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Workshop urges Nigerian police to uphold human rights

17 July 2015, 12:55Okoro Chinedu

Lagos - Police have been urged to uphold human rights in the dispensation of their duties in order to gain the trust of the public.

This follows a workshop on human rights for Commissioners of Police, which preceded a three-day training of trainers workshop on human rights for Assistant Commissioners of Police.

The event has been held in Abuja.

Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mamman Tsafe, said, “A human rights based approach to policing will ensure that our actions are in accordance with the fundamental principles for the development of just societies.”

He thanked the European Union and the Embassy of Switzerland for providing funds for the workshop and said the sensitization and training programs would help enhance respect for human rights by police officers and the protection of members of the society.

Jesse Wachanga, Project Officer at the Country Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said a number of surveys, including those conducted by UNODC, had shown the link between the enjoyment of fundamental human rights and trust in police authorities.

“By safeguarding the fundamental rights of all citizens, the police will engender trust throughout the society and encourage the reporting of crime, thus contributing to more effective crime fighting and enhancement of justice for victims,” she said.

Dr Hans-RudolfHoder, Ambassador of Switzerland to Nigeria, and Alan Munday, Head of Governance and Political Section at the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States, who were also present at the occasion, congratulated the Nigeria Police Force for taking another step to strengthen their adherence to human rights and international standards.

Also Read: Police commended for contribution to poll success

“A trusted police force which is guided by the respect and protection of the rights of Nigerian citizens and is working hand in hand with communities to make Nigeria a safer place,” said Munday.

The sensitization workshop and the follow-up training of trainers were organized in collaboration with the Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) and the Embassy of Switzerland under the framework of the European Union funded project, “Support to the Justice Sector in Nigeria,” implemented by UNODC.

The sensitization and training workshops aim to contribute to actions to foster a relationship of trust between police and the society through the entrenchment of the rule of law and respect for human rights.

Support to the Justice Sector in Nigeria is a 42-month project funded by the European Union with €26 million and implemented by UNODC to improve the effectiveness, accessibility, accountability, transparency, and fairness of the justice system in Nigeria. It supports key initiatives of the Federal Ministry of Justice to drive a coordinated, unified and integrated reform across the justice sector.

The recent workshop came amid criticism Nigerian police violated the citizenry’s human rights. It was alleged during the general elections earlier this year the force was selective in its application of the law. 

- CAJ News


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