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Sweden to help Uganda Police fight Gender-Based Violence

Uganda Police Officials at a recent capacity building event Uganda Police Officials at a recent capacity building event

 

The Swedish government has pledged to build the capacity of female Police officers to effectively respond to sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) cases in Uganda. The Swedish envoy to Uganda, Per Lindgarde, revealed that his government would train local security forces on how to address and investigate GBV cases and retool the forensic department of Police to ably handle the cases.“We need to provide the officers with the tools and skills to conduct the necessary interviews in order to investigate GBV-related crimes. A good investigation must be rapid, orderly, critical, comprehensive and objective,’ Lindgarde said.

The envoy also pledged continued support to the justice sector in terms of capacity building.‘This will focus on the entire justice chain in terms of investigation, prosecuting and adjusting GBV cases in a gender responsive, victim-centered and trauma-informed manner,’ he noted. Lindgarde said this would not only enable survivors access justice but also end impunity.

The envoy made the remarks during the launch of the Uganda Police Force caravan to end violence against men, women and girls at Railway Grounds in Kampala yesterday.

The two-week gender-based caravan across the country is part of the 16 days of activism against GBV. During the campaign, data will also be collected on how best t handle these cases.

The first caravan will move through Kampala, Mubende, Hoima, Masindi and Gulu districts. The second will cover areas of Kampala, Mukono, Jinja, Iganga, Tororo and Kamuli.

Clad in white and khaki uniforms, Police officers led by female officers, marched through Kampala city center raising awareness and advocating the end of GBV against women, girls and men.

Lindgarde said human rights and access to justice for women and girls is at the core of Sweden’s investment in Uganda.

He said Sweden recognizes the gains the Police have made in strengthening its gender responsiveness. These, he said include developing the gender policy, strategy and training female officers to better positions.

“We call upon the Police to use the standard operating procedures for management of GBV and cases of violence against children to enhance accountability of officers once they are implemented,” Lindgarde explained.

He said the caravan and border awareness creation on GBV is critical in ensuring that dialogue is held with communities with the aim of genuine engagement and accountability.

‘This activity plays a complementary role to civil society organizations, who are providing women with information on their rights and how to strengthen the linkages for integrated GBV strategies,’ Lindgarde said.

UN Women country representative Maxime Houinato pledged continued support to the Police through capacity building of investigation officers handling GBV-related offences.

“We acknowledge the commendable work of the force in investigation cases despite teu challenges of inadequate resources, both human and financial,” he said.

The Police crime report of 2018 revealed that 17,521 sex-related crimes were registered, out of which 6,454 cases were taken to court. Of these, 920 cases secured convictions, 50 cases were acquitted, 473 cases were dismissed, while 5,011 cases were still pending in court.

The report also showed that 17,682 persons were victims of sex related crimes, out of whom 15,469 were female juveniles, 277 male juveniles, 1,849 female adults and 87 male audits.

Police commitment

The Police director of research, planning and development, Edward Ochom, said the Force is committed to co-operating with civilian agencies protecting life and property, detecting and preventing crime.

“The Police will continue to intensify their efforts in the fight against GBV and violence against women and girls,” Ochom said.

 

Article by Andrew Ssenyonga / published in the New Vision, November 27 2019 

 

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