With UN support, Puntland launches database system to track gender-based violence cases

26 Jan 2021

With UN support, Puntland launches database system to track gender-based violence cases

Garowe – The process of registering, tracking and recording gender-based violence (GBV) cases in Somalia’s northern Federal Member State of Puntland is expected to improve following the launch today of a United Nations-backed, specialized online database.

“This will help the Attorney General’s Office to strictly monitor repeated and multiple GBV cases, which have become prevalent recently,” Puntland’s Deputy Attorney General, Mohamed Hared, said today at the launch in Garowe, the state’s capital.

“The Attorney General’s sub-offices in four regions in Puntland – Mudug, Nugal, Karkar and Bari – will benefit from the initial phase of the database project, with these regions no longer needing to use the manual registration methods [for GBV] that are common across Puntland,” Mr. Hared added.

“It ensures records and proper procedures, as well as confidentialities so as to avoid exposing the details of survivors and keeps the data in a safe location. Among other things, the database contributes to effective quality case management and helps ensure compliance with procedures,” the Country Programme Manager for UN Women in Somalia, Sadiq Syed, said in his remarks at the launch. 

The GBV online database was developed by the Specialized Prosecutor’s Unit on Gender-Based Violence in the Attorney-General’s Office of Puntland, with support from UN Women and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund for Somalia.

Those attending today’s launch also included Puntland’s Deputy Minister of Justice, Deputy Minister of Women’s Development and Family Affairs and the state’s Human Rights Defender, among others.

The database is the first of its kind in Puntland. Other benefits it is expected to bring include helping produce quality GBV incident data; eliminate bias and subjectivity used in classifying and defining types of GBV; produce statistical data, and tables and charts on survivors and alleged perpetrators; and detect trends.

At the launch, the Chairperson for Puntland’s Office of the Human Rights Defender, Said Abdi Mumin, said that the database will help minimize the level of GBV in the Federal Member State and help ensure perpetrators do not escape justice. 

In his remarks at the end of the launch, the Deputy Minister of Justice, Mohamed Ali Farah, said that if the database system proved successful, it would prove to be “one big step forward” for Puntland’s justice system. 

“We are confident that the successful implementation of the database management system and ongoing efforts on building the capacity of the judiciary institutions will contribute towards establishing an independent, accountable and capable judiciary which will be able to address the justice needs of women and girls and promote access to justice for all,” Mr. Syed noted at the launch.

UN Women has been partnering with Puntland ministries since 2015 in the areas of women’s access to justice, women’s political participation and gender equality.