Puntland judges get training on HIV/AIDS

Puntland judges get trained on HIV

August 2010, Puntland - UNDP included a three days training on HIV/AIDS and gender in the six months legal training course that judge, paralegals and prosecutors in Puntland have undertaken. In Puntland, currently, less than 5% of judges / prosecutors have a legal background or legal training. UNDP works to build the capacity of those justice actors, including 77 judges and eight prosecutors, to ultimately improve the quality of justice dispensation. As part of this effort to professionalize the justice system, the judges, prosecutors and paralegals  attended a course specifically on HIV/ AIDS and gender.

Highlights

  • UNDP trains judiciary professionals on HIV/AIDS

The course sought to sensitize judiciary professionals on HIV/AIDS; examine gender as a concept as well as issues such as sexual gender based violence and rape ; and solicit their input on the draft HIV legislation that is currently being developed in Puntland.

Mohamud, a Person Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and working with the Puntland AIDS Commission made a presentation on the difficulties that he encountered in his community. For 98 % of the participants, this workshop was the first opportunity to talk about stigma and discrimination towards People Living with HIV/AIDS. 

A doctor from Puntland General hospital then addressed the issue of rape, telling the audience that it was a wide spread problem in Garowe, and that  young girls, young boys as well as elderly women were victims.

This presentation opened a discussion on gender, the relation with HIV/AIDS, and gender based violence, as well as the rights of rape victims.

The third part of the workshop was an opportunity to discuss the draft HIV bill for Puntland. The executive Director of the Puntland AIDS commission introduced the document, which the participants agreed to discuss more in details with Khadis Umalas (islmaic scholars) and conventional lawyers after Ramadhan.

This workshop, by increasing the understanding of the issue surrounding HIV/AIDS and gender, equips these judiciary professionals who occupy a privileged position in their community, to better protect the rights of PLWHA and reduce stigma and discrimination.

Sensitization to HIV/AIDS is part of all the projects that UNDP Somalia is carrying out in the area of rule of law and security. This particular training is part of a longer-term programme which UNDP and the Puntland State University have embarked on in April 2010 to train serving judges, prosecutors and support staff. This programme is funded by USAID.

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