COLOMBIA: IOM Trains Public Officials on Identifying and Responding to Gender Based Violence

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
South America
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

IOM Colombia is training public officials on gender-based violence against women; how to identify it, address it and provide assistance to victims.

The three month course is taking place in Cartagena, a coastal city in northern Colombia, with a growing problem of gender based violence. In 2009, 1,838 cases of intra-family violence against women and children were reported, or 280 more cases than reported in 2008. In addition 448 cases of sexual violence were reported, 54 more than the previous year.

Additional challenges to combating discrimination towards and violence against women in the City include, the influx of internally displaced persons fleeing violence perpetrated by illegal armed groups, the socio-economic vulnerability of the Afro-Colombian community, and sex tourism.

The 80 officials taking part in the course, which were chosen through a public competition, will attend 24 training sessions on Fridays and Saturdays. The subjects covered include: international protection mechanisms; human rights; gender focused justice; and integrated culturally-aware assistance.

Marcelo Pisani, IOM chief of Mission in Colombia says, "IOM strives to include a gender focus in all its activities. With the knowledge gained through this training, the institutions in Cartagena will be better able to assist the women victims of gender based violence".

This initiative is part of the IOM Integrated Gender Based Violence Programme. The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Colombian Presidential Council for the Equality of Women also participate in this initiative. The Programme is funded by the Spanish UNDP Fund created for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

For more information, please contact Jorge Gallo at IOM Bogota, Tel: +57 1 622-7774; Email: