Police officers need to be aware of human rights

It is crucial for police officers to be aware of human rights.

Royal PNG Constabulary Deputy Commissioner Administrations, Raphael Huafolo, said this during the closing of the human rights & law enforcement training this afternoon.

Huafolo thanked the United Nations Human Rights for the opportunity to train senior officers to improve their conduct whilst enforcing the law.

He also challenged the Provincial Police Commanders, Metropolitan Superintendents and Superintendent Operations to better manage issues in their jurisdiction instead of blaming the hierarchy.

Meantime, during the opening of the workshop on December 11th, Police Commissioner Gari Baki said as policemen, their fundamental role is to protect life and property.

“We are supposed to be the upholder of the seven universal rights. The Police Force Act, whilst it is a law that is made for the purpose of giving effect to the public interest in public safety and public order, recognises and respects all rights of individual citizens as guaranteed by the PNG Constitution.

“Unfortunately, indicators show that we as a law enforcement agency are not doing as expected. In fact as an organisation we are seen as among the worst human rights abusers.

“The Human Rights Watch 2018 World Report states that the police continue to use violence and excessive use of force. The report states further that family and sexual violence is among the highest in the world, and that perpetrators are rarely prosecuted.

“I want to thank the Human Rights Adviser to the United Nation Country Team in PNG, Mr Poudyal, and your team for organising this workshop here in Port Moresby.

“The preservation and protection of human rights is a key and fundamental responsibility for us as policemen and women, as it is fitting that we have this training for the provincial commanders.”

This training program is aimed at assessing the understanding of human rights of participants and demonstrating linkages between human rights and law enforcement work.

It focused on a number of key themes:

  • Provide an understanding of human rights and how it relates to law enforcement;
  • Provide an understanding of law enforcement in democracies;
  • Provide an understanding of rights of law enforcement officers;
  • Provide an understanding of human rights and participation in UN Peacekeeping Operations;
  • Explain human rights based approach to policing;
  • Demonstrate the importance of human rights and human rights based approach to law enforcement;
  • Provide an understanding of establishing the need for ethical and legal conduct by law enforcement officers;
  • Provide an understanding of establishing link between command & control, accountability and a human rights compliant law enforcement institutions.

(Senior officers at today’s closing of the workshop)

Carmella Gware