UNMISS helps build capacities among Human Rights Commissioners in Jonglei

unmiss human rights jonglei civil society south sudan united nations capacity building

UNMISS, through its Human Rights Division, delivered a two-day training to newly appointed human rights defenders in Jonglei, South Sudan. Photo by Mach Samuel/UNMISS

9 Dec 2021

UNMISS helps build capacities among Human Rights Commissioners in Jonglei

Mach Samuel

JONGLEI – As part of its ongoing push for durable peace across the world’s youngest nation, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) continues building essential capacities among communities and authorities.

Earlier this year, new Human Rights Commissioners and Advisers on gender as well as legal affairs were appointed in Jonglei state to uphold respect for people’s rights and bolster the rule of law.

These new appointees were drawn from a cross-section of representatives from among relevant state ministries, women leaders and law enforcement agencies. Upon taking up their positions, an appeal was made to the UN Peacekeeping mission for enhancing their skills, ability and knowledge to better serve their communities.

UNMISS, therefore, facilitated a two-day training, through its Human Rights Division, which gave Human Rights Commissioners a thorough grounding in upholding human rights, international humanitarian law as well as monitoring, investigating and reporting on human rights violations.

“We do appreciate UNMISS and its support,” said Simon Manyok Deng, Adviser to the Governor on Human Rights. “Upholding the rights and dignity of everyone in society is a collective responsibility and we want to be fully equipped to take on this essential task. This training is very useful for us.”

For her part, Tara Sadasivan, from the mission’s Field Office in Bor, called for the state government to ensure justice for people whose rights have been violated or negated in any way.

“Human rights for every woman, man and child is the bulwark upon which democracy is built,” stated Ms. Sadasivan. “It is, thus, incumbent upon the government representatives to ensure every citizen is aware of their rights, and more importantly, aware of the recourses available to them when these rights are violated,” she added.

Perhaps the simplest but most eloquent message on the importance of human rights  came from Bol Deng Bol,  a participant.

“Any of us could have our human rights infringed upon. Most of the time, we remain unaware that we have these rights and that we must speak up for ourselves whenever we feel we have been wronged. Every South Sudanese must be aware of their human rights and we are here today because we want to spread this simple message across our communities.”