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Cabinet approves convention against transnational crime


By William Madouk


South Sudan Council of Ministers has endorsed UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime along with its three supplementary protocols.

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ruben Madol had presented an anti-organized crime treaty to the cabinet.

The treaty includes Protocols to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air.

Minister of Information, Michael Makuei told the media that the protocol against Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms is also among those endorsed by the cabinet.

“All these three protocols constitute part and parcel of the presentation, and after thorough discussion and deliberation on this, they were all passed to the next level,” Makuei stated.

The cabinet directed the justice minister to table the international treaty before the national parliament for further scrutiny and endorsement.

In December 2022, the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Siobhán Mullally, urged South Sudan to take urgent measures to prevent human trafficking and ensure protection and support for victims.

Mullally, who spoke at the end of her 10-day visit to the country, said immediate action was needed to combat trafficking in persons for purposes of sexual exploitation, child marriage and recruitment, and forced labour.

The rights expert lamented that the continuing violence in parts of the country contributes to increased abductions and sales of children.

Similarly, the Taskforce for Combating Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Persons raised an alarm over the number of shooting incidents.

The group called for urgent legislative action to avert the increasing number of cases in the country.

The task force co-chair, Sabri Wani Ladu, said earlier that the current situation in South Sudan is making people in rural and mining areas vulnerable to trafficking.

He also revealed that there were cases where children were being recruited by some militias and non-organized forces in the mining areas and others as prostitutes.

A 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report for South Sudan released by the US Department of State recommended, among others, the amendment of the 2008 Penal Code or passing a comprehensive anti-trafficking law to criminalize adult sex trafficking and prescribe penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with other grave crimes, such as rape.

The US State Department also asked South Sudan to accede to the 2000 UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its TIP Protocol.

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