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Capacity building for gender sensitive prosecution for cases of violence and abuse against women and children
10:02 AM 27/05/2022
(LĐXH)- More than 80 participants who are prosecutors, judges, lawyers, justice officers, police officers, officers from line ministries and the Vietnam Women's Union (VWU), as well as social workers from 17 provinces and cities nationwide were convened to share their experience with international experts regarding gender-sensitive handling and prosecution of violence and abuse cases against women and children.
This intensive training course was co-organized by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in Asia and the Pacific, UN Women in Viet Nam and the VWU  to meet the pressing needs for access to justice for women and children experiencing violence.
This was also a space for justice and law enforcement officers, officers of relevant ministries and agencies, VWU members as well as social workers to share practical experience, difficulties, challenges and to exchange with international experts on victim-centered approach in various stages of prosecuting violence cases in the criminal justice system.
The trainer of the training course was Ms. Kathryn Quaintance, who has been a Hennepin County District Court Judge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA for 22 years. As a judge, she has presided over many cases involving violent crime including violence against women and children; and Ms. Lori Flohaug, Juris Doctorate, Director of Law and Policy at Global Rights for Women  – UN Women's technical partner at regional level.
The National Study on Violence against Women in Viet Nam in 2019 revealed that nearly 2 in 3 women (nearly 63%) had experienced one or more forms of violence including physical, sexual, emotional violence, economic abuse, as well as controlling behaviours perpetrated by a husband/partner in their life.
However, more than 90% of the women who experienced sexual and/or physical violence by a husband/partner did not seek any help from formal services or authorities.
Speaking at the training, Ms. Elisa Fernandez, UN Women Country Representative in Viet Nam stated that: “Prosecutors have a crucial part to play in ending impunity for violence against women and girls. Vigorous and successful prosecutions can send a consistent message about society’s intolerance and past impunity. It’s the criminal legislation system that sets the standards for what society deems unacceptable conduct and provides criminal justice officials with the authority to investigate, prosecute and punish gender-based crimes”.
“In an effort to enhance the effectiveness of the protection for women and children and for the process of handling cases of law violations on the legitimate rights and interests of women and children to be carried out in a timely, effective, and gender-sensitive manner, the VWU has been very proactive in monitoring and providing social feedback on laws and policies pertinent to women, children and gender equality; fostering coordination through the signing and effective delivery of joint resolutions and coordination programs with relevant ministries and sectors (the Ministry of Public Security, the Supreme People's Procuracy, the Supreme People's Court, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Ministry of Justice); executing programs and projects, sustaining the models to support women and children experiencing violence and trafficked through the Peace House, Reliable addresses in the community.
The coordination between the VWU and other agencies has elevated the roles and responsibilities of each sector in combating against crime and law violations of the legitimate rights and interests of women and girls; ensuring that cases related to women and girls are detected, charged, investigated, prosecuted and adjudicated in a timely, fair, and strict manner, in conformity with the provisions of law, ensuring the principles gender equality”, as shared by Ms. Nguyen Thi Minh Huong, Vice President of the VWU
During the whole training course, experts and participants together explored different forms of violence against women, analysed the barriers that survivors encounter when accessing the criminal justice system, the causes of violence against women as well as highlighted the importance of coordination between the Procuracy, the Court, and the Women's Unions at all levels in supporting survivors/victims of violence and abuse.
The training course was an activity within the framework of the Program on Ending Violence against Women to strengthen the capacity to provide essential services for women experiencing violence delivered by UN Women./. 
Hong Minh
TAG: victims of violence and abuse gender-based crimes
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