RET International is holding a forum today to look at mechanisms and processes that respond to the incidences of gender based violence and human trafficking. RET International is a humanitarian organization that looks at the education of the Belizean population on the response to ending gender based violence with a focus on women and youth. Melanie Barnes, National Program Coordinator at RET says that the event is a call to action by government, civil society and the community to respond. That response would entail looking at what mechanisms and processes exist, the gaps that exist in these and finally make recommendations to improve timely, transparent responses. Barnes explained how the work in each matter should be approached.
Barnes says the work continues after the forum by engaging with stakeholders to build data and keep educating on the response on both issues. The event is being held under the patronage of the National Women’s Commission, in collaboration with the University of the West Indies Open Campus. The forum is part of the larger project that looks at strengthening government and civil society partnership in the areas of Gender Based Violence and Trafficking in Persons in six communities in the country. The project is funded by the Central America Regional Security Initiative, CARSI.