UNDP Trains Civil Society Actors to Work on Truth, Justice, Reconciliation and Healing

Jan 27, 2017

Participants of the Training of Trainers on the Transitional Justice Toolkit on 21 January 2017 in Juba, South Sudan. Photo: UNDP

From 19 to 21 January, 2017, UNDP’s Access to Justice and Rule of Law project organised a Training of Trainers for the Transitional Justice Working Group, other civil society actors and representatives of the South Sudan Human Rights Commission who are involved in different aspects of transitional justice in South Sudan, such as truth-telling and community outreach. The training aimed at equipping participants with the relevant skills to train other civil society actors as well as other actors engaging on transitional justice in South Sudan. The training intended to enhance participants’ knowledge and provide them with the analytical framework and pedagogical tools that they can use to transfer their knowledge and training skills.

“The training successfully increased the level of knowledge about transitional justice and also provoked participants to think about fundamental questions underlying decisions that need to be made by South Sudanese,” said one participant while expressing her gratitude for the training.

Closing the training, UNDP Country Director Kamil Kamaluddeen underscored UNDP’s continued commitment to the Transitional Justice Working Group and other civil society actors engaged in transitional justice and stressed the importance that “civil society representatives in Juba travel to the states to engage with their colleagues and be able to represent civil society at the national level.”

The training also aimed to solicit inputs to the further development of a Transitional Justice Toolkit. UNDP’s Access to Justice and Rule of Law Project, in partnership with the Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG), is currently developing a Transitional Justice Toolkit which is intended to be used as a manual for the Transitional Justice Working Group and other civil society actors to engage in transitional justice. The toolkit will also support the implementation of the Transitional Justice Working Group’s strategic plan, which launched on 12 December 2016. Elements of the Transitional Justice Toolkit include concrete and practical steps for the operationalization of transitional justice components such as truth-telling, memorialisation, compensation, prosecution, outreach and awareness-raising, public consultations, victim and witness protection and reconciliation. The toolkit is developed based on a literature review and consultative meetings with key stakeholders, including civil society organisations, faith-based organisations, government actors, and representatives of the United Nations and development partners.

The Training of Trainers and the development of the Transitional Justice Toolkit are undertaken within the broader Access to Justice and Rule of Law Project, funded by the Department of International Development of the United Kingdom, Government of the Netherlands, Government of Norway, Government of Japan, United States Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), Government of Germany, and UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programmme Support. The project aims to increase access to justice for the citizens of South Sudan with special focus on women; reducing case backlog and prolonged and arbitrary detention; ascertaining customary law; and strengthening the capacity of the Police, Prisons, Ministry of Justice and Judiciary.

Acting Chair of the South Sudan Human Rights Commission receives his certificate of completion from UNDP Country Director on 21 January 2017 in Juba, South Sudan. Photo: UNDP