The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has received Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other equipment, to facilitate the prosecution of Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases, from UN Women.
This happened in a Top Management Meeting that was held in the ODPP, chaired by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Lady Judge Jane Frances Abodo.
The Deputy Country Representative of UN Women, Ms. Adekemi Ndieli handed over the PPE and other equipment to the DPP. The PPE included 450 ODPP branded face masks, 80 sanitizers, 10 hand washing plastic jerry cans, 50 liquid soap, 5 boxes of hand gloves and 12 hand temperature guns. The GBV equipment included a printer, camera, Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials, ODPP banners, a Department of Gender, Children and Sexual Offences Banner, pampers and sanitary towels.
Ms. Samali Wakooli, Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions and Head, Department of Gender, Children and Sexual Offences in the ODPP said, the ODPP entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with UN Women one year ago, to develop the capacity of Prosecutors in handling GBV cases and to popularize the role of the ODPP in GBV cases.
The Deputy Country Representative of UN Women recognized the initiative taken by the ODPP of prioritizing GBV cases. She noted that the establishment of the Department of Gender, Children and Sexual Offences in the ODPP was a sign of commitment of the ODPP towards ensuring specialized skilled Prosecutors, for effective prosecution of GBV and Violence against Children (VAC) cases.
She emphasized the role of Prosecutors as frontline workers during the #COVID-19 pandemic stressing that it is the Prosecutors who represent survivors and victims of crime in courts.
She affirmed UN Women’s continued commitment to supporting institutional capacity strengthening for effective handling of GBV cases in line with international standards. She said with the provision of PPEs, the Prosecutors could continue with their work in a safe, secure and dignified environment. That the provision of the PPEs was in recognition of the central role that Prosecutors play as frontline workers in combatting Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).
In addition, she hoped that the banners and IEC materials would be used to improve awareness on the role of the ODPP in the community and consequently strengthen its collaboration with victims of crime, witnesses and other stakeholders in undertaking its prosecutorial work.
Regarding the sexual and reproductive health emergency items, she said they should go a long way in making victims comfortable and facilitate the process of documenting their evidence.
The DPP thanked UN Women for their good working relationship with the ODPP. She noted that SGBV cases constituted the largest part of the ODPP workload, with women and girls being the main victims of crime. She said the ODPP had prioritized SGBV cases by establishing a fully-fledged Department of Gender, Children and Sexual Offences with Prosecutors specifically trained to handle the cases.
She further said the #COVID-19 pandemic had heightened the number of GBV cases, yet the Office had been very constrained in taking its services to the vulnerable people, including women and girls. That although the Office wanted to serve the people, the Prosecutors needed to be safe.
She lauded UN Women for its timely support by providing PPEs and the other equipment to the Prosecutors. The equipment would go a long way in supporting the Prosecutors in the execution of their mandate, and ensure that the Office offers its services, especially to women and girls, she said.