Botswana to set up special courts to handle gender-based violence cases

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BOTSWANA has announced plans to set up special courts dedicated to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and related cases to protect women, children, and other vulnerable groups.

The country’s Chief Justice Terence Rannowane on Tuesday said the courts were expected to address the disturbing rise in GBV and would commence operation in December.

“It has been observed that cases of gender-based violence encompassing intimate partner violence in the form of physical or sexual assault and sexual abuse of minor children, imbeciles has increased at an alarming rate since the start of the COVID- 19 pandemic,” Rannowane said.

He said the special courts would ensure that all GBV cases were treated as urgent applications and given expedited management and disposal.

“Such cases shall be prioritised and removed from the normal track of other cases upon registration,” he added.

Gender activists said that the country had inadequate resources for GBV response but lacked an integrated response system that brings together police, judiciary and health officials.

However, Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi had affirmed that government was committed to protecting the rights of every citizen and to end GBV.

He also said Botswana Police Service would introduce a dedicated gender and child protection unit next year.

NAN

– Nov. 10, 2020 @ 17:33 GMT /

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