UNV Darfur human rights
Adil Abdallah (centre), national UN Volunteer with UNAMID in Darfur, discusses human rights and the protection of internally displaced persons, Kassab IDP Camp, Kutum, Sudan. (UNAMID, 2017)

Protection and promotion of human rights in Darfur

The nature of my UN Volunteer assignment requires that I conduct monitoring, verification, capacity building, promotional, and outreach activities. I have to travel to locations in the field against the backdrop of insecurity and logistics challenges. Conducting field missions often requires security clearances along with escorts from UN Protection Forces. This always requires careful negotiation and awareness of my surroundings. Despite these challenges, my commitment and dedication to the work of the UN and advancing human rights in my country remains undeterred.

My name is Adil Abdallah, I’m from Darfur. I have been serving, since November 2014, as a national UN Volunteer Human Rights Officer with the Human Rights Section of the African Union/UN Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID). My responsibilities include collecting information on human rights violations and abuses in Darfur. I report on serious human rights violations, including rape, abductions, arbitrary arrests and killing. As part of my assignment, I also conduct training sessions on issues of human rights to internally displaced persons (IDP) while on field missions to the IDP camps. My role requires that I document what I see and make sure that people are aware of and understand their rights. To do this to the fullest extent possible, I also participate in trial monitoring to observe compliance with fair trial standards. 

I conduct sensitization and promotional activities in the IDP camps, including during the commemoration of International Human Rights Day, which occurs each year on 10 December. I also organise and conduct human rights training sessions for law enforcement officers. To put in place a legacy of human rights, it is important that every person has the right knowledge and applies the best practices in order to contribute to the government’s fulfilment of its national and international obligations to promote, respect and protect their citizens, without discrimination.

I feel that I have made important contribution by advocating for human rights in Darfur, especially for internally displaced persons. For example, the IDP communities which I have visited now are aware of and understand what human right instruments are and the protections available to them from those instruments. They also know who the duty bearers are in regards to their rights. These outcomes make it clear to me that the work of the Human Rights Section of UNAMID  has an impact on the lives of people in Darfur, Sudan.

Through capacity building training on human rights, and the advocacy for the rights of the IDPs,  I am contributing to improving peoples’ lives , helping them to become aware of, and to advocate for, their own rights.

I consider myself very lucky to serve as a national UN Volunteer in my home. I still have a lot I can do to continue contributing to peace in Darfur. This is my dream—to see my people living happily, free from fear and abuse, the way it is meant to be.