Qiliho requests effective engagement

Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho speaks to senior officers during the closing of the Senior Managers OHCHR workshop with Representatives Dr Chitralekha Massey and Deputy Regional Representative Patrick Marega Castellan. Photo: SUPPLIED.

Commissioner of Police Brigadier General Sitiveni Qiliho has requested the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to ensure the training and working partnership forged between the two institutions over this past week is reflected in the work of both parties.

The comment was made by the head of the Force while closing the week long Senior Managers Human Rights training attended to by senior officers from the four policing divisions at Police Headquarters on Friday afternoon.

Brigadier General Qiliho said it was disappointing when organizations who have been able to conduct trainings with the Force were not able to effectively engage with the officers or the senior hierarchy.

“We have had numerous trainings and when the theoretical sessions are over we seem to lack the practical application of the trainings and partnerships forged during the time of training seems to have disappeared and it is very disappointing as it defeats the purpose as to why we had initially decided to help each other”.

The Commissioner said such actions only ends up hurting the victim.

“Sometimes I find no faith in the practical application of the trainings and when an issue arises where we should be able to engage freely with each other, there seems to be more focus on pointing the finger at who is at fault while the victim suffers even more”.

“Every day we discuss human rights not because the international community or the United Nations is looking but because it’s the right thing to do, and I can assure the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights that we are a transparent institution and will take all criticisms positively so please call us directly any time of the day if issues arise about our officers so we are able to address it immediately”.

The Commissioner of Police reminded his senior command that while their focus will be on upholding the rights of all Fijians, they must not lose sight of the fact that Police offices also have rights.

“Policing is such that we must weigh the fact that our officers have human rights too and that they need rest, time off, and logistics to be able to produce what is demanded from them and policing is never an easy job”.

The five day training focused on key human rights standards for law enforcement senior managers, command responsibility on arrest, detention, use of force and the Convention against Torture, law enforcement during natural disasters and other emergencies, law enforcement and the rights of persons with disabilities, law enforcement and the rights of the child, law enforcement and the rights of LGBTI person.

OHCHR Representative Dr Chitralekha Massey in thanking the Commissioner for availing the senior command to attend the training reiterated OHCHR’s support.

“We discussed two main issues and that is accountability and how to effectively operationalize the working document that we have put together and we do hope that discussions held about the pilot project in the monitoring of human rights issues will get off the ground in the not too distant future”.

The training ended on Friday.