New prison officers in human rights training

Newly recruited Samoa Prisons and Correction Services (SPCS) officers have undergone basic human rights training facilitated by the Office of the Ombudsman-National Human Rights Institution.

Pictures of the training participants and the course facilitators were uploaded onto the Office’s Facebook page over the weekend.

According to the Office, the training is designed to “build a culture of officers that respect and understand the value and importance of human rights in the performance of their work”.

The training is facilitated by the Office of the Ombudsman-National Human Rights Institution annually for officers in law enforcement agencies such as the Samoa Police Service and the Samoa Prisons and Correction Services.

The Office said similar training was done three weeks for the 2020 Police recruits.

Last Friday the Office’s Human Rights team joined forces with their Special Investigations Unit (SIU) to deliver basic human rights training for the new prisons recruits.

The Human Rights team talked touched on human rights which covered its brief history, the different conventions Samoa has ratified, human rights and cultural sharing principles of love, respect, protection and security and dignity.

The facilitators also demonstrated how everyone has human rights including a prisoner, and discussed in detail international and national standards applicable to the operations of prisons.

The SIU team focussed more specially on one component of human rights – making a complaint. 

They highlighted the common complaint trends of prisoners and prison officers over the last three years with a focus on decision making, access (information and medical care) and use of force, and how the SPCS can ensure complaints are investigated impartially without fear or favour.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Ombudsman and its Human Rights team recently met with the UK envoy to the Commonwealth Philip Parham, British High Commissioner David Ward and his Deputy Rob Contractor. 

The Office, in a statement posted on their Facebook page, said it was a great opportunity to meet Mr Ward for the first time.

“But it was also an opportunity for the office to share its work that has been supported under the Pacific Equality Commonwealth Project (the Project). Under this Project, the Office received support (through the SPC-RRRT) to help with the implementation of the two-year roll out plan for the National Inquiry into Family Violence Report 2018," the Facebook post stated.

"Under this same Project and through SPC-RRRT, the office also had opportunities to engage with other pacific island countries (with established and intend to establish NHRIs) in capacity building workshops and study tours to other NHRIs to learn and exchange best practices."

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