Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sudan Civil War: Violation of the Right to Adequate Living Standards

            Just three years ago, South Sudan celebrated their independence and the birth of their new country. Currently, however, it is suffering from a civil war killing thousands of its civilians and displacing at least 1.5 million others. As stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this poses the violation of human rights that the war is causing: right to an adequate living standard.
Refugee Camp in Sudan 
The displacement of these individuals is landing them in refugee camps, the only place they feel at least somewhat protected from the violence happening in their nation. However, these camps contain horrid conditions, obvious violations of the refugee’s rights. The residents live in up to two feet of filth, a mixture of mud water and sewage, sleeping in plastic tents on crumbling cinderblocks. Not to mention, the camp suffers from mosquito infestation and a plague of infectious diseases. Adam, a South Sudan refugee was interviewed by Aimee Ansari, the South Sudan Country Director of CARE International, stating that the reasons the refugee’s summit to living in these terrible conditions is that simply “there is no other choice.” This causes me to make connections back to the Holocaust and The Orphan Master’s Son, where people were thrown into camps with these terrible conditions. However, it seems totally different as well, as people are willingly volunteering to live their lives like this. I find it incredibly heart-breaking that in order to feel safe in their homeland, people go about these measures, risking their health and humanity in order to survive. It is a total violation of human rights.

Not only does their fear of violence from fighting force them to live with these atrocious standards, but civilians in South Sudan also fear both rebel and government soldier’s assaults, another human right violation according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: freedom from degrading treatment. Outside the so called “safe” camps, both rebels, under the control of Vice President Riek Machar, and government soldiers, under control of President Salva Kiir, “roam freely, abducting children into their forces and terrorizing the unfortunate civilians they encounter.” There really is nowhere safe for these civilians to reside, which is attributed to the fact that since this is a civil war, both sides know the grounds of South Sudan like the back of their hands. The young country’s inability to reside its problems is forcing its people to live in inhuman conditions, stripping them of their right to adequate living and degrading them.

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