Ms Delilah Sandeka


Building-forward better with strong women leaders to address gender-based violence

Celebrating women on the frontline of the COVID-19 response and recovery for 2021 International Women’s Day, is in honour of women’s leadership roles in Papua New Guinea. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is proud to recognise Superintendent Delilah Sandeka, the first female director of Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary’s Family and Sexual Violence Unit.

Delilah Sandeka’s long career of 26 years of leading roles in RPNGC, the national police force, now is focused on support services for survivors of gender-based violence.

Responsible for 46 FSVUs across Papua New Guinea, Ms. Sandeka supervises 115 staff, making certain all are well equipped with the necessary training and tools to better manage family and sexual violence cases.

During the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdowns in 2020, it became increasingly critical to establish a system to respond more effectively, explains Supt. Sandeka.

“Thank you to UNDP for coming to our aid during a very challenging time, with a new Information Management System that enables electronic filing, to monitor and track cases. We will be able to support our frontline partners, such as courts and safe houses better,” she said.

For the first-time, family and sexual violence cases can be tracked and monitored. Applications for Interim Protection orders can be processed in hours rather than days or weeks.

“I want to see the new online system established in 22 provinces and 89 districts across Papua New Guinea. My greatest concern is for women and children to feel safe at home and increase access to Police FSVU services at their doorstep, so they do not have to travel miles to seek these essential government services,’’ Supt Sandeka said.

As director, with the support of partners and RPNGC, Ms Sandeka established six more FSV units in six police stations, with a total of nine FSVUs in the National Capital District providing easy access for all survivors of FSV in the city suburbs.

Through her leadership, Superintendent Sandeka ensures increased partnership and support from service providers, law and justice sectors, private sector, non-government, community-based organizations, and the Department of Health.

“As crimes such as the family violence and gender-based violence continue to increase, it is vital FSVU and officers work closely with our partners to support the referral pathway and make justice service accessible.

“This electronic system will be a game-changer for us in terms of efficiency and response,” said Superintendent Sandeka.

UNDP congratulates FSVU for completion of the Information Management System, in this week of International Women’s Day - a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.

In support of FSVU through the Rapid Response Facility, a global response fund to the COVID-19 outbreak for assistance to countries facing risk of increased incidents of gender-based violence during lockdowns, UNDP Papua New Guinea in 2020 successfully secured US$250,000 to support efforts for GBV prevention, and law and order.

UNDP continues to work closely with FSVU, and other partners, under the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative to strengthen GBV referral pathways to access support services.

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