Government of Timor-Leste Signs Agreement with Government of Australia

Fri. 22 of November of 2019, 11:42h

The Government of Timor-Leste, represented by the Ministry of Social Solidarity and Inclusion (MSSI), and the Secretary of State for Equality and Inclusion (SEII), signed an agreement with the Government of Australia related to the “Nabilan” program. The aim of this program is to reduce the problems of violence against Women and Children in Timor-Leste. The signing ceremony of this agreement was held at the central building of the MSSI in Caicoli, Dili, on Friday, November 22, 2019.

The signing of this agreement refers to the approval of the second phase of the Nabilan program, initiated in 2014, with the aim of ensuring that women and children live free of violence and can enjoy their rights. Based on the agreement now signed, the Nabilan program will continue until June 2022, with an Investment of the Australian Government with a total value of AUD$35 million (thirty-five million Australian dollars) over eight years (2014-2022). The program aims to step up efforts to support communities and institutions to take steps to reduce violence against women and children in Timor-Leste.

After the signing of the agreement, the Minister of Social Solidarity and Inclusion, Armanda Berta dos Santos, said: “Today we signed a subsidiary agreement between the Government of Timor-Leste and the Government of Australia related to the Nabilan program. With the support of the Government of Australia, this program aims to help Timor-Leste prevent and reduce the problem of violence against women and children”.

This program is managed by the Asia Foundation, through partnerships with the Ministry of Social Solidarity and Inclusion, with the Secretary of State for Equality and Inclusion and also through partnerships with civil society organizations such as PRADET, Alfela, Fokupers, Uma Mahon Salele, JSMP and Casa Vida.

On the same occasion, Australia's Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Peter Roberts, said: "This cooperation between the Timorese Government and the Australian Government, together with civil society and other partners, aims to stop violence against women and children. This work is very important, because violence against women and children is a challenge around the world, and Timor-Leste is no exception. Therefore, it is very important to work together to support women and children in Timor-Leste, and especially to see how we can reduce violence against women and children".

For her part, the Secretary of State for Equality and Inclusion, Maria José da Fonseca Monteiro de Jesus, said: “The signing of this agreement was an important step towards the joint effort with our development partners, especially with the Australian Government, so that we can carry out several actions and thus be able to prevent and combat violence against women and children in Timor-Leste. Currently, the numbers of violence against women and children remain high, so the Australian Government has realised the importance of this issue and decided to invest in this area to help the efforts already made by the Government of Timor-Leste itself”.

Since 2014, the program's partners have provided services for judicial assistance, medical examinations, counseling and temporary accommodation in emergency situations for victims of violence.