26 November 2013: Joint Media Release - Launch of The Gender and Children’s Desk and 3 Year Action Plan Demonstrate Police Commitment to Strengthen Its Response to Gender Based Violence and Violence Against Children
Dar es Salaam, 26 November 2013 - The Minister of Home Affairs, Dr. Emmanuel Nchimbi, officially launched the Tanzania Police’s Action Plan for Police Gender and Children’s Desks 2013-2016 and the Chang’ombe Gender and Children’s Desk in Temeke, today - day two of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.
The launch of the Action Plan and the Desk demonstrate the Tanzania Police Force’s commitment to ensuring an effective response to all cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and violence against children.
The prevalence of Gender Based Violence in Tanzania is high. In the 2010 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey approximately 45 per cent of 15-49 year old females reported having experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. The Violence Against Children Survey, launched by the Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children in 2011, highlighted the specific vulnerability of children to physical and sexual violence in Tanzania – nearly 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys experience sexual violence and over 70 per cent of both girls and boys experience physical violence before the age of 18 years. However, most survivors never tell anyone about their experience and relatively few cases are reported to the Police.
“The Tanzania Police Force is committed to improving its response to survivors of GBV and victims of child abuse. To encourage survivors and victims to Speak Out, every police station needs to be a place where they feel safe, comfortable and supported,” said the Inspector General of Police, Mr Said Mwema.
At the heart of the Police’s response are the Gender and Children’s Desks – specialist units in each police station, staffed by trained officers, offering safe spaces in which children and adults can feel confident reporting cases of violence and abuse.
The Police’s vision is to ensure every police station in Tanzania can effectively, efficiently and appropriately handle cases of GBV and child abuse and help survivors and victims to secure justice.
The United Nations in Tanzania, notably UNICEF, as Secretariat of the Police Partner Coordination Group on Gender Based Violence and Child Abuse, together with UNFPA and UN Women, is supporting the Police to realize this vision.
“Gender Based Violence and violence against children are violations of human rights. We all have a responsibility to take steps to eliminate them. The UN commends the Police for its commitment to ensure that there are fully equipped Desks in every police station across the country. The UN is a proud supporter of the Police in realizing this vision,” said the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Tanzania Mr. Alberic Kacou.
The Action Plan on Gender and Children’s Desks 2013-2016 is designed to guide the efforts of the Tanzania Police Force to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of their response to cases of Gender Based Violence and violence against children. It sets out clear targets that the Police want to achieve in the next three years and provides a baseline against which progress can be monitored.
The Police cannot achieve their vision alone. The Police Partner Coordination Group on Gender Based Violence and Child Abuse, chaired by the Police and comprised of development partners, NGO partners and relevant Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, are committed to supporting the Police to implement the Action Plan and continuing the fight to eliminate Gender Based Violence and all forms of violence against children.
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