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SIHA calls to establish special courts to address gender-based violence in Sudan

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May 27, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) Wednesday called to establish special courts to address gender-based violence (GBV) in Sudan, pointing to the rise in domestic violence during the coronavirus lockdown.

Hala al-Karib, SIHA regional director, speaks at the Photography exhibition about Sudanese women in the Revolution in Khartoum on 19 October 2019 (ST photo)The network of civil society groups made its call in a letter to Sudan’s Attorney General Taj ElSir al-Hebir urging to deter GBV in Sudan.

The scale of violence has increased in Sudan under coronavirus lockdown putting hundreds of women "at risk of losing their lives or suffering a serious injury," SIHA in its letter to the General Attorney seen by Sudan Tribune.

"According to our research, the lockdown measures have also increased the prevalence of forced, female-child marriage and the sexual exploitation of children," stressed Hala Al Karib Regional Director of SIHA Network in its letter to al-Hebir.

There is a global trend of rising gender-based violence under coronavirus lockdown that has left women stuck at home with abusers and unable to seek help while tensions are rising due to COVID-19.

The network called on the General Attorney to take without delay several preventive measures that would help to protect the GBV survivors

"To urgently form special police units and courts with comprehensive training on addressing gender-based violence, similar to that of the Family and Child Unit," wrote Al Karib.

She further called to create mechanisms of collaboration between the general attorney and the 24-hour hotline, and to assign prosecutors to address GBV issues.

Also, to mitigate domestic violence, the network demanded to provide further services to the affected women including safe accommodation for survivors and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

However, the lack of legal reforms of the justice system established by the former oppressive regime led SIHA to reiterate its call for reforms to create better conditions ensuring women rights.

The letter pointed to the need to repeal laws that discriminate against women and to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Protocol to the African Charter for the Protection of Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol).

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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