Guyana Police Force’s SGBV Efforts Receive Boost from JES’ ‘Strengthening Justice for Women, Girls and Indigenous Peoples in Guyana’ Project

The Guyana Police Force’s (GPF) efforts to combat sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), on Wednesday received support from the Government of Canada through the donation of computers and printers for SGBV units in Regions One and Four.

The Justice Education Society of British Columbia (JES) partnered with the Canadian High Commission in Guyana on May 31 to present the GPF with eight computers and six printers as part of their efforts to address SGBV through the “Strengthening Justice for Women, Girls, and Indigenous Peoples in Guyana” project.

High Commissioner, HE Mark Berman handed over the equipment to the Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Robeson Benn, during a simple ceremony at the Ministry of Home Affairs, in the presence of the Permanent Secretary, Ms. Mae Toussaint Jr. Thomas, Deputy Commissioner ‘Administration’ Calvin Brutus, and other officials from the Canadian High Commission and representatives of JES.

Minister Benn flanked by PS Thomas and High Commissioner Berman

The JES is a four-year project that aims to deliver greater equality in access to justice for women and girls who have experienced SGBV including those who live in remote communities in Region One (Barima-Waini).

JES currently has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the GPF, which signals the continuation of a close partnership with the GPF.

Valued at Guyana $3.1 million, the computers and printers will be placed in police stations at Baramita, Santa Rosa and in SGBV units in Region Four and will assist the GPF in their efforts to provide high quality services to SGBV survivors/victims.

The JES is a Canadian $2 million-dollar project, conceptualised in consultation with key Guyanese stakeholders including beneficiaries, and will continue to employ a consultative strategy through the engagement and involvement of civil society partners, key government ministries, as well as agencies and other organisations serving the target populations. JES has also been working in partnership with the Judiciary and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to bolster systems that provide trauma-informed and gender-sensitive services to SGBV survivors.

Minister Benn, PS Thomas, High Commissioner Berman and other officials

Recently, JES completed a Gender and Cultural Sensitivity training of trainers workshop that hosted participants from the GPF, the Office of the DPP, the Judiciary, the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, civil society organisations, the University of Guyana, the Women and Gender Equality Commission, the Indigenous Peoples’ Commission, and the Guyana Trade Union Congress.

By improving access to strengthened justice for women and girls, JES will empower women and girls to exercise their rights and support a more inclusive, gender-responsive, and culturally-aware society.

Global Affairs Canada is funding the project through its Caribbean Regional Development programme.