The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the African Union - United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) jointly delivered a series of Training of Trainers (ToT) workshops on Human Rights and Humanitarian Laws in El Fasher, North Darfur state. The ToT was conducted in two groups at the El Fasher police premises, where the first group of 19 participants were trained from 17 to 28 March and the second group from 2 to 15 April, attended by 20 Sudanese police officers who were selected from different locations in North Darfur.

The trainings aimed to upskill police knowledge in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law principles, introduce training techniques, and create a pool of 39 trainers equipped to augment personnel in the police training department. Through the exchange of best practices, introduction to basic concepts and key principles of human rights and humanitarian legal framework the workshops aspired to positively impact police attitudes, transform behaviors that value rights of citizens and seek to protect all, especially the vulnerable groups, thereby encouraging cooperation between the SPF and citizens.

During the workshops, a local drama group staged a play depicting practical problems and challenges related to the protection of Human Rights in the daily work of police services. The play showed cases involving violence against women to enhance awareness and sensitization on the importance of police protection towards ensuring the rights of women.

UNAMID Police Representative State Liasion Officer (SLO) Vilisi Waqavesi noted in her closing remarks that UNDP choice to support the Training of Trainers for SPF will contribute to a safe and secure society where people not only have confidence in their police force but also trust them as they exude a human rights-based approach to policing and maintenance of public security. She added that these trainings support the transition envisaged by UNAMID and UNDP to a sustainable and feasible training program owned and implemented by the national police training department after the mission’s departure.

UNDP Regional Coordinator, Mr. Christopher Laker emphasized the importance of capacity building of police to create and maintain public security and order, noting that lack of respect for human rights undermines sustainable development. He appreciated the North Darfur Sudanese police authorities for their will and commitment to support the capacity building of personnel in different skills and techniques enabling them to execute their individual and collective policing mandate, and in particular recognized the presence of seven female participants. He also appreciated the efforts of the local drama group which had a role play which effectively highlighted the everyday life experiences of people and the role of the police in protection. Further, he thanked two representatives from the participants for their testimonies of the good work that the trainers had done to transform and spotlight latent talent in the SPF.

The SPF Training Director, Police Colonel Mahmoud Abdulrazik appreciated the funding and technical support from the UN and promised that all the training received will be put to practice in the protection of human rights of citizens in the police area of responsibility. He appealed for more training opportunities and resources to be availed until all police attain the expected standards of rights-based policing.

The ceremony ended with the participants receiving certificates that became a celebration on the importance of protecting human rights in police activities as it coincided with the advent of the current political and security climate in Sudan.

The ToT workshops were conducted under the State Liaison Function (SLF) of UNDP's Darfur Stabilization and Recovery programme which builds on the efforts undertaken by UNAMID and the UN system in Darfur over the past 10 years, to support the period of transition until the mission's draw down. Through SLF, the programme supports the need to ensure the continuation of key functions in Darfur on the safeguarding of Rule of Law, Human Rights, Resilience and Livelihoods building. This activity in particular, is a result of the Rule of Law and Human Rights component which strives to maintain and strengthen the capacities, functions and financing of rule of law and national human rights institutions and systems ensuring access to justice and combatting discrimination, in particular for women and marginalised groups.

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For additional information, please contact Christopher Laker at christopher.laker@undp.org

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