Fighting in South Sudan threatens children’s future

Conflict in South Sudan is putting tens of thousands of people, especially children, at risk, aid agency World Vision warns today.

“World Vision is extremely concerned about the negative impact of the violence on children in South Sudan, and we are asking all those involved to immediately cease all fighting, and to ensure that children and civilians are protected from attack in line with international humanitarian law,” says World Vision’s Kon Dimo in Juba.

The United Nations Security Council have confirmed hundreds of casualties as a result of armed clashes. Nearly 20,000 people are seeking refuge in UN compounds in Juba, many of them women and children, and there are reports of homes and buildings being looted and destroyed.

“I have seen many terrified children and their parents running for safety." 

“I have seen many terrified children and their parents running for safety. They need safe places to shelter, but as the fighting continues, they also need food and water. World Vision is considering all options of how to best assist people in need,” says Dimo.

More than half of South Sudan’s population is children. World Vision fears the impact of this insecurity will lead to significant loss of development gains that have been made to improve children’s health and chances in life.

“We urge all parties – including state and non-state armed actors – to end the violence, and to work toward peace and reconciliation through dialogue. In particular, we call on all actors to abide by international humanitarian law and protect children and other civilians from attack,” says Dimo.

World Vision also calls on the United Nations Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict to keep the UN Security Council and the international community updated on the situation of children following the outbreak of hostilities, and to ensure continued monitoring and reporting of the situation of children.

World Vision through its work across the country is committed to supporting development and peace building efforts that help communities reconcile their grievances, and build an environment that is key for child survival, protection, and well-being.


Notes to editors

  • Kon Dimo is available for interviews in Juba, South Sudan. Please contact him at +211-924-704-202, email:, on Skype kon.v.diomdid.
  • World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.

Conflict significantly increases protection risks for children. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of displacement, including increased chance of separation from parents and disruption to education. Broad protection concerns regarding their safety must be taken into account, with pro-active steps taken to both monitor and mitigate protection risks by all actors.

In particular, all actors must:

  • Take immediate measures to safeguard civilians from direct attack and the indirect effects of violence and ensure that children under the age of 18 are not involved in any manner in direct hostilities as has frequently been the case in South Sudan.
  • Ensure that children and other civilians are able to physically move away from areas of ongoing military clashes.
  • Ensure that schools, medical facilities and other essential civilian infrastructure are protected from direct and indirect effects of attacks. All children in need of medical care should have access to medical facilities without reprisal.
  • The Government of South Sudan must abide by the UN Security Council Resolution 2109. In particular, immediately cease all forms of violence and human rights violations and abuses against the civilian population in South Sudan.
  • The Government of South Sudan must abide by the country’s national action plan to end child recruitment and release all children from the SPLA.