Over 30 detectives and medical personnel from Kampala Metropolitan Area has started a three-day training on handling gender-based violence cases against children and women.
The training is conducted jointly by the police, UNICEF and office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Speaking at the opening ceremony held at Unik hotel in Kireka,Wakiso district, Vedasto Nsanzugwanko, the chief of Child Protection Program at UNICEF Uganda said the training is part of their strategy to build systems to protect children’s rights.
“The onset of the Covid pandemic and its effects like the closure of schools have seen rights of children violated. The number of cases related to sexual abuse of children have increased during the lockdown. With such trainings, we want to ensure there is proper handling of cases by police officers, the judiciary and the DPP,” Nsanzugwanko said.
He noted that with such trainings will ensure proper coordination between medics, detectives and judicial officers while handling cases involving gender-based violence against children including rape and assault among others.
According to the Dr.John Kamya, the Police commissioner in charge of human resource management, the force is committed to ensuring it decisively deals with cases involving gender based violence.
“We have put in place measures to ensure we deal with such cases and it is the reason we put in place a department of sexual and children related offences under the Directorate of Criminal Investigations. This department deals specifically with such cases but we have also adopted a gender policy in the force,”Dr.Kamya said.
“We have hope that this training will equip these officers will the required skills to enable them sufficiently investigate gender based cases but more trainings will be coming in handy.”
Dr.Kamya however noted that gender based violence cases cannot be fought by police or government alone but also society has a role to play.
“It takes a multi-sectoral approach to protect women and children rights but also prevent gender-based violence.”
He however warned some of the detectives he said have on several occasions been accused of conniving with suspects to kill the case.
“I pass serious warning to officers and parents who want to cover up sexual offences against children. If you are caught, you will be liable for aiding in the commission of the crime. To parents, when a child is defiled, report the matter to police immediately,”Kamya said.
The 2020 annual police crime report indicated there were 14000 cases against children and this number was above the 13000 cases reported the previous year, 2019.
The training will equip detectives with skills on effective management of cases of sexual nature like defilement, sexual and indecent assault, collection and preservation of forensic evidence in handling sexual cases involving children.