Lusaka, 7th September 2017The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR)’s Levy Mwanawasa Regional Centre (LMRC) hosted a Workshop on the Implementation of Laws and Policies on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in Zambia, from 6th to 7th September 2017, in Lusaka, Zambia. The meeting was co-organised by the ICGLR Conference Secretariat and the ICGLR National Coordination Mechanism (NCM) of Zambia.

The workshop was officially opened by the Permanent Secretary (PS), Ministry of Gender in Zambia in a speech read on his behalf by Mr. Simon Kapilima, Assistant Director Gender Rights and Protection Department, while the First Secretary of the ICGLR National Coordination Mechanism (NCM), Maria Ntembwa gave welcoming remarks.

The purpose of the Workshop was to evaluate the level of implementation of the 2011 ICGLR Kampla Declaration of the Summit of the Heads of State and Government of Member States on prevention, suppression and assistance to victims of SGBVThis is in line with resolution n° 19 of the said Declaration which calls for the ICGLR Conference Secretariat to follow up on its implementation and submit regular reports to the Regional Inter Ministerial Committee (RIMC) and the Summit during Ordinary Sessions.    

The ICGLR’s Levy Mwanawasa Regional Centre (LMRC) Executive Director, Dr. Frank Okuthe in his opening remarks said that for many decades, SGBV has been a great concern across the globe, including the Great Lakes Region (GLR). He noted that it is for this reason that this challenge was discussed at length during the 2006 Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the ICGLR held in Nairobi, Kenya, when they signed the Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region.

Dr. Okuthe in addition emphasised that in the ICGLR Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region, particularly its Programme of Action for Democracy and Good Governance, the Heads of State and Government of the Great Lakes Region recognised that respect for human rights and empowerment of women and protection of their rights are among the best guarantees against threats to peace, political stability and development. This includes fighting SGBV.

The LMRC Executive Director also pointed out several other interventions made by ICGLR in its quest to eradicate all forms of gender based violence, in particular sexual violence. He made reference to different interventions made by the ICGLR Heads of States and Government such as the signing of the 2011 Kampala Declaration, which is aimed at finding lasting solution to SGBV.  

Dr. Okuthe observed that despite all these efforts, SGBV had persisted. He cited the Republic of Zambia has having recorded from 2015 to 2016, a small but significant increase in percentage in the number of reported cases of SGBV. He further noted that the increase represented reported cases, implying that there could be other unreported cases.

In concluding his statement the Executive Director on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the ICGLR, extoled the Government of Zambia for making tremendous efforts towards the implementation of the 2011 ICGLR Kampala Declaration of the Heads of State and Government of Member States on SGBV. He also implored participants to identify the root causes of SGBV whether cultural, social, or political and propose strategies to tackle them at their respective levels.

The workshop was also attended by  Ambassador Eliane B. Mokodopo, ICGLR Director for Gender, Women and Children Programme, the Resident Magistrate Fydes Hamaundu, from the Judiciary of Zambia, experts representing various Zambian institutions that handle SGBV related issues, including the National Prosecution Authority, the Legal Aid Clinic for Women, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Justice, the National Assembly of Zambia, the Police Service and Victim Support Unit, the Zambia Correctional Services, the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) as well as ICGLR LMRC management team and staff.

During the two-day meeting, the participants assessed the implementation of laws and policies on fighting SGBV in Zambia, shared experiences and lessons learned and identified challenges that need to be addressed. The meeting adopted the following recommendations addressed to the Government and other key stakeholders for way forward:

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Our Mission

To reinforce the capacities of social and political institutions of ICGLR Member States in the areas of Democracy, Good Governance, Human Rights and Civic Education.

Our Approach

Operational Research and Analysis to Inform Policy Making Processes; Capacity Building and Training; Monitoring and Evaluation of Policies and Practices; Facilitating multi-actor Dialogue and Knowledge Banking and Dissemination.

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