Violence against Women: SPARC launches 16 days campaign

Hyderabad: November 30, 2017. (Abbas Kassar) Regional Head of Sindh of SPARC (Society for Protection of Child Rights) Kashif Bajeer, Tabenda Chouan Programme Manager BIDAR (Basic Institute for Development and Rights ,Partab Shivani Executive Director SEARCH NGOs members of the Sindh Chapter of the Pakistan Forum for Democratic Policing (PFDP), on Wednesday announced the launch of the forum's campaign aimed at Preventing Gender Based Violence Through Democratic Policing.
The campaign, supported by VSO and Amplify Change, and launched in collaboration with co-secretariats Rozan and Legal Rights Forum, will tie in with the global 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence campaign which takes place from Saturday November 25th, 2017 and will continue until December 10th.
The campaign, entitled My Police For me, focuses on "raising public awareness of gender-based violence and reasserting the police’s commitment to tackling it" Kashif said. "We aim to build a more positive image of a police force working to serve the needs of the community and strengthen community-police ties so the police are better able to prevent and respond to such incidents" he added.
Throughout 16 days the forum will host activities across Sindh in conjunction with the police, Sindh Human Rights Commission, Sindh Commission on the Status of Women and various educational institutions that will stimulate discussion, provoke debate and hopefully affect change around the topic of gender-based violence, particularly in terms of the police response.
Activities including seminars, dialogues with policy makers and police officers, theatre performances, community visits to police station, police and community cricket matches, audio and video messages on community policing and zero tolerance attitude towards Gender Based Violence will take place in different towns and cities during 16 days campaign. Students at colleges and universities will also play an active role. Kashif said aims and objects of campaign include:
To emphasise on behalf of the Forum and all its members, the need for police reforms in Sindh as
we believe that community policing is the best policy and maintain that the police must serve in the interest of the community.
To seek to bridge the gap between the community and police and increase dialogue between the two, he said and added that insist on a zero-tolerance attitude and effective police response to Gender Based Violence (GBV).
To maintain that police should be sensitized on laws related to women, girls and children especially on Gender Based Violence (GBV) in order to make them more responsive to the complaints of the victims of crime.
To assert that when more females are recruited to police department women feel more comfortable in coming forward to report gender-based crimes and therefore encourage the police to recruit more female officers, in line with the 10% recommendation.
To press for implementation of pro-women legislation including: the activation of human rights and gender crime cells and for women's facilitation desks and women's protection cells to be established and made not only functional but responsive to the public, especially the most vulnerable.
Mr Bajeer stated the PFDP's desire that "the police be depoliticized and all posting, transfers and recruitments must be made on merit".
He said that more resources should be allocated to the police and it should be independent and empowered to make decisions and strategies that are in favor of the public as well as of police department as a whole. Also as we are well aware of the importance of the technology we strongly demand that police be allocated sufficient funding and equipped with latest technology.

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