Tracing and Reunification, and work with community leaders, local authorities, armed forces, police, judiciary, teachers and children themselves to build the long-term capacity of communities to strengthen community-based child protection mechanisms.
Our emergency child protection activities in Lakes, Jonglei, and Central Equatoria states include reuniting children who have been separated from their parents with their family, as well as providing children with psychosocial support to overcome trauma through an integrated approach with other services such as nutrition, health and education.
In Upper Nile we are providing refugee children with safe places to play and access to psychosocial support, have set up and rained community-based child protection mechanisms, and are supporting the reunification of children who have been separated from their families.