DPP, IJM SIGN DEAL TO IMPROVE CAPACITY OF PROSECUTORS, SUPPORT SGBV RESPONSES
By Joel Mugabi
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) and International Justice Mission (IJM) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support public awareness initiatives and sustainable knowledge transfer for prosecutors, as well as improve response to Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
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Signed on March 18 by DPP Jane Frances Abodo and IJM Country Director Wamaitha Kimani, the MoU is meant to broaden ongoing activities with the view of ensuring national impact through public awareness campaigns, sustainable knowledge transfer, institutionalization of training and capacity building initiatives.
IJM will also support ODPP’s social accountability mechanisms and community awareness outreaches in areas of high prevalence of Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and areas with notorious SGBV practices. Among others, this support is expected to boost the public’s confidence, improve service delivery and build legitimacy and trust in the criminal justice system to deliver accountability and deterrence to perpetrators of violence against women and children.
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Abodo’s ODPP will also be supported to initiate, develop, adopt, and implement best practices for effective and efficient response to cases of intimate partner violence against women and sexual violence against children. As a way of further enhancing training and capacity building, the partnership will see IJM support the ODPP to develop and operationalize the Prosecutor Training Academy among other initiatives. The MoU’s major objective is to strengthen the criminal justice system so as to enforce laws that protect women and children, and deter perpetrators of violence against women and children.
Speaking during the MoU signing event, the DPP saluted IJM for supporting initiatives meant to enhance the capacity of prosecutors as well as boosting responses to SGBV. “Response to Sexual Gender Based Violence should be wholesome. There is an angle of sensitizing the public to prevent offending and re-offending which ought to be effected. IJM is coming in to break the cycle by ensuring that the public is sensitized on the ills of SGBV and violence against children,” said Abodo.
For her part, IJM’s Wamaitha Kimani emphasized the unique place of prosecutors in the criminal justice sector, celebrated the opportunity to harness data and merging trends and best practices in order to strengthen criminal justice response to violence against women and children.
“The prosecutor wields great power; with their pen they determine who is charged, the charges that are preferred, the experience of victims through the justice journey, and finally they submit to the court on the sentences to be meted. This makes them critical actors in the protection of the vulnerable in our communities,” said Kimani. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org).