OFFICIALS highlighted a lack of adequate training for judicial police officers yesterday, during a workshop that examined the success of the 2007 initiative and laid out plans to improve the scheme.
Judicial police officials are Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA) staff members who act as intermediaries between victims of domestic violence, police officers and lawyers.
The programme was launched in 2007 as a way to provide better support to victims and more than 80 MoWA staffers have since joined the project.
“Female victims trust female Judicial Police Officials,” said Sakhoeun Savady, deputy director of the social development division of MoWA.
Yesterday, however, officials highlighted training problems.
“We have not had any training since we took the oath to become judicial police officials,” said Chak Mel, Rattanakiri province’s director of women’s affairs. “This is the first time for me and others here to learn about our role.”
Phoung Sary, Prey Veng provincial director of Women’s Affairs, echoed her concerns.
“For me, the difficult part of being a MoWA judicial police official is knowledge because the position was created but we did not get the proper training, so we don’t know our role. Some authorities, police, and NGO officials don’t know [about] us,” she said.
Officials, however, recognised the problems and were clear about the importance of the programme.
“We don’t provide training to all the provinces. The finding suggests that we need to expand the training to others,” said Sakhoeun Savady.
While Hor Malin, undersecretary of state for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, said: “We want MoWA’s judicial police officials to gain more knowledge and understanding about their role so that they can better help victims of domestic violence.”
Many felt reassured by the session.
Chak Mel said the workshop was valuable and she now feels better prepared for her role.
“Coming to this workshop helped me understand more about what I need to do,” she said.