The Embassy of Spain in collaboration with the European Union Delegation in Kenya are working with stakeholders in Kenya to organize a conference on Criminal Justice System on the fight against Gender Based Violence(GBV) in the country.
The two-day Conference will take place on 27th to 28thth November during the 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence set to be celebrated between 25th November to 10th December. The objective of the conference is for Kenya to learn on best practices on the eradication of GBV from the duty bearers of Spain.
The conference will focus on the court systems where the laws are being interpreted and Spanish judges and prosecutors will travel into the country to meet the duty bearers to share experiences and explain to them the Spanish policy model to fight against GBV.
The Spanish Ambassador to Kenya, Javier Garcia de Viedma said that Spain was concerned on Gender issues in Kenya especially GBV and said the conference would a forum of sharing ideas and thoughts on how best the GBV menace could be addressed through the criminal Justice System. The contents of the conference would be based on the three pillars of Equality, Violence on women and human trafficking. He said the aim of the Spanish Government was to plant a seed on gender issues that would grow as the two governments share experiences and best practices on access to justice to GBV survivors.
He said this during a Kenya-Spain cross learning meeting on Criminal Justice System on Gender Based Violence held at the State Department for Gender Affairs boardroom. The meeting was chaired by the Principal Secretary for Gender Affairs Hon. Safina Kwekwe who cited extreme poverty that make it difficult for most poor people to afford fair trials due to lack representation in court. Most of the GBV survivors are also disadvantaged due to community stigma that prevents them from reporting GBV cases thereby leading to a very high number of unreported cases.
Hon. Safina also cited poor investigations and prosecutions which have led to the collapse of many cases and justice systems that take too long thereby creating fatigue among the parties involved and that has left the GBV survivors disappointed in the Criminal Justice system. She said capacity building for the judicial officers and court Users Committees would go a long way in improving the Criminal Justice System.
She proposed that the content for the conference focus on evidence collection and preservation, how to handle survivor’s trauma(and their families) mental health of police officers after they handle GBV cases, efficiency and effectiveness of GBV cases from reporting time to the actual judicial period, human trafficking, reparation strategies for survivors, how to handle intimate partner violence where reporting is very difficult, women in leadership programmes, commitment of duty bearers to their citizenry, coordination of data collection of GBV cases and sharing with other stakeholders, translation of data management and policy implementation, social protection fund for GBV survivors and how to keep a register for the perpetrators.
The conference is expected to be attended by members of the main institutions embedded in the legal framework on Gender Based Violence. These include; the Judiciary, the National Police Service, the Office of the Director of Prosecution, the National Gender and Equality Commission, the County Governments and the State Department for Gender Affairs.