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Training on Human Rights for Law Enforcement Agencies
20 September, 2010

The Ministry of Justice, Human Rights and the Correctional Service, in collaboration with UNDP and Irish Aid, as part of the Consolidation of Democracy and Good Governance (CDGG) programme, held a two day workshop on human rights for Law Enforcement Agencies from 14th- to 15th of September 2010, at Blue Mountain Inn in Teyateyaneng (TY).

One of the objectives was the furtherance of a human rights awareness campaign. The campaign will serve to disseminate knowledge on the promotion and protection of human rights in order to support a culture of respect for human rights amongst Basotho.

The purpose of the training was to train the trainers of Law Enforcement Officers with the aim to promote a human rights culture among Law Enforcement Agencies, particularly among junior officers. The main objective was to give an overview of the human rights protection machinery and assure that the trainers of Law Enforcement Officers appreciate and understand human rights principles and standards in order to be able to disseminate this important message.

The training was set up to target directly the day to day activities of the participants in the enforcement of law and order, since they are expected to carry out their duties taking into account the human rights framework.

The workshop was facilitated by two lecturers from the National University of Lesotho: Advocate I.P. Shale and Mr. O.M. Owori Lecturer NUL; Major T. Mathatjane, LDF Directorate of Legal Services; Mr M. Masole, Deputy Commissioner Operations LCS and Mr B. 'Nei, Senior Inspector Lesotho Mounted Police Service.

The Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Justice officially opened the workshop stressing the importance of promoting a human rights culture among Basotho and reaffirming the commitment of the Government of Lesotho in the respect and fulfilment of human rights principles and standards in compliance with international obligations. UNDP, in opening remarks stated that “the role of the Government and consequently of law enforcement officers, is to monitor and control the implementation of human rights standards and principles having a ‘watchdog’ role in undertaking their peculiar responsibilities. The law enforcement officers’ task is to maintain the rule of law, while respecting human rights”.

A total of 47 participants attended the workshop. Seventeen were from the Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS), ten from the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) and the National Security Service (NSS); five from the Lesotho Defence Force and four from the Ministry of Justice, Human Rights and the Correctional Service.

Important issues were raised and discussed during the workshop, such as the human rights protection machinery, the application of human rights in the criminal justice system, the protection of persons subjected to detention, the prohibition of torture, Code of Conduct and Principles on the Use of Force by Law Enforcement Agencies, the protection of national security and respect for human rights, International Humanitarian Law and the responsibility for human rights violations.

The participants actively took part in the discussion and demonstrated appreciation of the issues and topics discussed. The workshop was particularly valuable, given the shared ideas and experiences from the participants.

Participants were provided with copies of basic material on human rights such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment and the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials.

In closing the workshop on behalf of the Ministry of Justice the Chief Legal Officer, Polo Chabane, expressed hope that the participants “will be good ambassadors and spread the gospel of human rights to their colleagues”.

    

 
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