You are here

As seen in emergencies, when the humanitarian response scales up, the risk of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) increases. The presence of large-scale humanitarian actors and peacekeepers has exacerbated incidences of sexual exploitation and abuse especially for women and girls. 


With a systemwide approach and to contribute to addressing gaps in support and assistance available to victims of SEA, UNFPA is implementing a project titled “Improving Support for Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse through Provision of timely, quality and survivor-centred services in Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile States of South Sudan. The project uses the existing UNFPA supported Women and Girls Friendly Space (WGFS) in Internal Displaced People (IDP) Site A (Power Station) for service provision such as prevention, mitigation and response activities to Victims who are sexually abused. To ensure comprehensive response services, victims are also referred to the One Stop Center for psychosocial, medical and legal services. 


Ms. Jane Connors, Assistant Secretary-General, Victims’ Rights Advocate, Office of the Secretary-General on 22nd September visited the Women and Girls Friendly Space in Site A at the project location to examine the progress of the systemwide approach to SEA Victims assistance and to assess the implementation of the project. Together with Ms. Jane Connors, the Director of the Administrative Law Division, Aruna Thanabalasingam, Chief Conduct and Discipline Service New York - Matthew Sanidas, UNFPA Officer in Charge, Dr. Kidane Abraha, and Project Focal Point, MS. Catherine Baga.


Dr. Kidane Abraha expressed gratitude to host the ASG to the project site for the official Launch of the Victims Trust Fund. 


‘UNFPA understands the underlying risks for women and girls as relates to sexual exploitation and abuse and is committed to ensure that Victims as a priority get the assistance they need including implementing other preventive and risk mitigation measures” noted Dr Kidane Abraha



In appreciation of the Trust Fund, he welcomed opportunities for scale up of the same project to accommodate more beneficiaries as UNFPA through its existing structures for GBV and SRH was better placed to implement the project. 



 “Women and Girls Friendly Space is a perfect and safe place for women and girls to interact and learn skills to allow then engage in various income generating activities to rebuild their lives and enhance their resilience”. Ms Jane Connors, commends 


She noted that, she was saddened by the massive flooding in Bentiu which she said had increased inequalities particularly for women and girls leading to increased vulnerabilities, reduced resilience and increased risks of sexual exploitation and Abuse.


She urged the project to increase on awareness raising to enhance knowledge on prevention and response to SEA but again emphasizing the importance of providing Victims who are mothers an opportunity to get an education by providing enabling environment for them to participate. She said that this could include a Childcare center for their children as they attend school.


She also stressed the importance of legal counselling allowing victims the option to choose to seek for legal redress as well as working with traditional leaders who deal with traditional issues to do so online with Human Rights Principles.


Ms. Aruna, the Director of the Administrative Law Division said that her office - office of Administrative Law Division manages the Trust Fund in support of SEA and that the launch of the project in the field was timely to allow her office see what practical benefits and impact the project was contributing in the lives of the Victims and all those at risk. 


She commended the progress made so far in terms of assistance and the various activities the women and girls were able to participate in. 


“I am looking forward to expanding support to continue the good work UNFPA is doing and the collaboration that has contributed to the Mid-term results”. Ms. Aruna, the Director of the Administrative Law Division


While Matthew Sanidas, Chief Conduct and Discipline Service NY, said that it was a fantastic opportunity to see how the mission, the Trust Fund and UNFPA was working together to address SEA but particularly ensuring that the Victims get assistance and that what they are getting can put smiles back to their faces. 


The visit also allowed the ASG to interact with the vulnerable women and girls including the victims of SEA who are benefiting from the different prevention, mitigation and response, services such as; Case Management and Psychosocial Support Services (PSS), income Generation Activities/Livelihood to economically empower the vulnerable women and victims,  production of fuel-efficient Stove to minimize consumption of firewood and charcoal, and SEA awareness raising activities to  enhance prevention and risk mitigation.


UNFPA remains steadfast on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in the delivery of aid to vulnerable populations mostly to protect the weak and those in need and uphold the dignity of every human being under their care.