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Piloting standard operating procedures (SOPs) on multi-sectoral response to gender-based violence in Bukhara region

22 September 2020


Draft of SoPs on law enforcement services

Republic of Uzbekistan, Bukhara region, September 15-24, 2020 - The Commission on Gender Equality under the Senate of the Republic of Uzbekistan, in cooperation with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Khokimiyat of Bukhara region, with financial assistance of the UK Government initiated piloting of standard operating procedures (SOP) on multi-sectoral response to gender-based violence in the Bukhara region, in particular the city of Bukhara, Gijduvan and Kagan districts, with a view to further refinement and development of multiplication mechanisms in all the regions of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

In 2019, within the framework of a project funded by the UK Government programme funding under the “Conflict Prevention, Stability and Security Fund” (CSSF) program “Strengthening national capacities to improve prevention of, and responses to Gender-Based Violence in Central Asia”, UNFPA Uzbekistan initiated technical support on adaptation of SOPs on multi-sectoral response to gender-based violence and implementation of measures for their piloting in the selected regions of the country.

In particular, in 2019, with the support of UNFPA, trainings and study tours to countries with many years of experience in the field of multi-sectoral response to gender-based violence (MSR to GBV) were conducted, and an international expert was involved. An expert working group was formed with the participation of representatives of government agencies (from the health sectors, law enforcement agencies and psychosocial support) and civil society institutions, including NGOs to support women with disabilities.

The SOPs development and adaptation process took place in several stages:

a) study and analysis of international and national legislation on responding to gender-based violence in each of the 4 areas: law enforcement, health, psychological and social services, as a legal basis for the work of SOPs, and also identified legal mechanisms that need to be improved for successful implementation of SOPs;

b) analysis of the specifics of the national context and at the local level that need to be taken into account. The interests of people with disabilities were also taken into account. However, to better take into account the interests of people with disabilities, a more detailed assessment of their situation of needs in terms of gender-based violence is needed.

All developed SOPs are accompanied by brief practical instructions for service providers, including district inspectors (law enforcement), general practitioners and visiting nurses, social workers, mahalla specialists, shelter psychologists and centers for adaptation and rehabilitation of victims of gender-based violence.

The cycle of activities for piloting the SOPs on multi-sectoral response to gender-based violence in Bukhara region consists of a number of activities, including:

- organization of an orientation meeting on September 15 online with participation of the deputy khokim of the Bukhara region, the head of the department for support of the mahalla and family, Mr. Dzhumaev, heads of regional departments of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations, the State Committee on Statistics and the Regional the rehabilitation center and all involved departments in order to familiarize themselves with this project on piloting SOPs for responding to gender-based violence; coordination and approval of planned activities and their timing; collecting proposals on the use of the best approaches in the implementation of events and the selection of potential participants; An international UNFPA expert, counselor of justice of the Russian Federation, candidate of legal sciences Mr. Panteleev BN was also involved in the work of the meeting, and made a presentation on the topic of an effective and coordinated approach to protecting the rights of victims of gender-based violence.

- September 16-18 and 22-24 - two three-day online trainings to directly familiarize service providers with SOP projects by sectors and multi-sectoral response; discussion of the necessary conditions for introducing service providers into the activities; building practical skills on their use in responding to gender-based violence; receiving proposals and recommendations for improving the content of the SOP.

About 125 participants in these trainings include healthcare workers, law enforcement agencies, social services, representatives of Rehabilitation and Adaptation Centers, as well as Crisis Centers based on NGOs that provide psychological services.

Three months after the trainings, it is planned to hold working meetings to collect substantiated practical recommendations and suggestions from participants in the piloting of SOPs in each direction, as well as to hold a final round table to develop final recommendations for adapting and introducing SOPs among service providers to victims of gender-based violence.

The next stage of piloting will take place in three districts of the Samarkand region.