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Last updated:

September 21, 2023


2 weeks

This course includes:

2 weeks

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

2 weeks


This training is designed to assist police academies in integrating human rights into police training, rather than relegating such training to an optional add-on. It focuses in particular on those rights that help engender trust in the police working in diverse societies: non-discrimination, dignity and life. It provides a practical, hands-on training tool for EU Member State and none EU countries institutions, drawing on the knowledge. The manual walks training participants step-by-step through the fundamental rights implications of real-life situations, providing them with the tools they need to analyse and deal with situations they may one day face themselves.

This training manual rests on four crucial principles: a comprehensive and positive approach towards human rights; policing from a human rights perspective, observing the requirements both to protect and to respect; a practical approach to analysing concrete situations; and a focus on the internalisation of human rights. The first principle helps make clear that police are primarily a force designed to help realise human rights, which form the bedrock of any democratic and just society. Human, and fundamental, rights are also applicable to police officers and thus have an empowering effect. These basic messages often surprise participants, who typically expect to face criticism for their work. They fear being ‘hit’ by the ‘moral club of human rights’ – a concern that tends to cause a defensive posture which is counterproductive to training. A crucial element and objective of a training course are, therefore, to overcome possible scepticism and create a positive approach towards human rights. The second principle reflects the fact that in many countries, police have increasingly come to be seen as service providers to the public – as an organisation which protects human rights. But police officers tread a narrow and difficult line each day between their dual obligations to protect and respect human rights, such as when they act to protect persons from torture or ill-treatment in cases of domestic violence. Police work to protect human rights must, for example, strictly apply proportionate means – especially when it comes to the use of force. This constitutes the biggest challenge in human rights-based policing: human rights protection with the least intrusive means. The manual introduces a set of practical tools for analysis which should help illuminate how to deal with this challenge in daily policing work. The manual will take participants through a step-by-step examination of concrete police-related situations from a human rights perspective to equip them to analyse and handle situations that they may encounter in the future. Finally, the manual makes clear that fundamental rights cannot be reduced to legal standards alone. Though these standards are crucial, a broad understanding of human rights goes beyond the law. It also requires appropriate skills and attitude. It is of critical importance to see how a police officer interacts with society and what considerations and attitudes he or she uses to make decisions. Internalising human rights through education is a complex process with numerous facets, but one of crucial importance to the split-second decisions police officers must often take. The training consists of six modules which deal with key elements of a human rights approach to policing, plus a set of annexes with additional material:
  •   Module 1: Human rights basics
  •   Module 2: Policing from a human rights perspective
  •   Module 3: Human rights analysis – the obligations to respect and to protect
  •   Module 4: The prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
  •   Module 5: Diversity, equality and non-discrimination
  •   Module 6: Human rights of police officers
Human rights education and policing – the triangle of human rights education4 There are no ready-made answers, no checklist to follow in the complex field of human rights. Police officers must shape their work and actions in line with human rights guidelines; they face the difficult task of using their discretion and balancing perceived conflicting interests in each concrete situation. The three dimensions of knowledge, skills and attitudes will help in this endeavour. The training activities in each module are designed with the triangle of human rights education in mind: The following core competencies can be seen as desired outcomes of human rights training for police: Knowledge – participants should understand the function of human rights in society; (historical) development of human rights; understanding of human rights principles (especially the principles of necessity and proportionality; the principle of non-discrimination; state obligations to respect and protect human rights; universality and indivisibility); basic elements of the system of human rights protection; contents of human rights norms relevant to their work (including the absolute prohibition of torture); important international human rights documents; organisations and institutions that work for human rights; objectives and characteristics of human rights-based policing in democratic societies. Skills – participants should be able to: apply human rights principles (especially the principles of necessity and proportionality) in practical work; communicate professionally with the community and external stakeholders, including with minority communities; construct and present a persuasive argument; analyse real-life situation from a human rights perspective; including identifying violation of human rights; apply conflict management/resolution skills; deal with criticism; reflect on one’s own identity; discuss questions of human rights, diversity and policing; apply the analysis of human rights to their own environment as well as to organisational structures and practices. Attitude – participants should reflect on: respect for oneself and for others based on the dignity of all persons; commitment to equality with respect to sex, ‘race’, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation etc.; confidence in considering human rights as a goal and basis of police work; awareness of one’s own responsibility; empathy towards others, in particular for minorities; open-mindedness; valuing of and engaging with external stakeholders, including communities and monitoring institutions; openness to reflection; readiness to learn from mistakes; preparedness to deal with criticism; acceptance of diversity in society and its implication for policing. Who should do this course:
  1. An individual who wishes to join law and enforcement career in General Police
  2. An individual who wishes to join law and enforcement career in Traffic Police
  3. An individual who wishes to join law and enforcement career in Highway Petrol Police
  4. An individual who wishes to join law and enforcement career in Special Police Department
  5. An individual who wishes to join law and enforcement career in Federal Police Department
  6. An individual who wishes to join law and enforcement career in any branch of Army
  7. Currently working police
  8. Presently working in transport and highway police
  9.  Presently working in special Police or elite police
  10. Any area of law and enforcement should take this course

Course Curriculum

    • Understanding the basics of human rights 03:00:00
    • Policing from a human rights perspective 03:00:00
    • Human Rights Analysis – The Obligations to Respect and to Protect 03:00:00
    • The Prohibition of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 03:00:00
    • Diversity, equality and non-discrimination 03:00:00
    • Human rights of police officers 03:00:00
    • Police Training Test 01:00:00

About the instructor

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