The workshop has brought together 30 police officers from all provinces of Pakistan
5 June 2007
The programme will enable police trainers to incorporate international human rights standards into existing training on ordinary policing duties
Senior police instructors from Pakistan have convened in Islamabad for a training programme that will help them gain an understanding of international human rights standards.
Police trainers attending the workshop from 4 to 8 June 2007 will benefit from the experience of other Commonwealth countries in bringing a human rights-based approach to policing.
Rabab Fatima, Head of Human Rights Unit (HRU) at the Commonwealth Secretariat, said: “Participants will discuss what the framework of international human rights standards means in practice -- in terms of how they can plan, conduct, supervise and review their work, and the attitude to the public they serve and protect, including detained or suspected people.
“The core duties and conduct of any police service touches on the most fundamental of rights -- to reasonable liberty of movement, thought, speech, freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention.”
The workshop has brought together 30 police officers from all provinces of Pakistan. It’s part of the Commonwealth’s programme on human rights training for police, which has reached more than 25 countries since 2005.
Ms Fatima noted that respect for human rights was linked to peace and urged the police officers to share training methods and ideas.
“Where rights are violated or not respected, disruption to peace will follow. It is the duty of police officers to contribute to national peace by ensuring their day-to-day conduct promotes, protects and ensures the humans rights of all people with whom they deal,” she stated.
Other issues for discussion include human rights and police ethics, police powers of search and seizure, maintenance of public order, how police should deal with vulnerable groups and community policing.
Dr Muhammad Suddle, Director of the National Police Bureau (NPB) of Pakistan, called for the implementation of human rights in policing. He commended the training as part of a much-needed "paradigm shift in a centuries-old oppressive police culture to 21st century policing in accordance with unambiguous human rights standards."
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior thanked the Commonwealth Secretariat for a "timely and relevant workshop, which will go a long way to invigorating human rights in the Pakistan police and help transform it from a 'force' to a modern public service-oriented organisation."
The workshop has been organised by the HRU in collaboration with the NPB of Pakistan. It is supported by the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-operation.