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South Sudan NGO Forum blames constitution for hiring crises in the states

Oct 29, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — Following hiring crises at the state level in different parts of South Sudan, the NGO Forum has held an emergency meeting to clarify why their hiring processes have led to intimidation, violence and eviction of humanitarian agencies in some parts of the country.

Members attending South Sudan NGOs Forum in Juba in 2019(Photo credit: courtesy image/NGO forum)
Members attending South Sudan NGOs Forum in Juba in 2019(Photo credit: courtesy image/NGO forum)

Various humanitarian agencies have had controversies recently in Renk, Bentiu, Maban, Ayod, Bor and Aweil as NGOs are accused of hiring none-residents over the local candidates.

In respond, the NGO forum clarifies that their hiring process meets South Sudan constitution and Ministry of labour requirements which demands that at least 80% of the employees have to be South Sudanese.

“The NGO Forum would like to clear up some misunderstandings that underlie much of the current tension between communities and NGOs. All NGOs operating in South Sudan, including INGOs, abide by all Ministry of Labor requirements. That includes the NGO Recruitment Guidelines, developed by the NGO Forum in consultation with the Ministry of Labor and RRC. These guidelines were rolled out in 2019 through a multi-day workshop with representatives from the state-level Ministry of Labor offices.” The NGOs forum clarifies.

The NGO forum reiterates that “to the greatest extent possible, NGOs show preference to local candidates when it comes to recruitment”; however, the agencies said there is no where in the constitution that requires the recruits to be from local communities

“However, the candidate has to go through the NGO’s HR process and must meet the posted job requirements. In South Sudan, the Labor Law stipulates that at least 80% of the INGO staff members must be South Sudanese.” The NGO forum stated.

“However, the Law does not stipulate that the 80% of hires must be local. They simply must be from South Sudan.” The NGO Forum added.

“All INGOs comply happily with this requirement, with nearly 90%, on average, of employees of INGO staff being national staff, making certain that the process shows no preference to a particular ethnic group according to humanitarian principles.” The NGOs said.

According to the NGOs, their services are offered to communities without any prejudice or discrimination.

“The NGOs are guests in a community and must be treated with the respect that one naturally affords a visitor. If community leaders and government officials cannot provide basic security and safety, the NGOs must, with great regret, suspend operations. It has occurred in several South Sudan localities in 2020.” The NGOs said.

“NGOs respond routinely in South Sudan to humanitarian crises as objective, non-partisan actors. They provide critical goods and services to beneficiaries regardless of religion, ethnic affiliation, or political persuasion so long as the staff and assets of the respective NGOs are safe and secure.” The NGOs added.

The Forum regrets that some grievances arise in the form of threats and ultimatums against NGOs which forced the agencies to shutdown in some parts of the country.

“Those threats actually close off the possibility of dialogue and often lead to the suspension of life-saving activities.” The NGO Forum said.

“The NGO Forum encourages any party with a grievance to channel it through an established mechanism, not as a threat to the staff and assets of NGOs.” They added.

The NGO Forum is organizing a major event starting today October 29, 2020 to share more perspectives on how National NGOs persevere, innovate, save and improve lives in South Sudan.

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