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Human rights campaign to overcome barriers in Jonglei

A religious leader speaks during the human rights campaign in Bor

By Wek Atak Kacjang

The basic Human Rights and Gender Equality drive in Bor Town of Jonglei State is echoing a call for an end to rights violations that have been happening in the local context.

For the first time in the State, the campaign attracted the State human rights commission, parliamentary affairs, church authorities, community leaders, youth, women, and elders to support the fight for the realization of human rights among the communities. 

The campaign themed #No to violation of human rights was conducted by Christian Agency for Peace and Development, a faith-based national organization to enlighten citizens on their rights.

Manyok Samuel Deng, the Field Coordinator for the organization said the move was crucial as it enlightens locals on basic rights stipulated in the Bill of rights and the country’s constitution.

“This was basically to identify some hindering factors that interfere with people’s rights. It has not been always easy for the people to enjoy their rights; so, we thought of this campaign to make locals aware of their rights and how to overcome the challenges,” he said.

Mr. Deng said they had to also engage the relevant state stakeholders and community leaders to work closely in eliminating barriers to civil rights.

“Rights are clearly entailed in the country’s Bills of rights and other provisions, but how do we make communities understand them, it is through reaching out like this that people will get informed,” he narrated.

According to Mr. Deng, a lack of clear understanding on the rights has been responsible for most of the violations in the communities.

“But they (locals) have got their rights. They are supposed to be respected and to make the matters worse, they have not been respected,” he added.

These include the rights to health, the right to food, the right to life and the right to basic necessities.

Gabriel Deng, a resident of Bor said the cultural norms have continued to intervene with rights provisions provided in the country’s constitution and international declarations.

“These cultures are affecting basic human rights seriously. However, we will need to give these rights a chance so that our people don’t suffer,” he urged.

Deng lamented that the only good positivity of human rights was that it does not tolerate violations.

The drive was steered in form of consultations and meetings where series of sessions were conducted.About 570 locals were reached on the rights sensitization.

“We expect the community to leave while respecting each other’s rights. Children shouldn’t be given corporal punishment or torture. If it is a woman, then let the women not be treated brutally,” Mr. Deng said.

Deng Aruei, the Chairperson of the Jonglei Human Rights Commission said his entity was working tirelessly to promote human rights among the locals.

“We are the right body in the state government that observes all the rights of the people. And we are guided by the Bill rights. So, we need to call upon all to respect these provisions,” he explained

“In case if we find out from the community that certain rights are not being respected, then the court of law must come in to interrogate,”the right official added.

The state official encouraged the faith-based institutional to continue the approach in a bid to ensure promotion of rights among the people.

The campaign was funded by the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA).

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