TWG for steps against gender-based violence

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The Legal Aid Society (LAS) moderated a Technical Working Group (TWG) meeting on “Assessment of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Processes” at Movenpick Hotel, Karachi.

The Technical Working Group has been notified as per the decision of the Multi Sectoral-Coordination Committee (MSCC) under the chairpersonship of the Chief Secretary, Sindh and is working to strengthen the state’s response to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the province.

The MSCC has been formed to implement the roadmap proposed in Sexual Violence Response Framework (SVRF) 2020-2024 to eradicate SGBV in Sindh.

The SVRF was developed by the Women Development Department and adapted by the Law Department, Government of Sindh with the technical support of the Legal Aid Society.

The initiative is being implemented with the collaboration and technical support of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) under the SehatmandKhandaan Project supported by Global Affairs Canada.

The meeting was chaired by AIGP Gender Crime and Human Rights Inquiry Cell, Shahla Qureshi, PSP, and attended by District Public Prosecutor, Criminal Prosecution Department, Anwar Mahar, Deputy Secretary, Law Department Sindh, Abdul Samad Samo, Police Surgeon Health Department, Dr. Summaiya Syed, DSP Human Rights Cell, Sindh Police, Zulfiqar Khan Abbasi, Director Social Welfare Department, Nisar Ahmed Solangi, Program Manager Pathfinder International, Versha Qazi, Superintendent Complaint Cell, Sindh Human Rights Commission, Adnan Ali Khaskheli, Deputy Director Sindh Child Protection Authority, Rahila Naz, and Associate Director LAS, Maliha Zia.

The TWG agreed that there should be systematic and notified incentives for Investigation Officers (IOs) to reward and reinforce their good performances.

The TWG’s suggestion of setting 3-year tenure of the Special Sexual Offences Investigations Units (SSOIUs) has successfully been approved by the Inspector General Police. Such an intervention can enhance the performance of the unit for the purpose of an expedited response to the cases of SGBV.

Some of the major gaps in investigation of SGBV cases were addressed by the Chair, such as the lack of female GBV IOs and ASIs in the Police.

She also mentioned that training of IOs in Karachi, under Deputy Inspector General (DIG) South, on GBV occurs on a weekly basis with dedicated teaching staff and guest speakers.

She suggested that this practice should be adapted across Sindh in order to build the capacity of IOs to address and respond to gaps in investigation of GBV cases.

Dr. Syed took the floor and suggested that the trained Medico-Legal Officers should not be transferred from their work-place, and there should be standardized incentives for them to keep their morale high.

She proposed that Jinnah hospital should be notified by the Health Department as a One-Stop Protection Centre(OSPC) for efficient resource allocation.

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