Training & Workshops
Third Police and Human Rights Training in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
In the beginning of December 2019, PHRP delivered for the third time an international police and human rights training in Amsterdam. The training was attended by 15 Amnesty colleagues from around the world who work on policing related issues in their respective countries, including Ghana, Nigeria, Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, Hong Kong, USA, Canada, Poland, Italy and France.
During the 4-day training, a wide variety of topics were addressed, ranging from ethnic profiling to the use of force and firearms by police, the policing of assemblies and the implications of different less-lethal weapons. The training also focused on how to effectively address policing-related problems and develop meaningful recommendations to authorities. The diverse contexts and variety of issues that participants are working on provided for a wide array of interesting case studies to discuss and a rich exchange of experiences.
Training of observers to monitor public assemblies in Poland
Amnesty International Poland conducted a training for volunteers ready to monitor public assemblies in the course of 2019.
AINL PHRP contributed to the training with a session on the international standards on the right to freedom of peaceful assemblies, the general policing of assemblies as well as the use of force in assemblies.
A key element in this regard was to highlight that the legislation governing public assemblies in Poland is to a large extent in contradiction to international human rights law and standards and in many other aspects opens the door to arbitrary and excessive restrictions and law enforcement interventions. Observers were informed what elements to look at in order to allow for a proper assessment whether authorities had a facilitating or rather restrictive approach in the handling of assemblies, and whether specific law enforcement actions appeared to be justified or not. The observations in the coming 8 months will help to inform Amnesty International’s analysis of how far people can effectively enjoy the human right to freedom of peaceful assembly in Poland and eventually to formulate relevant recommendations towards greater compliance by authorities with international human rights law.
Observers Training at Amnesty International Italy
From 15. – 17. March 2019, the Italian section of Amnesty International trained around 30 observers on the various aspects of monitoring assemblies. The training took place in the context of a project to observe assemblies across Italy over the coming months, in order to record potential human rights violations and issue recommendations to the authorities, including the police, on how to achieve greater human rights compliance.
PHRP joined the training to deliver a session on the international standards on policing assemblies and the use of force, covering general concepts such as the duty to facilitate and the importance of police appearance, as well as standards on dispersal and various less-lethal weapons used in crowd control. One of the main objectives was to sensitize the observers on what to look out for and capture, in case those measures will be used during the assemblies they attend.
Workshop on enhancing impact of Amnesty International’s work on policing
Across the globe, Amnesty International is working to improve human rights compliance in policing. The problems and approaches are diverse, ranging from addressing discriminatory stop and search practices to pushing for legislative changes to ensure police accountability.
In the first week of December, 11 current and former Amnesty colleagues from different offices and sections joined the PHRP Team in Amsterdam to share their experiences of working on policing in a variety of countries, including Germany, Moldova, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Spain, USA and South Korea. Members of Amnesty’s International Secretariat also participated in the workshop.
The discussion focused among other things on strategies to approach problematic policing approaches, internal and external factors impacting our work and how to successfully engage with police in order to have the best possible impact, with participants exchanging success stories and lessons learnt. These very useful insights will aid further reflections of the PHRP Team on how to effectively assist Amnesty colleagues around the world in their endeavors to improve human rights compliance by police.
Second Police and Human Rights Training in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
From 16 to 19 October 2018, PHRP delivered for the second time an international police and human rights training in Amsterdam. 14 colleagues from Amnesty offices across the globe joined the training. Participants included staff members from the Amnesty sections in Kenya, Switzerland, Catalonia and Indonesia, the Regional Office in Dakar, the Southeast Asia and the Pacific Regional Office and the International Secretariat in London.
The training covered a wide range of policing related topics, including for example the use of force and freedom of peaceful assembly. It also looked at developing strategies on how to approach police related problems and how to communicate correctly and effectively about, as well as to, police. The diversity of participants and range of policing related problems they are working on in their respective countries resulted in a particularly rich exchange of experiences and a large variety of case studies to discuss.
General Police and Human Rights Training in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
From 24-27th of October 2017, colleagues coming from and/or working on a great variety of countries attended a police-and-human-rights training in Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Participants included colleagues from AI USA, AI Belgium, as well as researchers and campaigners from the International Secretariat, the Nigeria National Office, the regional offices in Tunis, Mexico and Peru, as well as the office in Jerusalem. The diversity of participants and the varying human rights issues participants were and are dealing with in relation to policing allowed intense discussions and productive exchange from different perspectives. While trainings in regional or national offices will continue to take place, it is intended to carry out at least one international training a year in The Netherlands.
National Police and Human Rights Training in Bangalore, India
In September 2017, PHRP conducted a training for colleagues from the Amnesty International National Office in Bangalore, India. Discussions were very vivid and reflected the important human rights issues at stake in India:
Ranging from the ordinary challenges in policing (including the dire working conditions for police officers in India), to law enforcement in situations of armed conflict or post-conflict, the handling of extremely large and angry protests, the (failure to ensure) protection of women and certain minority groups against crime, the politicisation of policing and its impact on the operational independence of police, as well as the manifold deficiencies of domestic legislation with regard to human rights (including provisions that foster generalized impunity for human rights violations committed by security forces).
Regional Police and Human Rights Training in Mexico City, Mexico
From 11th to 14th October 2016, PHRP conducted its 5th regional training on Police and Human Rights in Mexico City. This 4-day training was attended by 6 staff members from the Amnesty International Regional Office in Mexico, and one staff member each from the AI sections in Mexico, Brazil and Venezuela. 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, arrest and detention, as well as the situation of human rights defenders. Policing issues were discussed in relation to 10 countries of the Region: Brazil, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua and Venezuela. An important focus was given to the formulation of constructive and concrete recommendations in relation to policing that go beyond the call for general respect of human rights law and standards or for independent, impartial investigations.
“Policing-output” training for AI sections across Asia in Hong Kong
From 22 to 24 April 2016, PHRP conducted a “Policing-output” training in Hong Kong, which was attended by 14 staff members of various Amnesty sections across Asia (AI Hong Kong, AI India, AI Korea, AI Malaysia, AI Philippines, AI Thailand, EARO Hong Kong). The main topics discussed during this training were: freedom of peaceful assembly and policing of assemblies, use of force and firearms, prevention of torture, police accountability and oversight. With a range of exercises (analysis of legislation and other documents, writing of letters, public statements etc.) the training served to enable participants to produce meaningful documents in relation to policing that are in line with international human rights law and standards as well as with AI policy.