Lobby group lauds formation of Human Rights Council

Lobby group lauds formation of Human Rights Council

The Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) is calling for the inclusivity of the newly established human rights council.

President Salva Kiir issued a decree forming the Human Rights Council on Saturday. It is tasked with advocating and promoting human rights across South Sudan.

The council comprises members from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry of Defense and Veteran Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, and Child Protection Unit.

According to the decree, the council will be chaired by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and will be strengthening public outreach advocacy and promotion of human rights within the country.

Furthermore, it added that the council shall be answerable to the president and all its activities and progress reports shall be submitted to the office of the president.

In a press release extended to The City Review on Sunday, CEPO Executive Director, Edmund Yakani, called for inclusivity and an explicit mandate of the council.

 “The newly established Human Rights Council structure should be inclusive of the other actors such as civil society, media, women, youth, the private sector, persons with disability, and faith-based leaders,” said Mr. Yakani.

He added, “It is essential that this council have a clear mandate that will not undermine the functions of the other established human rights entities in the constitution and Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.”

CEPO boss further urged that the formation of the council should not violate the mandates of the Human Rights Commission (HRC) stipulated in the 2018 peace deal, and the country’s supreme law. 

“The formation of the council is a progressive step in championing the agenda of human rights in the country, but this should not undermine the reconstitution of the Human Rights Commission as per the article 1.19/1/8 and Chapter 5 of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan together with Chapter 4 of the Revitalized Transitional Constitution (article 145-146).”