Rule of law institutions are continually confronting a wide range of issues that need a wide range of skills and expertise to solve. Among those are various sensitive crimes that require specific expertise to be resolved.
Crimes such as sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) are among the challenging ones, and rule of law institutions should be well equipped to deal with them.
To promote this objective and improve the criminal-justice chain, EUCAP Field Office Garowe, last month held a two-day workshop to enhance knowledge on prevention and investigation of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence for Puntland State Police. Strengthening inter-institutional cooperation, the workshop was also attended by participants from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Attorney General’s Office (AGO), Ministry of Women Development and Family Affairs (MoWDaFA), and Ministry of Security and Demining, Demobilization and Rehabilitation (MoS & DDR). A total of 25 trainees took part, 12 women, 13 men).
Women participants took the lead in the conversation during group sessions and role-play exercises on identifying gaps in SGBV investigation, prevention, and victim protection.
The Director of the Ministry of Security and Demining, Demobilization and Rehabilitation’s (MoS & DDR) Planning Department, Abdihakim Abdille Gulled expressed gratitude for the SGBV training, saying workshops like this are necessary to build various capacities of the institutions in Puntland.
“Such workshops increase participants’ knowledge on this very important subject and show the different roles government agencies play in combating SGBV,“ said Abdihakim Abdille.
Moreover, the workshop was seen as an important forum to enhance inter-institutional coordination.
“We, who work for the State of Puntland are to help people and stop violence. We must coordinate our efforts. Thank you, EUCAP, for bringing us together today,” said Zamzam, from MoWDAFA.
“It is good to bring various agencies combating SGBV to discuss mutual cooperation. And also we need more training like this one,” added Sahara, a CID police officer.
Lectures on the legal framework on combating SGBV were delivered by EUCAP Legal Reform Adviser and Zakarie Yusuf Musa (Former Head of Law Drafting Department of MoJCRAR, chief law drafter), including definitions of SBVG, gender-based crimes and necessary investigation processes. Guidelines on collecting evidence were provided by an expert from the Puntland Bureau of Forensic Science and guided by Igor Garipov, EUCAP Police Advisor. Other topics included ‘how SGBV affects society’, ‘how to start an investigation and the importance of DNA testing as an investigative tool.
In addition to this workshop, specific posters on SGBV have been created and developed by EUCAP-Somalia Field Office Garowe in close cooperation with Puntland MoS & DDR. These posters were aimed at increasing knowledge of the SGBV survivor’s rights and principles of first response among all society in Puntland. Some of these posters were addressed to the Puntland State Police and will be placed in different police stations in all 9 regions of Puntland. Furthermore, additional posters with “Science fights rape” slogans addressed to the general public to be placed in public places.