UNMISS Conduct and Discipline Team trains community focal points in Torit on preventing sexual exploitation

UNMISS protection of civilians community sensitization sexual exploitation abuse peacekeepers South Sudan peacekeeping United Nations

19 community focal points received a refresher training facilitated by UNMISS on preventing sexual exploitation and abuse in Torit, Eastern Equatoria. Photo by Okello

29 Jul 2021

UNMISS Conduct and Discipline Team trains community focal points in Torit on preventing sexual exploitation

Okello James

The Conduct and Discipline Team of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) recently facilitated a refresher course for 19 community representatives in Torit to strengthen grassroots-level responses in preventing sexual exploitation.

“We have been working to prevent any instance of sexual abuse within our communities. We are empowered with the knowledge and skills on how to handle such cases and are also trickling down awareness to vulnerable people,” said Francis Taban, a participant who has been playing an important role in sensitizing community members on this critical topic.

The day-long workshop had one main aim: To strengthen the Community-Based Complaint Mechanism created in 2018 with support from UNMISS to monitor cases and guide local populations on where and how to report cases of sexual- or gender-based abuse committed by UN staff and other humanitarian workers.

“Employees from humanitarian organisations may indulge in exploitation and abuse,” explains Dominica Idwa Vitale, Director-General, Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare in Eastern Equatoria. “However, in case incidents take place, we need to empower community members to be able to report them. We monitor the situation and advise women and young girls to report such cases to the concerned authorities.”

The training session is part of the UN’s zero tolerance policy on such matters.

“We are here in Torit to enlighten and strengthen the capacity of the established Community-based Complaint Mechanism focal persons so that they are on point with their roles and responsibilities if cases are brought to their attention,” states Abraham Kashimba, Liaison Officer, UNMISS Conduct and Discipline.

The UNMISS Conduct and Discipline Team helps ensure the prevention and identification of misconduct as well as to monitor compliance with and enforcement of the UN standards of conduct, using the three-pronged strategy of prevention, enforcement and remedial action.