Ministries Train in Universal Period Review for Human Rights

Mar 11, 2016

Officials gather at the closing ceremony for the UPR workshop at the Ministry of Justice in Juba.

South Sudan’s human rights practices are set to be reviewed as an independent state for the first time in 2016. This week in Juba, government officials met at the Ministry of Justice to begin preparations for the Universal Periodic Review for human rights, in the form of an initial training. The three day workshop was supported by UNDP in collaboration with UNMISS Human Rights Division.

“We are a member of the international community and have an obligation to uphold human rights,” said Minister of Justice Paulino Wanawila at Thursday’s closing ceremony of the workshop. “We are a young country but this must not be an excuse.”

As a member of the United Nations and party to multiple international human rights treaties, South Sudan has the legal obligation to report periodically to the Human Rights Council and treaty bodies. The UPR process is part of these requirements and is designed to prompt, support, and expand the promotion and protection of human rights on the ground.

“We are all aware that this review comes at a time when South Sudan has gone through a crisis that has slowed its ability to prevent and address violations of human rights,” said UNDP Deputy Country Director Jean Luc Stalon. “However, it is important to note that the UPR process is not designed to pass judgment on States, but to provide assistance in overcoming challenges that form obstacles to the full enjoyment of human rights.”

Workshop participants came together from multiple ministries and shared information as well as gained new skills from human rights experts.

“The process of UPR is very important, and requires the development of our capacities. This is why you are here,” said Acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice Filberto Mareng Mayout to the gathered officials at the closing ceremony of the workshop.

The UPR will be a continuous process for South Sudan. In accordance with global standards, the review will be done every four years.

“Since this is the first time, you are the pioneers of South Sudan who have now been trained and you will have to support your colleagues,” said Minister Wanawila.

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