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Cabinet approves guidelines for establishing, managing Safe-homes

By Philip Buda Ladu


The council of ministers has passed a memo containing guidelines for the establishment and management of a “safe home” for gender-based violence (GBV) survivors.

A safe Home is where Gender Based Violence survivors find safe heaven, free from traumatization and stigmatization.

Minister of Gender Child, Social, and Welfare, Ayaa Benjamin Warille had presented Memo during a regular cabinet meeting no. 10/2024 chaired by President Salva Kiir Mayardit, on Friday.

Deputy national minister of information, Jacob Maiju Korok, briefing the media, said the memo provides a detailed guidelines on the Safe Home.

He explained that the objectives of these guidelines are to ensure that survivors of GBV receive a holistic, effective, and comprehensive response service of support, prevention, and protection.

“This memo also aims to set minimum rules, standards, and procedures that should be followed by both the public and private sectors intending to establish and manage safe homes for GBV survivors in South Sudan,” Korok told reporters on Friday.

He described the proposed policy framework as very important, especially for South Sudanese people.

“We have actually bad practices in different communities; take, for instance, the Nilotic, Dinka, Murle, Nuer, and Toposa; they are practicing forced marriages,” he highlighted.

Mr. Maiju emphasized that they should not entertain this kind of practice of forcing their kids to marry at a very tender age.

“You find that a small child is engaged to an old man, and when she refuses, the family will force her to marry, which is really against international law,” he echoed.

Minister Maiju noted that the memo was passed by the cabinet after deliberation and minister of gender, Ayaa Benjamin was directed to present it to the Transitional National legislative Assembly (TNLA) for approval and enactment into law.

In 2020, the national Ministry of Gender, Child, and Social Welfare proposed the establishment of three GBV safe-homes in Juba, Wau, and Malakal.

Meanwhile, in February 2023, the Western Equatoria State Government and partners launched the construction of a safe house for survivors of gender-based violence across the state.

The project was implemented by the Human Rights Civil Society Organization (HMCSO) and supported by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

In October last year, UNMISS gave survivors of GBV, especially girls and women, a safe haven at the newly constructed ‘Safe House’ for the GBV survivors, opened in Western Bahr El Ghazal State Wau.

The objectives of these safe houses include: first, creating and establishing a safe environment for protecting and mitigating gender-based violence; and protecting survivors.

Secondly, to strengthen and provide partners with a protection and monitoring system, and to strengthen the capacity of the ministry of gender through capacity building for social workers and the protection unit that is within the ministry.

It also compliments the effort of protection for partners that are serving within the state to make sure women and children are safe.

According to a study done by a Juba Think Tank, substantial proportions of women aged 15–64 in South Sudan experience gender-based violence, either physical or sexual violence, in their lifetime.




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