The United Nations (UN) in Uganda have pledged to make a donation of 12 vehicles to go towards supporting Police operations among other areas of collaboration which aim to strengthen the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The revelation was made on Wednesday by the UN Resident Coordinator, Rosa Malango while she met with the Inspector General of Police, Martin Okoth Ochola and other Directors and Commissioners of Police. The meeting was held at the Naguru police headquarters where Malango and a delegation from UN agencies paid a courtesy call.
The discussion touched on areas of peace, security, child friendly police services and the effectiveness of operations of the Police as key stakeholders in the implementation of the SDGs.
The Police Chief Political Commissar, AIGP Asan Kasingye told SoftPower News that following the discussion, the Police also agreed to strengthen the emergency response services to the UN base in Entebbe.
“The UN base has alot of equipment, aircrafts, logistics, and personnel, and there are also personnel who stay in designated areas in and around Entebbe. This is mutual cooperation and we want to make them safe when they are in Uganda,” he said.
“Therefore, the Police is going to provide more fire and rescue services in case there is an emergency”.
He added: “The UN is also providing 12 vehicles to support Police operations. These vehicles will soon be handed over officially,” AIGP Kasingye said.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were adopted in 2015 by UN member states as part of the 2030 development agenda are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
SDG Number 5 seeks to achieve gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. This requires among other things enforceable laws that promote empowerment of all women and girls in order to minimize practices like child marriage, sexual abuse and discrimination of girls.
Goal 16 calls for peace and provision of access to justice for all including bringing an end to sex trafficking, forced labor and all forms of violence against and torture of children.
To this end, Kasingye said that part of the discussion between the Police leadership and the UN agencies focused on child protection programs with an end goal to make security services more child friendly.
“This includes children who are in conflict with the law. What have we put in place to ensure that the Police is friendly to them but also that there rights as children are not violated,” Kasingye stated.
He said that the law states that children must not be detained exceeding a period of 24 hours, but added that children can benefit from juvenile diversion programs. But these he said have been frustrated by dysfunctional structures especially at the grassroot level.
“We want to look at some of the challenges we have been facing. The LC system. If you divert a child from detention, they should be handed to officials responsible for children affairs at the LC or social welfare officers at the subcounty. But are they there?”
“If a girl child is defiled, then she has to go to Police for a form, then the parent has to go to the health centre for an examination, then there is a counsellor somewhere, then the DPP gets the file. The parent is moving to one place to another which is frustrating”
The Police together with UNICEF are considering establishing one-stop-centres that will have all the relevant desks in child related cases in one place, Kasingye said. This he says will eliminate the barriers and bureacracy that often discourage the public to report their cases.
“With UNICEF and other agencies, we are looking at having a police officer, the people from the DPP’s office, counselling and those handling health issues all in one place, say at the regional level,” he said.
Police will also ensure that it integrates issues regarding child friendly services in the training of its police officers at all levels.
On top of that, AIGP Kasingye revealed that the Child and Family Protection Department elevated from a mere department to a full Directorate to boost its capacity to deal with these cases.
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