SWAT: A consultative workshop on Thursday discussed steps to strengthen the Dispute Resolution Councils (DRCs) in the Malakand division.

A statement issued here said that representatives of DRCs from different districts of Malakand Division and Swat attended the workshop. The UNDP and European Union jointly arranged the workshop.

District Police Officer Swat Mr. Zahid Nawaz Marwat thanked UNDP and the EU for their interest and support in building the capacity of DRCs.

“Dispute Resolution Councils play a very integral role in conflict resolution and ensuring justice sector doesn’t get burdened. Like any other forum that works on problem solving, it faces multiple challenges. I am hopeful discussing its issues and challenges and proposing recommendations will help us overcome them and thereby strengthen them,” he said.

DRC members presented their progress, challenges, how to overcome them and recommendations to strengthen the forums. The workshop also reviewed the ADR member selection criteria, code of conduct and ethics for the DRCs and the actual rules in the DRCs.

The statement said that the activity was arranged through the EU-funded “Promoting the Rule of Law and Enhancing the Criminal Justice System in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa including Newly Merged Districts and Balochistan” project.

The programme which is jointly implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The program is aimed at supporting reform processes to ensure delivery of people-centered justice, enhance access to justice for all, particularly women and less privileged/marginalized groups. It also focuses on improving service delivery of the security sector in line with constitutional safeguards and international standards

The DRCs are an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) forum established under the KP Police Act 2017 and provide alternative dispute resolution services at the police station, subdivision, and district level.

A statutory forum, the DRC provides services to the masses at the grass root level enabling citizens to benefit from out of court services for dispute resolution.

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