UNAMID launches network for survivors of sexual violence in the greater Jebel Mara area of Darfur

On 10 December, the Women Protection Advisory Unit of the Human Rights Section (HRS) launched a Network for Survivors of Sexual Violence in the Greater Jebel Mara area of Darfur. The launch, held at Jebel Mara Gardens in Zalingei town, was part of events organized by HRS to commemorate the International Human Rights Day and to conclude this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, marked annually between 25 November and 10 December. The event attended by the Wali (Governor) of Central Darfur State, local community members, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), other Government officials and UNAMID staff included cultural dances, songs, and drama performances.

Thirty-six survivors from three IDPs Camps were representative of survivors who have been enrolled into the Network for Survivors from IDPs Camps and local communities in Greater Jebel Mara. UNAMID Human Rights Section created the Network for Survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV) as part of UNAMID’s legacy. In the past three months, the Women Protection Advisory Unit gathered relevant information through questionnaires and distributed dignity kits to survivors of sexual violence as part of the enrollment into the Survivors’ Network, which provides survivors a platform for engagement with remedial and response mechanisms to mitigate the impact of sexual violence. Upon UNAMID’s exit from Darfur, the Network will be handed over to UNITAMS and UNFPA for psycho-social and other support to members.

At the launch event, Ms. Ruth Kibiti, UNAMID’s Senior Women Protection Advisor, stated that “one of the key challenges that we have been working on in Darfur and Sudan as a whole is the need to respect human rights for women and to stop violation of Human rights and child rights,” intimating that “there are a lot of women have suffered and their rights have been violated, hence the urgent need for the Network for Survivors of Sexual Violence.”

Ms. Sheila Beedwantee Keetharuth, UNAMID’s Deputy Chief of Human Rights Section, delivered messages for the Day from the UN Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Michelle Bachelet.