UN Volunteers from different parts of the world are deepening the culture of human rights within societies. Through their efforts, they help countries with peacebuilding processes and ensure that no one is left behind. As advocates for change, volunteers like Wipanee Chamnanphaison believe that the promotion and protection of human rights is fundamental for building peaceful societies.
My name is Wipanee Chamnanphaison, and I am a UN Volunteer from Thailand. Since February 2022, I have been serving as a Human Rights Officer with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). I am based in the Human Rights Division as part of the Capacity-building and International Mechanism unit.
This is my first UN mission and UNV assignment. It has therefore been an honour to have an opportunity to serve the South Sudanese with the knowledge and experience I have in the area of human rights. Serving at UNMISS allowed me to highlight the importance of human rights among people and support South Sudanese stakeholders to restore justice and prevent human rights violations in the country. --Wipanee Chamnanphaison, UN Volunteer Human Rights Officer with UNMISS, South Sudan
My main tasks and responsibilities include monitoring daily human rights situations and political developments in South Sudan; following up on the international human rights mechanism and engaging with government officials.
I draft weekly, monthly and quarterly reports related to the human rights situation and capacity building activities. In addition to these tasks, I deliver capacity building activities on international human rights, humanitarian law and the administration of justice for national counterparts.
Wipanee is committed and always passionate to continue learning and growing. She seeks to experience new things, learn from other people and then use those learnings to contribute to her work. She is also open minded and prepared for any challenges she may encounter. She is able to work with little supervision and always ready to go the extra mile to assist other colleagues to complete their tasks and accomplish the team’s goals. --Lydiene Nkongho, Human Rights Officer with UNMISS and Wipanee's supervisor
Prior to my current UNV assignment, I had only worked in the Southeast Asian context. Serving with UNMISS has therefore helped me step out of my comfort zone and serve in fragile communities.
Working as a Human Rights Officer in a peacekeeping mission has always been my dream, and UNV has given me the opportunity to live this dream and fulfil my passion.
The highlight of my experience at UNMISS is undoubtedly the opportunity to connect with people and promote human rights in South Sudan. I will carry these experiences with me throughout my life to make a greater contribution to the core of peace building.
My proudest achievement has been conducting workshops and trainings focused on frameworks that promote human rights and humanitarian principles for South Sudanese counterparts, such as the National Security Forces, law enforcement personnel, civil servants, as well as civil society and other non-state actors.
These workshops and trainings have given me the chance to engage with national stakeholders, and to work towards building durable peace, emphasizing the importance of the protection and promotion of human rights in South Sudan.
Volunteering has always been a constant source of strength in my life. As a Human Rights Officer, I am not only given the opportunity to engage with government representatives, local communities, to advocate the protection of human rights, but to also help the most vulnerable groups in South Sudan. In other words, volunteerism to me is an opportunity to change people's lives, including my own, by helping the helpless. It is also a way of giving back to the community while developing your own skills. I think when it comes to volunteering, it is your passion, compassion, open mind and positive attitude that will keep you going. --Wipanee Chamnanphaison