Through the Access to Justice, Security and Human Rights programme, UNDP works with national partners to address the drivers of conflict and build resilient communities by strengthening institutions that resolve disputes quickly and fairly, empowering people to claim their rights peacefully, increasing safety and security at community level, establishing transitional justice mechanisms and building a national system to stem further human rights violations.
STORIES OF CHANGE
Making Law Work for Survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Meet 20-year-old Martha* from Wau, a survivor of gender-based violence. Here is her story of strength.
20-year-old survivor Martha*, the third-born, grew up in Wau with her parents and six siblings. She attended and enjoyed school up to eighth grade in primary school. While she dreamed of progressing to university, her father was unable to continue providing for school fees and scholastic needs. With the aim to save money to return to school, Martha started a small business of selling tea and breakfast in the Wau market.
When the son of a local prominent government official approached her family to ask for her hand in marriage, the arrangement was done without her consent. When she found out about legal aid services available in her community, she approached them about defense representation. However, despite the progress of the case to the courts by lawyers, the family’s reluctance to appear for proceedings and continued pressure convinced Martha to drop the case. Martha's case was handled by UNDP's implementing partner, the Civil Society Human Rights Organization (CSHRO). They continue to provide legal aid, psycho-social support, and counseling to survivors like Martha.
*name changed to protect privacy
Strengthening Community-based Referral Pathways
In partnership with UN agencies under the Joint UN gender-based violence programme, referral pathways have been established. Such as, One Stop Centres to provide comprehensive responses to gender-based violence survivors including clinical support, legal aid and psycho-social support.
In addition, with support from UNDP, Special Protection Units have been established in police stations to respond and investigate reports relating to gender-based violence. “If there are cases in one of the stations we don’t always have the ability to get to the survivors and ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice,” says Mama Dodo, Head of a Special Protection Unit within the South Sudan National Police Service.
“Despite challenges, we Concentrate on addressing issues including sexual violence cases by the military, and early and forced marriages. We are focused on putting an end to this," Mama Dodo, Head of a Special Protection Unit within the South Sudan National Police Service