Police in Dowa are undergoing a three-day training on how to effectively respond to sexual gender based violence (SGBV) cases at Dzaleka Refugee Camp.
The training, organised by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Malawi Police Service (MPS), comes following reports that police officers rotated to work at the camp on monthly basis, register more SGBV cases such as rape and defilement.
In her remarks yesterday at the opening of the workshop, UNHCR lawyer Mary Kwanjana said the training targeted Dowa Police officers assigned to work at the camp every month.
“The rationale behind the training is that the officers are the first point of contact for refugees experiencing SGBV.
“Despite the significant responsibilities, power and authority, some of officers have limited understanding of conflict-related SGBV issues and how best to respond to them,” she said.
In her remarks, Central Region Commissioner of Police Evalista Chisale said the training was designed to improve service delivery on issues of SGBV at the camp.
“The training will equip participants with knowledge and skills to deal with SGBV and also share knowledge on laws governing protection of refugees including asylum seekers,” she said.
Chisale advised the participants to share the knowledge with others who did not attend the training.
Some of the topics included the overview on refugee situation at Dzaleka—background, population and protection.
The facilitators are from MPS, Plan International and UNHCR.