Human Rights Council 52nd Session: Interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in South Sudan: report of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan - PR UN, WTO and other organisations Geneva

Human Rights Council 52nd Session: Interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in South Sudan | 07-03-2023

National statement delivered by Ernst Schutte, Second Secretary

Thank you Mr. President

The Kingdom of the Netherlands aligns itself with the EU statement.

We thank the Commission for its valuable report, documenting the scale, severity and consistency of grave human rights violations in South Sudan. The Netherlands strongly supports the mandate renewal and will continue doing so until the Government of South Sudan succeeds to implement chapter 5 of the peace agreement, in full.

The Netherlands is gravely shocked by the scale and nature of sexual violence in South Sudan, and especially by the significant increase over the last 12 months. We hear endless stories of sexual slavery and torture, gang and mass-rape, and the sexual mutilation of children.

Sexual violence can never be a weapon of war. It’s use inflicts maximum destruction of the social fabric, and leaves permanent scars on the lives of survivors. Survivors encounter enormous gaps in services. We urge the government to take leadership of this crisis. The provision of holistic response services, like protection, survivor centered justice, MHPSS and sexual reproductive health services, is urgently needed, as well as emergency measures to stop this violence.

We ask the Commission: which of South Sudan’s previous commitments should they prioritize to meaningfully address sexual violence in conflict?