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MPs hold public hearing on early marriage, child abuses

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December 14, 2013 (TORIT) – National lawmakers from South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria state on Friday held a public hearing on key issues affecting the region, which mainly included, early and forced marriage, child abuse and children lacking parental care.

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The map of Eastern Equatoria state in red

The event, held in the state capital, Torit aimed at gathering public views on the matters raised to enable data collection, ahead of a planned bill to be tabled in parliament by lawmakers.

Scopas Taban, the delegation team leader told Sudan Tribune that the hearing brought on board all stakeholders to discuss a positive way forward for the benefits of all the country’s citizens.

He said a similar initiative was undertaken in the rest of the country’s 10 states, and involved widespread consultations with all the relevant authorities and citizens on issues affecting their region.

“Issues of early and forced marriages are eminent in almost all the 10 states of South Sudan. We want to come up with a bill that will help us control the practice which is running out of hand”, Taban said.

The purpose of the data collection is to enhance the parliamentary specialised committee for gender to draft a private members bill on early and force marriage and also to enable them amend the Child Act, 2008, he added.

Over 100 citizens from the state took part in the one-week public hearing, which saw early and forced marriages take center stage during discussions among the various stakeholders.

The bill, lawmakers argued, would help the new nation move forward like any other developing countries, if passed.

Some attendee, during the hearing, strongly advocated for the abolition of bride price payment and requested the country’s national assembly to pass a law forbidding the practice.

“We need laws that may help us to deal with issue of bride price, if the government cares about its citizens, why is South Sudan, other countries are very clear on this issue of bride price”, said a participant, only identified as Dina.

Lawmakers should quickly pass bills and policies against these issued we are discussing so that our citizens are not exploited, she stressed.

Less than 50 percent of the South Sudanese, statistics show, have access to basic healthcare, meaning the new nation has one of the lowest health indicators in the world.

(ST)

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  • 15 December 2013 11:39, by Don-Don Malith Rual

    Year. Early marriage is a complex cultural phenomenon, driven by factors including poverty, desire to become worthy and gender inequality. If the lawyers in the ROSS could be able to pass the early marriage laws that will be great. My fear is that everyone including the authority figures might be above the laws, if this was the other way round that no one is above the law then this could have been

    repondre message

  • 15 December 2013 11:51, by Don-Don Malith Rual

    Possible. This practice not only lead to physicological and physical harm to these girls as they are not fully and mentally or physically prepared for marriage or child birth. Child marriage is a human rights violation that robs girls of their right to health and to live insecurity to choose of when & whom to marry. Every year 13.5 million girls around the world marry before 18yrs. Base on current

    repondre message

  • 15 December 2013 12:02, by Don-Don Malith Rual

    Current trends 142 million girls will be married in the decade to 2020, according to (UNICEF) an average of 14.2 million girls every year.
    The issue of high increase in dowery is something that no one should have control about it just like the commodities of luxuries goods in the market, the sellers have control over their goods the same things applied to the parents or the relative of the girls

    repondre message

  • 15 December 2013 12:14, by Don-Don Malith Rual

    No parents within south sudan communities should allow her daughter to be marriage with low dowery as this as become cultural pride in some cultures if your daughter is marriage with numberous cattle ranging between 200 -300 herd of cattles and with those who marriage using currency they for 1-2 million local currency. These prices are unprediable and I hope some people will agree with me on this.

    repondre message

  • 15 December 2013 15:07, by Simbaya Afrika

    Actually this should start with some elders who choose to marry kids than matured women. This include the president and his team who are messing up our entire nation!

    repondre message

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