Prosecuting Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes in South Sudan: UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan working session on strategies for evidence collection

GENEVA A panel of experts convened by the UN Human Rights Council mandated Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan will hold a working session with representatives of UN Agencies, the African Union, representatives of the Government of South Sudan and members of civil society to discuss approaches to investigating and documenting conflict-related Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) in South Sudan.

The aim of the working session will be to enhance documentation and evidence collection, contributing towards the establishment of an effective prosecutorial system for future justice mechanisms, including criminal accountability for sexual and gender-based crimes at national and international levels.

Discussions in the working session include:

patterns and trends of conflict-related SGBV in South Sudan;

how the Commission can improve partnerships with other agencies dealing with SGBV in South Sudan;

possible improvements in evidence collection for criminal accountability;

prosecutorial policy and strategy to prosecute conflict-related SGBV; and

what has been done by the Government of South Sudan to date in dealing with SGBV and on justice and reparations for victims.

Media are invited to attend the opening session of this working session, which will include a welcome by Commission Chair Yasmin Sooka and keynote address by AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security Bineta Diop.(The rest of the workshop will be in closed session.)

Members of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan will be available for interview in person at the Radisson Blu or remotely, following the closing of the working session, from 2pm Ethiopian time (GMT+3) on Tuesday, 5 March to discuss the working session. A press release will be issued at the conclusion of the session.

In its third Report to the Human Rights Council, February 20, 2019, the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan found that continuing violence and human rights violations in South Sudan, including rape and sexual violence, may amount to war crimes and that over the past year the magnitude of such crimes has markedly worsened. The report stated that rapes, gang rapes, sexual mutilation, abductions and sexual slavery, as well as killings, had become commonplace because of persistent because impunity.

Further details on the work of the Commission and its reports can be found on the Commission webpage.

Source: UN Human Rights Council

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