Continental anti-GBV conference opens Monday

The fourth Kigali International Conference Declaration (KICD) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the role of security organs' in ending violence against women and girls is set to start today in Kigali.

The fourth Kigali International Conference Declaration (KICD) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the role of security organs’ in ending violence against women and girls is set to start today in Kigali.

The two-day meeting will bring together participants 40 African countries to deliberate on how to strengthen cooperation in dealing with the existing challenges against the vice.

Delegates will include chiefs of security organs, representatives from military and correctional services and experts from major organizations.

The meeting will be held under the theme “Turn Back Crime Against Women and Girls; the Synergy of Security Organs,” derived from Interpol’s global campaign aimed at raising awareness of the dangers and impact of organized crime. 

It is organised in the framework of the UN Secretary General’s Global Campaign to end violence against women and girls which was launched in 2008 and adopted by African Heads of State in 2010.

The 2010 Kigali AGM concluded with the proclamation and signing of the 14 point declaration with the second AGM held in Bujumbura, Burundi in 2012 establishing a permanent secretariat in Kigali to coordinate, implement and monitor the implementation of the declarations.

According to Senior Supt. Linda Nkuranga, Deputy Commissioner for Cooperation and Protocol department in the Rwanda National Police, a lot has been achieved in addressing challenges women and girls face in the last four years of joint efforts by security organs.

Others include a Command Post Exercise (CPX) held in Kigali, last year, which was attended by participants from 34 African countries, and plans are underway to construct the secretariat in Kigali to be known as African Security Organs Centre for Coordination of Actions to end violence against women and girls (AFSOCCA), following the laying of the foundation stone by the UN Secretary General last year.

The major aim of the CPX was to enhance capacities and improve practices by security organs in dealing with Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), both at home and during Peace Support Operations, through standardised and holistic approaches like the Isange One Stop centre model, which offers free medical and legal services to victims.

“In spite of the progress made in terms of commitment to implement Kigali International Conference Declaration, a lot of issues need to be focused on such as strengthening the capacity of security organs in all African countries and prioritising and mainstreaming gender based violence in individual country development plans,” Nkuranga said.

“There is still need to devise effective mechanisms for putting to use the existing policies and legal frameworks for prevention and response to violence against women and girls, creation and building capacities of Gender desks, availing financial and technical resources to support various interventions in the context of prevention and response to violence against women and girls, enhance the legal and regulatory framework on how countries that are signatory to this declaration can work together to deliver to this noble cause,” she added.

“The fourth KICD AGM will therefore evaluate the declaration implementation progress, review and validate working documents like strategic plan and fundraising strategy, and share best practices in combating violence against women and girls on the continent,” she noted.

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