21st June 2024
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Nunu urges MPs to report sexual violence in NGOs

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Thursday, May 30, 2024

National Legislative Assembly Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba. (-)

National Legislative Assembly Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba has encouraged lawmakers to report sexual exploitations and abuse allegations against young girls in National and International NGOs to relevant authorities.

On Wednesday, SPLM-nominated lawmaker Hon. Zachariah Matur from Rumbek Center, raised concerns about sexual exploitation of young South Sudanese, particularly women, seeking jobs with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operating in the country.

Matur disclosed that he had received numerous reports detailing instances of sexual abuse involving women who had applied for positions within national and international NGOs.

He highlighted the distressing trend where women were often pressured into meeting potential employers in hotels under the excuse of discussing employment terms, which unfortunately sometimes escalated into cases of sexual abuse.

“Madam Speaker, I have learned and I met some young people who are working with NGOs and being subjected to sexual abuse,” Matur told the lawmakers.

The MP recounted an incident in which a young woman was offered a job contract contingent upon a hotel meeting with a manager.

“One story says that a young lady was given a contract and was asked to meet with the manager at a hotel, and the lady refused.”

“Why should you take this meeting to hotel? And the manager says if you don’t do that, the contract will cease to exist between us. This is one of the stories with one of NGOs working in the country.”

Hon. Matur appealed to the parliament and relevant authorities to take decisive action to address these egregious practices.

“Madam Speaker, I want to draw the attention of the House, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, the Ministry of Labor, and the Committee of Humanitarian Affairs in Parliament, especially on the issue of our young people who are employed with international and national NGOs in the country.”

“The other story is that if you have been given a contract, the employer will request two months’ payment so that you are given to 12 months’ contract and then two months will be deducted actually by the manager so that your contracts is given to you.”

Matur emphasized the urgency of implementing legislation to safeguard the rights of workers, particularly women, and protect them from exploitation in the workplace.

In response to the concern, Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba, urged lawmakers to report incidents of sexual exploitation to the appropriate authorities for swift intervention.

She emphasized the importance of engaging relevant ministries and committees to address reported cases comprehensively and ensure accountability for perpetrators.

“I think the Minister of Labor is here and he is hearing that. So, when such incidents happen, they need to be reported to the relevant authority,” Nunu said.

“If reported to the Committee of Labor, they will engage with the relevant ministry to follow those issues cases by cases and then take it to higher level.”

“Those who come out to report such cases, should report to the relevant authorities and then it is followed and the culprits are actually challenged and made accountable.”

This is not the first time a member of parliament raises concerns regarding the sexual abuses and exploitation at the work places in private sector.


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