Access to Justice, Security and Human Rights Strengthening Program in South Sudan
The civil conflict and political crisis that erupted in South Sudan in 2013 and 2016 weakened rule of law structures and resulted to an unprecedented capacity gap in the justice system thereby posing huge challenge to the effective, accountable and timely delivery of justice services to vulnerable groups including women and children in most parts of the country. For many vulnerable groups, the justice and security services are far removed from their reality. The levels of legal aid and human rights awareness among the population served by the justice system remain low. The formal mechanisms available to respond to legal problems and especially SGBV crimes are hardly accessible and not well-known or in some cases trusted by the public. Women and children are particularly unaware of the options available to them for legal advice or legal action and are not able to access enough information to make informed decisions when responding to a crime or dispute. This limits the ability of the public to assert and claim redress through the justice system. Similar to the rest of the country, the people especially women and children of Yambio and Torit/Kapoeta experience the same challenges and lack adequate basic justice service providers and facilities for legal redress to crimes and disputes.
Moreover, they do not have easy access to basic psychosocial services to address the mental impact of offences such as sexual related crimes committed against them for several years. Restoring the full delivery of justice and rule of law services in these locations is essential for sustaining the gains made in maintaining peace and harmony amongst the local population since the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU).
Women Relief Organization’s Access to Justice, Security and Human Rights Strengthening Program aims to strengthen the capacity of the criminal justice system to provide inclusive, effective, accountable and equitable justice services that can ensure increased access to justice for the vast majority of citizens of South Sudan, especially the vulnerable groups such as women and children. Implemented at the national and states levels, the program places emphasis on ensuring that such vulnerable groups can receive fair and speedy disputes resolution to claim their rights, increase their safety and security and in turn fully recover from their grievances.
In this regard, the project is seeking funding to establish a Justice and Confidence Center (JCC) in Yambio and Torit/Kapoeta to provide the services for vulnerable groups including indigents persons, women and children: Provide legal representation for vulnerable groups including indigents persons, women and children. Provide legal advice/counselling to vulnerable groups including indigents persons, women and children. Provide legal awareness including human rights awareness to vulnerable groups including indigents persons, women and children. And Refer vulnerable groups including indigents persons, women and children to referral pathways for basic services.