Police and law enforcement officials play an indispensable role in serving and protecting their communities and are primary law enforcers. However, the conditions in which such officials carry out their duties in the community contributes to the sort of societal conditions in which human and economic development can be made possible or marred.
As we try to seek solutions to the enormous developmental challenges that face our continent, it is our collective responsibility to instill in our police forces a culture of human rights observance in the execution of their duties. At the Commission, we believe that the building of synergies, training of police officials and the exchange of experiences on police and human rights all over the continent can help build police forces fully compliant with human rights standards.
This explains why the Commission has sought to build synergies with National Human Rights Institutions and NGOs with demonstrated experience in the area of policing and human rights in Africa and the collaboration of the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the African Civilian Policing Oversight Forum in development of this thematic and in the production of this newsletter is case in point which we welcome and hope will be sustained and reinforced.
The newsletter we are launching today falls within the framework of the efforts of the African Commission to make the thematic of police and human rights, a specific and consistent issue that is fully integrated into the work of the Commission especially regarding state reporting and all other promotion and protection activities of the Commission.
We hope that the newsletter will keep the public abreast of the Commission’s and its partners’ activities in this domain and help to inculcate in our police forces, a culture of human rights observance.
With these few words, I now officially launch the newsletter on human rights and police in Africa.