At least 207 child soldiers are set to be released in South Sudan according to UNICEF in the third largest release in 2018. According to UNICEF, over 19,000 children are thought to have been recruited by all sides since the civil war began five years ago.
The released children will be reunified with their families and will be given months’ worth of food assistance and psychosocial support, along with the opportunity to go to school.
The civil war in South Sudan has gained notoriety for using children soldiers and as such the release is good news seeing as its a key step in ensuring that the children and their rights are protected. While there is still a large number still in the war, the steps to release and rehabilitate the children is a good sign.
South Sudan erupted into civil war in 2013, just two years after declaring its independence from the north. The ongoing conflict has left tens of thousands of people dead and created a humanitarian crisis as nearly 4 million people fled their homes.