< < >

2013 | US State Department Report - Human rights Practice in South Sudan

The US State department's annual Human Rights Reports provide a highly structured overview of problems and advancements in the maintenance of international human rights standards in each country under consideration.

The 2013 South Sudan Report notes that three most serious human rights problems were conflict-related abuses by government security forces, rebel militia groups, and rival ethnic communities; security force abuses unrelated to conflict; and lack of access to justice.

The report mentions that, although the 2008 Judiciary Act requires the government to maintain courts, the lack of infrastructure and trained personnel made this impossible. It follows that customary courts are still the principal providers of justice services. Both statutory and customary courts were undermined by political pressure, corruption, discrimination against women, and the lack of a competent investigative police service. Furthermore, legal aid was almost never available, suspects were commonly presumed guilty by law enforcement and court authorities, and defendants did not necessarily have the right of appeal.

On p. 36 and 37 the Report discusses the position of women in South Sudan with the topics rape and domestic violence; sexual harassment; reproductive rights and discrimination. The report shows violence against women has increased by 37% in rural areas and 47% in cities, and sexual harassment laws are rarely enforced.