Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2021. 7:05 am CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The newly formulated Joint Sexual Violence Prevention and Response (JSVPR) Programme was reviewed on Monday by Government Ministers related to Belize’s Security Forces at a High-Level Briefing hosted by The United Nations (UN) Spotlight Initiative.
The UN Spotlight Initiative said today it welcomed Minister of National Defence and Border Security Florencio Marin Jr., Minister of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries Kareem Musa, and Minister of State in the Ministry of National Defence and Border Security Oscar Mira, along with their senior personnel.
UNICEF Country Representative Alison Parker was also present at the briefing.
“This briefing was part of a formal review and finalization process before an official launch and roll out in September 2021 that will take place within the Belize Security Forces (Belize Defence Force, Belize Police Department, and Belize Coast Guard),” said the Government of Belize Press Office (GOBPO) in a statement.
The JSVPR Programme which forms part of Belize’s Women, Peace and Security Agenda and the UN Spotlight Initiative has been developed with the objective of ending sexual violence against women within the Belize Security Forces and providing response services when sexual violence does occur.
The program “will focus on prevention strategies, supporting victim recovery and assisting victims in Belize Security Forces to be fully mission capable and engaged”, said the statement.
“The Spotlight Initiative is a global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of family violence and VAWG embarked by the European Union and the United Nations,” said GOBPO.
“The initiative is implementing activities that strengthen policy and legislation to increase the protection of women and girls, build the capacity of state and non-state actors to respond to family violence, expand the range of services available, and address social norms and behaviors that promote violence against women and girls.”
The Spotlight Initiative in Belize has the support of the Government of Belize, EU, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and Recipient United Nations Organizations (RUNOs) – UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF – plus it also has the support of UN Associate Agencies – UN Women, ILO, PAHO/WHO, UNHCR, and OCHCR.
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