Negative forces are still a big factor in eradicating Sexual Gender-Based Violence

Nathan Mwesigye Byamukama

The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) on Tuesday 05th and Wednesday 06th held its Regional Validation Workshop on the Report on Member states Implementation of the Kampala Declaration on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence at Speke Resort, Munyonyo.

The validation meeting was to provide an overview of the current status of the ICGLR member states in the implementation of the Kampala Declaration 2011 and also engage the participants in validating findings on the ICGLR Member States’ implementation of the Kampala Declaration 2011.

Speaking during the Workshop, Ms. Jebbeh Foster, UN Women Representative of the ICGLR Chair said; It is really an honour for us to be working on the Declaration and would really like to take it back to the Ministry of Justice and show them how far we have reached with the report’’.

Commenting on the Validation Report during the Workshop, ICGLR Regional Director, Mr. Nathan Byamukama revealed that; ‘’The Kampala Declaration has gained prominence since its signing in 2011 largely because it provides more practical solutions in the struggle against Sexual and Gender-based Violence.

It is an instrument, though not legally binding, that gives more meaning to the ICGLR binding instruments such as the Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region (Art 11) which commits member states to prevent, criminalize and punish the crime of sexual violence both in war and peaceful environments.’’

He added that; ’’Kampala Declaration further gives more practical meaning to the ICGLR Protocol on Prevention, and Suppression of Sexual Violence against Women and Children in the Great Lakes Region (2006) – moving from seven articles of the Protocol to 19 resolutions against Sexual based violence

He further quoted that; the Kampala Declaration for example fully operationalized the RTF when Article 6 (9) of the Protocol (2006) became a Reality under Resolution 14 of the Kampala Declaration (2011). It, unlike the Protocol, involves women/girls and men /boys in the struggle against Sexual Gender-Based Violence.

Mr. Nathan also noted that; ‘’ Regional Training Facility is now a fully-fledged institution with over 161 trainers all over the region and we are still building a bigger circle of experts; RTF has a permanent home; has consistent partners and friends, has a training manual with a solid content on-demand by several stakeholders delivered by top-notch experts in the Subject. Our model of training is socio-ecological and our approach is trans-formative. RTF has trainers, at least 10 in each member state, who are now beginning to cascade training of more professionals at the national level’’.

The Deputy Executive Secretary, ICGLR, Ambassador Yasir Ibrahim Ali Mohammed said that; ‘’It is now a common practice that despite the challenges of addressing Sexual Gender-Based Violence in the region, specific countries have begun to innovate and implement the ICGLR resolutions, AU and UN frameworks aimed at combating Sexual Gender-Based Violence.

There is evidence in almost every country that the Countries have deliberate intent and have registered progress towards prevention, combating impunity towards Sexual Gender-Based Violence by perpetrators and supporting victims/survivors of Sexual Gender-Based Violence. What is in dispute is the extent to which different countries in their different departments / Ministries have implemented different provisions of different instruments at different historical periods.’’

He added that; ‘’This workshop will give an opportunity to experts to share knowledge; assess collected data on what is obtained from various countries regarding measures being taken to address Sexual Gender Based Violence in general, and implementation of Kampala Declaration in particular and compare noted.

‘’There’s no doubt that negative forces are still a big factor in the eradication of Sexual Gender-Based Violence. Prevention remains a challenge; impunity still looms high in some countries facing conflict.’ – Nathan Byamukama added

Perpetrators still escape prosecution and punishment for their crimes simply because, in some of the member states, the mandated institutions are not properly facilitated. Those who come to prisons as a punishment do not get correctional therapies related to their respective crimes

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Frank Byaruhanga is a human rights activist with years of experience in community dialogues, digital communication, advocacy and digital campaigns. He specializes in Media Relation Work, Management and Training with sufficient knowledge in Governance, Accountability, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Youth-led research, Content developer, Creative Activism, Social Media Management and documentary photography.

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