Countering Identity Violence
Find out about some of our prevention and human rights work in
Sudan and South Sudan
Countering prejudice and violence in Sudan
Human rights training, research and advocacy.
We have led workshops with civil society from Port Sudan, Darfur, Kassala, Al-Gadarif, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, as well as Khartoum, exploring issues of identity, prejudice and discrimination. Human rights training is strengthening local capacities to identify, monitor and collect records of hate speech amounting to incitement to violence or genocide.
Research findings identify that prejudice, discrimination and divisions, that are often exacerbated by incitement, have impacted communities and are continuing to fuel violence. Advocacy is contributing to constructive dialogue about measures needed to build social cohesion in Sudan. See our Sudan publications and stories.
Youth Leadership in South Sudan
Human Rights education, attitude and behaviour change.
Hate-based violence is a key precursor to genocide. Due to ongoing ethnic conflict, South Sudan is currently a country of ‘serious concern’ of mass atrocities. Addressing divisions can help to prevent further escalation.
The South Sudan Youth Peace and Development Organisation (SSYPADO) engages youth in inter-ethnic dialogue and peace-building. Rights for Peace is supporting human rights training and youth initiatives challenging hate speech.
Many of the young leaders grew up during the independence wars and still live in displacement camps. Although the risk of wide-scale violence has reduced, deep prejudice and mistrust can escalate over and unresolved grievances. Gender-based violence is also socially tolerated and fueled by prejudice and stereotyping. Youth-led initiatives across South Sudan and Northern Uganda are designed to challenge prejudice and misinformation, promoting dialogue.
Adjumani COVID Response #StaySafeStayUnited
Example of Youth-led initiatives
As a result of years of civil war in South Sudan, 2.2 million South Sudanese people live in refugee camps in bordering countries, including Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda. The Adjumani district in northern Uganda hosts over 200,000 refugees.
Inhabitants of Adjumani refugee camps are faced with COVID-19 whilst having limited access to health facilities and experiencing food shortages. Inter-ethnic divisions and tensions between refugees and the host community have become inflamed as COVID-related hate and blame .
Misinformation on social media have led to wide-spread rumours that COVID-19 does not exist.
To combat misinformation and reduce tensions, Rights for Peace is supporting YANO, run by young refugees to carry out an awareness campaign for 5 camps. Read more about this campaign here.
Genocide is not an isolated event, but an end-product of a progression of stages. A significant early step is often the dissemination of hate speech towards a targeted group. Early intervention facilitates prevention.
In South Sudan, the average age is 19. Engaging young people is crucial. That’s why we have partnered with the Writers’ Writing Fellowship (a youth-led writing circle) to produce a picture book challenging hate speech. The project has delivered workshops on hate speech to youth groups and will continue with further workshops with South Sudanese youth on using storytelling to counter identity-based hate and violence in South Sudan. The competition will showcase stories that confront individual and collective prejudices and promote critical thinking, empathy and the celebration of diversity. Once published and disseminated the winning book will act as both a literacy tool and a model for being an active bystander.
Find out more about this project here.