The world’s newest country, South Sudan is working to develop as a nation after its 2011 independence and amid an ongoing civil war. Despite the country’s many challenges, with Pact’s help, the people of South Sudan are building peace, stability and the rule of law.
Pact’s Access to Justice program, which is funded by the U.S. State Department, is promoting the country’s statutory justice system, women’s and girl’s rights, and the peaceful resolution of disputes.
In addition to educating citizens and community leaders about South Sudan’s laws, the program runs 11 legal aid clinics across the country where the poor can obtain free legal assistance, including representation and help mediating disagreements. Besides victims – of child marriage, domestic violence or labor exploitation, for example – the clinics help defendants who are wrongly imprisoned or whose cases have otherwise been mishandled. Pact also trains volunteer paralegals to supplement the efforts of South Sudan’s few lawyers.
In early 2015, Pact opened a legal aid desk inside a protection camp in Juba for civilians displaced by the civil war.
With our signature capacity building model, Pact is also working to strengthen South Sudanese nonprofits that are improving people’s lives. The local organizations we’ve helped include groups that are growing economic opportunities, advocating for the rights of women and the disabled and pushing the government to be more inclusive.
Our history in the region dates to 2002, when Pact carried out a conflict-mapping project that identified water as one of the major causes of conflict. That finding led to a milestone effort called the Water for Recovery and Peace Program that worked with villages, local nonprofits, national aid agencies and international NGOs. As refugees poured into the areas from the north, Pact and its partners helped mitigate conflict and violence by supplying water.