Kindiki Urged To Set Up Sex Crimes Unit In Police
The CSOs commended the Kenya police service for making strides in improving service delivery for survivors of sexual violence…
A group of civil society organisations (CSOs) have called upon the Ministry of Interior and Administration to scale up POLICARE, Kenya’s first-ever policy for the National Police Service (NPS) integrated response to gender-based violence.
In a statement shared by, among the organisations, the Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAWKenya), dated Monday, February 6, the CSOs commended the Kenya police service for making strides in improving service delivery for survivors of sexual violence including through the establishment of the POLICARE system, as well as the development of a policy and strategy on the same.
However, they revealed that the system was yet to be fully put in place for the survivors to benefit from its valuable services.
The CSOs called upon the Ministry, under Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kithure Kindiki, to bolster the services of POLICARE, following a similar move to set up a special police unit to protect the infrastructure of the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation against vandalism, theft and access by individuals with criminal intent, and set up a Sex Crimes Unit.
Image of a water tap. /PIXABAY
“Unfortunately, POLICARE is yet to be fully implemented so that survivors can access the valuable services that the unit purports to provide. Whereas the Kenyan legal framework provides a mechanism for addressing sexual violence, the levels to which it responds to the plight of survivors of Sexual violence still remain a mirage.
“POLICARE is expected to fill in some of the gaps in these frameworks. We, therefore, call on the Ministry of Interior and Administration to ensure full implementation and scale-up of POLICARE and allocate adequate resources towards strengthening the capacity of police officers towards prevention and response of sexual violence in order to ensure that measures in relation to the protection of women and girls from sexual violence and access to justice for survivors is fast-tracked by the government,” the statement in part.
CREAW is among organisations and associations that are representatives of various Civil society and non-governmental organizations working on ending sexual violence which includes supporting access to justice by survivors of sexual violence.
While the CSOs welcomed the unveiling of the Water Police Unit (WPU) within the Administration police by Kindiki on Monday, January 30, they expressed concern towards women and girls being exposed to risks of violence since the responsibility of providing water for households is vested in them.
“We acknowledge that water is a critical resource that supports livelihoods, its availability or lack of it has a direct implication on women’s safety and security.
“Cognisant that the responsibility of providing water for households is mostly vested on women and girls, our experiences reveal that this exposes women and girls to risk of violence especially when they have to walk for long distances in search of water for household needs. It is our expectation that the newly formed police unit will prioritise the needs of women and girls and safeguard them from further exploitation and abuse,” added the statement.
Sexual Violence is a violation of human rights and it is one of the most serious, and life-threatening forms of GBV.
According to the latest Kenya Demographic and Health Service (KDHS) report in 2022, 13% of women reported that they had experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives, and 7% reported that they had experienced sexual violence in the last 12 months.
“The report provides a detailed analysis of the prevalence of sexual violence in the country including county-specific data. It documents the fears of more women living in crisis as a result of sexual violence.
This is value addition in the prevention and response to sexual violence since the model provides for dignity, confidentiality, effectiveness and timeliness all of which are critical in supporting access to justice for survivors of sexual violence,” added the statement.
POLICARE was coined from two English words: “POLICE” and “CARES” and is a National Police Service (NPS) integrated response to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in Kenya.
It is designed as a multi-agency victim cantered “one-stop centre” service provider. The service providers include and are not limited to Police, Forensic investigators, Health providers, Psychologists, a DPP representative, a Magistrate on call, Medical-legal, Gender experts, and Correctional personnel among others under all under one roof.
POLICARE’s overall objective is to strengthen the capacity of NPS to prevent and respond to SGBV cases through the establishment of a one-stop victim support centre incorporating the synergy of multi agencies.
In 1993, the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women offered the first official definition of gender-based violence Sexual and Gender-based Violence, the term refers to any harmful act that is perpetrated against one person’s will and that is based on socially ascribed (gender) differences in roles between males and females.
It includes acts that inflict physical, mental, or sexual harm or suffering, threats of such acts, coercion and other deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.
Members of the POLICARE police unit. /KENYA POLICE SERVICE
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