South Sudan UN Peacekeeping Mission holds human rights and GBV workshop

United Nations/Flickr
March 1, 2024

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) held a two-day workshop aiming to enhance understanding of the overall concept of human rights as well as help galvanize participants to be actively involved in country-wide efforts to end gender-based violence. Local teachers, women’s representatives, and the South Sudan National Police Service were invited to participate.

“We are seeing a distinct rise in violence against our women and children,” revealed Flora Wilson Kenyi, a local teacher that attended the workshop. “And there is the issue of impunity. I believe that it’s because many community members are still in the dark about the legal recourses available to them. Also, perpetrators aren’t aware of the law,” she added.

“Traditionally, women and girls have been impacted by patriarchal beliefs,” recounts another attendee, Warikunzi Moses, a parent to four children. “But, as our country approaches its first elections, and thanks to the work that UNMISS has been doing all these years, spreading the importance of equal rights among the grassroots, I think we are all becoming much more cogniscent that women can be decision-makers and leaders,” she added.

“It’s been eye-opening to speak about our rights and responsibilities as citizens and as human beings. I have heard a lot of mis- and disinformation among young people as well as children which tells us that human rights are inconsequential but thanks to these two days, I am now much more aware of their importance,” said Chance Lari Stephine, a student that attended the workshop.

"With elections approaching, there is a massive need for all citizens to be involved in this young nation’s democratic transition. The right to cast your vote is a fundamental human right. But vitally, they must make informed choices. We designed this workshop for teachers, students, parents and security actors in Mundri west because we expect them to function as a multiplier effect, trickling down what they have absorbed to their families, neighbourhoods, professional colleagues and communities at large,” said Justin Rotto, a workshop facilitator from the UNMISS Human Rights Division.

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