By Asmau Ahmad
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has reiterated commitment towards ensuring zero Gender-Based Violence (GBV), harmful practices and preventable maternal deaths in Nigeria.
The UNFPA Head of Office and Humanitarian Coordinator in Northeast, Mr Christian Sabum, said this at the ongoing training of Police officers on handling GBV cases, in Maiduguri, Borno state.
He said that similar exercises had been conducted for Police personnel in Adamawa and Yobe, designed to build their capacities towards enhancing care, referral and working with GBV survivors.
According to him, the training exercise will also enhance the Police capacity in ensuring that survivors of GBV have access to justice in a safe, confidential and dignified manner.
“UNFPA is committed to its transformative agenda, also known as the ‘Three Zeros’, which includes Zero unmet need for family planning, Zero preventable maternal deaths and Zero gender-based violence and harmful practices, which is why we have organised this training.
“To achieve these ambitious targets, UNFPA works with numerous partners, implementing programmes in advocacy, policy advice, service delivery, capacity building, and data for development.
“Working closely with security officers, especially police forces who are part of the first responders to GBV incidents to ensure that survivors receive services that are survivor-centred to promote resilience and empowerment.
“This involves training and empowering to effectively respond to incidents of GBV,” Sabum said.
While noting that the goal was to ensure standardised, empathetic and non-judgmental treatment for survivors, Sabum said the commitment also involved working with the justice system to ensure perpetrators are held accountable.
He advocated for effective awareness creation activities, stronger policies and legislations to protect the rights and safety of women and girls against GBV.
“Ending GBV is a collective effort that requires the participation of government institutions, NGOs, community leaders and individuals.”