Ahead of International Day of the Girl on 11 October, we share findings from our recent research trip to South Sudan and call for a renewed focus on reintegration support for girls returning from the long-running conflict.
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Midwives play a critical role in South Sudan’s fight against maternal mortality. But for one midwife in Rumbek, their efforts cut even deeper. “My father has eight wives and 24 children,” said Peter Door, a father of one who decided to pursue a career in midwifery two years ago. For Peter, spreading awareness about – and providing access to – family planning is central to building a better future not only for women, but for their families and communities, too.
Around South Sudan, UNFPA supports programmes to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, including training social workers and health staff to sensitively and professionally meet the needs of violence survivors. At one facility, the Family Protection Centre, located in the Juba Teaching Hospital, these and other services are integrated together under one roof, helping to ensure survivors receive the full range of care available, including clinical treatment for rape, psychological first aid, counselling, legal support and other services.
Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan has completed her two-day visit to South Sudan where she witnessed firsthand the complexity and scale of the South Sudan crisis and met internally displaced people who shared their experiences with her.
The relationship between United Nations peacekeepers and civilian staff and the vulnerable people in South Sudan they are working for must be one of mutual trust and confidence, said a senior UN official, noting that instances of sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel not only breaks down that relationship, it also destroys the trust communities have in the Organization.
With the conflict in South Sudan entering its fifth year, senior United Nations officials on Thursday expressed concern about the precarious security situation and bleak humanitarian conditions in the world's youngest country.
Approving a one-year extension of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, the Security Council today demanded an end to the fighting in the war-riven country, and decided that the mission, known as UNMISS, shall "use all necessary means" to "deter and prevent" sexual violence within its capacity, and "monitor, investigate and report incidents of hate speech."
Vowing to "fight" to the end to see that all perpetrators of rape and violence against women and girls in crisis-torn South Sudan are held to account, the United Nations envoy on sexual violence in conflict today said it is extremely important for the Government to take all necessary action to put an end to such crimes.
Concluding a four-day visit to Juba, South Sudan, the United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict has urged high-level authorities of the Transitional Government of National Unity to implement commitments made to address sexual violence crimes.
A new United Nations report on the human rights situation in South Sudan published today describes a multitude of horrendous violations in "searing detail," in particular by Government forces, including cases of civilians burned alive or cut to pieces and a teenage girl being raped by ten soldiers.