CENTRALITY OF PROTECTION IN SOUTH SUDAN
BACKGROUND & RATIONALE
South Sudan remains a protection crisis with civilians subject to widespread and grave violations of their rights and limited access to life-saving services. The primary responsibility to protect civilians within South Sudanese territory lies with the Government of the Republic of South Sudan. In line with the IASC statement on the Centrality of Protection in Humanitarian Action (2013), all humanitarian action must be aimed at enhancing the protection of affected and at-risk populations and ensuring that humanitarian operations do no harm. Protection is a central, shared responsibility of the senior leadership of the humanitarian response, and a priority area for which all members of the HCT are mutually accountable, as outlined in the 2018 HCT compact. The Centrality of Protection recognizes the complementarity of different mandates of humanitarian agencies and actors in working toward improving protection for affected populations.
The HCT Protection Strategy provides the strategic guidance necessary for addressing South Sudan’s humanitarian protection concerns through a coordinated and coherent, multi-sectoral approach to response and advocacy. The strategy incorporates inputs from members of the HCT. Members of all sectors are responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the HCT Protection Strategy, and the Protection Cluster, with the GBV, Child Protection and Mine Action Sub-Clusters, has the responsibility to provide technical guidance for its operational implementation.
The strategy covers the period of one year with the aim to reflect the fluid and uncertain nature of the situation for early 2020. The potential exists for highly disparate impacts on the protection situation depending upon political and conflict developments early in 2020. The one-year duration of the strategy will permit an early stocktaking of the situation following these developments and adjustment of the strategic priority areas of focus for 2020/2021 and beyond as needed. As such, the strategy will be a working document to address existing protracted as well as emerging and pressing protection concerns, requiring a multi- sectoral response or high-level intervention by the HCT. A concise implementation plan that details critical priorities, geographic areas, and responsibilities as well as linkages and complementarities with other actors and initiatives can be found at Annex I.