Capacity building of the Mauritanian police in addressing gender-based violence (GBV)
Since its start in 2017, the project has worked in close partnership with the Mauritanian police in Nouakchott and Nouadhibou. Since 2020, the intervention has been extended to also cover Rosso, Sélibabi, Aïoun, Kiffa and Aleg. The project intervenes at the level of the Mauritanian police, in particular the brigade for the protection of minors, to carry out awareness-raising activities on sexual violence and to improve and strengthen procedures for handling GBV cases.
Thanks to the project, a manual of procedures for handling GBV cases in accordance with international and national standards, comprising procedures for support, referrals and data management, was created and made available to the police. These tools have helped to improve police officers’ capacities to provide an adequate response to victims and to sensitise police officers to the phenomenon of GBV and especially sexual violence. It also contributed to improving institutional collaboration with health services for the medical care of victims. The new intervention areas benefit from the tools developed during the first phase of the project and from knowledge sharing by the police services of Nouakchott and Nouadhibou. In addition, coordination and information sharing between regions (wilayas) receive specific support. The Spanish police unit specialising in violence against women directly supports the project by sharing knowledge and experiences with the Mauritanian police. This particularly pertains to the collection and analysis of data on GBV cases with a view to make optimal use of them for more adequate protection.
In order to strengthen the prevention of GBV, the project supported the police in Nouakchott and Nouadhibou in the development of a GBV-related prevention plan with the participation of key stakeholders for the protection of rights (local authorities, civil society, staff of justice and police). This plan, which will be revised to be aligned with the new intervention areas, enables a public condemnation of violence and an increase in awareness on GBV. The action also contributes to improving the public image of the police as agents of protection working on behalf of the populations. The creation of a press office specialising in the media’s treatment of GBV within the police will further reinforce social de-stigmatisation.