Protocols signed for Medical Practioners, Police Officers and Prosecutors to deal with sexual offences

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As outlined in the In Sexual Offences Act 2010, a National taskforce comprising of the Ministries of Public Security, Legal Affairs, Indigenous Peoples Affairs, Social Protection, Education, Local Government and Public Health.

According to Minister of Public Health, Dr. Geroge Norton, “many time actions are not taken because we’re not sufficiently informed as medical practitioners of our duties but this document now will correct that.”

Public Health Minister Dr. George Norton believes the initiative will help medical practitioners better understand the issues surrounding sexual violence and their roles in the fight against it.

The initiative was also seen as a necessity to the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister who disclosed that due to the lack of adequate education on the matter, there are many unsolved cases in Guyana’s indigenous communities.

“Our people in the hinterland, many of them have been abused for too long and have not been able to get justice. This is an opportunity to be able to give our young women more security in the future” the minister explained.

Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence said “it is intended that the committee can meet again in February or early March so that we can begin to look at the action plan and to discuss the draft action plan so that we can be able to table our programs accordingly and it is hoped that those programs will be coordinated within each Ministry with all of us aiming for the same objective.”

Earlier in October the Social Protection Ministry’s Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Policy Unit was officially launched. The unit will aid the work of the taskforce.

According to the Sexual Offences Act 2010, the Task Force shall develop and publish a national plan which shall include the necessary steps to eradicate sexual violence in Guyana; develop initiatives for prevention of sexual violence; co-ordinate the implementation of the National Plan; commission and coordinate the publication and sharing of data among government agencies; establish policies to enable the Government to work with non-governmental organisations, faith-based organisations, community-based organisations and other elements of civil society to prevent sexual violence.

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