Korea and Senegal discuss police capacity-building for GBV victims's access to justice

May 9, 2018

As part of the Development Solutions Partnership with Senegal on Gender-based Violence (GBV), a web-based seminar (“webinar”) was organized, on 9 May 2018, by the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC) and UNDP Senegal. The webinar joined partners and experts from Korea and Senegal, namely the Korean National Police University and Korean Police Investigation Academy, from the Korean side; the Ministry of Interior and police stations from Guinaw Rails, Thiaroye, Guédiawaye¸ and Yeumbeul, from the Senegalese side.

This webinar linked the partners from both sides for the second time. This first webinar was held on 5 March 2018 and featured Korean Police’s support mechanisms for GBV victims. Building upon the discussions from the first webinar, Korean and Senegalese partners discussed measures to increase the police’s awareness on GBV and introduce victim-oriented perspectives in the investigation process to ensure effective access to justice for victims.

The police’s attitude towards the victims can have an impact on whether the victim reports the case from the first place, as well as exercise one’s rights under the criminal justice system and seek other assistance from relevant institutions. In this light, the police play an important role in access to justice, as well as recovery and well-being of the victims in the short and long-term.

The webinar articulated the importance of the police’s ability to lend an attentive ear to the specific needs of the victim during the investigation process. Victims may have different needs depending on the age, sex, effect of trauma, socio-economic background of the victim, and other specifics of the cases (e.g. relationship of the victim and perpetrator). Consideration of these aspects in the investigation is the key to ensuring effective access to justice for victims.

The participants stressed the importance of regular and institutionalized police trainings on GBV to enhance the police’s capacity to effectively address GBV and support victims. A special police training on how to address, approach, listen to, and converse with GBV victims, coupled with other victim-oriented investigation measures, is crucial to a) prevent secondary victimization and b) increase the quality and integrity of the investigation result and process.

The Korean partners shared experience and knowledge regarding various efforts made by the Korean Police to enhance its capacity to respond to GBV and better support victims. These measures include: the creation of dedicated police investigation teams on sexual violence and domestic violence, training and capacity-building of police officers on GBV, and the dispatch of female police officers with specialized training to integrated service centers for victims.

In conclusion, the webinar underscored victim-oriented and rights-based approach in the policing service: the role of the police is not limited to the investigation; it includes protecting the victims and their rights and making sure that they are properly informed and supported to effectively exercise such rights under the criminal justice system.

The knowledge exchange between Korea and Senegal is underpinned by the Development Solution Partnership to address gender-based violence. The partners from both sides stressed enthusiasm and interest to continue this important partnership to address GBV.



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