Promoting Access to Justice and Fostering a Culture of Human Rights in Southern Sudan

Fast Facts:
• Project Document
Location: Aweil, Bentiu, Bor, Juba, Malakal, Torit, Wau, Rumbek and Kuajok
Duration: April 2006 -31 December 2012
Focus area: Democratic Governance
Contributions(USD): UNDP: 400,263
UK (DFID): 2,304,313
CANADA (DFAIT): 640,173
DENMARK: 125,975
EUCOMM: 255,231
CO-FINANCE: 375,263
Partners: Implemented by UNDP, in close cooperation with government counterparts and civil society stakeholders.
Delivery(USD): 2010: 1,566,364
2009: 3,099,153
2008: 3,597,000
2007: 2,691,000
Contact person in UNDP: Hesborn Onyango, Project Manager a.i,
Decades of instability in Southern Sudan devastated the delivery capacity of local law enforcement and justice institutions leaving individuals and communities with extremely limited legal resources. Basic instruments of coordination, accountability and transparency were also shattered.
Over the last five years, UNDP has responded to this reality by working with the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) and civil society organizations to strengthen eroded or absent institutions and provide necessary resources to redress disputes peacefully.


UNDP seeks to create human rights awareness at the community level, advocate for the promotion of equal rights and provide support and capacity building for the Southern Sudan Human Rights Commission.

Snapshots of the project's major achievements

1. Training of community-based organisations in human rights and access to justice
• The Access to Justice Project in collaboration with the Office for the High Commission for Human Rights in Geneva supported 16 community-based organizations to undertake human rights training in Southern Sudan under the Assisting Community Together small grants modality. A training manual on human rights developed by the Access to Justice team was used for this purpose.
• Other training on human rights, access to justice and rule of law was provided to state rule of law institutions, civil society organisations and traditional authorities by the project teams in Southern Sudan.

2. Capacity development for law reform initiatives for civil society organisations
• Institutional support to organisations including the Bar Association and the Women Lawyers Association to develop organizational constitutions to establish and operationalize the organizations. Institutional capacity development support was provided by sponsoring members of the management committee to participate in a training workshop organized in Khartoum.
• Support was provided to stakeholders who are spearheading efforts for the return of the law college at the University of Juba from Khartoum to Juba through the development of a project proposal and mobilization of donor support for financial assistance.
• Small grants were awarded to four organisations to establish Justice and Confidence Centers in Rumbek, Juba, Aweil and Yambio.

3. Support to rule of law forum and coordination mechanisms
• Monthly rule of law forums were undertaken in all ten states of Southern Sudan.
• Quarterly GoSS level rule of law forums were also undertaken in Juba. The forum meetings brought together key stakeholders within the rule of law sector to deliberate on issues related to rule of law, infusing experiences from the states as a means to share experiences within the sector.
• Regular radio programmes aired in a number of states on economic, social and cultural rights, the bill of rights in the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan, women’s rights and children’s rights.

4. Support to the Southern Sudan Human Rights Commission (SSHRC)
• Material support aimed at enhancing the decentralization of the activities of the South Sudan Human Rights Commission. A UNDP liaison office was established at the commission to provide technical support to the commission’s activities.
• The Access to Justice project also procured computers and office furnitures for field offices as part of the support to decentralization of the commission’s activities in the ten states. The items procured are being used by the human rights monitors/officers who have been deployed to the states.
• UNDP supported the development and implementation of a human rights monitoring data base to enhance monitoring and reporting of human rights violations in Southern Sudan.
• Material support was provided to the commission to facilitate celebration of the International Human Rights Day in various locations annually.

5. Support to the development of Traditional Authorities and Customary Courts System
• Support to the dissemination of the Local Government Act at the state level in collaboration with the state ministry of local government.
• Engagement with state governments and traditional authorities on issues including: customary law practice; formalizing the authority of chiefs in promoting and adjudicating community disputes; and the promotion of human rights in judicial and administrative functions.
• Development of a training manual which was provided to traditional authorities at the state level.
• Material support to traditional authorities in Eastern Equatoria State through purchase of office furniture.
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