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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Child Protection International (CPI) Becomes a Class Project

Undergraduate students in the Human Rights Internship class in the Institute for Global Studies are working to
address and prevent child abduction in South Sudan. The 28 students in the class have are working closely with
board members of Child Protection International, an NGO created in 2008 after their experience on the “Save Yar

The focus of the work this semester is to encourage universal birth registration in South Sudan. Birth registration
is the first legal acknowledgment of a child’s existence and provides access to immunization, health care, and education. Having a legitimate birth certificate ensures a child’s identity, nationality and name and also protects children
from sexual, economic, and military exploitation. The right to birth register is guaranteed in Article 7 of the
Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is a fundamental step toward protecting children from disappearing
without a trace, as too often happens through inter-tribal abduction and/or enforced military recruitment of children.

Students in the human rights class, under the direction of Professor Barbara Frey, have begun to map out their
strategy for putting the birth registration campaign into action. The class has decided to use the strategies of research
and advocacy to bring attention to the issue of child abduction and the importance of having wide spread
birth registration. The class has split into three working groups where they will be researching the work of other
NGO’s as potential allies on birth registration, UN mechanisms, and the role of the governments of South Sudan
and the United States in guaranteeing that all children are registered. By bringing awareness and making an effort
to get international involvement and support CPI and the class hopes to continue and expand the work and mission
of protecting children everywhere.