Babatunde Ahonsi (L1), Tan Lin (L2) and Asa Torkelsson (R1) [Women of China/Fan Wenjun]
The All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) organized an anti-domestic violence seminar for various organizations to exchange experiences on June 27 in Beijing.
The one-and-a-half-day event aimed to highlight a joint scheme between the ACWF and UN Women which started in 2014 and will conclude in July 2017.
The scheme focuses on promoting relevant laws and developing multi-sector, collaborative models.
Cooperative initiatives were shared to promote the implementation of the Anti-Domestic Violence Law across China and to safeguard women's and children's legal rights and interests.
Attendees included: Tan Lin, vice-president and member of the Secretariat of the ACWF; Asa Torkelsson, an advisor on women's economic empowerment from UN Women's Asia-Pacific Regional Office; and, Babatunde Ahonsi, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) representative to China.
Remarks from Tan Lin
Tan said in her speech that domestic violence is a worldwide phenomenon.
Statistics reveal that at least one third of women across the globe have suffered from violence or sexual abuse at least once throughout their lives.
China attaches great importance to the issue, since the government approved the Anti-Domestic Violence Law in 2015 during the 18th plenary meeting of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People's Congress.
Since it came into force in March 2016, improvements have been made in three aspects, according to Tan.
Firstly, the country has improved its support schemes and initiatives related to law enforcement.
Statistics indicate that over 100 support schemes and policies have been issued at the national, provincial, regional, and municipal levels.
So far, the website China Judgments Online (run by the Supreme People's Court) has included a total of 648 cases featuring personal security protection orders.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission has established a mandatory reporting system in cases of so-called "left-behind" children, whose parents have left them at home to seek jobs in other cities, as stated in the commission's work guidelines.
Secondly, China has enhanced its nationwide legal assistance system by fostering officials and professionals who are proficient in the nation's laws and regulations on anti-DV, marriage and family issues.
Moreover, some schemes enable victims of domestic violence to receive care and psychological counseling.
Other legal aid initiatives include reductions or relief on court litigation fees, and incorporating anti-DV issues into local governments' projects.
Thirdly, under the leadership of nationwide civil affairs departments, village or community committees or rescue management institutions provide sheltering services and targeted professional assistance, for example, through social work and psychological methods, to people in need.
Departments have also served as a coordinating channel to strengthen cooperation with local judicial and administrative departments.
Human resources and social security departments will help victims to safeguard their rights and interests.
The ACWF along with UN Women launched a project promoting multi-sector cooperation on domestic violence. The first phase of the project was carried out among three counties.
They are Ningxiang in central China's Hunan Province, Yilong in southwest China's Sichuan Province, and Jingyuan in northwest China's Gansu Province.
The second phase of the project was launched in July 2014.
So far, the project has gained many achievements, including the enacting of China's judicial and legislation initiatives, after using referential cases or experience from overseas.
Meanwhile, the collaborative scheme has deepened the departments' cooperation in those pilot counties, where an effective cooperative mechanism has been established among many local departments. They include courts, public security bureaus, civil affairs departments, justice departments, health and family planning committees, women's federations, and communities.
In addition, the scheme has fostered many capable officials with their various approaches to spread anti-domestic violence effects among people.
Remarks from Asa Torkelsson
Torkelsson expressed her thanks to workers who are devoted to eliminate family abuse across China.
UN Women and the ACWF are long-term partners, she said.
She reiterated the significance of the event in promoting the enactment of China's first law against domestic violence, and the building of a collaborative scheme that can be spread across the nation.
Those initiatives will safeguard victims' legal rights and interests, she remarked.
UN Women is looking forward to assisting both the central and local governments to work out relevant regulations and guidelines which will promote the establishment of multi-sector, collaborative schemes in more places.
Remarks from Babatunde Ahonsi
One of UNFPA's core tasks is to promote gender equality and end violence toward women and children, he said.
So far, UNFPA has launched a scheme to prevent and respond to violence against women in 135 countries across the globe.
The UN started a program to aid women and girls who are victims of violence in 2013.
Those organizations taking part in the event involved UN Women, UNFPA, the World Health Organization, UN Development Program, and the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes.
The scheme helps survivors by offering basic services through departments of health, social services, police and judicial branches.
Relevant services have been officially launched in 2005 and later gain worldwide promotion.
During his introduction to the service pack modules at the seminar, Ahonsi hoped such basic service packs can serve as a guide to strengthen cooperation among departments.
Sharing project results
During the seminar, relevant project achievements were shared by officials from the department of rights protection under the ACWF and provincial women's federations among provinces of Gansu, Sichuan and Hunan.
Some representatives from those three pilot counties shared specific project experience.
In the county of Jingyuan, a collaborative work scheme focusing on "five centers" has managed to protect people's legal rights.
In specific, the county establishes a hotline service center within a local case reporting station in order to exclusively deal with cases of domestic violence.
Similarly, a special office to assess the harm caused by family abuse was founded within a local judicial injury evaluation center, among other initiatives.
These have enabled the collaborative scheme to make full use of its advantages after combining efforts from women's federations, public security bureau, justice department, civil affairs department and other institutions.
Attendees referred to this mode as Jingyuan Style. The ACWF and UN Women hope to promote this mature work scheme across the country.