Botswana: Botswana Police Service (BPS) launched the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Child-Friendly Policing yesterday (28/02/2023) in Gaborone.
Giving a keynote address at the launch, the Acting Commissioner, Mr Phemelo Ramakorwane, said the SOPs are meant to provide guidance on the handling of children’s GBV incidents, set the standards of practice for uniform service and strengthen the framework for collaboration with key stakeholders.
Mr Ramakorwane added that for the implementation of the SOPs, the organisation has trained operatives on the ground. In addition, he said that police would ensure facilitation for the training of other stakeholders in the criminal justice system, informing that at the time of the launch, there was an ongoing workshop for stakeholders. The Acting Commissioner explained that the workshop was meant to cascade the SOPs to the attendants.
Mr Ramakorwane appreciated UNICEF and other stakeholders for their immense contribution to the development of the SOPs. He stated that the procedures are part of the organisation’s alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No.16.5 in the 2030 Agenda, which calls for advancement towards ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.
Speaking at the occasion, UNICEF Country Representative Dr Joan Matji hailed the BPS for its commitment to ending violence against children through the provision of quality child-friendly services. She commended the Botswana government through BPS for investing in facilities such as Child-Friendly Centres. Dr Matji also acknowledged the BPS for adopting a multi-faceted approach that involves various stakeholders stating that it takes more than the police to protect children against GBV.
For her part, the Director of the Gender and Child Protection Branch, Senior Assistant Commissioner Goitseone Ngono, applauded all stakeholders who took part in the development of the SOPs.