The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in South Sudan

By Vexen Crabtree 2019


#equality #freedom #human_rights #politics #south_sudan #tolerance

South Sudan
Republic of South Sudan

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
Land Area
Population10.7m (2011)1
Life Expectancy56.13yrs (2017)2
GNI$1 882 (2017)3
ISO3166-1 Codes, , 4
Internet Domain5

South Sudan is amongst the worst places in the world at ensuring human rights and freedom, and it has severe cultural issues when it comes to tolerance and equality. S. Sudan does worse than average in commentary from Human Rights Watch8, supporting press freedom9 and in LGBT equality10. And finally, it falls into the bottom 20 in eliminating modern slavery11 and in fighting corruption12. Since 2013 South Sudan´s civil war has seen atrocities and war crimes committed consistently by both sides, in some cases possibly constituting crimes against humanity13.

1. Politics and Freedom

#burundi #corruption #eritrea #france #human_rights #indonesia #mass_media #politics #slavery #South_Sudan

In 2017, South Sudan´s civil war entered its fourth year. [...] featuring highly abusive government counterinsurgency operations. The government continued to restrict media, suppress critics, and unlawfully detain people for perceived opposition.

Since the start of the conflict, almost 2 million people have been internally displaced, and another 2 million have sought refuge in neighboring countries, with 1 million in Uganda alone. More than 230,000 people are sheltering in six United Nations bases in towns across the country. [...]

Both sides have committed abuses that qualify as war crimes, including looting, indiscriminate attacks on civilians and the destruction of civilian property, arbitrary arrests and detention, beatings and torture, enforced disappearances, rape including gang rape, and extrajudicial executions. Some abuses may also constitute crimes against humanity.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)13

Corruption (2012-2016)12
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score12
2New Zealand90.6
172S. Sudan13.8
175N. Korea08.8
World Avg43.05
Human Rights Watch Comments (2017)8
Pos.Higher is better
82S. Sudan-5
World Avg-1.9
Press Freedom (2013)9
Pos.Lower is better9
123S. Sudan3620
World Avg3249

Authorities harassed, detained, and interrogated journalists and editors. [...] South Sudanese authorities restricted international journalists from covering the conflict, including by refusing to grant them visas or accreditation, and accusing them of publishing articles critical of the government. The government blocked numerous independent online news sites.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)13

Slavery (2018)11
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims11
161S. Sudan2.05
164Central African Rep.2.23
World Avg0.65

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory14. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends15. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life16. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves17.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery18. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity19. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.20. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi11, Eritrea11, Indonesia21) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery22.

2. LGBT Equality and Tolerance

#equality #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #sexuality #South_Sudan #tolerance

LGBT Equality (2017)10
Pos.Higher is better
135Trinidad & Tobago-10
136S. Sudan-10
137Papua New Guinea-10
138Sri Lanka-10
139Antigua & Barbuda-10
140St Vincent & Grenadines-10
World Avg12.6

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence23. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws24. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries23. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

3. South Sudan Overall National and Social Development

#human_development #South_Sudan

Social & Moral
Development Index
Pos.Higher is better
170Sierra Leone41.4
173S. Sudan41.0
176Ivory Coast40.3
World Avg53.8

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life.

Current edition: 2019 Jan 01
Parent page: South Sudan (Republic of South Sudan)

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#burundi #corruption #equality #eritrea #france #freedom #homosexuality #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #intolerance #mass_media #politics #sexuality #slavery #South_Sudan #tolerance

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References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

Casely-Hayford, Gus
(2012) The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. Published by Bantram Press. A hardback book.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2019) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2019). Accessed 2019 Jan 13.

Donnelly, Jack
(2013) Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice. 3rd edition. Published by Cornell University Press.

Human Rights Watch
(2018) World Report 2018. Covering the events of 2017.

Klein, Naomi
(2004) No Logo. Originally published 2000, HarperCollins, London, UK. A paperback book.

McCall, Andrew
(1979) The Medieval Underworld. 2004 edition. Published by Sutton Publishing. A paperback book.

Thomson, Oliver
(1993) A History of Sin. Published by Canongate Press. A hardback book.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Available on UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. Data for 2015. Available on

Walk Free Foundation
(2018) Global Slavery Index. Published on


  1. UN (2011) .^
  2. UN (2017). Table 1.^
  3. UN (2017). Gross National Income, per person. Table 1.^
  4. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  5. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on^
  6. According to ISO4217.^
  7. According to ITU-T.^
  8. Human Rights Watch (2018). Negative and positive comments have been added to create a score for each country covered in the report.^^
  9. Reporters Without Borders Report "2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring" at accessed 2013 Feb.^^
  10. Sources:^^
  11. Walk Free Foundation (2018) .^^
  12. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (2017). Accessed 2017 Dec 30. The scores given are the TI average for the years 2012-2016.^^
  13. Human Rights Watch (2018). p501-506.^^
  14. Thomson (1993). p28.^
  15. McCall (1979). p180.^
  16. Thomson (1993). p166.^
  17. Casely-Hayford (2012). p253.^
  18. Thomson (1993). p31.^
  19. Thomson (1993). p199.^
  20. Thomson (1993). p28-29.^
  21. Klein (2004) .^
  22. Walk Free Foundation (2018). p2.^
  23. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p278.^
  24. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p289. According to a 1992 ruling of the Human Rights Committee, which declared that 'it is undisputed that adult consensual sexual activity in private is covered by the concept of privacy' when discussing Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. See Human Rights Committee, Communication 488/1992, paragraph 8.2.^
  25. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^

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