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Training: Police Training and Community Sensitization

01/04/2019 - Headquarter

A Pilot Project for Police Training and Community Sensitization Programme on Women and Children Rights was undertaken with the financial assistance of the Department for International Development (DFID), UK and managed by the British Council since August 1998. The main objective of the sensitization programme was to bring about attitudinal and behavioural change of police personnel towards women and children through training/workshop.

To this end, the Centre designed a five-day programmes that include two-day with police, two-day with community, followed by a one-day interactive workshop with police and community together on fifth-day where police and community could exchange their views and opinions centering the issues and problems relating to women and child rights. Emphasis has been given while designing the programme on case analyses viz. domestic violence, gang rape, sexually abused children and harassment, children offender, women and children trafficking so that the participants could identify problems/loopholes in the existing laws relating to the aforesaid cases and put forward their recommendations accordingly. The participants attended the sensitization programmes also developed mechanisms of how police and community can work together in view of combating violence against women and children.

Through this process, the police would become closer to community or vice versa by bridging the existing gap, and both the parties would also be able to make joint efforts towards upholding women and children rights in Bangladesh. To facilitate the sensitization programme efficiently and successfully, the Centre developed the training manuals and IEC materials.

The Centre organized four five-day extensive programmes covering eleven thanas of Bogra in collaboration with TMSS since February 1999 and subsequently two one-day Fact-finding Meetings were also arranged at the same venue aimed at assessing the impact of the sensitization programme. It was evident from our assessment that community people and police took some benevolent initiatives in the best interests of women and children-the vulnerable sections of the population. All the participants and guests attended the programme during one year tenure of the pilot project underscored the need for wider dissemination of the sensitization programme through out the country.

At the same time, CWCS also organized ten Awareness Raising Workshops with Police on Women and Children rights in Dhaka, of them, eight workshops were held at the different police stations in Dhaka and the rest two were held at the Detective Training School (DTS) of CID, Dhaka in 1999. We found all the police personnel attended the workshops very positive and enthusiastic.

With the six months extension from DFID, CWCS further organized three five-day sensitization programmes in three districts, namely Mymensingh, Gaibandha and Jessore between February-May 2000 in association with Democracywatch, SMS, CCDB and GUS respectively. All these organizations are the active members of TWB network of CWCS. At the same time 6 three-hour Awareness Raising Workshops were also organized at the different police stations in Dhaka.

Lessons Learnt

The police officials and the members of the community stated various cases that they encountered in their respective areas and they also took some initiatives, in limited sphere, in the best interests of women and children. After receiving the sensitization program Union Parishad chairman and members of Shibgonj Upazila under Chapai Nawabganj district formed a committee named “Crime Prevention Committee” in their area and arranged meetings to raise awareness among people to combat against women.