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UN is Taking the Lead of Sexual Violence Protection in South Sudan
By admin August 2, 2016

sexual violence message

UN always has a “zero tolerance” attitude towards sexual abuse by anyone working under the blue flag. Earlier this year, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Jane Holl Lute as the Special Coordinator on improving the UN response to sexual exploitation and abuse. However, the situation in South Sudan is far from sufficient. Today, the United Nations in South Sudan condemned unequivocally reports of widespread sexual violence, including rape and gang rape, of women and young girls. UN peacekeepers are also putting efforts to protect the vulnerable.

Since the fighting began in Juba, South Sudan, thousands of civilians became homeless, and safety of the most vulnerable people – women and children – is severely threatened. Although the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is engaged in the active protection of approximately 200,000 civilians in various locations throughout the country, the UN has continued to receive reports of sexual violence. One media even alleged that UNMISS peacekeepers did not do enough to protect the victims.

Protection of the victims is full of challenge. First, UNMISS faces severe restrictions on movements of civilians. Additionally, human and supply resources are limited.

With an enhanced protection measure, UNMISS has intensified its patrols in and around the protection sites along the wider Juba city area, in order to improve the security of vulnerable communities and groups, such as women and children residing in the UNMISS PoC sites. In addition, UNMISS reinforced its message to all peacekeepers that should incidents of abuse be committed in their areas of security responsibility, “they have an individual and joint duty to act, to prevent harm to innocent civilians.” What’s more, UNMISS is working with community leaders and protection partners to coordinate peacekeeper escorts of women and young girls leaving protection sites to collect food and non-food items at scheduled times of the day,” UNMISS elaborated in the statement.

UNMISS also called on all parties to take personal responsibility for the unspeakable violence against civilians and urged the country’s security leadership to protect its civilians and ensure accountability for any crimes committed by its own forces.

As for further coordination according to sexual violence, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is taking the lead of coordinate the response to ongoing sexual violence – reporting that the PoC referral system and clinical management of rape services were in place. UNFPA also provided post-rape kits and an additional 7100 ‘dignity kits’ for distribution among the most vulnerable women and girls.

Hopefully, with efforts from various departments, the rate of sexual violence in South Sudan can be reduced and victims can be treated with medical and psychological therapy.

For more information:

South Sudan: UN Mission condemns ‘unspeakable acts’ of abuse, sexual violence

FEATURE: ‘We all have to do what we can’ to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse – Jane Holl Lute

Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary – General for Sexual Violence in Conflict

South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar pledges to combat sexual violence

Sexual violence: A tragic and taboo scar of South Sudan’s conflict

 

 


Thanks for sharing !


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