GIS – 28 August 2014: A first batch of public officers from the Human Resource Cadre is participating, at Fooks House in Port Louis, in a one-day training programme on Victim Empowerment and Abuser Rehabilitation Policy (VEARP), aimed at empowering the human resource personnel of both the public and private sectors, through capacity building programmes, to detect cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and refer both victims and abusers to the Family Support Bureaux.
The programme is organised by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare in collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms. Its objectives are to harness collective efforts in eliminating GBV, promote and make available VEARP services to stakeholders engaged in the fight against GBV in order to assist effectively both abusers and victims as well as set up guidelines in the establishment of workplace initiatives to fight GBV.
At the launching ceremony, the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Mireille Martin, recalled that GBV is a problem that needs to be addressed by all and highlighted the role that Government and civil society must play in preventing GBV from permeating the social fabric and thus end the vicious cycle of GBV in its various forms. It is obvious, she stated, that for the VEARP to be an effective tool, the public sector must be a key player in its implementation.
According to the Minister, active participation of human resource cadres in the workshop will yield fruitful results namely in ensuring an enhanced detection of GBV and proper support to both victims and perpetrators. Speaking on the tremendous responsibility of the human resources cadres with a public sector that boasts a headcount of more than 80,000 officers, Mrs Martin stressed that through VEARP, participants will be able to promote a healthier working environment as well as help to enhance the productivity of their respective departments/organisations.
For his part, the Minister of Civil Service and Administrative Reforms, Mr Sutyadeo Moutia, stressed the defining role of public human resource practitioners as they are expected to promote sound human interaction and interpersonal relations in the higher interest of the organisations. The training programme, he added, will enable human resource cadres to get adequate insights into GBV at the workplace, develop readiness among participants to detect early signs of potential abusers and help them participate effectively in the victim empowerment and abuser rehabilitation programme.
Highlighting the direct financial costs of GBV at the workplace with victims’ absenteeism and turnover, as well as negative impacts on productivity and performance, Mr Moutia said that the training has all its importance to ensure that the workplace remains a safe place for workers, especially women, that all workers are treated with dignity and that the level of motivation is sustained among workers.
The training programme is the first in a series of training for officers of the Human Resources Cadres on Victim Empowerment and Abuser Rehabilitation Policy (VEARP). It is to be recalled that VEARP was launched on 23 November 2013, in the context of commemoration of the International Day Against Violence Against Women, as a programme designed to provide the relevant skills and tools to officers in the Human Resources cadre of both public and private sector to identify and report effectively cases of violence through capacity building programmes. This year, two private companies as well as Air Mauritius have enlisted the service of the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare under the VEARP.
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