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Peruvian Police goes into Childhood Mode

"We learned by playing, laughing and also shedding some tears, but all for the benefit of learning how to interact and how to better care for children and teenagers."

The six pilot workshops titled “Police in #ChildhoodMode”, held in Huánuco, Tingo María, and Pucallpa, wasn't your typical workshop.

To improve the care and attention of children and teenagers, the Peruvian Police Division for the Protection of Children and Adolescents (DIVIPNA), together with IJM Peru, conducted a series of workshops in several cities across the country which gathered more than 250 police officers during the last months.

These sessions were conducted by peers previously trained. This means not only new participants acquired critical competencies, but also trainers had the chance to reinforce their knowledge and hone their leadership skills.

Through different interactive and engaging activities, participants learned to play like children again. This approach was used to encourage collaboration and to practically teach them how to implement the "Guidelines for the Care of Children and Adolescents in Police Stations", which will ensure sensitive and appropriate treatment of minors who experienced sexual or physical violence and are seeking help at stations.

One police officer shared: "This workshop was not ordinary. Rather, it was extra interactive and fun. With these types of dynamics, it is possible to get more of your attention."

“What I learned the most in this workshop…” another participant expressed, “is that we can feel like children again. We can empathize with them and learn that they have a different world and think differently. So, we must try to understand them and devote time to them.”

Initiatives like this one continue to enhance the capability of police officers to protect and provide sensitive care for children and adolescents who are seeking help at police stations.

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