Girl Not Bride is a global partnership to end child marriage and allow girls to fulfill their potential in life.
In July 2012, SSWEN received a visit from The Elders Council who encouraged SSWEN to become a member of this global initiative to help address child marriage in South Sudan. From this event, SSWEN developed a project to raise awareness on child marriage which is recognized as a form of gender-based violence and a violation of human rights There are complex issues that result in child marriage and this project is aimed at giving children and young people a voice.
The project created spaces through learning workshops for children and young people to have the opportunity to discuss, debate and explore the issue of child marriage and other factors that feature in their life such as health and reproductive matters. Drama, debate panels, and games are integrated into the learning workshops help to ensure that children feel comfortable to discuss these issues and that the information and learning take place with accessible methods.
The South Sudan Child Act of 2008 is the piece of legislation that extends, promote and protect the rights of children, which have been provided for in the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011, the Convention of the Rights of the Child and other international instruments. The Child Act is a legislative instrument which provides for the rights of the female child and has also provided for the protection of the rights of the child with disabilities, and the protection of a refugee or displaced child.
However, there is a limited awareness of the existence, content and implementation mechanism of this legislation, especially among parents, policymakers, state legislators and authorities, and most importantly the Children themselves. Unlike other legislations in South Sudan, few actors have taken it among themselves to disseminate and raise awareness on this legislation. Child marriage denies girls their rights to live in security and to choose when and whom they marry and can perpetuate cycles of poverty. It is a practice not unique to just South Sudan but takes place every day in a number of countries across the globe.