Freedom House Congratulates South Sudan for Signing the Geneva Conventions

Freedom House welcomes South Sudan’s signing of the Geneva Conventions and their additional Protocols. With the addition of South Sudan, the Geneva Conventions now apply to every country in the world, an extremely important milestone for human rights worldwide.

The Geneva Conventions were created in 1949 and comprise the foundations for international humanitarian law by governing conduct during warfare. The Conventions protect civilians, prisoners of war and the wounded, and they apply to all international armed conflicts and provide minimum protections during internal armed conflicts.

“By signing the Geneva Conventions and additional Protocols, South Sudan commits itself to upholding international humanitarian law.  These commitments are fundamental in light of the conflict and abuses that continue to plague South Sudan and the region,” said Lisa Davis, senior advisor for rights and justice initiatives at Freedom House.

South Sudan became independent on July 9, 2011 following a referendum.  In the time since independence, South Sudan has experienced a fragile peace and tensions with Sudan. The stability of South Sudan is threatened by conflicts in border regions, a flood of refugees into South Sudan, and disputes over oil production that have crippled the economy.

South Sudan is ranked Not Free in Freedom in the World 2012 and Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2012.