UNODC supports the need for gender sensitivity in justice system to safeguard rights of women in Kyrgyzstan
“Equal representation of women in police is an important element of effective work of the police to address violence against women and safeguard rights of women and youth more broadly”, said Jypara Rakisheva, United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) National Coordinator in Central Asia at the Women’s Power Breakfast side event in Warsaw, during the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting. “Given the sensitive nature of gender-based violence and the fear of stigmatization, female victims may be more comfortable telling their stories to female police officers.”
Participants of the side event elaborated on how the under-representation of women in justice system institutions, as is the case in many countries, has a negative impact on numerous aspects of justice proceedings and contributes to gender discrimination. The experiences of female victims of gender-based violence in a predominantly male justice and penitentiary system were highlighted by many participants in the discussion.
According to the Kyrgyz National Statistics Committee, a reporting on gender-based violence remains low. Victims of crime and violence prefer turning to crisis centers rather than to the police. Some 16,116 people turned to crisis centers and other institution to acquire psychological and social support when only 4010 cases of gender-based violence were registered by the police in 2017.
The law of the Kyrgyz Republic on “Prevention and Protection against Family Violence” was introduced on April 27, 2017 and it includes measures to improve protection for victims of domestic violence and strengthen police and judicial response. It requires police to register a domestic abuse complaint from anyone, not just the victim.
Jypara Rakisheva when shared lessons learned from UNODC’s work with the Interior Ministry of Kyrgyzstan also outlined that women are often great communicators with strong ability to defuse situations that could potentially turn violent which was confirmed during the joint work on implementing the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic “ On prevention and protection from family violence" in the regions of the country, to establish a referral mechanism for cases of gender-based violence and to raise awareness among representatives of local government bodies, health system, education, social protection and police responsible for preventing and responding to gender-based violence.
In Kyrgyzstan, UNODC has been promoting discussion on policies to increase participation and representation of women in the police force and has supported initiatives to ensure regular dialogue between police and women in local communities since 2014.
With UNODC's assistance in 2017, some 200 female police officers from police departments in all regions of Kyrgyzstan received training on criminal legislation, criminal investigations and crime prevention, including the prevention of violent extremism, gender-based violence and leadership trainings. Expert advice to strengthen data collection and analysis on domestic and other forms of gender-based violence is also part of the project in support of Kyrgyzstan's efforts in monitoring progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The event was co-organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Penal Reform International (PRI) to promote women’s equal representation among staff of justice institutions and to advocate for gender-sensitive justice systems.
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