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Minister calls on Ugandans to combat sexual violence

By Francis Emorut

Added 26th September 2016 09:37 AM

The call was made by the minister of labour, gender and social development, Janat Mukwaya who said since Uganda is experiencing peace cases of gender based sexual violence (SGBV) shouldn't be on the rise.

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PIC:The state minister of the gender ministry Peace Mutuuzo (left) , the British Higher commissioner Alison Blackburne ( second left) UPDF oficer Brig. Muhanga Kayanja and ICGLR/RTI acting director Nathan Byamukama addressing participants during the sexual gender based violence training in Kampala. Photo by Francis Emorut

Ugandans have been urged to combat sexual violence and treat victims/survivors of the vice with dignity.
 
The call was made by the minister of labour, gender and social development, Janat Mukwaya who said since Uganda is experiencing peace cases of gender based sexual violence (SGBV) shouldn't be on the rise.
 
"We need to combat and reduce SGBV cases in peace times since Uganda is largely living in conflict free times," Mukwaya said.
In her speech read by the state minister of the gender ministry, Peace Mutuuzo the minister however, noted that there are rampant cases of SGBV in northern Uganda after the two decade insurgency caused by the Lord Resistance Army (LRA) under the command of Joseph Kony.
 
 "High figures of Gender based violence are prevalent in the north although the entire country is faced with this challenge," she said.
 
She pointed out that her ministry is developing information technology (IT) system to manage data and also register all the players concerned with GBV cases.The minister made the remarks during the training of military and police officers, government officials, journalists, judiciary, civil society and medical officers on SGBV at Afriques Suite Hotel in Kampala.
 
The training was organized by International Conference for Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in conjunction with Regional Training Facility (RTI) and sponsored by the British High Commission.The British High Commissioner, Alison Blackburne reiterated her country's commitment to zero tolerance to gender based sexual violence and called upon Ugandans to combat the vice.
 
The participants were taken through topics such as how to handle evidence, victims/Survivors, witnesses and offenders of SGBV.Other topics covered include International Protocol on documentation and investigation of sexual violence aspects and how it can be binding for the case of Uganda and the need of adoption of ICGLR 10 protocols for enforcement under the domestic laws.
 
The acting director of ICGLR/RTI, Nathan Byamukama observed that more concerted efforts are required to sensitize the public on sexual violence since there is mixed perception about development and cultural norms."There is need to get the media involved in critical reporting of SGBV," Byamukama stated.
 
 He emphasized the importance of up scaling such trainings up to a regional level where similar stakeholders from the region can interface and chat out the strategies against sexual gender based violence both in conflict and peace times.
 
He said RTF is in the process of developing curriculum/guidelines for the judiciary, police, military, medical and social workers and all those who handle sexual violence cases such as media and prisons.
 
He noted that guidelines shall be availed for all the 12 member countries of ICGLR.
Byamukama emphasized the need to equip the police, military, judiciary, CSOs and the journalists with principles and tools necessary for improved handling sexual violence cases.
 
Participants made recommendations on how best to handle SGBV situation in the country among them are introduction of special courts for SGBV offender s and special rooms in the medical facilities, police and the army for the survivors, there should be a link between rehabilitation and punishment of sexual gender based violence in detention facilities prison services.
 
Others are the principal of ''do-no-harm'' is critical for the protection of the survivors, the prosecution team need specialized training in handling SGBV cases and also understand the technical language often used by the medical officers whenever they are making documentation and f evidence in court

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