Sudan: The Pearson Peacekeeping Centre marks International Women's Day with launch of new video

OTTAWA, ON (March 9, 2009) - To mark International Women's Day, the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre (PPC) is launching a video detailing its efforts towards preventing the sexual violence and abuse of women in Darfur.

The PPC received funding from the Government of Canada to enhance the knowledge and skills of African civilian police and military officers working in Darfur. As part of this initiative, the PPC developed

a course to strengthen the capacity of police officers deployed with the United Nations and African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to prevent and respond to crimes of sexual abuse and violence in Darfur.

"I believe that police officers from each of the United Nations (UN) missions could benefit from a course like this one," said Senior Sergeant Investigator with the Levis Police Department, Julie Filteau,

who works as a facilitator for the course. "In general, sexual crimes are a weapon of war. When there is a war, there are victims of sexual abuse. By enhancing the skills of the UN police officers, they can transfer them to the local police who can better assist the victims there."

The release of the video, "Inside Darfur: Protecting the Vulnerable", highlights the structure of the course and the impact it has had on the 150 male and female police officers from 19 different countries who are deployed in Darfur.

Since 1911, March 8 of every year and in every country represents a day where the social, political and economic achievements of women of the past, present and future are recognized and celebrated.

"Women all over the globe have come so far and achieved so much, but in regions where women are subjected to sexual violence and abuse on a daily basis, there is much more work to be done," says PPC President Suzanne Monaghan. "This special day and this video both serve as reasons to be proud of the work we have done but will also motivate us to continue with our efforts."

The Pearson Peacekeeping Centre is a Canadian institution dedicated to making international peace operations more effective through research, education and training and capacity building.


Lucie Laurion, Director, Communications
613-520-5617 ext. 5950