Officials of the South Sudan Human Rights Commission (SSHRC) together with human rights activists at the launch of the report. [Gurtong | Waakhe Simon Wudu]
By Waakhe Simon Wudu
JUBA, 10 August 2012 [Gurtong] - The report highlights some key areas of human rights which require the attention of the government, international community and every South Sudanese citizen.
It covered violations to right to life, the freedom from torture, cruel and inhuman treatment, rights to fair trial, conditions in places of detention, abduction and imposed disappearance, security situation of Internally Displaced Persons in the country and rights of women.
“The report is meant to provide guidance to the government and assist in addressing issues of human rights concern and to help the government in meeting its obligation towards upholding human rights in the country,” Laurence Korbandi, the SSHRC Chairperson told the public during the launch.
He pointed out that the commission faces numerous challenges which limit effective operation.
Kordandi said that inadequate finances have affected its operations as the government is their only donor.
He said of all the money received, over 80 percent goes to wages, while 10 percent goes in to administration.
The Commission allocated a paltry four percent of its budget into program activities in the country.
Kordandi said that numerous human rights violations in the country need education and mass awareness to be addressed effectively.
The commission recommended the need for government to carry out a comprehensive disarmament program to remove illegal arms possessed by individuals and communities in South Sudan.
They urged the Ministry of Justice to speed up trial of suspects to reduce unnecessary congestion in the police cells and prisons.
Members of the civil society and human rights groups welcomed the report saying it was comprehensive.
Activists described the human right situation in the country as “bad” have cited that issues such as housing and demolitions among others.
They urged the Commission not to work like an organization but operate as an independent government institution.
They urged the commission to expose the perpetrators of the human rights abuses and push the judiciary to bring them to book.
The launch which was done in collaboration with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, UNMISS Human Rights Division was attended by other senior government officials from different institutions and other human rights defenders.