Sexual violence task force reviews measures to improve enforcement of laws

The National Task Force on Sexual Violence on Wednesday held a session to review the draft protocols under the Sexual Offences Act 2010 and examined the draft action plan for the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act 2010 at Cara Lodge.

According to Government Information Agency (GINA), the protocols and action plan are aimed at educating person on the prevention, reporting and elimination of sexual and domestic violence and to be equipped and speak out in this regard. Mechanisms will also be available to assist victims and offer rehabilitation for perpetrators.

The initiatives saw a collaboration between the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, the United Nation Chil-dren’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), with the aim of protecting persons from sexual and domestic violence and empowering professionals to deal with such issues, GINA stated.

At the event, Minister of Human Services Jennifer Webster lauded the support of UNICEF and UNFPA in the initiative.

Additionally, GINA stated that the Domestic Violence Oversight Committee and the National Task Force on Prevention of Sexual Offences have also been playing a great role in curbing violence.

Minister Webster said that her ministry is faced daily with the perils through which many people suffer, especially women and children.

She said because there is legislation for the protection of these groups, it is necessary for the ministry and organisations to boost their capacity to respond to the challenges faced in society.

“We have also seen the need to think outside the box and constantly develop our human resources, not just at the ministry, but through greater collaboration with NGOs, civil society, faith-based organisations and donor partners to better address the circumstances that lead to these challenges, and to respond to the challenges in a more efficient way,” Webster emphasised.

Notwithstanding, having put robust pieces of legislation in place, Wednesday’s forum was another mechanism for greater collaboration amongst stakeholders towards the implementation of the Sexual Offences Act through the National Action Plan and the Domestic Violence Act become a reality, GINA stated.

GINA added that the National Action Plan embodies a series of initiatives and programmes that will safeguard the human rights of affected survivors, especially women and children as well as to empower professionals to ad-dress issues of violence, to increase the capacity of frontline officials to work in difficult circumstances.

Minister Webster said that the Ministry is open to direct partnership with media entities, organisations or individuals who are willing to join the battle against domestic violence.

UNFPA representative Patrice LaFleur, UNICEF representative Marianne Flach, Minister of Education Priya Manickchand, Permanent Secretary of the Human Services Ministry Lorene Baird, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour (ag) Patrick Findlay, Commissioner of Police (Ag), Seelall Persaud and other stakeholders were present at the event.

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