Project seeks to combat online abuse

THE Caribbean is seeing high levels of crime and inter-personal violence affecting young men and women, with violence against women and girls being a pervasive problem in the region.

Against this background, the UN Women Multi-Country Office (MCO) Caribbean is supporting four CARICOM countries in developing for the first time, prevalence data which will allow the Office to understand the level, rate, distribution, scope and depth of violence against women and gender-based violence.

The ‘No to Online Abuse and Harassment (NOAH) C.A.R.E [Combating Online Abuse through Research and Education]’ Project, which was launched at UN House on Friday, falls squarely within the portals of the programming effort by UN Women in the Caribbean to ensure that the major scope and incidence of the persistent, pervasive and pernicious problem in the region is better understood.

The project, which is being led by young people who are seizing the moment to be able to solve their own problems, is built on partnerships and collaboration. It brings together a continuum of professionals, so it is multi-sectoral.

The project does not have one pathway or entry point into looking at the problem and solving the problem; it is evidence-based, and it is policy-oriented and advocacy inclined.

“So for us, it really fits with one of our principal catalysts for change in the way we do our work in the Caribbean and in UN Women, which is ‘Leave No one Behind’,” said Representative, UN Women MCO Caribbean, Alison McLean, as she delivered remarks during the launch.

“I congratulate all involved in this project for making this move and making it now. With the current #MeToo campaign, we see that there is the cyclical rising and falling of this issue, which actually never falls; it just goes in the closet or is swept under the carpet.

“However, the issue when it comes to the forefront, it is an opportune moment to act and so the time is now,” McLean noted.

She said UN Women works with community leaders through its social mobilisation programme, including its team of gender advocates across the Caribbean.

“We at UN Women MCO are very pleased to be able to partner and support the NOAH Project C.A.R.E initiative in this endeavour to find out more about online violence, to build a programme in Barbados and I do hope that once we build that programme, it can be used as a template for other countries in the Caribbean,” McLean said. (AH)

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