The British High Commissioner to Rwanda, William Gelling and two Scottish Senior Police officers, yesterday, met with the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana, yesterday, and discussed ways of how Rwanda and Scotland police forces can partner especially in fighting Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Child Abuse.
The two officers, who are in the country on a four-day study tour are Superintendent Shaun McKillop, who heads the International Development and Innovation Unit and Senior Inspector Iain Ward of ‘Officer-Africa.’
They are in the country to learn more about Rwanda’s approach towards fighting GBV and to establish a working relation between Rwanda and Scottish Police institutions, and complement each other in the already existing mechanisms.
In his brief to the delegation, IGP Gasana said: “We are going to learn more from each other on best practices in fighting GBV and child abuse, especially through trainings and knowledge transfer.”
He said that Rwanda has a multi-sectorial approach towards fighting the vices where all stakeholders are brought on board to devise and implement strategies from the policy level down to handling of victims.
“RNP as an institution charged with law enforcement, we use community policing so as to reach out to the public and make them own the process of fighting GBV and child abuse. Besides that, we have scaled up Isange One Stop Centers across the country, put up gender desks in all districts and established a child help line and GBV toll-free lines; with these mechanisms, we have seen the public being more responsive against GBV and child abuse,” said IGP Gasana.
Isange, which also has a toll-free line - 3029 - offers free medical, psychological and legal services to victims of GBV and child abuse.
The child help line is 116 and 3512 for GBV.
On a larger scale, the Police Chief enlightened the delegation on several mechanisms in place including Rwanda being the host country for the Secretariat of the Regional Centre of Excellence against GBV and child abuse, and the Isange model that was adopted by the Interpol’s 84th AGM as one of the best models of preventing and responding to gender-based violence and child abuse.
Supt McKillop on his part, said; “Rwanda could actually be the centre where countries could come and learn from... we are keen to share what we have achieved.”
He singled out Isange One Stop Centers as an initiative of great interest to them.
“We have interest in looking at the end-to-end process; this means from the time a victim reports to the police, the investigations, the legal aspect and how the victim is reintegrated in the society,” Supt McKillop said.
Regarding enhancing cooperation between the Scotland and Rwanda Police forces, McKillop said that Scotland Police may consider to send its experts to Rwanda to discuss on the subject matter particularly areas of “enhanced cooperation.”
The delegation later visited Isange One Stop Centre at Kacyiru District Hospital, and Regional Centre of Excellence against GBV and child abuse, where they were explained on how they operate.
At the Regional Centre of Excellence against GBV and Child Abuse, the Executive Director, Chief Supt. Lynder Nkurunga said that the center came into existence as a result of the resolution of Kigali International Conference Declaration (KICD) member states, who unanimously agreed to establish the coordination office in Kigali.
The facility currently serves as regional centre for research, data collection, documentation and training, among others.
The delegation will also visit the rehabilitation centre and other Isange centres in the Southern Province.