In recognizing the significant role of police in respecting, promoting and protecting the rights of all citizens, the Fiji Police Force is taking steps to build a culture of respect for human rights within its force.
Thirty-five members of the Fiji Police Force (Sergeants, Corporals and Constables) are at a human rights training workshop in Suva. The training event is convened with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Regional Rights Resource Team (RRRT)and the United Nations Office ofthe High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Suva.
“Acting under the authority of the law, police officers may limit the rights of people who are (for example) suspected of committing a crime through arrest, detention, and investigation of crime, searches & other police activities.It is important for police officers to know how far they can go in limiting rights of people when dealing with them.” Fiji Deputy Commissioner of Police Isikeli Ligairi said.
Deputy Commissioner Ligairi added that at the end of the day, ‘we have to recognize that human rights is a fundamental building block for democracy and we have to support the development of a police force in Fiji that is accountable, transparent, gender aware and supportive of human rights.’
A key objective of the training, which is being implemented by RRRT and OHCHR,is to support the Fiji Police Force members to fulfil their duties in accordance with international human rights standards for policing, and in compliance with domestic legislative framework.
This is the first in a series of training workshops that will happen across all divisions within the Fiji Police Force.