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Strengthening law enforcement responses to gender based violence in Myanmar

Yangon (Myanmar), 31 May 2017
- UNODC today launched a new training series tailored for the Myanmar Police Force (MPF) on gender based violence (GBV), which will train officers and police instructors on all aspects of gender awareness and gender based violence, with a focus on case management and victim-oriented investigation techniques. The programme is being implemented by UNODC under the Women and Girls First initiative, which is being managed by UNFPA and of which UNODC an implementing partner.

UNODC has been partnering closely with the MPF to develop an effective response system to GBV by developing police standard operating procedures, training manuals, as well as the review of the police recruitment strategy to promote female participation in the MPF. UNODC will further facilitate training of instructors and frontline officers to prevent and respond to cases of violence against women in Myanmar and its conflict affected regions.

The first training event in Yangon was attended by 36 Myanmar Police Officers, who were actively involved in the learning process. It provided a promising example for future training and reflects the Government of Myanmar's continuing commitment to address violence against women.

In his opening remarks, Brigadier General Mya Win thanked UNODC for organising the session, and highlighted Myanmar's ongoing development process: "In this period of transition towards democracy, we are striving towards equal rights for women, and to respond to crimes against women, it is vital to provide training to the Myanmar Police Force", he said. "Change must start from within, which is why the MPF is trying to achieve greater gender balance by working to ensure that the roles of responsibility are distributed equally between male and female officers."

UNODC Myanmar Country Manager Troels Vester drew attention to the gravity and complexity of violence against women by highlighting the fact that one in every two women murdered is killed by an intimate partner or a family member, and investigation in familial situations such as these can be hindered by family history and emotional distress. Despite such difficulties, Mr. Vester expressed his hope that "the training would allow officers to better investigate gender based violence, while respecting human rights."

The three-day workshop will also allow participants to better understand the psychological needs of victims/survivors of GBV. Daw Khin Zar Naing, Assistant Representative at UNFPA, stressed that in preventing violence against women and children, the MPF's important role is not just to protect the life and property of the people, but to also provide "psychological protection". "Those who have grown up in an environment of violence are often being shaped to also become people who perpetrate violence," she said.

Click here to learn more about the Myanmar Country Programme.