Norwegian and Haitian police officers at the hand-over ceremony in Port-au-Prince. 
Photo: Norway UN Mission.Norwegian and Haitian police officers at the hand-over ceremony in Port-au-Prince. Photo: Norway UN Mission

Haiti’s First Lady applauds Norway-funded project

4/26/2012 // A Norwegian police team has been working with the UN in Haiti to promote the position of women within the Haitian National Police Service. First Lady Sophia Martelly was there when the new Office of Women’s Affairs was handed over to a Haitian national coordinator.

There’s a huge need to recruit more women police officers in Haiti. Currently only 8 % of the officers in the national police service are women. Five Norwegian police officers have been working with the United Nations in Haiti since October 2010 to build awareness of gender perspectives and inclusion of women in the Haitian National Police Service.

Haiti First Lady Sophia MartellyPart of the Norwegian-funded project consisted of constructing a National Coordination of Gender and Woman Affairs Office in Port-au-Prince and developing a policy on gender mainstreaming in the national police force.

With Haiti’s First Lady, Madam Sophie Martelly looking on, the new national coordinator for gender and women’s affairs, Madam Amelié Gauthier, spoke out against the unfair treatment of women by the police and the lack of women leaders in Haiti’s national police force. Also attending the opening was Haiti’s Justice Minister Michel Brunache and UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Mariano Fernández.

In addition to building capacity, the Norwegian police team has focused in particular on helping the local police to prevent, investigate and prosecute sexual and gender-based violence. Since the earthquake in January 2010, there’s been an increase in sexual and gender based violence, especially against children and women living in camps for internally displaced people.

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