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DFID South Sudan Access to Justice Programme

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The five-year Access to Justice Programme (ATJP) on which SDDirect is a key consortium partner, aims at responding to the justice needs of citizens in South Sudan, including immediate post conflict priorities. The programme started in 2015 and will end in 2020.

South Sudan, the world’s newest country, ranks lowest on a number of development indicators.  A country that was founded amongst great optimism and high expectations when it achieved independence in 2011 has, since December 2013, slid into conflict that threatens the safety and security of its 11 million citizens.  The impact of the conflict and the regression of the country’s development on all levels has had a particularly pernicious impact on the most vulnerable groups in society, including women and girls.

Working with both state actors and non-state entities ATJP’s strategy includes providing knowledge and awareness raising; legal representation; citizen empowerment; community mediation; reconciliation; and helping community based justice systems to be more equitable and responsive to local needs.

As the gender and social inclusion advisors on the programme, SDDirect has a key role to play. Having worked throughout South Sudan since 2007, SDDirect’s advisors bring a nuanced understanding of the challenges facing women, girls and marginalised groups. With customary courts tending to favour male complainants and limited access to the statutory justice system, women and girls face particular difficulties accessing justice in South Sudan. SDDirect is committed to achieving the programme’s objective of improving access to justice for 250,000 women and girls in South Sudan by working closely with local partners and finding context-appropriate solutions.

Photo credit: Lydia Stone