Opening of Women and Juvenile Facilitation and UNODC Global eLearning Centres in Gujrat and Gujranwala

17 December 2019, Gujrat & Gujranwala - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) opened one-stop Women and Juvenile Facilitation Centre (WJFC) in Gujrat and two eLearning Centres in Gujrat and Gujranwala on 17 December 2019, in collaboration with the Gujrat  Police, with the financial support of the Government of Norway.

The Women and Juvenile Facilitation Centre has been established as part of the Criminal Justice and Legal Reforms Sub-Programme-2 and offers an opportunity to improve women's access to reporting, recording, and investigation of crimes of gender-based violence (GBV), and domestic and sexual abuse. The WJFC will make sure the voices of women - whether as victims, accused or witnesses -  and juveniles who are subject to abuse are heard and understood, for adequate and timely response by the criminal investigation and justice system.

The opening up of WJFC accompanies a unified approach to address social taboos regarding the reporting of domestic violence against women, girls, and children. The launch ceremony of the WJFC brought together a group of influential spokespersons representing academia, women police, and social activists from the community; along with representatives from the Gujrat Police and UNODC. The participants deliberated on the need to improve women's empowerment and access to justice through awareness of their legal rights, to address the deep-rooted issues of gender-based violence.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony Mr. Tariq Abbas Qureshi, Regional Police Officer (RPO) said, 'Violence against women and children is a common reality. However, lack of access to medical and legal services leads to under-reporting of gender-based crimes, leaving vulnerable victims and survivors alone to cope with the trauma'. He welcomed the WJFC as a historic move in the district of Gujrat towards protecting vulnerable victims in need of help.

UNODC has also provided a series of trainings to women police officers in the Gujrat Police Lines, to equip them with the knowledge and skills to discern and cater to the specific needs of victims of gender-based violence. The Centre offers a safe space to women and juvenile victims of violence to avail of comprehensive services that include first aid, psychosocial support, legal consultation, protection, referral, and rehabilitation. Ms Saima Beg, Assistant Sub-Inspector, who works at the Centre as Legal Advisor, emphasized that victims of GBV now have a platform where they can seek refuge and counsel in a stress-free environment.

Ms Jouhaida Hanano, Criminal Justice Advisor UNODC, appreciated the collaborative efforts of the programme team and the Gujrat Police that enabled the conceptualization and establishment of the WJFC as per international standards. She underscored the significance of comprehensive approaches as well towards addressing the social inequality of women and gender-based violence, for which WJFC was a groundbreaking step.

An awareness campaign conceived with a broad-based approach is also being implemented by UNODC to complement the launch of the WJFC. The campaign targets educational institutions, and reaches out to sensitize a cross-section of educationists and women students with the objective of addressing societal norms, social barriers, and restraints that often prevent women and girls from speaking up and reporting crimes of violence. A series of sensitization and awareness sessions conducted by women police officers aims at educating young girls and women on forms of gender-based and domestic violence, to enable awareness and knowledge on how to reclaim their rights and agency. The establishment of WJFC was enabled by the Government of Norway's financial contribution.

The event was accompanied by the formal opening of eLearning Centres in Gujrat and Gujranwala, set up through the provision of state-of-the-art facilities by UNODC.  Mr. Jeremy Milsom, Country Representative UNODC Pakistan, introduced the Global eLearning Programme of UNODC that complements and supports the existing training methods to strengthen the human resource capacity of the country's law enforcement agencies, to deal with the challenges of detection and prevention of crime. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Milsom said that eLearning is at the heart of UNODC's approach and strategy in Pakistan. It allows police officers to be trained in up-to-date techniques such as crime scene investigation, first response, and use of forensic evidence. The courses are user-friendly and allow the police officers to bring their skills at par with international standards of criminal investigation'.

UNODC has so far established 55 e-Learning Centres in Pakistan, in close collaboration with 20 law enforcement agencies. These include 11 eLearning Centres for the Punjab Police, covering major training institutes and important field locations in Punjab.

The launch ceremonies of WJFC and eLearning Centres also paid tribute to the vision and commitment of the late Mr Touseef Malik (1974-2019), who served for nine years at UNODC and dedicated his life to bringing peace, justice, and hope to the vulnerable.

This Centre's establishment was enabled by the Government of Norway's financial contribution.


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