Burkina Faso/Terrorism-related sexual violence: Burkina hosts workshop to strengthen investigations
Ouagadougou is hosting a sub-regional workshop on strengthening the investigation of sexual violence crimes related to terrorism from September 27-29, 2022. The workshop is organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender and Family in Burkina Faso.
Organized by the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ), this regional workshop aims to share with criminal justice practitioners, skills on the investigation of sexual violence related to terrorism.
"We are here to encourage actors in the criminal justice system to better address this issue, to listen to victims, to adopt a more victim-centered approach to one day have the best success in prosecuting perpetrators," said Program Director Gail Fisk Malone.
Over the course of three days, judges, prosecutors and investigators from Burkina Faso, Mali, Togo, Benin and the Central African Republic will focus on victim interviewing techniques; the importance of corroborating evidence; and the need to ensure that victims are given a fair hearing.importance of corroborating evidence; evidence collection and analysis; and forensic investigations, using case studies from conflict zones in a survivor-centered approach.
The Prime Minister of Burkina Faso, through the Minister of Justice, Barthélémy Kéré, welcomed the initiative of this workshop, which comes at the right time to strengthen the judicial mechanism for the protection and care of people against sexual violence in the Sahel regions.
"We are in a country that has been a victim of terrorism for several years now. We have often talked about attacks on life, health, etc., but very rarely have we addressed the issue of sexual violence. But very rarely have we addressed the issue of sexual violence in these environments. Even the professionals who are in charge of this issue are unable to identify the scourge. However, more and more, terrorist movements are attacking young women and girls. These activities will allow all the professionals to exchange their ideas within the framework of a platform to see how to identify in a precise way this scourge and to consider it as a real strategy.These activities will allow all professionals to exchange ideas within the framework of a platform to see how to accurately identify this scourge and consider it as a real strategy of destruction used by terrorists," explained the Minister of Justice, Barthélémy Kéré.
"Women are at the heart of a terrorist strategy that allows them to silence the population, to prevent them from having the resilience to facilitate the fight. The added value of this workshop is to achieve an overview of the scourge in order to come up with mechanisms to strengthen the penal chain so that this scourge can be fought. We need to have a synergy to eradicate the phenomenon," said the Director of Cabinet of the Minister of Gender and Family, Ousmane Djiguemdé.
The workshop will explore innovative approaches to societal, religious and traditional obstacles that hinder the investigation and prosecution of sexual violence.