The Fiji Times » Human Rights Training for Fiji Police Officers

Thirty senior police officers participated in a two-day (April 28-29) human rights training in Suva aimed at building the force’s capacity to investigate and report allegations of human rights abuses and violations .

The training was organized by the Regional Office for the Pacific of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UN Women Pacific, the UNDP Office for the Pacific in Fiji, the Fiji Women’s Crisis Center and the Fiji Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation.

Commissioner of Police, Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho, briefed the session on the organization’s commitment to establish a dedicated human rights unit of the Fiji Police Force for independent investigation and reporting of complaints against police officers for human rights violations.

“The Fiji Police is committed to upholding basic human rights in accordance with international law and best practice,” Brigadier General Qiliho said.

“We remain committed to strengthening the management, reporting, investigation and prosecution of human rights abuses by police officers.

“Although the global pandemic has somewhat affected our ability to work on the recommendations made during the 3rd cycle of the UPR of Fiji, I can assure our partners that it has not diminished the sense of urgency on our side. “.

He said that since 2019, the organization had worked with its legal and justice stakeholders and adopted internal measures, policies and guidelines to address human rights violations.

The Regional Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for the Pacific, Heike Alefsen, said that the people of Fiji must regard the Fiji Police and their law enforcement officers as the first line of defense against human rights violations.

“Every time a police officer reaches out to help a victim, every time they serve a community, and every time a police officer scrupulously observes the rules on the use of force, that’s when the police is at the forefront of this important task of protecting and promoting human rights”.

The two-day training is the result of the commitment made in Geneva in 2019 during the 34th session of the Universal Periodic Review of Fiji.

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