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South Sudan

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. 

Stories and Highlights

‘I have seen the light’: With Pact’s help, a Ugandan fighter puts down his weapons

November 8, 2016
Now a member of the Kaabong Peace Ambassadors, a Pact support group for reformed warriors, Peter Acia is remaking a life of peace and productivity.
Access to Justice community meeting

Helping vulnerable people exercise their voice, access their rights

December 10, 2015
"Our Rights. Our Freedoms. Always." That’s the theme for this year’s Human Rights Day. At Pact, we believe all individuals are entitled to fair treatment under the law and protection from harm. That’...

Justice for all: Access to justice in South Sudan

October 29, 2015
As the world’s newest country, access to justice is a critical part of building peace, stability and the rule of law and providing vital assistance to South Sudan’s most vulnerable groups.

For one mother in South Sudan, a women’s coffee group was a lifesaver

October 14, 2015
When Queen Akongo was imprisoned for defending herself against a male attacker, a Pact legal aid clinic and friends she made through a Pact women’s coffee group came to her aid.

In South Sudan, building peace by strengthening local organizations

June 19, 2015
By growing the capacity of local organizations that are working for peace and stability, Pact is making a lasting difference in the world’s newest country.
Riek James Doar

Pact project manager named 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow

June 1, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C., USA | March 18, 2015 – Pact is pleased to announce the appointment of two new executive officers. Christian Loucq joins Pact as chief strategy and global engagement officer, and...

For South Sudanese displaced by war, a peacemaker always ready to help

May 28, 2015
In one of the most challenging corners of the world, Pact staffer Gatwech Chotlith does what’s needed to help residents of a civilian protection camp.

Hope in a forgotten crisis

August 19, 2014
Three years ago, millions of people in southern Sudan celebrated as their resounding vote for full independence from Sudan became reality. Since December 2013, South Sudan has been seized by conflict...

A first look at access to justice in South Sudan

October 29, 2013
For the first time, Pact and the South Sudan Law Society were able to provide a clear, in-depth picture of access to justice in South Sudan.

South Sudan's independence: two years later

July 9, 2013
Today, South Sudanese around the world celebrate another day of their independence after decades of war and struggle.