Aug 01, 2014 News Comments Off on National Task Force reviews implementation of Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Acts
The National Task Force on sexual violence on Wednesday held a session to review the draft protocol under the Sexual Offences Act 2010 and examine the draft action plan for the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act 2010.
The protocols and action plan are aimed at educating persons 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 Ministry of Human Services and Social Security has been collaborating with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on the important initiatives, aimed at protecting persons from sexual and domestic violence, and to empower professionals to deal with such issues.
Speaking at the event which was held at Cara Lodge, Quamina Street, Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Jennifer Webster applauded the efforts of UNICEF and UNFPA for supporting the Government of Guyana in its thrust to ensure that it meets the requirements for the legislation.
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 on a daily basis, the ministry is faced with the perils through which many people suffer, especially women and children, and 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,” Minister Webster emphasised.
She highlighted that the Ministry’s efforts through perseverance have borne fruit, as the Government has never reneged on its obligations to the people of Guyana.
Notwithstanding, having put robust pieces of legislation in place, the 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.
This National Action Plan embodies a series of initiatives and programmes that will empower professionals to address issues of violence, to increase the capacity of frontline officials to work in difficult circumstances and more importantly safeguard the human rights of affected survivors, especially women and children.
There will also be sessions targeting officials, victims, perpetrators and members of the public, and in communities, schools, workplaces, religious edifices and media operatives.
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 said that her organisation was pleased to be associated with this activity which seeks to address issues related to violence, and efforts of the Ministry to combat it.
Meanwhile, UNICEF representative, Marianne Flach congratulated Government for implementing such an initiative, while acknowledging the leadership of the Ministry of Human Services to combat domestic violence.
Present at the event were Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, Permanent Secretary of the Human Services Ministry, Lorene Baird, and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour (ag), Patrick Findlay, Commissioner of Police (Ag), Seelall Persaud and other stakeholders. (GINA)
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