Violence against women by their partners will be the focus of a major new international development initiative in Timor-Leste.

News release

For immediate use


Dili: June 14, 2019:

Violence against women by their partners will be the focus of a major new international development initiative in Timor-Leste.


The United Nations in Timor-Leste and the European Union briefed the Government this week on the new, global, multi-year initiative focused on tackling ‘’intimate partner violence’’ violence against women and girls.

 ‘’This is an opportunity to make a real difference on a sensitive and difficult topic,’’ The Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Timor-Leste, Mr. Roy Trivedy said after briefing the Prime Minister.

 ‘’The Minister for Foreign Affairs. Mr. Deonisio Babo and Cooperation,  went to a conference in Fiji earlier this year and advocated strongly for Timor-Leste to get this funding.

 ‘’We are looking for ward to working with the Timor Government and building on existing rpograms,’’Mr Trivedy said.

 Known as the ‘’Spotlight Initiative’’ the European Union is providing $500 million in new funds to have

an impact all over the world on the problem of violence against women and girls.

 In Timor-Leste the project will focus on what’s called ‘’Intimate Partner Violence ‘’ by husbands and boyfriends of women and girls.

 The World Health Organisation says ‘’Intimate partner violence’’ is one of the most common forms of assault against women and includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and controlling behavior. 

 Intimate partner violence1 (IPV) occurs in all settings and among all social, economic, religious and cultural groups.

 The overwhelming global burden of ‘’Intimate Partner Violence’’ is borne by women and girls.

 The most common perpetrators of violence against women are male intimate partners or ex-partners.

The prevalence of violence against women in the Pacific region is among the highest in the world. In Timor-Leste 59% of women and girls report experiences of violence in their lifetime, most often by an ‘’intimate partner.’’

The Spotlight Initiative provides a model for partnership between governments, donors, civil society, and all UN partners.

Despite progress,  Mr Triviedy said, the level of VAWG remains alarmingly high in the region, and many challenges still persist.

’This includes insufficient knowledge of  and enforcement of legislation. There is a lack of resources to implement laws, policies and programmes and lack of coordination among different stakeholders.’’

The United Nations in Timor-Leste, in partnership with the EU, Government of Timor-Leste and civil society will develop the Timor-Leste Country Program.

 It will build on existing programmes and contribute directly to implementation of Timor-Leste’s 2017-2021 National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence as well as the Law against Domestic Violence.

 The intervention in Timor-Leste will consider the links between violence against women, violence against women with disabilities and violence against children.

 In support of the Spotlight Initiative in Timor-Leste, a Country Program will be jointly designed by a team of UN agencies (UN Women, UNDP, UNFPA and UNICEF), with the UN Resident Coordinator providing overall leadership and in consultation with UNCT and GTG. Once the Programme is designed, decisions will be taken about which UN agencies and other partners are best placed to implement the Programme. It will also encourage other development partners, civil society and private sector enterprises to be associated with the Programme. 

 The Programme design work will commence later this month. Look out for more information coming soon. 


For further information


Mr Roy Trivedy

Resident Coordinator

United Nations in Timor-Leste.




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