Wednesday, September 29, 2010

“Zero Tolerance for Gender Based-Violence” - Minister Sonko


Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) The Minister of Interior, Honorable Ousman Sonko has declared that there will be zero tolerance for gender-base violence, in particular rape and sexual assault against women and girls, and that perpetrators will have no place to hide.
This statement was delivered by Assistant Superintendent of Police, Yahya Fadera on behalf of the Interior Minister on Wednesday during the two-day training workshop for law enforcement officers on violence against women and children.
The training was organised by The Gambia Police Child Welfare Unit in collaboration with the African Center for Democracy and Human Rights Studies and The Gambia police Gender Action Team (GAT) at the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) Conference Centre in Kanifing.
The training, which was attended by members of The Gambia Police Force, the National Intelligence Agency, The Gambia National Army and the Immigration Department was aimed at sensitising and informing security officer on the gender protocol and as well as gender base violence.
According to ASP Fadera, the government is committed to the fight against all forms of violence and discrimination against women and children. “My Ministry will continue to bolster the capacity of our security forces in particular the Gambia police force, to enable them achieve their noble mandate of protecting lives and maintaining a violence-free society,” he said.
He asserted that as a government, women and children would remain the focus of their attention and hope for a brighter future, adding that creating a child-friendly, women-friendly Gambia is a commitment they have set to achieved.
He admitted that gender-based violence is both immoral, criminal and a serious violation of the rights of women and children. “But merely voicing outrage is not enough. We have to move from words to actions,” he stressed. He said: “As law enforcement officers, you have a primary responsibility to prevent gender-based violence, to ensure that victims are supported, protected and to find the perpetrator and bring him or her before the law.”
He also admitted that The Gambia has signed and ratified all the major international and regional instruments, including CEDAW and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women (Maputo Protocol); the Children’s Act 2005, Tourism Offences Act 2003; and the Trafficking in Persons Act 2007.
He explained that steps are meant to put in place legal frameworks for the protection of women and children from discrimination, abuse, violence and exploitation. “It is your responsibility as the guardian of the law to ensure that these legislations are enforced adequately and to the letter,” he told security personnel. VOL:2 ISSN:17

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