This project is part of a larger, multi-donor initiative which is scaling up access to justice for survivors of sexual violence in Pakistan through a partnership between IDRC, Foundation Open Society Initiative Pakistan (FOSIP), and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Commission for the Status of Women (KPCSW). Other donors such as USAID will also be contributing directly to the KP Commission for the implementation of the initiative. The initiative builds on the findings of previous IDRC projects indicating that laws and justice sector practices contain inbuilt biases against women seeking remedy for sexual and gender-based violence which could be transformed through better feminist practices.
The initiative will take forward IDRC-supported work on police, medical and forensic protocols for the victims of sexual and gender-based violence. It will undertake research studies in four areas (medico-legal systems, police protocols, the criminal justice system, and the right to information), and it will hold an international conference of experts. The project will also design and implement a pilot project in one district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This pilot project will help to provide systematic evidence on how police protocols, legal mechanisms and medical practices need to be revamped to ensure the dignity of the survivor as well as fair and just outcomes. It will also feed into more effective practices and policies.
The Foundation Open Society Initiative, Pakistan (FOSIP) is supporting five key workshops in Pakistan on health systems, police procedures, evidence gathering, knowledge gaps, and legal practices. IDRC will provide technical and financial support for the four background research studies based on the findings of these workshops. With IDRC support, Rural Support Programs Network (RSPN) will design the pilot program based on the research findings, focusing on the problem areas identified in each research study. RSPN will also be responsible for bringing together the experience, including results and the outcomes of the pilot, at a regional conference attended by experts in the four identified areas. Using the project insights, FOSIP and KPCSW will scale up the pilot project and implement the initiative in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, with support from USAID through a grant from the UK’s Department for International Development.