The Ministry of Justice through the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on 12th November 2021, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Youth Net and Counseling (YONECO) at Capital Hill in Lilongwe.
The purpose of the MoU is to provide for the better coordination of the working relationship between YONECO and the DPP in the fight against sexual or Gender Based Violence related cases. The MoU also aims to improve access to justice while making provision a conducive post victim support environment to survivors through safe houses and psychosocial support. The MoU will further allow the parties to implement joint projects and programs that aim to enhance the effectiveness of the MoU and the mandate of the respective institutions.
The Ministry will have the responsibility to ensure speedy and effective prosecution of gender based violence, child and sexual related offences, including those referred by YONECO and existing in the YONECO database. The Ministry will make sure that there are established channels for the facilitation of access to justice, information, advisory service, technical and professional support available at Ministry level, and assist YONECO to make use of the services of the Ministry.
YONECO committed itself in the MoU to share Database comprising national statistics of Gender Based Violence, child and sexual related offences to specific DPP officers for effective monitoring and speedy prosecution of cases as well as sharing of documentation of experiences gained and best practice on the implementation of the projects and activities both in and outside Malawi which emphasizes on post victim support.
YONECO through helpline registered 1450 and 1470 cases of defilement and child marriages respectively reported from January to September 2021 but there are a lot of cases not reported.
The Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice, Mr. Reyneck Matemba, thanked YONECO for complimenting government efforts in the fight against sexual or GBV offences.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Dr. Steven Kayuni, Director of Public Prosecutions; Professor Dixie Maluwa Banda, Board Chair of YONECO and Macbain Mkandawire, Executive Director of YONECO.