SGDV Unit Trained on Investigation and Prosecution of SGBV Crimes
By Musa Saho
The Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Unit of the Ministry of Justice, with support from Global Affairs Canada through its Technical Assistance Partnership – Expert Deployment Mechanism implemented by Alinea International, recently organized a four-day training and consultation workshop on responding to, investigating, and prosecuting sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) crimes at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center.
The workshop was attended by key officials from the Ministry of Justice, including police, investigators, and state counsel, as well as members of the Ministry of Gender, Children & Social Welfare, The National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons (NAATIP), and the National Agency for Legal Aid (NALA).
Ms. Ella Dougan, the Chairperson of the SGBV unit of the Ministry of Justice said, this was the first in a series of trainings intended to build the capacity of The Gambia’s criminal justice system to investigate and prosecute crimes of SGBV.
According to the Chairperson, at end of the training the participants were left with a deeper understanding of SGBV, shared best practices, identified existing challenges, and began discussing potential solutions that would ensure that victims’ needs, concerns, and safety are centered in the criminal processes.
She added that the future trainings and workshops will build on this work and will focus on areas including: trauma-informed practices, potential policy or legislative changes, and advanced investigative and prosecutorial skills.
“All these efforts are geared towards reducing the risk of SGBV for all persons of concern and ensuring all survivors of SGBV have adequate and timely access to quality services that meet their needs”. Ms. Dougan concluded.