UNLIREC organized a webinar on the use of firearms in acts of violence against women with the participation of different government sectors and civil society in Trinidad and Tobago.

On 5 May 2022, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), in collaboration with the Ministry of National Security, hosted the webinar “Measures to prevent armed violence against women” in Trinidad and Tobago, in which the police presented initiatives aiming to prevent domestic violence, highlighting that they must be gender and age specific. The webinar aimed to raise awareness of the necessity of firearms control for efforts seeking to prevent and eliminate violence against women.

During the webinar, challenges in identifying and measuring femicides were emphasized, especially in countries such as Trinidad and Tobago where a definition of this crime has not yet been integrated into the criminal code. The importance of collecting data on the use of firearms in cases of psychological, physical and sexual violence against women was also highlighted.

The webinar gathered more than 100 participants from different sectors of the Government, civil society organizations and the general public, who actively participated and were particularly interested in the police response to prevent and respond to domestic violence cases, involving the use of firearms.

As part of the webinar, the main findings and recommendations of UNLIREC’s “Normative study: Making the link between norms on violence against women and small arms control and regulation norms: Analysis of CARICOM States” were presented. The study recommends to suspend and revoke firearms licenses in cases of gender-based violence, as well as to seize these weapons when they represent a danger to women.

This activity was developed under the project “Supporting gender mainstreamed policies, programmes and actions in the fight against small arms trafficking and misuse, in line with the Women, Peace and Security agenda” funded by the European Union.

It should be noted that the Latin American and Caribbean region presents alarming figures of gender-based intentional homicides of women and girls, also known as femicides. Likewise, according to the Observatory on Gender Equality in Latin America and the Caribbean of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Trinidad and Tobago has a rate of 3,1 femicides per 100,000 inhabitants which is one of the highest rates in the Caribbean region. Thus, UNLIREC carries out activities that aim to counteract this trend.