Human rights workshop in Renk leads to spirited discussions

unmiss human rights upper nile women children security prisons rights

A recent UNMISS workshop for 30 prisons officers in Renk, Upper Nile, sought to build capacities on human rights standards as well as uphold the rule of law. Photo by Samuel Adwok/UNMISS

27 Jun 2022

Human rights workshop in Renk leads to spirited discussions

Samuel Adwok

UPPER NILE - “Human rights are at the heart of upholding the rule of law in South Sudan,” said Major General Aggrey Mojok.

Major General Mojok is the Director of the South Sudan National Police Services (SSNPS) in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state, and was speaking at a training organized by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)

The workshop’s focus: Sensitizing 30 prisons service officers in Renk county on human rights standards; conflict-related sexual violence; protection of child rights and understanding of existing legal frameworks that guide their day-to-day work.

Facilitated by the UN Peacekeeping mission’s Human Rights Division in partnership with the Corrections Unit, the two-day forum witnessed spirited interactions on issues faced by prisons officers and ways in which solutions can be found to existing challenges.

For participants and Renk’s resident judge, Franco Pagan, there needs to be greater connections among local authorities and law enforcement personnel.

“It’s important that both prisons officers and police officers from the SSNPS attend such workshops because the topics discussed are cross-cutting in terms of both portfolios,” stated Justice Pagan.

“The more we work together, the more we will be able to collectively reduce criminality, human rights violations, protect women and children effectively, and ensure perpetrators are held accountable,” he added.

 Another important point raised by Justice Pagan: The need for community members to realize the important role they play in ensuring that law and order is upheld.

“Ensuring a safe and secure environment across Renk, and indeed in the country, is a collective effort. Communities, authorities, uniformed personnel, and the government all have a role,” he averred.  

For his part, Major General Mojok urged participants to absorb and trickle down the best practices that were gained from the workshop.

“We must all understand and make these important principles a part of our day-to-day practice. Respecting the dignity of prisoners and victims of any crime is crucial for us to create a justice system that is fair,” he stated.