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Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Khartoum - Zuleikha Abdel Raziq
The National Council for Child Welfare considered the incorporation of article (13) of the child law by the Council of Ministers regarding female genital mutilation into the criminal punishment law as not meaning the end of the road.
"The Council respects the decision of the Council of Ministers and the fatwa by the Academy of Islamic Jurisprudence", the Secretary General of National Council for Child Welfare, Amira al-Fadil al-Amin said.
However, she disclosed that the council's next step will be reopening dialogue at legal an religious levels, adding that the council earlier stated its vision on this deeply rooted malpractice in the Sudanese community. She stressed that the society is responsible for protecting child rights, affirming that the council will continue efforts aimed at eradicating female genital mutilation. Mrs. Al-Fadil considered the recent approval of Child bill of 2009 as a positive step toward maintaining child rights. The newly introduced bill containing 92 articles has been legislated in accordance with Sudan's Constitution and the international laws.
Regarding the incident of children abducted by a French organization, she stated that the case is pending compensation and trial of the accused French nationals. Mrs. Fadil affirmed that the parents of the children have hired French lawyers to follow up the case; however, the parents are having financial problems in this connection.
On her part, Judge Awatif Abdulkareem, legal consultant with the National Council for Child Welfare, said that the new child law has secured various rights, notably on issues regarding compensation and compelling institutions to set up kindergartens belonging to the Ministry of Social Welfare, in accordance with a presidential decree, which demanded modern measures for prohibiting the appearing children before any court of law as witnesses or defendants. She revealed that the new bill has risen child legal responsibility age from 7-12. According to the new law, child rapists may face life jail or heavy fine.