The 2019 Human Rights training for field officers has opened at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Center (KAIPTC).

The two-week course is an annual training aimed at equipping human rights officers with the necessary knowledge and technical competencies to support human rights in peace operations in Africa.

It was put together and reviewed by experts from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR), the African Union (AU), Human Rights Watch, GIZ, and the Legon Center for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) among others.

This is the fifth Human Rights course in Multidimensional Peace Support Operation offered at the KAIPTC with sponsorship from the German Government through its implementing agency, GIZ.

Concerns about Human Right violations and or abuse in Africa and other parts of the world are rife following increasing reports of alleged abuse and violations. Commandant of the KAIPTC, Air Vice Marshal Griffiths S. Evans said: “Security on the continent is a never-ending discussion and requires pragmatic steps, given the reality of human right abuses when conflict erupts.” “Again, considering the UN special report on exploitation by UN troops in Africa, the need for trained human rights practitioners cannot be overemphasized,” he stressed. The Commandant also expressed the Center’s gratitude to the German government for its continuous support and funding.

Deputy German Ambassador to Ghana, Helge Sander said, “Unfortunately, violations of human rights are happening every day in different forms, whether it’s the use of force by security forces to stop e.g peaceful protests or forceful jailing of opposition members.” According to the diplomat, “preventing, mitigating and addressing such human rights violations in conflict and post-conflict situations are pre-conditions for sustainable peace.”

Stressing the need for rights observers to fill the void created by lack of resources and the political will among others, Helge Sander said: “Human rights experts are called upon to help fill the vacuum and this is evident in the consistent inclusion of robust human rights mandates in the UN and other regional Peace Support Operations by the AU.”

Participants were drawn from police, military and civilians across 10 countries in Africa will be taken through eight modules of theory and practical lessons in how to properly document and report on human right issues protection of the vulnerable and civilians, and the legal framework that backs issues of human rights in general among other modules.

Course Director for the Human Rights Training for field officers, Lydia Yamoah Hagan said beneficiaries of the training are expected to adopt best practices for protecting the vulnerable among other pro-rights conducts.

Source: Ghana/