Commit to Protecting Children and Improving Services for Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse in Botswana!
After extensive field work and community-based activities and engagements the project identified service delivery gaps in hospitals, schools, police stations, social welfare offices and magistrates in Botswana that we can collectively address to fully protect survivors of child sexual abuse. Urgent action is needed!
Gaining Traction by Action's Signatures of Solidarity Campaign, supported by the European Union aims to push this vital reform.
Our "10 Point Pillars of Solidarity" below are recommendations based on a legal and policy review and consultation with service providers, a gender reference committee, secondary school youth and community members in Botswana.
JOIN OUR MOVEMENT AND SUPPORT OUR 10 POINT PLAN TO MAKE BOTSWANA A SAFER PLACE FOR CHILDREN!
1. Improve knowledge and comprehension among all service providers (teachers, police, social workers and health care providers) on laws related to sexual violence of children (Children's Act, Penal Code and the Domestic Violence Act) and ensure the implementation and enforcement of laws and policies.
2. Develop quality child and youth friendly services inclusive of screening protocols for early detection of child sexual abuse and exploitation.
3. Mandate that all service providers have received specialized training in counselling of sexually abused children, crisis counselling, and trauma management inclusive of data and evidence collection management.
4. Create a child sexual abuse offender database, banning previous offenders from working with children and ensure dismissals not transfers of all perpetrators take place.
5. Establish electronic child sexual abuse and exploitation information system to allow service providers to share, plan and track confidential information to coordinate the provision of services.
6. Improve turn around time of gender based violence and child related cases at social work, health care, police and magistrate levels.
7. Scale-up community outreach programmes to increase awareness on issues of child sexual abuse and exploitation and how to report (e.g. child protection should be taught at school, involve parents in being able to take action).
8. Eliminate victim participation where the victim or their family has a stance in whether a case will be prosecuted or whereby there is face-to-face contact between accused and survivor.
9. Include incest cases with serious sexual offences in the penal code (providing minimum and maximum sentences and holding perpetrators accountable).
10. Hold child protection committees accountable for activating communities against child sexual violence.