Standard Operating Procedure for Prevention of and ...

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SOPs working group - GBV sub Thematic Group Islamabad



Country: Pakistan

Date of Review/Revisions:

1st Draft 16th April 2011

2nd Draft June 27th, 2011

3rd Draft August 12th, 2011

1st Revision      

2nd Revision      


The document is based on the learnings and guidance from the following sources


• Guidelines for protection of dignity and rights of survivors of violence

• Guiding manual on SOPS to perform medico legal examination of female survivors of violence

• Guidelines for Dar-ul-Amans (Shelter homes) in Punjab (GIZ, MdM and MoSW)

• Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) For Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Centers for Women (SBBCW)

• GBV AoR Resource Tool: Establishing GBV SOPs May 2008

Table of Contents

Content Page

Introduction 4

1.1 Overview of the current situation 5

1.2 Need for Standardization 7

1.3 Purpose and Scope of this SOPs 8

1.4 Revision of the SOPs 9


1. Settings and Persons of Concern 10

2. Definitions and Terms 10

2.1 Incident Type Definition 11

2.2 Guiding Principles 12

3. System and Procedure essentials to support Implementation 15

4. Reporting and Referral 17

4.1 Reporting 17

4.2 Mandatory Reporting 17

4.2.1 Relevant Mandatory Laws for Reporting 18

4.3 Obtaining Consent 20

4.4 Incident Report Form 23

4.5 Referral 24

5. Responsibility for Survivors/Victim Assistance

5 a. Health and Medical Response 29

5b. Psycho social Response 31

5c. Security and Safety Response 32

5d. Legal Aid 32

6. Working with Communities 35

6.1 Sharing of Information among organisation working on GBV 37

6.2 Reintegration/ Social Rehabilitation 38

6.3 Reconciliation for Survivors in Shelter Homes 38

6.4 Training and Well being of Care Giver/GBV Staff 39

7. Coordination 40


Acronyms Used

AOR: Area of Responsibility

CEDAW: Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women

Cr.PC: Criminal Procedure Code

DHQ: District Headquarters Hospital

GBV: Gender Based Violence

GIZ: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit

FIR: First Information Report

NGO: Non-Governmental Organisation

SOP: Standard Operating Procedure

UNFPA: United Nation Fund for Population

UNHCR: United Nation High Commission for Refugee

UNICEF: United Nation Children’s Fund

WHO: World Health Organization


There are formidable barriers in the prevention of and response to gender based violence (GBV) in Pakistan. These ranges from what is often a misperception of crimes of GBV not being a significant violation of human rights families, communities and even the state, to limited or ineffectual legislation, support systems and safety nets for those who do attempt to seek support.[1]

Post violence there are many challenges that pose barriers to survivors, particularly women and girls including social norms that promote gender-based abuses while discouraging disclosure (e.g. blaming the survivor rather than supporting them), by a culture of impunity for perpetrators that contributes to security risks for survivors and service providers, and insufficient systems at the state, civil society and community levels to comprehensively address GBV. This situation is further exacerbated in emergencies when GBV is known to increase for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, the breakdown of social structures/protective mechanisms, the weakening of norms regulating social behaviour and traditional social systems, separation from family members, male responsibility for the distribution of goods, lack of opportunity for women’s and children’s voices/opinions to be heard by decision makers and failure of decision makers to consider the security of women and children in emergencies.

When encountered by a case of GBV, relief workers are often at a loss as to how to best respond given that there are few mechanisms in place to address their immediate or on-going needs.

Often the staff who interact with the survivors/victims of GBV are not aware of the severe and long-lasting health, emotional and psychosocial problems that survivors face, including death from injuries or suicide. At minimum to respond to the health-related consequences of GBV which can include unwanted pregnancy, unsafe self induced abortion, and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS services must be made more readily available and accessible including the development of referral pathways which adhere to a minimum agreed upon standard for responding to GBV survivors. This will improve response by building the capacity of first responders who must be ready and available to support women and children, girls especially who are subjected to GBV.

Responding to sexual violence in particular requires significant sensitivity and training for individuals who are responsible for directly supporting to cases. This also requires putting in place minimum standards for ethically and safely addressing GBV by organizations that choose to work specifically on GBV and to prevent further victimization of the survivor by service providers. It is well-recognized that abuse of power, lack of respect for human rights and the perceived helplessness and desperation experienced by survivors of violence often subjects them to direct or indirect neglect/mistreatment, and even exploitation at the hands of the service-delivery organizations and service providers.

Women with Disabilities and girls can experience violence from birth. In some societies, the practice of mercy killing still occurs, where disabled children may be killed either immediately at birth or at some point after birth; and sometimes years after birth. Disabled girl infants and girl children are much more likely to die through ‘mercy killings’ than are boy children of the same age with comparable disabling conditions.

1. Overview of the current situation

Table 1: Indicators on Domestic Violence and Rape in Pakistan

Some Indications of Extent of Violence Against Women

• Domestic Violence occurs in every third household

• In 2010, a number of 8000 cases of violence cases were observed across the country. The cases include 2236 cases of abduction/kidnapping, 1436 murder, 557 Honor killing, 928 cases of rape/gang rape and 32 cases of acid throwing[2].

• Between 2000 and 2006, 9379 women were killed, 3116 women were raped, 1260 women were gang raped, 1503 women were burnt and 4572 women were killed in the name of honour.[3]

• More than 200 cases of rape were reported during 2006[4]

• 2006 ‘killings’ statistics showed a 29% increase compared to 2005 and a 129% increase in rape and gang rape[5]

• It is estimated that a woman is raped every two hours in Pakistan and up to 3 women a day die of ‘stove-deaths’[6]

• Nearly 50% of women who report rape are jailed under the Hudood Ordinances[7]

• Around 80% of women experience domestic violence.[8]

• More than two thirds of both males and females felt that disobedience was sufficient reason for beating.[9]

• Three quarters of women did not feel that frequent beating was a sufficient reason to leave one’s husband. [10]

• From April 1 to June 30 2008, 135 cases of honour killings, 356 cases of abduction, 107 cases of rape, 66 cases of gang rape and 20 cases of burning are reported.[11]

• The Gender Crime Cell, a body established under the National Police bureau, records gender specific data relating to first Information Records (FIRs) registered across the nation. According to its reports between 2005-2008 1405 FIRs are registered reporting the commission of ‘honour’ killings. In 2008, 386 honour killings were reported.[12]

• In year 2009 alone, 1987 cases of abduction/kidnapping, 608 cases of domestic violence, 604 cases of honour killing, 928 cases of rape and gang rape, 274 cases of sexual assault, 53 cases of acid throwing and 50 cases of burning are reported.[13]

• Studies show that persons with disabilities are victims of abuse on a far greater scale than persons without disabilities. (Ref: “Report on Violence and Discrimination against disabled people,” European Disability Forum, Belgium, 1999. )

The figures stated above, although alarming in their own right, are further compounded by the fact that such incidences are grossly underreported and that women and children who experience violence receive very little support from the state, their communities or their families. There are no specific laws on domestic violence, and women and girls who disclose violence are likely to be rejected by their families and even their communities for the rest of their lives.

Where legislation does exist to protect women from violence and discrimination on the basis of gender, it is inadequate. The Women’s Protection Bill, for example, while removing some of the most dangerous provisions of the Hudood Ordinances, continues to be a challenge so far as implementation is concerned. Another example is the Criminal Law Amendment Act 2004, which enhances punishment for the offence of murders carried out in the name of honour but does not address the real issue of ‘waiver’ in which the perpetrators are given the advantage of seeking forgiveness from the heir of the victim. In effect, the law states that the family of the victim is allowed to compromise with the killer (who is usually a relative). The heirs of the victim can forgive the murderer in the name of God without receiving any compensation or can compromise after receiving diyat (blood-money). Often in cases like these the perpetrators are brothers, husbands or fathers and forgiveness and compromise are easy to obtain. Moreover, despite the fact that the Women’s Protection Act brought some changes to the Zina and Qazaf Ordinance but the unequal legal status of men versus women in Pakistan is still manifested through certain legislation.

In addition, implementation of legislation remains weak. Perpetrators are able to continue violent behavior with impunity while survivors of violence encounter unresponsiveness and hostility. This is evident from the scarcity of effective and sensitive safe havens for women and girls seek support and also at each level of the criminal justice system, from police who fail to register or investigate cases of GBV to judiciary who have little training or commitment to addressing the rights of women and girls.

One of the grave concerns has been the increase in extremist attitudes and the overall uncertain security situation in Pakistan. Where there have been opportunities at the same time, the recent internal conflict and the floods have affected the momentum around women’s agenda, but in parallel have also brought opportunities for change, in terms of promoting further inequality issues and focus on initiatives to promote social behaviour change. The extremism and intolerance has made advocacy and implementation of activities around these issues even more challenging.

The lack of sensitive and effective support from the state (vis-à-vis services required by the survivor such as health services, shelter, police protection, legal aid, psychological counseling or sensitivity) and the lack of understanding and sensitivity on the part of the larger community are formidable barriers. As a result, survivors either refrain from taking action altogether or, if they do, end up being further exploited and harmed by an ineffective and insensitive system.

A number of remedial, restorative steps have been taken to support women and girl survivors; by a range of actors, be it the international human rights community, state, civil activists or concerned communities and families. Whereas some of these actions by the state have been effective, there are many that are hindered by the very social context and patriarchal mindset in which these are framed and operationalized.

2. Need for Standardization:

There appears to be some variation in the philosophy, norms and underlying practices of service providers (NGO, Govt, etc.) working with survivors of GBV. It is a well recognized fact that the perceived helplessness and desperation experienced by the survivors, as well as attitudes and practices which are not survivor centered often renders them to direct or indirect neglect/mistreatment, and even exploitation, at the hands of the service-delivery organizations. Actors who work to support survivors are also confronted with a number of challenges including:

• How to manage confidentiality in the current social norms environment which is characterized by a lack of respect and safety and security for survivors and service providers.

• Whether or not efforts to highlight the issue of GBV through the media etc. actually do more harm than good by encroaching upon the safety/security and privacy of the survivor.

• Identification of what constitutes unnecessary probing and what is justifiable information gathering In order to support the needs of survivors in a safe and ethical manner.

• Lack of understanding of the survivor-centered approach.

The solutions to these challenges are not simple and straight forward. There are many examples of situations where survivors are exploited through excessive media attention, unnecessary interviews or exposure in demonstrations and where the risks of their participation in these exercises have outweighed the benefits and have led to greater harm than protection and support for these individuals.

Utilization and understanding of what the concept of Survivor-centered Approach entails remains limited. The Survivor-centered Approach places emphasis on the survivor’s right to:

• Be treated with dignity and respect rather than be subjected to victim-blaming attitudes.

• Choose rather than feeling powerless.

• Privacy and confidentiality rather than shame and stigma.

• Non-discrimination rather than differential treatment based on gender, ethnicity, etc.

• Information rather than being told what to do.

It is also important to highlight gaps related to the specific needs and approach required in order to adequately support child survivors where issues such as informed consent, access to information and the right to decision making are more complicated than when dealing with adults. In a context like Pakistan, where the state does not provide comprehensive or sufficient support nets to children who may need to be removed from their family if the perpetrator is a family member living in the home, the service provider often has to constantly ensure that actions taken in the best interests of the child do not place her/him in a more exploitative situation.

Some of the additional complexities that make addressing cases of GBV against children different from those of adults include:

• How to engage with/develop a trusting, helping relationship with a child survivor of sexual abuse;

• How to ensure appropriate child participation in terms of their right to express their views, maintaining appropriate confidentiality and involvement of the child in decision-making;

• How to understand child development and child reactions in the context of sexual abuse;

• How to manage safety issues for children experiencing violence at home and/or in close community contexts;

• How to incorporate non-offending family members into the care of the child;

• How to address families’ and communities’ negative reactions to child sexual abuse, including impact of parental history of victimization and strong social norms regarding virginity (in the case of girls) and homosexuality (in the case of boys) that can result in severe stigmatization, further abuse, and ostracism;

• How best to coordinate care across different agencies/sectors, namely GBV and child protection. This includes clarifying the respective roles of child protection and GBV caseworkers; and developing a common understanding on how best to navigate and negotiate difficult terrain such as: applying confidentiality and informed consent procedures in child cases; utilizing (or not) mandatory reporting laws in settings where they exist; and coordinating with police and other law enforcement authorities in case reporting.[14]

• Promote the inclusion of women with disabilities in mainstream efforts to address violence against all women by ensuring that women with disabilities can physically access programs and services, by arranging transportation or support, or by providing sign language interpretation, among other efforts, and by ensuring that such programs do not exclude any woman on the basis of her disability

• Create accessible channels for distributing information, consulting, and reporting about all forms of violence against women and girls with disabilities.

• Collect data on the number of women with disabilities who access services and programs for preventing violence against women and serving victims of such violence and use this data to develop more inclusive initiatives.

• Train women with disabilities to organise and manage support services efficiently, to develop skills and abilities for economic self-sufficiency, and to use technological aids that that lead to greater independence.

1.3 Purpose and scope of this SOPs

These SOPs describe the roles, responsibilities, guiding principles, and procedures for prevention of and response to any form of GBV affecting the community (ies) described in Section 2 below. Although there is special emphasis on sexual violence, actions are not to be limited to only sexual violence.

Recently there has been considerable progress towards development of SOPs for different services in Pakistan including state run drop in center/shelters, for police dealing with survivors of violence. In addition recently there has been process of consultation on developing the National Health Protocols for GBV by WHO,. Similarly in past a checklist was developed for the 2005 earthquake to ensure the inclusion of gender dimensions in the relief and response interventions; development of code of ethics “guidelines for the protection of rights and dignity of the survivors of violence, among other initiatives.

Following the devastating floods of 2010, the former GBV sub-cluster, now GBV sub Thematic Group for Early Recovery, initiated a coordinated effort for developing standardize SOPs for the actors responding to the emergency and supporting early recovery. Lead by the SOP working group formed of key actors at the national level, the guidelines were developed through a consultative process, which intends to build on the pre existing knowledge and expertise and different SOPs which applied for different sectors.

These SOPs will be a step towards building a coordinated humanitarian response to GBV in the disaster-affected areas. SOPs are urgently needed to scale-up and improve both preventative and remedial action to address the consequences of GBV. For effective short and long-term protection from GBV SOPs will help to outline procedures which can help address both immediate needs like medical care, psychological and psychosocial support, shelter, and more long term needs such as skills building and alternate livelihood options.

Although these SOPs were developed for the context of an emergency, these guidelines can be developing further for non humanitarian contexts, in different parts of the country.

These SOPs are intended to be a national framework that should be adapted by each province under the leadership of the respective GBV sub Thematic Groups for its initial roll out, which should actively involve government and disaster management authorities, for increase leadership of the process. As such, each province will need to revise the content and scope of this document, according to the context, legal framework and active service providers/networks, especially in collaboration with child protection and protection actors, the process can be directed up to the district level to have context specific referral systems.

NOTE: Throughout this document, the female voice is used (“her”, “she”) solely for simplicity and ease of reading. The entire document should be taken to apply to any survivor/victim of GBV - women, girls, men, or boys.

4. Revision of the SOPs

This document should be revised every month during the first three months after the roll out, gathering feedback from the different actors and particularly from the field, the GBV SOPs working group will lead on this process, and will revise it according to the feedback provided, to be later shared among the entire group.


1. Settings and Persons of Concern

These SOPs have been developed for use in the following settings:

|Location |Type of Setting |Persons of Concern |

|To be completed at the provincial level |To be completed at the provincial level |Internally Displaced Person (IDPs), Returnees, Host|

| | |community, Refugees, this also includes women, men,|

| | |boys, girls, and person of any religion, ethnic and|

| | |sexual orientation. |

|To be completed at the provincial level |To be completed at the provincial level | |

| | | |

Initial versions of these SOPs, were developed with a focus on putting into place minimum prevention and response interventions as described in the IASC GBV Guidelines, for the current ongoing crises , including early recovery phase post floods, refugees, and ongoing conflict setting in North West, but is not limited to further emergency situations or other contexts specific to each province.

After the initial stages, these SOPs will be updated and expanded to reflect more comprehensive prevention and response interventions for long term and development contexts.

Definitions and Terms

For this document we are using UNHCR’s expanded definition of GBV based on Articles 1 and 2 of the UN General Assembly Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (1993) and Recommendation 19, paragraph 6, of the 11th Session of the CEDAW Committee:

“… gender-based violence is violence that is directed against a person on the basis of gender or sex. It includes acts that inflict physical, mental or sexual harm or suffering, threats of such acts, coercion and other deprivations of liberty….While women, men, boys and girls can be victims/survivors of gender-based violence, women and girls are the main victims/survivors.

…shall be understood to encompass, but not be limited to the following:

a. Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual exploitation[15], sexual abuse of children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and violence related to exploitation.

b. Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring within the general community, including rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in education institutions and elsewhere, trafficking in women and forced prostitution.

c. Physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the State and institutions, wherever it occurs.”

The underlying root cause of GBV is the historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men[16]. Poverty, culture and substance abuse are factors which exacerbate these unequal power relations.

GBV case definitions for this setting

2.1 Incident Type Definitions[17]:

The following incident types have been included to facilitate better and more reliable data collection. Using the below core incident types will enable standard language to be used throughout the GBV community when referring to data on reported incidents of GBV. These categories try to narrow the incident to the most specific act of GBV that occurred. Conforming to the terminology of the classification tool is only for data related purposes; this does not mean you must change or limit your vocabulary related to GBV when working on non-data related GBV issues, and it should not impact the services or referrals that are provided. And, at first glance actors may feel that certain types of GBV that are common to the Pakistan context are not included such as domestic violence/intimate partner violence, child sexual abuse, etc.). While they are not included as core types below these terms and concepts are very important for the purposes of service provision, programming and advocacy. Please refer to Annex II for the list of definitions according to Pakistani law.

Incident Type Definitions[18]:

1. Rape: non-consensual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth with an object or body part. Also includes non-consensual penetration of the vagina or anus with an object. Examples can include but are not limited to: gang rape, marital rape, sodomy, forced oral sex. This type of GBV does not include attempted rape since no penetration has occurred.

2. Sexual assault: any form of unwanted sexual contact/touching that does not result in or include penetration (i.e. attempted rape). Examples can include but are not limited to: attempted rape, unwanted kissing, unwanted stroking, unwanted touching of breasts, genitalia and buttocks. This incident type does not include rape, where penetration has occurred.

3. Physical assault: physical violence that is not sexual in nature. Examples include hitting, slapping, cutting, shoving, honor crimes of a physical nature (not resulting in death), etc. Examples can include but are not limited to: hitting, slapping, choking, cutting, shoving, burning, shooting or use of any weapons, acid attacks or any other act that results in physical pain, discomfort or injury. This type of GBV does not include honor killing.

4. Psychological/emotional abuse: infliction of mental or emotional pain or injury. Examples can include but are not limited to: name-calling, threats of physical or sexual assault, intimidation, humiliation, forced isolation (i.e. by preventing a person from contacting their family or friends), verbal harassment. This category includes all sexual harassment defined as: unwanted attention, remarks, gestures or written words of a sexual and menacing nature (no physical contact).

5. Denial of resources, opportunities or services: denial of rightful access to economic resources/assets or livelihood opportunities, education, health or other social services. Examples can include but are not limited to: money withheld by an intimate partner or family member, household resources (to the detriment of the family’s well-being), prevented by one’s intimate partner to pursue livelihood activities, a widow prevented from accessing an inheritance. This category does not include people suffering from general poverty.

6. Forced marriage: the marriage of an individual against their will (includes 'early marriage').

7. Female genital mutilation/cutting: cutting healthy genital tissue

Other GBV: This category should be used only if any of the above types do not apply. Please note that this category does NOT include domestic violence, child sexual abuse, trafficking, sexual slavery, trafficking or exploitation.

Definition of above mentioned incident type under Pakistani law is mentioned as Annex II.

2.2 Guiding Principles[19]

All actors agree to extend the fullest cooperation and assistance to each other in preventing and responding to GBV and agree to adhere to the guiding principles below.

All organizations agree, without exception, to adhere to the following principles as guides for their behavior, interventions, and assistance to survivors of GBV. All organizations agree to arrange appropriate training and refresher training for all staff, as well as accountability measures for staff to use these guiding principles in their work.

The guiding principles should also be adhered to when working with child survivors. If a decision is taken on behalf of the child by the child’s parent or guardian, the best interests of the child shall be the overriding guide[20] and the appropriate procedures should be followed .

Guiding Principles for the Programme

• Engage the community fully in understanding and promoting gender equality and power relations that protect and respect the rights of women and girls.[21]

• Ensure equal participation by women and men, girls and boys in assessing, planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programmes through the systematic use of participatory assessment[22].

• Ensure coordinated multi-sectoral action by all actors.

• Strive to integrate and mainstream actions.

• Ensure accountability at all levels to the guiding principles, accountability to the community and to the survivors.

• The framework for all programming should be based on international legal principles, including those set out in refugee law, international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

• All programme management and support staff and staff providing services and humanitarian assistance, including volunteers and interpreters should sign a Code of Conduct that adheres to the UN standards on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse[23].

General guiding Principles for service providers/organization

Principles set out below outline a set of core values for service providers/organizations and activists engaged with survivors of violence. Specific guidelines that follow have been based on these values, as they are seen as providing the ethical framework which governs attitudes, behaviour, systems and policies.

• Protection of the dignity of the survivors shall be the foremost priority.

• Best interest of the survivor will have precedent over the interest of the organization or community.

• Respect the principle of “do no harm” to ensure actions to support the survivor do not further increase safety risks.

• Survivors shall participate in all decisions pertaining to their life and well being.

• Respect for survivors shall be ensured by:

✓ Maintaining confidentiality;[24]

✓ Ensuring independent decision-making;

✓ Ensuring privacy;

✓ Obtaining informed consent from the survivors.

• There shall be no discrimination in working with the survivors on the basis of class, sex, age, caste, religion, and/or profession of the survivor.

• Survivors' right to quality service will be a priority for all organizations working with survivors.

• In cases of conflict of interest and / dual loyalty, priority shall be given to the protection and well-being of the survivors.

• Crisis cases shall be addressed without delay.

• Survivors’ will be empowered to lead a self administered life.

• GBV is a violation of an individual’s basic human rights and must be recognized as such.

• Cultural practices that are harmful to women and girls should be approached and challenged with respect, sensitivity and care.


Guiding principles for working with individual survivors/victims

• Ensure the safety of the survivor / victim and her family at all times.

• Respect the confidentiality of the affected person(s) and their families at all times.

o If the survivor/victim gives her informed and specific consent, share only pertinent and relevant information with others for the purpose of helping the survivor, such as referring for services

o All written information about survivors/victims must be maintained in secure, locked files.

• Respect the wishes, choices, rights, and dignity of the survivor/victim.

o Conduct interviews in private settings.

o For female victims/survivors, always try to conduct interviews and examinations with female staff, including translators. For male victims/survivors they should be able to indicate their preferences (e.g. it is best to ask if he prefers a man or a woman to conduct the interview). In the case of small children, female staff is usually the best choice.

o Be respectful, maintain a non-judgmental manner. Do not laugh or show any disrespect for the individual or her culture, family, or situation.

o Be patient; do not press for more information if the survivor/victim is not ready to speak about her experience.

o Ask only relevant questions. (For example, the status of the virginity of the survivor/victim is not relevant and should not be discussed.)

o Avoid requiring the survivor/victim to repeat the story in multiple interviews.

• Ensure non-discrimination in all interactions with survivors/victims and in all service provision.


Guiding principles for working with individual child survivors/victims

All of the above principles mentioned principles should be applied to children, including their right to participate in decisions that will affect them. If a decision is taken on behalf of the child, the best interests of the child shall be the overriding guide and the appropriate procedures should be followed. It is important to note that these kinds of issues involving children are complex and that there are no simple answers (see: the WHO Ethical and Safety Recommendations for further information).

The United Nations Convention for the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) highlights four principles that should guide all child protection related activities.

• Non-discrimination: There shall be no discrimination against any child. This means that all children, at all times, in all circumstances are equal and all have the right to protection.

• Best interests of the child: The best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration in all actions affecting children. This means that when a course of action affecting a child is taken, that course of action should reflect what is best for that child.

• Right to life, survival, and development: Each child has a fundamental right to life, survival, and development to the maximum extent possible.

• Child Participation: Children should be assured the right to express their views freely and their views should be given “due weight” in accordance with the child’s age and level of maturity[25].


A sample undertaking form, need to be taken from staff working with violence survivors is attached as Annex III


The Guidelines below address organizations as whole and individual service providers within those organizations (e.g. lawyers, Doctors, Lady Health Visitors (LHVs) etc). As such it is important to note that both sections apply to organizations. The organizations addressed can make further use of the SOPs, their implementation and further promotion. It is important to note here that there are two broad classifications of organizations that work with survivors.

First: Service delivery/advocacy based organizations, which provide one or more form of support (e.g. psychosocial, medical, etc.) to the survivor. These can be:

o Private and public institutions e.g. NGO's, Government Health facilities, CBOs

o Hospitals,

o Drop in centers

Second: Institutions that provide shelter and residence to survivors in addition to other services/support. These include:

o government facilities such as Dar-ul-amans and Women Crisis Centers

o Private shelter homes for women and children.

International organizations supporting the specific groups might already have organizational systems and procedures in place to guide response to survivors of violence. However, all organizations, whether they are national or international NGOs, government or UN entity must ensure that their organization as well as any implementing partner they have adheres to the minimum standards of service delivery and the guiding principles articulated in this document.


• Organizations should endorse in writing this SOP Guidelines, ensuring the protection of the dignity and rights of the Survivors.

• Organizations should ensure that every staff member has read and understood the guidelines. Job descriptions of staff dealing with the survivors should include a section on the endorsement of the Guidelines.

• Organizations working directly with survivors of violence should ensure that they have written and clearly defined procedures for working with survivors that adhere to the guiding principles and standards outlined in this document.


4.1 Reporting

A survivor/victim of GBV has the right to report an incident of GBV to anyone she chooses.

• Survivors should be provided a private, secure and comfortable atmosphere for discussion of their situation, and for identifying options for action. At all times effort should be taken to create, as much as possible, a safe/secure and confidential environment.

• In the case of female survivor/victims, preferably the first stage interviewer (first point of contact) should be a woman. For medical support, survivors must be treated by a female, as per law and ruling of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

• The first point of contact for survivor/victim can be any one of the following:

o Anyone whom the survivor/victim perceives can be of assistance;

o Community leaders;

o School teachers, parents, peers, friends, health care providers;

o INGO/NGOs; and

o Police or security personnel in the city or in the office of the concerned organization

All actors who are approached by a survivor/victim of GBV for assistance have a duty to provide objective and comprehensive information to the survivor on services available in the community. The actor may refer survivors/victims, as she requests, to service providers as per the agreed upon referral system in that location, including health, psychosocial, security and legal services and should escort the survivor/victim to the service provider.

Additionally, all actors who receive reports are obligated to keep information related to the survivor/victim and the incident confidential, unless the survivor/victim consents to release such information to receive ethical and appropriate services. A survivor has the right to choose not to report an incident; she should still be supported in any way possible, as she chooses.

4.2 Mandatory Reporting

As noted above a survivor/victim is given the freedom to exercise his/her prerogative to choose not to report and should a survivor/victim opt not to she should still be supported in any way possible. Consideration should also be given to the safety of the wider community as well as the individual concerned.

However, there may be some incidents in which a person receiving a report of GBV is required to report. For example, incidents of sexual exploitation involving humanitarian workers must be reported according to the UN Secretary General’s Bulletin on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, 2003. Protocols and procedures have been established[26] for receiving reports of suspected sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) perpetrated by humanitarian staff, and investigating reports.

In cases when reporting is mandatory, special procedures will be developed to ensure the safety, dignity, and well-being of the survivor. Survivors/victims will be informed by service providers about the duty to report certain incidents in accordance with laws or policies or in the event that there are concerns for the safety and security of the survivor. This must be included as part of the consent process described in section 4.3. (At minimum, this must include explaining the reporting mechanism to the survivor/victim and what they can expect after the report is made.)

Having a safe mechanism to report cases of child sexual abuse may be especially challenging in Pakistan, and in some instance reporting child sexual abuse may not be the best decision for an individual child. This will be a significant challenge in parts of Pakistan where there are limited to no services to help such children, or reporting may start a chain of events that could put the child at even greater risk (such as being separated from his/her family or placed in an institution). In these situations case workers should use the most important guiding principle in child-centered case work: the best interests of the child. Caseworkers must carefully analyze a set of factors that can best answer the question: will a mandatory report cause more or less harm to the child survivor? The appropriate and required actions to ensure the child’s best interest will differ depending on the local laws, the context, and the strength to which the legal framework is enforced.

1 Relevant mandatory reporting laws and policies in this setting

For Public:

Section 44 of the Criminal Procedure Code makes it mandatory for the public to give information of the certain offences to the police officer or the magistrate. These offences majorly include the offences against the state, human body and property issues. It is mandatory for the public to give information in such cases and the burden of proving any reasonable excuse for not providing the information to such officer or magistrate will lie upon the person, unable to inform.

Though, Section 44 CrPC makes it mandatory for the public to give information about certain offences, however since the introduction of Qisas and Diyat in the Criminal Law, in cases of hurt and murder generally FIRs are not registered by the police unless reported by the survivor or heirs of the deceased. This is practical contradiction despite the fact the certain offences related to causing bodily harm and murder are cognizable offences but these are no primarily offences against the person and state is secondary party, whose duty is to facilitate prosecution but no longer fully in charge of prosecution.

Section 42 of Cr.PC describes public responsibilities as to assist the Police officer and Magistrate reasonably demanding their aid in taking or prevention the escape of any person, whom such police officer or magistrate is authorised to arrest. Same section also provides that every person is also bound to provide support in the prevention or suppression a breach of peace or any injury to the public property.

Section 59 of Criminal Procedure Code empowers the private persons to make arrest of such person who in their view has committed some non-bailable and cognizable offence or is a proclaimed offender. In such cases the private person making such arrest will make over the custody to the police officer or nearest police station without any unnecessary delay.

For Police:

Section 149 provides the preventive actions of the police to prevent cognizable offences. The section stipulates that every police officer may interpose for the purpose of preventing and shall, to the best of his/her ability prevent, the commission of any cognizable offence. While section 150 describes it the duty of the police officer, if he receives some information about the cognizable offence, to pass on this information to his/her superior or to any such officer responsible for prevention of that crime. For prevention of such cognizable crime, may arrest such person without a warrant, if it appears to such officer that the commission of offence cannot be otherwise prevented.

Any person who has the information of any cognizable offence or is a victim of such crime may provide such information to the officer incharge of concerned police station both orally or in written. If the information is provided orally, the same will be reduced to writing and all such information will be signed/thumb impressed by the informant. This information about such cognizable offences will be entered into a book, specifically prescribed by the Provincial Government for such purpose. In Practice, it is observed that sometimes the Incharge police officers deny registering such information. In such cases, alternative remedies of application under section 22-A, B, Criminal Procedure Code, Article 199 of Constitution of Pakistan and Complaints under section 200 Criminal Procedures Code are available.

Police Rule 26.18- A (3) describes some precautions for the police in case of a woman witness during investigation. A woman witness cannot remain in a police station between sunset and sun rise. She cannot be asked to remain any longer in the police station than is necessary to record the information which she is willing to give. She cannot be taken out of the police station for any information gathering or any issue related to investigation without being accompanied by a responsible male relative, her village headman, a person of her locality etc.

For Witnesses:

The law makes it mandatory under section 161 Cr.PC for the witnesses too, to reveal the facts of a crime/incident to the investigating police officer.

After the completion of such investigations, the police officer will submit the complete investigation report to the concerned Magistrate, empowered to take cognizance of such offence.

For Medical Officers:

In cases of grievous injuries by burn, the Medical officer on duty is bound to give intimation to the nearest magistrate. Under section 174-A Criminal Procedure Code, it is mandatory for the Medical Officer to record the statement of the injured person immediately on arrival so as to ascertain the circumstances and cause of the burn injuries. If the injured person is unable, for any reason, to make the statement before the magistrate, his statement recorded by the Medical Officer shall be sent in sealed cover to the magistrate and may be accepted in evidence as a dying declaration, if the injured person expires.

The evidence of a Civil Surgeon/Medical Officer/Chemical Examiner is required in certain cases under sections 509 & 510 of Criminal Procedure Code, though in such cases such Surgeon/Officer/Examine will not be called a witness.

For Mental Health Institutes:

Under Mental Health Ordinance 2001, the Federal Government and the provincial governments are required to establish or maintain the psychiatric facilities for the assessment, admission, treatment, rehabilitation, care and after care of mentally disordered patient at such places, as it deems fit. The ordinance also speaks out the confidentiality about the patients and categorically prohibits any publicity or identification of such patients, without the consent.

Shelter Homes:

The guidelines for shelter homes stipulate it for the Shelter Home management to ensure the protection of rights and dignity of the women and children survivor of violence (residents). Section 3.1.4 and 3.1.5 describes the responsibility of the management to provide psychological counselling, medical treatment, legal aid, and security and support services.

Chapter 3.8.1 of the guidelines deal with the admission criteria and make it mandatory for the institute to grant admission to any women in distress which is referred by court, NGO or on her own.

Reporting in media

In all cases, survivors/victims should be informed of the implications associated with revealing their case to a media source. And at all times written informed consent must be obtained by the survivor/victim of the non-perpetrating parent or guardian in the case of children.

• In case a public statement is required to be made regarding a case, any such statement should be given with the verbal and written consent of the survivor/victim or guardian, in case of a minor (provided that the guardian is not the abuser or party to the violence). The organization should appoint one staff member who acts as the focal point of contact with the media.

• The survivor/victim must never be used for advancing the interest of the activist/s supporter/s and/or the service provider/s or organizations. Using a survivor/victim in such a manner is a form of exploitation, and must never occur.

• Do not publish a story or an image which might put the survivor/victim, siblings or peers at risk even when identities are changed, obscured or not used.

• Ensure media do not further stigmatize any survivor/victim; avoid categorizations or descriptions that expose a survivor/victim to negative reprisals - including additional physical or psychological harm, or to lifelong abuse, discrimination or rejection by their local communities.

(See annex IV for media reporting on GBV check list)

4.3 Obtaining Consent

Obtaining Consent is critical to any engagement with survivors and is reflective of the guiding principles for working with survivors (children and adults).

The survivor/victim should be given adequate information in order to give his/her informed consent. This information should include the implications of sharing information about the case with other actors and the options/services available from the different agencies.

Special procedures for informed consent and children

• A child’s right to participate in decisions that affect their lives is key to using a child rights-based approach.[27]

An overall framework for children’s participation in decision-making should be guided by the following:[28]

• Children 16 years and older are generally sufficiently mature to make decisions.

• Children between 14 and 16 are presumed to be mature enough to make a major contribution.

• Children between 9 and 14 can meaningfully participate in the decision-making procedure, but maturity must be assessed on an individual basis.

• Children younger than 9 have the right to give their informed opinion and be heard. They may be able to participate in the decision-making procedure to a certain degree, but caution should be advised to avoid burdening them by giving them a feeling of becoming decision makers.[29]

• Ultimately however, the recommendation is that weight of the views of the child should be made on a case by case basis depending upon his/her age, level of maturity, developmental stage, and cultural, traditional and environmental factors.

When an agency becomes aware of serious incidents of abuse or neglect by parents or primary caregivers, the agency’s first responsibility is to inform law enforcing and child protection institutes, that appropriate action can be taken and to monitor that any decision to separate/remove children from their parents is made according to the possible available safeguards. The decision to separate/remove a child from her or his parents falls within the mandate of Guardian & wards law and child protection provisions.

In some instances when XXX’s capacity is overstretched they work in collaboration with a lead child protection agency to take urgent measures to protect the fundamental rights of the child concerned, which may involve separating/removing the child from her or his parents or caregiver. Any intervention to separate a child from his/her parents can only be provisional, thus reserving the right of the XXX to take a formal decision. Given the gravity of the impact of separation on a child, even if the separation is provisional, the XXX must first determine the best interests of the child before taking any such decision.

Sample consent form is attached as Annex V


Special note:

It should also be kept in mind that in case of compromised competency, decision making should be delayed. The current situation of the survivor may affect her competency to give consent or make an informed decision. In case delay is possible, a surrogate who can act in the place of the survivor such as a family member or a friend should be involved in giving consent or making an informed decision.

• Records of the survivor should only be accessed by concerned people within the organization. Access can be granted after discussion with the relevant persons to authorized/ relevant people outside the organization. The survivor has the right to deny access to certain groups if she wishes.

• Photographic records should be avoided. In cases where this done, it should only be with the consent of the survivor, and access to this information must be strictly monitored as indiscriminate use of this record may violate the survivor’s right to dignity. It is proposed that this record be destroyed after a certain time period.

• In cases where case studies are used by an organization for awareness raising or advocacy it is important that identifying information is removed.

External Reporting

Reporting to other external actors such as progress reports to donors, policy papers, or government, should be done by respecting all aspects of the guiding principles ensuring the information does not contain confidential and identifying information about survivors, and ensures risks to safety of the survivor and service provider have been addressed. An internal protocol and guideline should be available within the organization on sharing of information. Individual case information should only be shared if this will have a positive impact on supporting the survivor and if informed consent was given, and agreed upon information sharing protocols should be in place and agreed upon in these situations.

4.4 Incident Report Form (See annex VI)


The Gender-Based Violence Incident Report Form is recommended for use by actors engaged in prevention and response to GBV in areas affected by emergency, camps or areas of return.

The Incident Report Form is a tool developed and consulted with different sectors and was designed to:

• Provide a brief comprehensive summary of the most relevant information about an individual incident.

• If survivor/victim consents: be used as an information-sharing tool, to be copied and shared among and between actors or organisations involved in assisting the survivor and/or taking follow-up action.

• Avoid requiring the survivor/victim to repeat her/his story and answer the same questions during multiple interviews.

• Collect basic and relevant data for use in monitoring and evaluation of GBV incidents and programmes.

• Collect data that is consistent in all provinces, to enable comparison of GBV data across programmes, settings and regions.

Special procedures for working with children[30]

• At all times having multiple service providers interact with a child survivor of sexual abuse must be avoided. This includes preventing the demand for the child survivor to repeat her experience of sexual abuse unnecessarily to different people, or to subject them to hearing about their case from people who should not know about it.

• Any actors who can appropriately play a role in responding to cases of GBV against children (e.g. child protection, GBV, protection/legal, and health program staff) must develop joint agreements on how, when, and by whom an interview of a child survivor of sexual abuse should take place. These actors should establish when and how this information can and should be ethically shared in a confidential and respectful way.

• Regular case meetings between agencies involved in the case response (at a local district or camp level) can help to ensure that children and families are not being questioned continuously or intruded upon by several different actors throughout their healing process.

Completed Form

The Incident Report Form is not an interview guide. Staff who interview survivors must be properly trained in skills for interviewing, active listening, and emotional support necessary for working with survivors.

Separate forms may be needed for interview guides and note taking. It is important to remember that a survivor may be emotionally distressed. Therefore, great care must be taken to interview with compassion and respect. It may be appropriate to complete the form outside of the presence of the survivor.

Mechanisms and procedures for reporting, referral, and co-ordination should be established when designing programmes to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. Meet with organisations and individuals in your setting to determine each group’s information needs and how best to use the completed Incident Report Forms.

In most settings, the following procedure is useful:

✓ One organisation is designated as the “lead organisation” for maintaining all report data, receiving the reports and ensuring immediate assistance. Often, this is either the Provincial GBV coordinator, or a trained staff from a service provider (i.e. Health or psychosocial)

✓ Original completed Incident Report Forms are maintained in the lead organisation’s offices, in locked files.

✓ With survivor’s consent (consent of parent/guardian) to share information: Lead organisations gives details of the completed Incident Report Form, within 24 hours, to organisations most in need of this information to ensure survivors receives immediate services.

✓ Without survivors consent to share information: Lead organisation provides information to key focal points within the area of survivor, information includes incident data and non-identifying information (no information that can identify the survivor). This data will facilitate the assessment of any immediate risks of the survivor and assist in identification of other ways to provide support or seek alternatives without engaging the confidentiality and safety of the survivor.

Incident Type: Use consistent words/definitions to enable proper data collection, tracking of incident data, monitoring and evaluation. The types of GBV and definitions as described in SOPs and annexure are the recommended to characterise incident type. If needed these definitions can be revised if the context and law used different definitions, but at all times it should be ensure it is standardise across all provinces.

4.5 Referral

Networking to build referral pathways for a comprehensive response

• The organization must be aware of the assigned police stations who will be referred a case in case if referral needed.

• An active link should be maintained with the local police station and should be invited in the activities of the organization to maintain an active link.

• Organization can create linkages and rapport with local electronic and print media to ensure support for the cases where survivors choose to share their stories. However, the privacy and anonymity of survivors/residents will be ensured, which includes preventing their photographs being taken and made public.

• Active link should be maintained with the local government hospital and the organization staff must meet the medico legal officer in the hospital and brief them about organizations work. Effort should be made to keep that link alive by inviting them in different activities of the organization.

• Linkages and networking with other service providers, particularly government should also emphasized awareness raising activities to sensitize them on GBV related issues and survivor centered services.

Special considerations for children

• GBV and child protection agencies need to establish a common understanding as to which agency will be empowered to lead this essential component of conducting an initial interview and providing case management in order to avoid confusion of roles and conflicting case actions taken on behalf of joint clients.

Making a referral data base directory

The referral directory can include services and professionals related to:

▪ Legal and medical aid

▪ Police stations

▪ Financial aid services

▪ Mental health services (psychologist/ psychiatrist for adults and children),

▪ Working women hostels,

▪ Lady doctors (e.g., gynecologist)

▪ Medico legal staff

▪ Local and national NGOs

▪ Burn units

▪ Private and government shelters

▪ Institutions dealing with chemical dependency and rehabilitation

▪ Vocational training institute

▪ Local government officials

▪ Social Welfare Departments

▪ Local committees

▪ School facilities in the area

▪ Income generation organizations, display and sale centers or any other.

▪ Child Protection centers /Kashiana/local orphanages.

▪ District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ)

• Visits should be made to the identified referral services to assess their quality and sensitivity to women and girls, and the issues affecting them. In addition, organization should give an orientation session to these services regarding the nature of the work and the nature of the cases that might be referred to it (e.g., rape, gang rape, burn survivors, domestic violence etc).

• In cases where it is not possible to find quality referrals, the organization should weigh the possible risks against benefits expected from the referral and then decide whether or not to refer accordingly. If it is decided that the survivor would still benefit from the referral, she will be informed of what to expect, including the limitations of the service.

• A written agreement with the referral services/professionals should be signed where possible.

• The referral directory will be regularly updated and re-referrals to services will be made on the basis of feedback from referred survivors/residents.

|Name Specialization|Location |Contact |Timings |Fee structure |Number of cases |

|or area of | |(Landline/fax/Mobile) | | |referred |

|expertise | |Email if any | | |Women/children |

| | | | | |(B/G) |

|~~Example~~Dr. |XYZ |XYZ |8.30-5.00 |Rs, 50 per visit |1+1+1+1 |

|Saiqa Ahmed ( | | |Appointment needed|(Waiver possible if | |

|Psychiatrist) | | | |requested) | |

When making a referral

• Informed consent from the survivor at the time of referral should be sought.

• Referral services or options agreed upon will be documented..

• Follow-ups will be carried out by the focal point appointed for the case with the individual/organization the survivor is referred to, in order to keep a record of number of individuals who have actually utilized the referral. Follow up will also be carried out with survivor referred. Follow-up and feedback information will be documented.

|Client name |Referral service and type |Client’s remarks |Follow-up |Action taken |

|XYZ |Government Hospital /Medical |Satisfied |Regular check-ups |Follow up with service|

| | | | |provider and survivor |

| | | | |for way forward |

• The organization staff should accompany the survivor to the referral if possible, especially if she is considered to be at risk.

• Considerations, such as cost and feasibility of transport should be considered when doing the referral, as well as safety concerns.

• When referring a survivor to a service delivery organization in the locality, all necessary documentation and security information will be forwarded to that organization with the consent of the survivor.

• Referral services identified should be sensitive to quality, time and financial concerns. In cases where the involved organization (or service provider or is unable to find quality referrals, then it should weigh possible risks against benefits expected from the referral. The survivor must be informed in case of gaps/limitations of the referral services and be prepared for the kind of service he or she may receive.

• Survivor should be in control of the decisions with regards to the case and with every possibility its possible repercussions and strengths should be clearly shared with the adult survivor.

• Where needed the survivor should be accompanied by the service provider and provided with support in the form of emotional support and giving information with regards to what to expect and strategies of handling it e.g medico-legal examination or preparing for a statement in court.

• Incidents of sexual exploitation involving humanitarian workers must be reported according to the UN Secretary General’s Bulletin on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, 2003. A proper complaint mechanism should be in place and referral should be revised if needed to not expose the safety of the survivor,

• Clear procedures for regular follow ups of on-going and concluded cases should be in place for the organization, especially in cases where the risk of is present. In cases where the case has been closed, but the organization is still concerned for the well being of the survivor, the organization should identify set mechanisms for continued contact and follow-up with the survivor. Consent of the adult survivor for follow up must be sought.

• The follow up of cases should be both with the survivor, as well as the referral service.

• There should be an effort on part of the organizations to link up with the local and national referral networks so that support can be sought for referral and information is shared with regards to services and challenges. This is particularly important in remote areas where it may be difficult to find adequate and sensitive services; and also can be a useful source of support for the organizations in controversial and difficult cases.

• In case more than one organization or service provider/s, is involved, efforts to support the survivor must be coordinated and the best interest of the survivor should be kept in view. Organizations should also avoid making contradictory and/or public statements against each other.

• If the survivor comes from referral/accompanied by the community representative (teacher, LHV, peer, friends etc) organization has the responsibility to inform the accompanying individual of the services available also as he/she might be the only person the survivor trusting at the given time. This wont be applicable if there is a possibility of the accompanying individual being abuser him/herself.

• In case of very high risk cases, organizations must develop a procedure for assessing risk or harm to the survivor and staff member/s.

• Protocols in high-risk situations to ensure physical safety of caregivers/organisation’s staff should be outlined. These could include the following:

o A staff member who has to leave the premises of the organization for follow up of the case, such as for court hearings or legal procedures may be accompanied by another staff member and/or security guard.

o In high-risk cases or situations, no staff member or service provider should be identifiable. Similarly, organizations can raise the issue from the platform of networks and joint forums instead of doing it independently in order to diffuse the intensity of the risk.

o Where possible, staff should be insured against possible injury during the performance of duties in line with organizational protocols.

• Organizations should take a proactive role in supporting the staff member in case of risk of defamation. Legal support should also be provided to the staff member if required.

Special safety considerations for child survivors

Every action taken with a child survivor of abuse and his/her family should involve a safety assessment, and all safety assessments should be conducted throughout the case management process, not solely as a one-off action taken when a case has first been reported. The child and non-offending family members should be fully engaged in this safety assessment process, and information collected on the following critical questions is needed:

• Is there serious harm to the child at home? (e.g. perpetrator still residing at home)

• Is there an immediate threat of serious future harm? (e.g. could the child be abused again)

• Is the child in question vulnerable (e.g. developmental and/or physical handicaps)

• Does the family have the protective capacities to mitigate any threats of immediate harm?

• And based on these factors: Is there a need for an immediate safety intervention or action?

If information gathered on the above questions identifies a child as “not safe”, then caseworkers are responsible for implementing immediate actions or “safety interventions” that will best protect the child from future harm.

2 Help-seeking and referral pathway

The following page is an illustration of the agreed “entry points” for receiving reports of GBV incidents and the pathway for referrals and follow up. This is only summary information; details and procedures are described in Section 6, Responsibilities for Survivor/Victim Assistance (Response).



Use the following template to fill in details of the referral pathway for your setting. These referral pathways must be specific to one site (camp, town, or other location). If the scope of these SOPS includes more than one site, there must be a separate page for each site, with specific pathways for each.


|Stage I: Survivor tells family, friend, community member; that |Survivor self-reports to police/court or any service provider |

|person accompanies survivor to the police, court health or | |

|psychosocial “entry point: | |

| |

| |


|Stage II: In case, Survivor prefer to approach health/psychosocial facility, The service provider must provide a safe, caring environment|

|and respect the confidentiality and wishes of the survivor; learn the immediate needs; give honest and clear information about services |

|available. If agreed and requested by survivor, obtain informed consent and make referrals; accompany the survivor to assist her in |

|accessing services |

|Medical/health care entry point |Psychosocial support entry point |

|[Enter name of the health centre(s) in this role] |[Enter name of the psychosocial provider(s) in this role] |

| |


|Refer and accompany survivor to police/security - or - to legal assistance/protection officers for information and assistance with |

|referral to police |

|Police/Security |Legal Assistance Counsellors |

| |or Protection Officers |

|[Enter specific information about the security actor(s) to contact -|[Enter names of organisations] |

|including where to go and/or how to contact them] | |

| |


|Over time and based on survivor’s choices can include any of the following (details in Section 6): |

|Health care |Psychosocial services |Protection, security, and justice|Basic needs, such as shelter, |

| | |actors |ration card, children’s services,|

| | | |safe shelter, or other |

*In cases, where the survivor chooses to inform police or legal assistance counsellor first, then the process will be going to be inversed for stages II &III.


a. Health/ Medical Response

• In case of medical referrals accompanying staff will ensure that:

o First and most important is to provide immediate medical assistance to ensure treatment of any physical injury, including bleeding or any life saving intervention. For female survivor, ensure female health care provider.

o In case of rape, ensure the survivor reaches medical treatment within 72 hours to receive preventive treatment for STIs (Sexually transmitted infections) and unwanted pregnancies.

o The medical examination of the survivor is done without any delay since the report could serve as significant evidence. A mapping must be done of all injuries related to physical assault, rape and other sexual assault, consequential to the various acts of exploitation or prolonged denial of medical care and psychological harm.

o The survivor is prepared for and told of what to expect during the examination. She will also be given a chance to de-brief the experience afterwards.

o The female survivor is examined by female Medical Legal Officer (MLOs/ lady doctor.

o The survivor is provided with a medico-legal certificate. All the relevant information related to the tests/examination should be provided and explained to the survivor.

o Organization staff accompanying the survivor should be familiar with the provincial medico-legal requirement for the examination of the survivor, especially for the cases of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

• In cases of physical and/or sexual abuse, a survivor will be referred for medico-legal examination soon as possible through a recognized hospital or registered medical practitioner.

• Ensures that medico-legal examination is conducted with the informed written consent of the victim and with due sensitivity;

• Staff should be well versed with the SOPs of medico-legal officers, such as the ones developed by GIZ and the WHO guidelines for Pakistan, which are under development. As well as it should educate the survivor on the same.

• Survivors will have access to medical services free of charge where possible.

• Offer the required emergency and follow-up case, both medical and psychological to the victims of violence;

• Ensure that the medico-legal certificate remains a strictly confidential document only accessible to persons with due authorization; breaching confidentiality can also result on security concerns not only to the survivor but to the health care providers, protection to both should be ensure.

• Organization should ensure the confidentiality of the results of any other medical exams also.

• If a survivor discloses a chemical dependency problem the individual will be referred to nearest government facility (DHQ) or to appropriately train medical facility and for professional counseling.

• The result of the tests in case of female or male survivor of violence should not to be used to discriminate or refuse services. It will be used to arrange for appropriate medication. In all cases, the right to privacy and confidentiality of medical screening results is paramount.

• Reference for Health response should be given to the Adhering to the WHO Ethical and Safety Recommendations for Researching, Documenting and Monitoring Sexual Violence in Emergencies[31]

Special considerations for children

Prior to conducting a physical exam on a child, the health care worker must explain to the child (and his/her parent) the process of care and treatment, including the interview and medical exam.

Consent for each part of health care and treatment should be obtained at every step. For all child survivors, a consent form must be signed by the child’s parent or caregiver, unless the child’s parent is the suspected abuser. If the parent is the suspected abuser, a consent form may be signed by a representative from the police, child welfare agency, GBV agency, or other (in line with laws in that province).

Especially in the provision of health care services, even though children are unable to give legal consent to services, they should not be compelled or forced to undergo an examination or treatment, unless it is necessary to save the life of the child.

The procedure of medico-legal in Pakistan is a bit complex as the survivor needs a referral to be made by either Police or courts. In case of violence, a survivor can approach the health facility to get treatment but still the health facility, if equipped with medico-legal system, may need a referral from police or courts to issue a medico-legal report.

Psychosocial response

• It is necessary to ensure that first point of contact of survivor has the basic information on the range of (and varying) potential effects of GBV (DV and rape) on women and children

• First point of contact for women survivors should be preferably female staff.In the case of small children as well, female staff are usually the best choice

• Environment should be safe and there should be private space available for survivors to discuss their cases

• Staff should be respectful, maintain a non-judgmental manner and shouldn’t laugh or show any disrespect for the individual or her culture, family, or situation

• Be patient; do not press for more information if the victim/survivor is not ready to speak about her experience

• Only relevant questions should be asked (For example, the status of the virginity of the victim/survivor is not relevant and should not be discussed.

• requiring the victim/survivor to repeat the story in multiple interviews should be strictly avoided

• Assessment of emotional health should be carried out. After mental health examination, service provider should have expertise to analyze that that if this case needs to be referred further and to whom.

• At no point will the survivor be pressurized to take any decision regarding the case.

• At any stage if the survivor decides to withdraw from the case, her decision will be respected. She will be informed of all aspects and possible impact of her decision.

• If there are children accompanying the survivor, there needs to be a safe place for children available at the contact centre to keep the children occupied close by while the mother is being interviewed.

• In case of children, an attempt will be made to share important facts of the case with the child in an age appropriate and sensitive manner, and the child’s preferences will be given due notice.

• It should be ensured that the staff/volunteers who are dealing with survivors are appropriately trained.

b. Security and safety response


At police station the women victim of violence and accompanying members of family/ community should be received with respect and with due regard to the needs of the victim. The victim will be immediately directed to the ladies complaint unit, if it exists. The main responsibility of the police officer on duty will be to provide security and to guide the women victim and the people accompanying her to the registration process.

• The registration section will ensure that women victims of violence are dealt responsibility in privacy by female police officers giving due regards to their special needs.

• Police officers should record the name and address of the complainant in the register with time and date. He/she should ask about the incident by keeping the respect and confidentiality.

• In the complaint room, a lady police officer of the rank ASI should be appointed.

• In case of a reported offence found to be cognizable by the police, an FIR shall be registered and the SHO shall be immediately informed. He shall discuss all cases with the in-charge investigation of the police station.

• SHO shall be informed of all the cases of violence against women, even if an FIR is not registered.

• The Moharrar shall highlight all cases of violence against women in the Daily Diary and shall bring theses to the notice of the SHO and to draw the attention of the supervisory officers for immediate action.

• If a woman complains of a life threat, the case shall not be brushed off and immediate preventive action shall be taken.

• The GBV victim should not be called by the police investigation officer again & again without any solid reasons otherwise it will be hurting and can damage the self respect & social life of the victim.

• The victim should not be pressurized /confused or interrupted by the investigation officer at any point while recording her/his statement.

• Police officers/ lady officers from the ladies complaint cell should be the part of all District/ Tehsil/ Union Council/ local levels “GBV working groups” and participate in GBV related awareness raising seminars/ consultative meetings to build and promote a police friendly environment within the local communities.

c. Legal Aid (organizations providing legal aid)

• Legal officer of the organization should be briefed on the following and lawyers on referrals should be included in different trainings to help orient them with survivor cantered approach

• The Legal Officer/lawyer should be

o Sensitive to and well aware of women rights issues.

o Conversant with relevant laws and legal procedures, especially the one which are protecting and promoting women rights

o Assist women with disabilities to acquire disability certificate and id card with disability logo

• Legal aid should will be provided free of cost to deserving survivors/residents

• Informed Consent for legal action will be taken in writing from the survivor after providing her with all the information related with her case, including what her role would be and the possible loop holes that may cause difficulties while prosecuting the case.

• During the counselling sessions with survivor of violence, the non-directive approach should have been preferred over the direct approach.

• In case of missing documentation, the Legal Officer/lawyer will facilitate the resident in obtaining or will obtain the documentation him/herself by coordinating with other institutions e.g. police, union council, degrees from the home of the resident.

• The Legal Officer will provide the survivor with a regular update on her case pending before the courts.

• The legal officer should have networking with the all relevant stakeholders including police, medicolegal centers, district bar associations, prosecution/attorney’s office etc.

• Free legal aid committees are constituted by bar associations to support the people who do not afford the litigation. The legal officer should have networking with such committees at all levels i.e District, provincial and national.

• It is duty of the organisation and legal officer to maintain a list/directory of all such stakeholders in their respective regions, this to be the referral system and service providers

• Support for the cases will be generated, when needed (such as for hearings or lobbying) through various relevant groups, such as bar councils/lawyers/ human rights departments/NGOs etc .

• The Legal Officer will build the capacity of the survivor to speak about her case before she appears in court and is exposed to the questions of the prosecutor.

• Every criminal case is prosecuted in the name of state and is represented through public prosecutors. Focus will be given to sensitize and trained the public prosecution department, especially concerning sensitive dealing with the survivors of gender based violence.

• During the police investigation process, the Legal Officer/lawyer will accompany the survivor.

• In case of difficult or high profile cases, and especially at the superior courts level, supervision and support will be sought from senior lawyers.

• In case of children, an attempt will be made to share important facts of the case with the child in an age appropriate and sensitive manner, and the child’s preferences will be given due notice. . In case, the child is of very young age to make decision himself/herself, the consent will be taken from such legal guardian who does not have any adverse interest.

• At no point will the survivor be pressurized to take any decision regarding the case.

• At any stage if the survivor decides to withdraw from the case, her decision will be respected. She will be informed of all aspects and possible impact of her decision.

• Service provider should be aware of existing traditional justice mechanisms within that specific local context which might be interfering with the rights and wishes of the survivor to seek justice or support, and could even result in further forms of violence against the survivor. Also should explore which organizations or networks exist working on sensitisation and awareness rising to the members of such structures.



Different members and structures in the community have a significant role to play in designing, implementing and evaluating strategies to prevent sexual and gender based violence. Humanitarian actors should work with different sectors of the displaced community and identify volunteers from the community who will support and run activities for prevention of and response to GBV.

Educational Institutions

Educational institutions can provide protection, but they can also be the places where abuses occur. Their roles and responsibilities should therefore be clearly outlined.

• As in other sectors, staff working in the education sector is obliged to prevent and respond to the abuse of children. It is also important to have a school code of conduct that clearly forbids sexual exploitation and abuse. Teachers and school authorities should be trained on sexual exploitation and abuse, GBV and Children’s rights.

• Any solution to address child survivors should not hinder their access to schooling. Assess and monitor the integration/reintegration of abused children into schools.

Community Participation

• Community participation in preventing GBV is key and changes in cultural attitudes that discriminate against women and girls are vital for the success of any GBV prevention and response programme.

• Ensure the community involvement is not limited to specific groups or committees, expand and encourage different groups to participate, including men and boys.

• Ensure that all forms of community involvement respect women’s rights and the principle of “Do No Harm” must be upheld at all times. This may involve providing training in Human Rights to the community groups.

• Any community group involved must be composed of 50% of women representatives or at least work proactively towards meeting this goal.

Religious Leaders

• Religious leaders are influential in communities and in particular in community decisions and can become an active partner in the prevention of GBV.

• They can play a role in encouraging men in ending violence against women and in promoting women’s and children’s human rights.

Women’s Groups

• Women are agents of change and should be active partners in community mobilisation to prevent and respond to GBV.

• Women’s informal and formal networks should play a role in GBV prevention and response activities.

• Women can be provided targeted leadership training to support their meaningful participation in public decision making processes including traditional justice systems to uphold women’s rights.

• To create a safe space for women to expose and challenge the multiple forms of violence, discrimination, inequality and injustices they face within laws and practices in the region;

• To examine women’s multiple identities and the multiple forms of discrimination they experience, including the root causes of discrimination within the context of patriarchal systems as manifested in fundamentalism, militarization and neo-liberal globalization;

• To identify existing mechanisms of justice and effective remedies within national, regional and international levels through learning from the strategies and activism of women.

Men’s Groups

Men can be agents in promoting positive masculine norms and behaviours that are non-violent. Engaging men as partners in combating GBV is being recognized as a necessary component of GBV prevention, identification responses by humanitarian agencies. It is important that GBV prevention activities have sufficient involvement of men.

It should be noted that men can be exposed to GBV though not to the same extent as women. A mix of factors can exacerbate the incidence of GBV, including stresses created by conflict and displacement, which often trigger changes in gender roles. Recognizing that men may also be victims/survivors of GBV is therefore essential.

GBV programmes actively engage men to promote gender equality; prevent domestic violence, sexual violence and other forms of harmful traditional practices; and mitigate the impact of GBV in reproductive health interventions.

GBV policies and programmes which focus on individual attitudinal change in the short term result in incremental societal change in the longer term. Culturally appropriate prevention programmes can usefully highlight the positive social roles that men play as partners, providers, caregivers, peacemakers and protectors alongside women and girls.

• Men’s groups involved in GBV prevention and response should actively promote respect for the rights of women and children.

• Provide support for such groups to strengthen their understanding of gender equality and women’s and children’s rights

• Explore partnerships with male community groups and expand the use of male and female outreach workers, trainers and leaders.

• Identify men who are survivors of GBV

• Take steps to ensure that work with men is not isolated from, or at the expense of, women and girls. Ensure that programming is complementary, not competitive.

Youth Groups/Children’s Clubs

Children’s groups play an important role in psycho-social support and their clubs may be places where children feel safe enough to divulge that they are being abused.

• Provide awareness-raising activities for children so that they know how and where to report abuse. This may include involving children in helping to make the referral mechanism child-friendly.

• Assess the security of children involved in reporting cases to ensure that they are not put at risk.

• Provide information and awareness on HIV/AIDS and reproductive health.

6.1 Sharing of Information among organisations working on prevention and response of GBV

It is important to both identify the actor/agency responsible for coordinating the prevention of and response to GBV and to have a comprehensive overview of what each organization can provide in terms of health, safety/security, legal/justice, and psycho-social and education. By clarifying responsibilities, the survivor will have a better understanding of the assistance available to him/her and the actors, themselves, will be able to develop an effective referral mechanism.[32]

Information about GBV incidents is extremely sensitive and confidential. Sharing any information about a GBV incident can have serious and potentially life threatening consequences for the survivor and those helping her. In many cases, survivors do NOT wish to pursue security or police action and do not wish to inform the relevant agency/organisation with a mandate for protection, despite ongoing protection and security risks. These are very challenging situations for humanitarian actors who are concerned with protection issues for the individual as well as the wider community.

• GBV survivors have a right to control how information about their case is shared with other agencies or individuals. She/he should understand the implications for sharing information and make a decision before the information is shared.

• The key organisations involved in GBV response should develop memoranda of understanding between them, to clarify and be specific about how information sharing will take place, how much information will be shared, and using what methods.

• The survivor should be given honest and complete information about possible referrals for services. If she agrees and requests referrals, she must give her informed consent before any information is shared with others. She must be made aware of any risks or implications of sharing information about her situation. She has the right to place limitations on the type(s) of information to be shared, and to specify which organisations can and cannot be given the information.

The survivor must also understand and consent to the sharing of non-identifying data about her case for data collection and security monitoring purposes.

• Children must be consulted and given all the information needed to make an informed decision using child-friendly techniques that encourage them to express themselves. Their ability to provide consent on the use of the information and the credibility of the information will depend on their age, maturity and ability to express themselves freely.

2. Reintegration/Social rehabilitation

• Rehabilitation program will aim to re-build residents’ self-image, self-esteem and confidence.

• Organization supporting in reintegration will liaise with vocational training institutes and make arrangements for sessions to be conducted on the premises. Any money received from sold products will be paid to the survivors.

• Organization will coordinate with local NGOs and business to ensure orders can be arranged on a sustainable basis. They will ensure adequate opportunities for display and sale of products made by survivors, such as liaising with local industrial homes.

• Business advice, which will include referral for microcredit schemes, financial advice, support in networking and basic accountancy skills, etc.

• Support will be provided to survivors in job-seeking. This will include keeping track of job postings in newspapers and training residents to undergo job interviews. It will also include a basic survey of employment opportunities of the community where the resident will be rehabilitated.

• Survivor will be provided with follow-up and mentoring for a short period of time after rehabilitated for support and dealing of emerging issues in the process.

6.3 Reconciliation for Survivors in Shelter homes

If a survivor decides for reconciliation:

• Their family will be contacted by phone/letter or legal notice and requested to come to the center.

o Individual counselling sessions will be held with all parties.

o If the resident/survivor consents, this will be followed by group counselling.

o After counselling sessions, staff will hold a second private interview with the resident/survivor to establish if the resident still wishes to proceed with the reconciliation process. Staff will provide clear, honest, unbiased information to the resident/survivor regarding the process and follow-up of reconciliation and its benefits and drawbacks.

o If the survivor wishes to reconciliate, it will be made clear to her that she may return and avail of facilities any time she wishes. The resident will be given a referral list/contact information for local NGOs/CBOs and relevant local services, and an effort will be made to equip her with the knowledge and confidence to revert to sources of professional care and support when in need.

o Identify women with disabilities to conduct peer-counselling sessions for women with disabilities

• In case of reconciliation an affidavit and copy of national ID card will be taken from the person who is taking responsibility of the person.

• The organization will inform the survivor of the existing follow-up procedure, and the resident/survivor will inform the centre of whether or not, and to which extent, she would like this procedure to be initiated. Over monitoring of victims after re integration should  be avoided as it may be counterproductive  or could  add to the  stigmatization. The organization will undertake a telephonic follow-up every week during the first 1 month and a monthly telephonic follow-up in the first 6 months the survivor has returned to her family, if the survivor agrees to this.

• The organization will take appropriate legal action against the family in question if there is no response to phone calls and the center is unable to contact the survivor.

• Management will update and revise reconciliation procedures on a continuous basis in light of learning

6.4 Training and well being of care givers/ GBV staff

• All staff of an organization should undergo core training of working with survivors. The focus of the core training should be on respect for the survivor. Staff providing specialized services must be trained in their areas, which could include:

o Effective counseling skills (working with women and children),

o Managing stress and burnout;

o Ethical considerations;

o Conflict resolution;

o Understanding the psychological impact and needs of clients who have experienced domestic violence; sexual assault; and women, children and adolescents, commercial sex workers; and children living in especially difficult circumstances;

o Handling aggressive and/or manipulative survivors and aggressive children, etc;

o Orientation on medico legal procedures;

o Para legal training;

o Crisis management;

o Gender sensitization.

• Systems for providing emotional support to staff working with cases of violence and particularly crisis cases should be in place. Staff members providing services to survivors are often at risk of suffering from burn out and therefore organizations need to incorporate emotional health programs e.g. stress management training opportunities for de-briefing of difficult cases, team retreats and mandatory leaves.

• Staff should be provided by mentoring and guidance through case supervision meetings.

• The organizations and individuals on referrals should also be included in the capacity building initiatives.

Special considerations for children

Case Management Service Providers must have specialized competencies in:

o Developing a helping relationship with children (this includes communication and engagement strategies);

o Knowledge about sexual abuse;

o Case management for children and families affected by sexual abuse. This includes how to appropriately address confidentiality, mandatory reporting, and informed consent procedures.

o Engaging non-offending family members in the child’s care and treatment;

o Sexual abuse psycho-education, this includes topics such as: understanding sexual abuse; common reactions to abuse; how to manage trauma symptoms, and safety planning and skills training;

o Coordinating a multidisciplinary case-response team.

Psychosocial service providers have specialized competencies in:

o Child growth and development, and how children understand and make meaning of sexual abuse accordingly;

o Child specific distress symptoms and age appropriate interventions;

o Sexual abuse psycho-education, this includes topics such as: understanding sexual abuse; common reactions to abuse; how to manage trauma symptoms, and safety planning and skills training;

o Teaching basic parenting skills and working within family systems to strengthen children’s healing environment; and

o Making child-friendly referrals for further protection and psychosocial support.

Health care providers have specialized competencies in:

o Clinical health care of sexual assault for child sexual abuse survivors, including:

▪ Child growth and development, and the impact of abuse-related trauma on physical and psychological wellbeing

▪ Conducting a child-friendly medical interview with child survivors

▪ Modifying the medical exam, medical treatment, and evidence collection for child survivors (to the greatest extent possible)

▪ Negotiating patient’s confidentiality rights, mandatory reporting, and working with law enforcement

▪ Child-friendly referrals for further protection and psychosocial support.


Multisectoral coordination is essential for Gender Based Violence prevention and response, involving all relevant service providers, including private, NGO and government. In Pakistan GBV coordination has been a key pillar to ensure immediate response in the floods of 2010 and the ongoing IDP crisis. The former GBV subcluster was established in September 2010, and phased out into the current structure under the Early Recovery Working Group, as the GBV sub Thematic Group lead by UNFPA, under Protection TG, with active participation from national and International NGOs, CBOs, Government, and UN agencies, with active coordination at national (based in Islamabad) and the five affected provinces in South Punjab, North Sindh, South Sindh, KPK and Balochistan. District coordination through the District Protection Working Groups:

← KPK: Swat and Lower Dir

← North Sindh: Jacobabad, Q.shahdadkot, Larkana, Shikarpur, khairpur

← South Sindh: Jamshoro, Thatta, Dadu

← South Punjab: Muzaffargarh, Rajanpur, Mianwali, Rahim Yar Khan, Layyah, D.G. Khan, Multan, Sargodha, Khushab, Jhang, Bhakkar, Bahawalpur

← Balochistan

For the ongoing IDP crisis in FATA, GBV coordination remains under the cluster structure, with main base in Peshawar, the GBV subcluster was recently activated under the Protection cluster.

Under the GBV subcluster/ sub Thematic Group, the SOPs working group was established for the development and ongoing revision of the SOPs. Coordination involves establishing and continually reviewing methods for reporting and referrals with due respect to the wishes of the individual victim/survivor and confidentiality. All actors party to the SOPs agree that information-sharing, coordination, and feedback will occur regularly and that regular meetings will be held in as agreed by the respective groups.

All actors/parties to these SOPs are encouraged to actively take part in multisectoral coordination at their respective locations. Below contact details for the coordination leads on each location:

(to add respective contact list for district coordination)

|Name |Title |Loc |Mob |E-mail |

|Ms. Sujata Tuladhar |GBV Programme Analyst |Islamabad |3005014304 |stuladhar@ |

|Mr. Ali Imran |GBV Coordination |Islamabad | 333 4205064 |imran@ |

| |Consultant | | | |

|Ms. Renuka Swami |IM Officer |Islamabad |0300500 4536 |swami@ |

|Ms Sajida Ali |Provincial GBV |South Sindh |3312734878 | |

| |coordinator | | | |

|Ms. Shabana Aman |Provincial GBV |KPK |3006535169 | |

| |coordinator | | | |

|Ms. Khalida Parveen |Provincial GBV |North Sindh |3312773059 | |

| |coordinator | | | |

|Ms. Munaza Hashmi |Provincial GBV |South Punjab |  | hashmi@ |

| |coordinator | | | |

|Ms. Surrya |Provincial GBV |Balochistan |0300-8157335 |riazs@ |

| |coordinator | | | |

Annex I:

SOP working group include

1. Rozan



4. WHO

5. Paiman

6. UN Women

7. GIZ

8. Shirkat Gah

9. Aurat Foundation

10. Sharakat

11. American Refuge Council

12. NAGE

13. Age and Disability Task Force

Annex II

GBV Definitions according to Pakistani Law


A man is said to commit rape who has sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances falling under any of the five following descriptions,

|(i) |against her will. |

| |

|(ii) |without her consent |

| |

|(iii)|with her consent, when the consent has been obtained by putting her in fear of death or of hurt, |

| |

|(iv) |with her consent, when the man knows that he is not married to her and that the consent is given because she believes that the man is|

| |another person to whom she is or believes herself to be married; or |

| |

|(v) |With or without her consent when she is under sixteen years of age. |

| |

Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the sexual intercourse necessary to the offence of rape.

Sexual assault:

Section 509 of Pakistan Penal Code defines the sexual assault as follows:


(i) intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman;.

(ii) Conduct sexual advances, or demand sexual favours or uses verbal or non-verbal communication or physical conduct of the sexual nature which intends to annoy, insult, intimidate or threaten the other person or commit such acts at the premises of workplace, or make submission to such conduct either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, or make submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual a basis for employment decision affecting such individual, or retaliates because of rejection of such behavior with the intention of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidation , hostile or offensive working environment;

shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to three year, or with fine upto five hundred thousand rupees, or with both.

Explanation: Such behavior might occur in public place, including, but not limited to markets, public transport, streets or parks, or it might occur in private places including, but not limited to workplaces, private gatherings, or homes.

While the sexual harassment is defined in Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act 2010 as follows:

“Harassment” means any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favour, or other verbal or written communication or physical conduct of a sexual nature or sexually demanding attitudes, causing interference with the work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, or the attempt to punish the complainant for refusal to comply to such a request or is made a condition for employment.

For attempt to rape issues where penetration has not taken place, Section 511 of Pakistan Penal Code deals with the attempt to any offence, if the punishment for such attempt is not defined in the law. It states as under:

“Whoever attempts to commit an offence punishable by this Code with imprisonment for life or imprisonment, or to cause such an offence to be committed, and in such attempt does any act towards the commission of the offence, shall where no express provision is made by this Code for the punishment of such attempt, be punished with imprisonment of any description provided for the offence for a term which may extend to one-half of the longest term of imprisonment provided for that offence or with such fine daman as is provided for the offence, or with both.”

Physical assault:

Physical assault is defined in section 351 of Pakistan Penal Code. It states as under:

“Whoever makes any gesture, or any preparation intending or knowing it to be likely that such gesture or preparation will-cause any person present to apprehend that he who makes that gesture or preparation it about to use .of criminal force to that person, is said to commit an assault.”

Explanation: Mere words do not amount to an assault, but the words which a person uses may give to his gesture or preparation such a meaning as may make those gestures or preparations amount to an assault.

While the physical assaults against women with intent to outrage her modesty or use of criminal force and stripping her of her clothes, section 354 & 354-A, describes the crime as follows;

“Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years or with fine, or with both.”

| |“Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any woman and strips her of her clothes and in that condition, exposes her to the public view,|

| |shall be punished with death or with imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.” |

| | |

| |Psychological Abuse: |

| |Pakistani law does not specifically cater many forms of psychological abuse as an offence. Threats for intimidation, however, are dealt |

| |under criminal law. Section 503 defines the criminal intimidation as follows: |

| |“Whoever threatens another with any injury to his person, reputation or property, or to the person or reputation of any one in whom that |

| |person is interested, with intent to cause alarm to that person, or to cause that person to do any act which he is not legally bound to |

| |do, or to omit to do any act which that person is legally entitled to do, as the means of avoiding the execution of such threat, commits |

| |criminal intimidation.” |

| |Explanation: A threat to injure the reputation of any deceased person in whom the person threatened is interested, is within this section.|

| |Section 2 (viii) of the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939 provides ground for divorce because of cruel conduct of the husband. The|

| |actions mentioned in the ambit of cruel conduct (which does not necessarily have to be physical ill treatment) and the court’s decision|

| |in their elaboration recognize humiliation, intimidation, threats of physical assault which as per definition given in the SOPs fall in |

| |psychological abuse. Courts have granted decrees of dissolution of marriage on the basis psychological abuse by the husband. |

| | |

| |Economic Abuse: |

Economic abuse is not specifically defined in Pakistani law, however, many rights are granted under the law to protect women and children from economic abuse. Many of these laws are the part of the personal laws, especially related to inheritance, property rights, maintenance, dower and other related rights.

Article 38 of the constitution of Pakistan also stresses about the social and economic well being of the people, as a mandatory principle for public policy.

Section 4 (e ) of the bill for Domestic Violence, provided a definition for economic abuse but this law could have not become an act as it was not passed by Senate. The definition under the bill is, “economic abuse includes deprivation of economic or financial resources or prohibition or restriction to continued access to such resources which the aggrieved person is entitled to use or enjoy by virtue of the domestic relationship including but not limited to household necessities for the aggrieved person and her children, any property jointly or separately owned by the aggrieved person, payment of rental related to the household, and maintenance”.

Forced Marriages:

Pakistani law does not penalize the forced marriages, but various judgments delivered by the superior courts declared such force marriages as voidable. Consent is an essential part of marriage and any marriage without the free consent of the parties, deemed to be voidable and is only valid, if the consent is later taken. Pakistani law only penalized the child marriage under the Child Marriages Restraint Act 1929.

Under section 310-A of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) giving a female in marriage or otherwise as badal-i- sulh ( in compensation for compromise) is a punishable offence with rigorous imprisonment which can extend up to ten years but not less than three years.

Section 365- B of PPC states, “Whoever kidnaps or abducts any woman with intent that she may be compelled, or knowing it to be likely that she will be compelled to marry any person against her will, or in order that she may be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse, or knowing it to be likely that she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and also be liable to fine, and who ever by means of criminal intimidation as defined in this Code or of abuse of authority or any other methods of compulsion induces any woman to go from any place with intent that she may be, or knowing that it is likely what she will be forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person shall also be punishable as aforesaid”.

In practice this provision is often used by the families against women who contract marriages of choice.

Detention of a woman with criminal intent is also crime. As per section 496- A, PPC whoever takes away any woman with intent that she may have illicit intercourse with any person, or conceals or detains with intent any woman, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extent to seven years.

This is another provision which in practice, instead of protection or prevention of crime against a woman is often used by the woman’s family members to obstruct her choice marriage.

Free consent is basic requisite for a valid Muslim marriage and a marriage in which an adult sane party does not consent, is void. In several decision, Higher Courts in Pakistan have held that a marriage under force, coercion or where consent is obtained through fraud, or misrepresentation is void even if it is registered under the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961.(one latest Supreme Court decision on this issue is Matloob Hussain v Mst. Shahida PLD 2006 SC 489). Lahore High Court in one renowned case on this issue described consent as conscious expression of one’s desire without any external intimidation.

Section 2 (Vii) of the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages, Act 1939 provides that if a female is given in marriage by her father or guardian before she attained the age of 16 years has the option to repudiate her marriage before attaining the age of 18 years, provided the marriage is not consummated. This is generally called exercise of option of puberty.

In Pakistan laws related to matrimonial issues for each religious community are different. These are legislated or otherwise. Under Christian Marriage Act 1872 and Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936 a marriage without consent of the female falls in the voidable category and can be declared null and void on wife’s plaint.

Female Genital Mutilation:

Pakistani law does not specifically deals with the female genital mutilation but deals generally the dismembering or amputation of organs under section 333 of Pakistan Penal Code. The section stipulates:

“Whoever dismembers, amputates, severs any limb or organ of the body of another person is said to cause Itlaf-i-udw.”

Punishment for such offence might be upto 10 years imprisonment alongwith the punishment of qisas and arsh (sharia law).

Section 335 states the permanent impairing of the functioning, power or capacity of an organ. It states as below:

“Whoever destroys or permanently impairs the functioning, power or capacity of an organ of the body of another person, or causes permanent disfigurement is said to cause itlaf-i-salahiyyat-i-udw”

The issue can also be dealt under section 332 of Pakistan Penal Code, dealing with the issue of hurt. It states as below:

|“Whoever causes pain, harm, disease, infianity or injury to any person or impairs, disables or dismembers any organ of the body or part |

|thereof of any person without causing his death, is said to cause hurt. “ |

| |

|The following are the kinds of hurt: |

|(a) |

|Itlaf-i-udw (loss of organ) |

| |

|(b) |

|Itlaf-i-salahiyyat-i-udw (loss of capacity of organ) |

| |

|(c) |

|Shajjah (hurt on head or face) |

| |

|(d) |

|jurh and (hurt to any body part other than head and face) |

| |

|(e) |

|all kinds of other hurts. |

| |

Annex III


For staff of XX ,(Organization)

XX Organization has an incoming counseling facility and provides counseling through telephone and email as well. Besides these YY programs also handle certain crisis case, which require immediate response like cases of rape, domestic violence, Child sexual abuse, protection issues, and potential threat of honor killing. Moreover there might be instances where staff would accompany the survivors for services like medico-legal, meeting with the lawyer, meeting in police station or accompany her for the case hearing.

Therefore it’s necessary for the staff members to read and understand the Code of Ethics of dealing with survivors of Violence. It’s compulsory for the staff to sign the following undertaking as well. In case of failure to compliance with code of ethics or the following undertaking, management can take necessary action.

Annex IV

Add Reporting on Media Checklist and add the section here:

• Publicity of a case can be considered as an exception in the following situations.

o Where the survivor/victim is at a stage of recovery where she can truly make an informed decision. Some women choose to break the silence around the violence in their lives as a way to help others. Often this happens after some time has elapsed and the case has either been resolved or become dormant.

o Where the survivor's/victim’s (woman or child) legal proceedings stand to benefit from it. In this case informed consent must be taken.

o Where the survivor/victim herself proposes this course of action despite being informed of possible negative repercussions.

o Survivors requesting media exposure will be informed of possible positive and negative implications of using the media.

o In cases of press conferences or media interviews, it is important that the survivor/victim is prepared for the kind of questions she may be asked and is also appraised of her right to refuse questions she does not wish to answer.

o The media personnel can also be briefed beforehand on appropriate and inappropriate questioning.

o Ensure media do not further stigmatize any survivor/victim; avoid categorizations or descriptions that expose a survivor/victim to negative reprisals - including additional physical or psychological harm, or to lifelong abuse, discrimination or rejection by their local communities.

Annex: V

Questionnaire for Survivors

A. Consent

I want to assure you that all of your answers will be kept strictly secret. I will not keep a record of your name or address. You have the right to stop the interview at any time, or to skip any questions that you don’t want to answer. There is no right or wrong answers. Some of the topics may be difficult to discuss, but many women have found it useful to have the opportunity to talk.

Your participation is completely voluntary but your experiences could be very helpful to other women in Pakistan.

Do you have any questions?

The interview takes approximately * minutes to complete. Do you agree to be interviewed?



Is now a good time to talk?

It’s very important that we talk in private. Is this a good place to hold the interview, or is there somewhere else that you would like to go?


I certify that I have read the above consent procedure to the participant.


Annex VI

GBV Incident Report Form

Example of Incident Report Form used by GBV sub thematic group (Sukkur)


Annex VII



CARE International in Pakistan (CIP)


CARE International’s vision requires us to focus on discrimination, dignity, security and human rights as central to our work of eliminating poverty. Sexual harassment and exploitation is an issue that goes to the heart of our vision and values and we need to uphold these values in our programs as well as in all our interactions within the organization and with our partners and program participants. We are in a powerful position and if we start to abuse that power it raises fundamental questions about our legitimacy.

Recognizing the potential for incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse, CARE has made an organizational commitement to institute mechanisms to prevent exploitation of all kinds and investigate and intervene into any such allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of project participants.

In line with this commitment, CARE International in Pakistan (CIP) seeks to create and maintain an organizational environment that is free of discrimination and harassment and exploitation. This is critical to our effectiveness as an organization, and to ensuring that CIP staff, workers[33] and partners have the opportunity to contribute fully to its mission in a work environment that is free from all forms of social discrimination and harassment. Therefore, CIP expressly prohibits, and will not tolerate, any form of sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse.


1) Sexual Exploitation

The term “sexual exploitation” means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including but not limited to , profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another

Examples of Sexual Exploitation include, but do not limit to the following:

▪ To offer special benefits (including money, employment, goods or services) to program participants in exchange of expressed, implicit or demanded sexual favors;

▪ Threats or insinuations that refusing or not willing by an individual to be subjected to sexual advances or demands shall affect his/her access to the right of assistance or support;

▪ To propose professional advantages in exchange of implicit or explicit sexual favors;

▪ To threaten or insinuate that the refusal or the acceptance of any sexual requests will affect the terms and conditions of service, etc.

2) Sexual Abuse

The term “sexual abuse” means the acual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.

3) Sexual Harassment

The term “sexual harassment means any sexual approach, sexual comment, expressed or implicit sexual request, touch, anecdote, joke, gesture or any communication or conduct of sexual nature not stimulated, be it verbal, written or visual, by any person to another within the scope of CIP’s work. The definition includes sexual harassment directed to members of the same sex or of opposite sex, and includes harassment based on the sexual orientation of the person.

Examples of sexual harassment at the workplace include, but do not limit to the following:

▪ Obscene comments, indecent words used to describe an individual, letters, notes or insinuating invitations, indecent requests or advances;

▪ Any physical provoking or obscene contact or attitude;

▪ Unfair appraisals or sanctions, work overload and disciplinary proceedings based on revenge due to a refusal of inappropriate requests;

▪ Verbal conduct such as pejorative sexual comments, graphic or verbal comments about someone’s body or the way of dressing, sexually degrading words used to describe an individual, sexually suggestive or obscene letters, notes, e-mail or invitations, degrading or inappropriate comments, sexual insinuations, biased comments, anecdotes, approaches or proposals;

▪ Visual conduct, as for instance, malicious looks, gestures with sexual connotation;

▪ Presentation or distribution of sexually suggestive objects or drawings, cartoons, posters or magazines, or;

▪ Physical contact or a threatening or effective contact, such as soft touching, pinching, movements to bar passage, or any offensive touch.


This policy is part and parcel of the CIP’s commitment to promote a good working environment, free of any form of discrimination and sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation at the workplace and in the program.

In order to further protect the vulnerable staff, workers and program participants, the following specific standards which reiterate existing HR policy of CIP, are promulgated:

a) Sexual exploitation and sexual abuse constitute acts of serious misconduct and are therefore grounds for disciplinary measures, including summary dismissal;

b) Sexual activity with children (persons under the age of 18) is prohibilited regrdless of the age of consent locally. Mistaken belief in the age of a child is not a defence;

c) Exchange of money, employment, goods or servics for sex, including sexual favours or other forms of humiliating, degrading or exploitative behaviour, is prohibited. This includes any exchange of assistance;

d) Sexual relationship between CIP staff and benerficiaries of assistance, sincethey are based on inherently unequal power dynamics, undermine the credibility and integrity of the work of CIP and are strongly discouraged.

e) Where a staff member develops concerns or suspcions regarding sexual exploitation or sexual abuse by a fellow worker, he or she must report such concerns via established reporting mechanism;

f) CIP staff are obliged to create and maintain an environment that prevents sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. Managers at all levels have a particular responsibility to support and develop systems that maintain this environment.

The standards set above are not intended to be an exhaustive list. Other types of sexually exsploitative or sexually abusive behaviour may be grounds for administrative action or disciplinary measures


Senior Management Team (SMT) is responsible for the implementation of these mechanisms for prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) as well as the implementation of the overall policy.

Following actions need to taken for prevention of sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse at the workplace and in programs:

▪ Staff training or promotion of discussions on the concepts of Sexual Abuse, Harassment and Exploitation;

▪ Orientation of staff on national and international laws and on CIP’s policy on Sexual Abuse and Exploitation;

▪ Production of leaflets on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and, if possible, translate them to widely spoken national languages;

▪ Policy sharing and community awareness on Sexual Abuse and Exploitation and challenging of negative traditional practices;

▪ Inclusion of a provision on Sexual Abuse and Exploitation in individual work contracts and in Memoranda of Understanding between CIP and partners;

▪ Similar treatment to similar cases, that is, with fairness, transparency and equity;

▪ Assurance of confidentiality during investigations;

▪ Application of severe measures to offenders;

▪ Evaluation of the application of this policy through the performance appraisal system;

▪ Carrying out of regular organizational surveys on the subject and use the results to improve policy.


This policy applies equally on all CIP staff, workers and partners and suppliers. It allows us to ensure that all CIP staff, workers, programs participants, partners and suppliers have the possibility to fully contribute to the Mission and Vision of CIP. This aspect is very important for CIP’s effectiveness as an Organization and for the respect of our fundamental values.

No CIP staff, worker, partner and supplier shall claim not to be aware of this policy to justify unacceptable actions under this very policy. As a matter of fact, understanding and acceding to this policy is an indispensable condition for the signing of any work contract/services provision or memorandum of understanding with CIP.


Every staff, partner, supplier and program participant falling victim of sexual harassment, abuse or exploitation in the exercise of or due to his/her functions is hereby invited to speak first with the alleged offender to draw his/her attention about the careless or inappropriate attitude or gesture. However, this stage is optional upon the nature and seriousness of the situation.

In the event that one prefers to resort to another person (including someone senior in the hierarchy), the offended person can contact following persons/sources:

▪ his/her own immediate supervisor or the offender’s immediate supervisor;

▪ the supervisor of the immediate supervisor;

▪ GED Advisor and/or HR Manager

▪ Country Director or Assistant Country Director.

▪ place your claim in writing (in anonymity) in the box available in every CIP office, or,

▪ report through CAREUS “Report wrongful conduct” telephoneline and websit

▪ In case of beneficiaries, report through already established reporting procedure of the program

A senior team nominated by the CD will heed staff concerns and do the follow-up of the complaints placed.

A sealed box will be made available in every office for people to be able to place their complaints on SEA or yet to place their complaints in anonymity. Employees coming across a situation of SEA or of an inappropriate relationship between fellow employees in CIP are called upon to report this way, or by contacting directly GED Advisor, HR Manager, ACD, or the Country Director.

The person who receives a complaint must write a report about the incident to be signed by both the offended person and the person receiving the complaint. The report should offer details of facts, including dates, places and names of likely witnesses. A copy of the incident report must be given to the offended and the original handed over to the GED Advisor, HR Manager, ACD, or the Country Director.

In the event that the offended person is a member of a community benefiting from our programs or is a partner, he/she has the option to report the incident to the Project Manager in which he/she participates, place the claim in the box available in CIP’s office or still inform the local administrative authority. The person who receives the claim in CIP, must submit a report immediately to the GED Advisor, HR Manager, ACD, or the Country Director.

CIP shall disciplinarily hold accountable the person who receives a complaint of sexual abuse and exploitation and fails to do the necessary follow-up within a period of two working days, if such is unveiled (this is regarded as concealing an offence).

However, a vigorous action shall be taken against false testimony or a claim clearly imbued of bad faith or detractive.


Decisions linked to any incident of sexual harassment and abuse lie exclusively on the Country Director. Therefore, the Country Director shall appoint, in a case by case, a Commission of Inquiry comprising of at least three (03) senior staff to carry out an inquiry and produce recommendations. The Country Director shall evaluate the importance of including a person alien to CIP in the investigation team.

The composition of the investigation commission shall take into consideration the following criteria:

• Gender balance (50% of members shall be from the same sex of the offended person);

• Integrity;

• Irreprehensible conduct.

A confidential and impartial inquiry shall be conducted to any allegation of sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation. The inquiry will consist of a hearing of the offended person, the accused and witnesses or other sources, to gather information on the presumed conduct (this can include the adoption of mechanisms to check a likely repetition or a standard in the relevant behavior), gathering of documentation or any other remaining evidence.

The presumed violator of CIP’s policy on the matter shall be given the opportunity to present his/her side of the facts by writing. CIP shall reserve its decision until the conclusion of the inquiry. Appropriate measures will be taken to separate and protect the victim from the presumed offender until the conclusion of the inquiry report, if such is deemed necessary.

Proceedings to verify evidence and decision arising from the recommendations made shall meet the following deadlines:

Up to 5 (five) working days from the date of reporting the incident: CD will send an acknowledgement of the reciept of a complaint to the complainant assuring them of due process

Up to 10 (ten) working days after the notification of the parties: the Country Director shall appoint a Commission to investigate the claim and produce recommendations. In case the investigation commission concludes that there is evidence, it shall immediately launch a disciplinary proceeding against the concerned person.

Up to 30 (thirty) days after the appointment of the Investigation Commission: The inquiry shall be concluded and the offended person and the presumed guilty one must be informed of the outcome of the inquiry and the decision of the Country Director.

The person accused of SEA enjoys the presumption of innocence until the investigations prove his/her culpability. Therefore, all documents and information gathered during the inquiry are deemed strictly confidential.


CIP shall not tolerate any forms of coercion, maneuvers of intimidation, reprisals against the employee who report cases of sexual harassment, abuse or exploitation, or who provides information or any other assistance within the scope of the inquiry. On the other hand, the absence of clear evidence does not mean that there was no harassment – harassment is evaluated according to the view of the offended person.

Although nobody shall be penalized for feeling to be harassed, it should be stressed that any clearly slanderous or malicious claim shall not be tolerated and shall be dealt with firmly.

Any employee found guilty of the practice of sexual harassment, exploitation, abuse, coercion, intimidation or reprisals against another employee or member of Programs Participating Communities shall be sanctioned in accordance with the seriousness of the matter and in conformity with the current rules. Such sanctions shall vary from recorded repression to dismissal, without prejudice to criminal proceedings, if such justifies.


Both the accused and the offended have the possibility to appeal against the decision taken under the recommendation of the Commission of Inquiry into complaint, if they are not satisfied with the measure. The appeal must be addressed directly to the Country Director, within 5 (five) working days as from the date in which they are notified of the decision, on penalty of the appeal not proceeding. Alternatively, the person can appeal against the decision taken by the Country Director to another instances, under the provisions of the Pakistani legislation.


Although it is the primary responsibility of the GED and Human Resource team to ensure the effective implementation as well as to coordinate the regular reviewing of this policy, its success shall depend on the collaboration of all staff.

All staff are required to report any concerns regarding the breach of such policy through established procedures.

This policy shall be reviewed on an annual basis to include lessons learned during its implementation and adjust it to the changes in the context of operations and in the applicable legal framework.



[1] Code of ethics

[2] Annual Report Violence against Women January-December 2010 by Aurat Foundation

[3] ‘Human Rights Report’; Asian Human Rights Commission: 2006

[4] Ibid

[5] Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, hrcp-


[7] Ibid

[8] ‘Crime or Custom: Violence Against Women in Pakistan’; Human Rights Watch:1999

[9] ‘The State of Human Rights Report’; 1998

[10] Ibid

[11] Report on Situation of Violence against women in Pakistan, Aurat Foundation (1st April-30th June 2008))

[12] Report on Types of FIRs on VAW in Provinces and Collated at Gender Crime Cell 2005-2008

[13] “Violence against Women in Pakistan: A qualitative review of statistics for 2009”. Annual report January-December, Aurat Foundation

[14] Adapted from: Advancing the field: Caring for child survivors of sexual abuse in humanitarian settings: A review of promising practices to improve case management, psychosocial and mental health interventions, and clinical care for child survivors of sexual abuse, International Rescue Committee and UNICEF, 2011.

[15] Specific procedures for dealing with sexual exploitation are further elaborated in UNHCR’s Code of Conduct which includes the Secretary General’s Bulletin on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (2003).

[16] Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, 1993.

[17] Case definitions here are not necessarily the legal definitions used in national laws and policies. Many forms of GBV may not be considered crimes; and legal definitions and terms vary greatly across countries and regions.

[18] Case definitions here are not necessarily the legal definitions used in national laws and policies. Many forms of GBV may not be considered crimes; and legal definitions and terms vary greatly across countries and regions.

[19] Please refer to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence against Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Guidelines for Prevention and Response, UNHCR, May 2003, p. 29 for more details on guiding principles.

[20] UNHCR Guidelines on Formal Determination of the Best Interests of the Child, Provisional Release, May 2006.

[21] See SGBV Guidelines, UNHCR, Involving the family and the community, pp. 80-84.

[22] See UNHCR’s Tool for Participatory Assessment in Operations, 2006.

[23] Organizations might be having a different set of code of conduct. The separate code of conduct can be maintained provided the all principles are covered.

[24] Confidentiality means that information is kept private between consenting individuals. Information can be shared only with others who need to know in order to provide assistance and intervention with the consent of the survivor.

[25] Convention on the Rights of the Child. Accessed at:

[26] IASC GBV Guidelines Action Sheets 4.1 – 4.4 describe the minimum interventions and how to set them up.

[27] There is no “one-size” fits all criteria or procedures for ensuring that children have the opportunity to safely and meaningfully participate in decisions that affect them, it is essential that direct service providers have a framework for how to apply “due weight” to a child’s right to decide and/or influence the decision-making process based on their age and level of maturity. Due weight means weighing/viewing children’s role in decision-making in relation to the nature and type of abuse, a child’s mental and emotional capacity to make decisions, and their age, in combination with external (environmental factors such as adult care and support from a non-perpetrating parent or guardian , a place to live, etc.).

[28] UNHCR (2008) UNHCR Guidelines on Determining the Best Interests of the Child.

[29] UNHCR (2006, Provisional Release). UNHCR guidelines on formal determination of the best interests of the child. While the final 2008 UNHCR Guidelines on Determining the Best Interests of the Child does not include this breakdown, the author still contends this is a useful framework for considering how best to ensure children have a meaningful role in decision making. The breakdown provides ample room to contextualize children’s roles based on additional factors, such as nature and type of abuse, or child’s mental and emotional capacity to make decisions, among other external factors.

[30] Exposing child survivors of GBV to multiple interviews is bad practice and should be avoided at all times.


[32] For more information on the roles and responsibilities of actors in prevention and response, please see Chapters 3 and 4 of UNHCR’s SGBV Guidelines.

[33] CIP workers include all CIP volunteers, consultants and all others who are working as part of CIP-run projects and programs and are connected to CIP, including para-professionals

and community workers.


Informed Consent:

• Consent is a mutual agreement. Informed consent means making an informed choice freely and voluntarily by persons in an equal power relationship. Acts of GBV occur without consent. Children (persons under age 18) are deemed unable to give informed consent for acts such as female genital marriage and sexual relations.

There is no consent when:

• agreement is obtained through the use of threats, force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception or misinterpretation

• threat to withhold a benefit or a promise to provide a benefit is used

• When a person is below the legal (statutory) age of consent or is defined as a child under applicable laws (see section 4.2 on Obtaining Consent for further information for adults and children).

Core principles

• Protection

• Best interest of the survivor

• Participation

• Respect

• Non-discrimination

• Right to quality service

• Timely response to crisis

• Belief in potential for change

Core principles for working with child survivors

• Ensure safety of the child

• Promote the child’s best interest at all times

• Comfort the child

• Maintain appropriate confidentiality

• Involve the child in decision making

• Treat every child fair and equal

• Promote the child’s resiliencies

These should include

• Special protocol for crisis cases.

• Policy on defining misconduct with clients.

• Policy for referral procedures

• Information on important procedures, e.g., medico legal (provincial information) examinations, concerning laws and registering first incidence reports (F.I.Rs.).

• Policy for follow-up of cases that are ongoing and have been closed.

• Policy and guidelines to meet the needs of child survivors

• Procedure for assessing risks or harm to client/survivor and to the staff member.

• Initiatives for Self-Care for caregiver.

• Job descriptions of the staff dealing with survivors of violence can be reviewed and the following areas and undertakings that reinforce the ethics of dealing with survivors can be added, for example: Importance of maintaining confidentiality, respect, non-judgmental behavior etc.

• Consequences of misconduct with clients/survivors.

• Policy on taking care and ensure the wellbeing of the children of the survivor

Consent for a course of action should be termed informed consent only when:

• All relevant information is provided to the survivor (or their parent/trusted caregiver/ guardian) in order to give his/her informed consent. This information should include the implications of sharing information about the case with other actors and the options/services available from the different agencies.

• All possible pros and cons of the situation are discussed;

• Consent is given voluntarily without any stress or coercion;

• It is obtained by an individual that the survivor is comfortable with;

• It is taken in a place where the survivor is comfortable.

• Consent should be taken in writing in case of legal and medical services provided. This does not increase and risk of to the survivor.

• Informed consent from minor survivors (under 18 years of age) would need to be taken in consultation with parents/guardians who are acting in the best interest of the child.

Some Guiding Questions for assessing risk or harm to adult survivors

▪ Was this the first time the abuse occurred?

▪ Did the abuser threaten to kill you?

▪ Has he threatened you before?

▪ Did you believe that it could really happen?

▪ Have you been forcefully confined?

▪ Has the abuser ever hurt the children?

▪ Has the abuser ever pulled a weapon on you?

▪ Does the abuser have a criminal record?

▪ Is the abuser an influential person or from some clan or tribe?

▪ Have you ever thought of killing yourself?

▪ Have you ever attempted to harm or kill yourself? If yes explore when, why, and what methods were used.

Safety plan should take in consideration the safety of both survivor and service provider.

Traditional Justice Systems

Traditional or alternative dispute-resolution mechanisms exist in many emergency contexts. Often, if survivors wish to pursue “legal” justice, they will prefer the traditional justice systems they are familiar with. These mechanisms are, however, a reflection of the socio-cultural norms in the community and often do not protect the rights of women and girls. Nevertheless, many survivors prefer these systems and this preference must be respected. For which reason a strategy should be around dealing with traditional justice system, ensure active outreach to sensitize and work along these structures as well as community.

Conscious and careful attention should be given to such mechanisms by actively engaging members of traditional justice systems in discussions and training workshops about human rights and women’s and children’s rights; and assisting the members to analyse the system from a human rights perspective and, when needed, working towards introducing changes to improve the standards.

Some of the traditional justice mechanisms that exist with in context of Pakistan are : Panchait system, Jirga system, Masalihat e anjuman

Among these systems, the Jirga System is acknowledged only in the tribal areas of Pakistan and does not universally applicable to the settled areas of the Pakistan. The Jirga under Frontier Crimes Regulation only has the legal sanctity while the Olesi or other form of Jirga does not have any legal force but only the cultural force. There are many decision by the superior courts declaring Jirga illegal and unconstitutional and has directed the governments to form legislations to ban Jirga System in Pakistan. (it is important to note that Pakistani Superior Courts does not have territorial jurisdiction in the tribal areas).

Punchait System in Pakistan is declared illegal and unconstitutional by the courts. Though this system is still in existence in the rural parts of Pakistan but the decision given by this system does not have any legal value. It is observed that decisions under these forums are extremely biased and unfair towards women survivor of violence. After a decision by Sindh High Court in 2004, holding punchaits and jirgas have been declared cognizable in province of Sindh.

Musaliahat e Anjuman are declared legal under the local government ordinances to deal with the family disputes at the local level. Though this system has provided a mechanism of ADR at the local level, but still it is believed that the criminal matters arising through family matters should not fall under the mandate of these anjumans and should only deal with the civil disputes.

Though many of these traditional justice systems exists in the name of traditions and culture but these systems are parallel to existing system and are so much gender biased that it put a greater negative impact on the cases of gender based violence. Moreover, culturally women are not allowed to participate to such holding of Jirga/Punchait sessions. Moreover these Jirga/Punchaits usually decides under local customary practices, which in many cases are against the fundamental principles of law and rights enshrined under national and international human rights instruments.

The traditional justice systems are already there but they need to be modified according to the emerging challenges. The selection criteria and participation of female members among these traditional justice systems is need to be reviewed, refined and ensured under certain guidelines & protocols. In the changing circumstances, they can play a vital role as facilitators to GBV survivors locally, and even help them by providing moral and psycho- social support throughout the judicial procedures.

❖ Receive survivor with respect and dignity.

❖ Don’t ask interrogatory questions about her case e (ask your supervisor for guidance on your role if you accompanying the survivor)

❖ Do guide client on the procedure that you are accompany her to, or the service.

❖ Do explain survivor your role.

❖ Be aware what is information gathering and unnecessary probing.

❖ Only take a message if answering the counseling line of YHL, ZEEST or Aangan. Later inform concerned counselor about client. In case of emergency if the concerned counselor is not available take help from other counselors in Rozan. (Tell the caller that you are not a counselor and you can give your name and number if you feel comfortable, else she/he can call again)

❖ While using Zeest room be careful

• Not to stand in front of the counseling room.

• Not to talk loudly as the session might be disturbed.

• Not to open the door if it’s closed, ask someone in the room if the session is in progress or not.

• Not to open the door if not clear.

• To check the weekly session table before using the counseling room for meeting.

• After using the counseling room, leave it in proper order.

• To give space to people going toward the washroom or counseling room, and do not stare.

❖ Avoid standing in corridors and asking people if they are client or not. You can inquire about who they wish to see if you feel they need assistance. .

❖ Avoid negative use of non-verbal communication in front of survivor

❖ Don’t express sympathy, pity or helplessness to clients or survivor.

❖ Educate the survivor and give information about the concerned person.

❖ Ensure that you will keep the survivor’s information confidential.

❖ DON'T express personal opinions, feelings to survivor.

❖ Read and understand counseling system for M&E.

❖ Do not influence the survivor’s decision but do let her know a about the positives and negative consequences of her decision.

❖ Involve senior psychologist in case of high risk and development of safety plan.

❖ ?ILMTl‰?”•¤Â×ÙëÓ»Ó£‹v»‹a‹Iv‹1I.hógJhX3e5?CJOJQJ\?^JaJmH sH .hógJhjEmpower the survivor and be conscious not to create dependency.

❖ Maintain active follow-up


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