Women, Peace & Security

Call for action to end gender-based violence and impunity for GBV perpetrators in South Sudan

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On the 24th of June, 2020, a joint statement on ending gender-based violence was issued by South Sudan’s Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, and UNFPA South Sudan.

Key points in the statement include:

  • As South Sudan responds to this crisis, we are seeing an increase in the reporting of sexual and gender-based violence cases and in particular intimate partner violence perpetrated against women and girls, including children.
  • There have been numerous reports in Juba and in different parts of the country of rape including gang rapes and intimate partner violence and this is only going to increase as the pandemic increases the vulnerability of the whole population due to COVID-19.
    • There is not a single day that we do not hear of reports of rape, including gang rapes of women, girls and children.
  • Women and girls are targeted when they go to the market, to fetch water, look for firewood, in schools, in the streets and in work places. 
  • The Government is committed to working with our partners to strengthen legal frameworks and institutions, improving services for survivors, addressing the root causes of violence, and promoting women’s empowerment.
  • To achieve zero gender based violence and other harmful practices, will require a broad commitment and involvement of international organisations, local NGOs, civil society, members of the communities and more importantly, MEN.
  • The Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and development partners, have put in place measures to eliminate Gender-Based Violence and other harmful practices including:
    1. The Draft Anti-GBV Bill currently awaiting to be tabled to Parliament- we call on Parliamentarians to prioritize the enactment of this Bill into law.
    2. The Strategic National Action Plan to End Child Marriage 2017-2030
    3. The United Nations Joint Programme on Gender Based Violence
    4. The Special Protection Units: There are nine (9) Special Protection Units (SPUs) established in nine Police Stations around Juba for reporting rape cases and violence against women/men.
    5. The Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Prevention, Protection and Response to gender-based Violence (GBV) in Republic of South Sudan (2014)
    6. Protection of the population and ending impunity to the perpetrators of gender-based violence – we call on the police, judiciary and the security sector actors to protect the communities, and ensure access to justice for the survivors of gender-based violence. 
    7. The Toll Free Mobile Help Lines: There are Toll-Free Mobile Helplines available in Juba for girls, women, boys and men who need to access help for support
  • For, without ending gender-based violence, we cannot build a just and prosperous country – the South Sudan we want and deserve.

Read the full statement here.