Police child-friendly centres applauded


The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has applauded the Botswana Police Service (BPS) for effectiveness in handling Gender-Based Violence (GBV) issues affecting children.

Few years ago, in an effort to create a conducive environment for reporting and responding to cases of violence against children, the BPS and UNICEF established child-friendly centre stations after a study that revealed that children were scared to report such cases. Recently, UNICEF visited Maun and Shakawe child-friendly centres to appreciate their effectiveness in handling GBV issues affecting children and applauded the police for the great job. UNICEF’s child protection specialist, Gomolemo Rasesigo, commended the BPS for commitment in ensuring the protection of the rights of children and their safety.

Rasesigo said when they started the child-friendly centre in 2019, they were worried about the low reporting of GBV cases involving children. But it has since proven to be a thing of the past since the establishment of the centres. She stated that they are strengthened by the positive feedback they are getting from all stakeholders which gives them an opportunity to explore other ways of working with the BPS. Meanwhile, the Director of Gender and Child Protection Branch (GCPB) Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police, Goitseone Ngono, said the child-friendly centres have positively impacted on the handling of GBV incidents. “This is as a result of improved police investigations, provision of a conducive environment for children to disclose sensitive information and specialised personnel who are trained in dealing with children and ensure that interviews are conducted with sensitivity and professionalism', Ngono said. Moreover, there are Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place to ensure standardised services across the country. Centres are doing well as a significant increase of reported cases and some which are reported by the children themselves,” she said.

Editor's Comment
Parents should be more proactive in children’s lives

Parents need to pay particular attention to their children to ensure they grow up in a healthy environment that supports their development and mental health. Healthy attachments between parents and children foster strong bonds, creating a solid foundation for future leaders.In many African cultures, there is a common perception that parents should use a stick to discipline naughty children. While disciplining children is important, it is equally...

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