The United Nations Human Rights Commission in South Sudan today concluded its tenth visit to the country, from August 2 to 5.
Consist of Yasmin Sooka (Chairman), Andrew Clapham and Barney AfakoThe Commissioners are following up on the findings and recommendations of their latest report entitled “Sexual Violence Related to Conflicts Against Women and Girls in South Sudan.”
“The details of the report are horrifying to read, but we see it is equally important to stay true to the survivors’ reports, and play our part in conveying this to our fellow South Sudanese, the Government of South Sudan and the international community,” said Yasmin Sooka, Chair of the KPPU.
Published in March 2022 in Geneva, the report details the widespread and systematic character of sexual violence, based on several years of interviews with survivors, witnesses and their families, conducted in South Sudan as well as in refugee camps. Their testimonies convey the harrowing experiences of the women and girls who survived, illustrating the lasting impact on their lives and on the social fabric of the South Sudanese community. A shorter and more accessible version has also been developed and translated for distribution in the country.
“We feel it is very important to visit South Sudan and to share our findings and recommendations on conflict-related sexual violence in that country. We are grateful to be able to visit and interact with key stakeholders,” said Sooka.
The report finds that all armed groups have been involved in sexual violence, and that despite the signing of an action plan to address it, and some nascent justice efforts, the country’s overall response so far has barely matched the scale and severity of the crisis.
“We reiterate our call on the Government to publicly commit to a ‘zero tolerance policy’ against sexual violence, and to immediately demonstrate sincere intentions by stepping down and even prosecuting senior officials identified as perpetrators of sexual violence,” said Commissioner Andrew Clapham.
Experts met with Government officials, representatives of civil society, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the United Nations system and members of the diplomatic community. The three Commissioners held a press conference in Juba on the morning of August 4, after which they participated in a one-day dialogue organized by civil society organizations. Titled “What’s Next The Commission’s Recommendations and Action Plan for South Sudan for Armed Forces in Addressing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence”, the event brought together stakeholders including from civil society, government, armed forces, and the judiciary. The dialogue was an opportunity for the Commission to present its recommendations, hear from stakeholders, discuss strategies and identify next steps.
“While the focus of our discussion this week has been on crimes committed in connection with state conflicts, this dire situation is set against the backdrop of a broader pattern of impunity for serious crimes in South Sudan, particularly against women and girls who continue to commit crimes. bring low status in society,” said Barney Afako. “Critical nation-building opportunities, particularly the long-awaited process to develop a national constitution, must be fully inclusive and participatory to build a lasting framework to address the triggers of conflict and the dehumanization of women and girls in the country,” he added. .
The United Nations Human Rights Commission in South Sudan is an independent body mandated by the United Nations Human Rights Council. It was first established in March 2016, and its mandate has been renewed annually. Commission latest report published as a Conference Room Paper at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on 21 March 2022.
Distributed by the APO Group on behalf of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
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United Nations (UN) Experts Conclude Discussions in South Sudan on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence
Source link United Nations (UN) Experts Conclude Discussions in South Sudan on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence