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Execution of gender-based violence treaty moving at snail speed

By Gloria Nakajubi

Added 27th May 2016 03:10 PM

In spite of the protocol, the number of SGBV cases seems to be rising judging by the statistics.

 Execution of gender-based violence treaty moving at snail speed

Acting Director ICGLR, Nathan Byamukama, Head EAC and Ring states Julius Kavuma with the Executive Director Akina MAMA wa Afrika, Eunice Musiime during a workshop on strengthening the capacity of civil society. PHOTO: Godiver Asege

In spite of the protocol, the number of SGBV cases seems to be rising judging by the statistics.

Stakeholders have decried the slow progress in the implementation of the Kampala declaration on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), four years since the signing of the protocol on zero tolerance to sexual and gender-based violence,

Signed on December 15, 2011 by 10 heads of state of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the declaration highlights 19 resolutions that the member states committed to in Kampala.

Key among the resolutions was to increase financial support for judicial and security sector reform on human and women's rights, institutions to strengthen or establish national level structure for prevention, protection and support of women and children against SGBV, establish gender desks with sufficient budgets, establish special courts, sessions and procedures to fast track SGBV cases.

Speaking at the on-going training workshop for civil society organisation on the implementation of the protocol, Nathan Byamukama, the director of the regional training facility, highlighted that the different partners signatory to the pact seems to have different priorities at different times.

"It becomes quite challenging to implement some of the treaties because every country has focus areas at a particular time, while others just forget," said Byamukama.

In spite of the protocol, the number of SGBV cases seems to be rising judging by the statistics. 

Defilement cases, for example, increased by 15.8% from 8,076 in 2012 to 9,596 in 2013 whereas rape cases increased by 49% from 530 in 2012 to 1,042 in 2013. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is also a signatory to the treaty, a United Nations report to the UN Security Council revealed that more than 1,100 women are raped per month in the eastern regions alone.

The regional training facility which was opened in 2014 is one of the few milestones achieved so far. It currently undertakes training for police officers and the army on handling SGBV cases.

This according to Eunice Musiime, the executive director of Akina Mama Wa Africa, one of the lead implementers of the pact, has helped in deducing evidence in SGBV cases.

"Previously it would be difficult to sustain a rape case, for example, due to lack of evidence. But through these trainings police officers are equipped with skills of carrying out forensic analyses," she says.

The other challenge as highlighted by the stakeholders was the lack of awareness of the existence of the treaty.

In the room that constituted over 40 participants representing different civil society organisations with a bias on sexual and gender based violence, only a handful were aware of the existence of the declaration.

Musiime also highlighted that the declaration has also seen a review of the revision of the police form 111 document to allow victims of rape and defilement be examined by any qualified medical officer. Previously one had to go to a specified medical officer for their evidence to prevail in the courts of law.

But for effective implementation of the protocol, Lillian Mpabulungi, the National Programme Development Adviser at the SOS children's village advised that civil society organisation need to work as a team but also in collaboration with government.

"Confrontational advocacy is a practice of the past. We need to look at government as an ally or else our efforts will not bare much fruit," she said.

 

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