Regional Police and Human Rights Training Johannesburg, South Africa
From 27 until 30 October 2015, PHRP conducted the 4th regional training on Police and Human Rights in Johannesburg, South Africa. This 4-day training was attended by 10 staff members of the Regional Office in Johannesburg, 4 staff members from the Regional Officer Dakar, and 1 staff member of AI South Africa. The training provided participants with relevant knowledge of human rights standards applicable to policing work in the region, as for instance those related to the use of force and firearms, assemblies, and arrest and detention. The possibility for Amnesty International to directly engage with the police in different contexts was discussed thoroughly during the training.
Regional training for AI staff members across Asia in Hong Kong
In the first half of 2015, PHRP conducted a 4-day regional training in Hong Kong, which was given to 10 staff members of Hong Kong Hub and several staff members of Amnesty sections across South-East Asia (AI Mongolia, AI Thailand, AI New Zealand and AI South Korea). The training covered basic international policing standards and related operational challenges. In addition two particularly important aspects addressed during the training were AI’s role in monitoring assemblies and in direct engagement with police.
Regional training for AI staff members across West-Africa in Dakar
Since 2013, Amnesty International has been undergoing a major process of reform to adapt to the dramatic changes in the world we operate in, and to increase the impact of our human rights work. A major element of this process is a shift from the International Secretariat in London as the base for research to a distributed centre and Regional Hubs of research, campaigns and communications. As a result, the PHRP also reviewed its current format of training and conducted in March 2014 a policing training for the first time in a newly created regional Hub – Dakar – not only for staff members from the Hub, but also for invited sections from the Western African Region. Eight Amnesty International sections participated in this francophone training: Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Tunisia. Beyond the learning exercise, the training also served to strengthen regional exchange, cooperation, and coordination within the Amnesty International movement.
Regional training for AI staff members across Eastern Africa in Nairobi
In November 2014, training was given to the staff members of the newly established regional HUB of Amnesty International in Nairobi, and also included two members of Anglophone sections (Kenya and Ghana) and two staff members of the regional Hub in Dakar. In view of the situation reigning in the Horn and the East of Africa, a particular focus was on the different legal frameworks governing law enforcement on the one hand and the conduct of hostilities in situations of armed conflict on the other. The “do’s and don’ts” for Amnesty International when having direct engagement with law enforcement officials and the related challenges (e.g. in case of lack of genuine willingness of authorities to work towards better human rights compliance) were also discussed in depth.
Section Training and NGO training in Istanbul
In October 2014, a 3-day-training was given in Istanbul to staff members of the Turkish section of Amnesty international, another 2-day-training was given to representatives of Turkish human rights NGOs working on issues related to policing. The discussions during training sought to identify the different areas of shortcomings in terms of human rights compliance by the police (in some instances the vague and broad legislation giving large powers to law enforcement agencies, in some instances simply arbitrary and unlawful behaviour of law enforcement officials, in some instances total failure of the accountability system etc.). A considerable – and remaining – challenge was to develop a sound theory of change and a workable strategy towards greater human rights compliance by the police and other agencies taking into account the political climate within the country.