Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal Wednesday met Sarah Sewall, the United States under-secretary of state for civilian security, democracy and human rights, to discuss the possibility of collaborative projects involving the commission and the US government.
DCW and the US government may collaborate on a project to rehabilitate women rescued from G B Road, said Maliwal.
“We are looking into the possibility of a collaboration… we are coming up with a pilot programme as part of which 50 women from G B Road will be rehabilitated. We are in touch with the CII (Confederation of Indian Industry)and other industrial bodies… a shelter home should be set up and there should be a working women’s hostel. We should be able to get them jobs and shelter. So, it has to be a comprehensive programme and they wanted to contribute to it,” said Maliwal.
Sewall said that the US government wanted to “find ways to support the very important and dynamic work of the commission”.
“At this point, we are learning more about the rapid changes within the commission over the last five months and looking for opportunities to be supportive and potentially collaborate… We expect that the broader collaboration will continue,” Sewall told reporters at the DCW office at ITO.
Maliwal also said that there could be a possible collaboration between the Commission’s Rape Crisis Cell and the US government in terms of sharing resources like counsellors, training of staff and sharing best practices and expertise. Sewall said that organising police training programmes was another area of collaboration that is under consideration.
Sewall also addressed the contentious issue of death penalty, saying that momentum appears to have been built towards the norm that it “does constitute cruel and unusual punishment and is against constitutional principles”. She, however, added that the decision on death penalty had to be taken at the state level.
Referring to “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strong commitment to enhance the situation of girls and women”, Sewall added, “There are so many ways in which we can share the lessons we are learning in the US on questions of policing and criminal justice and how to improve protection for victims… and ways we can learn from the experience that is currently really accelerating… This is another way in which both of our nations can strengthen each other… by engaging in a close dialogue”.