International Human Rights Law and Police by szy10560

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									International Human Rights Law
               and
            Police Work
         By Innocent Chukwuma
           Executive Director
          Overview of Presentation
Duration: 60 minutes

Goal:
The aim of this session is to familiarize participants with the
broad overview of international human rights law and police
role in protecting them.

Objectives:
On completion of this session, participants will have
Developed the knowledge required to engage in discussion of
basic concepts of human rights and the role of the police in
protecting them.
  Outline of Presentation
– Definition of Human Rights
       Historical Overview of Human Rights
       International Human Rights Standards
       Human Rights in Nigerian Law
       Human Rights Treaties Ratified By
       Nigeria
       Enforcement Mechanisms of Human
       Rights
       Human Rights and Police Work
       Thank You!
         What Are Human Rights?
• Human Rights are the rights we are entitled to
  by the mere fact of being human beings and
  which cannot be taken away from us without
  reducing our humanity.

• Human Rights are universal and belong to every
  human being, rich, poor, male or female.

• Examples of Human Rights are the right to life,
  personal liberty, Dignity, Freedom of Movement,
  Freedom of Association etc.
     Historical Overview of Human Rights

•   The story of how the idea of human rights came about in history dates back
    to many centuries ago and every human society can legitimately claim to
    have contributed in one way or the other in the development of what we call
    human rights today, which in the past was called natural or divine rights.

•   However, for the sake of our discussion, three institutions stand out in
    historical account of the modern concept of human rights:

League of Nations

•   Created by the treaty of Versailles concluded at the Paris Conference of
    1919 after the First World War to promote international cooperation, peace
    and security.
•   The League was not able to Prevent the outbreak of Second World War and
    the horrors around it.
•   It had no mechanism for protecting individual rights because its subjects
    were basically member States
  Historical Overview of Human Rights Ctd.

                International Labour Organization

• Established under the Treaty of Versailles as an organ of the
  League of Nations to monitor and promote fair humane conditions of
  Labour for men, women and children.

• It survived its parent body and its currently one of the specialized
  agencies of the United Nations.

• Since its Establishment, the ILO has promulgated about 180
  conventions concerning forced and compulsory labour, Freedom of
  association and the right to organize, discrimination, and equal
  remuneration for men and women workers for work of Equal value,
  touch upon civil and political rights as well as economic, social and
  cultural rights.
  Historical Overview of Human Rights Cotd

                          United Nations
• It took the World War II and the horrors around it for the leaders of
  the free world to act decisively in the maintenance of international
  peace and security through the creation of the United Nations.

• The instrument of its creation (The UN Charter) came into force on
  October 24, 1945, the day which is celebrated as the UN’s Official
  birthday.

• The prime concern of the UN is international peace and security.

• A detailed description of the UN and its main bodies and functions
  can be found in books on international law. For our purpose here,
  we shall dwell on its work in the promotion and protection of
  international human rights standard.
  International Human Rights Standards

• Through the united Nations, the international community including
   Nigeria has engaged in extensive exercise of human rights standard
   setting in an attempt to create a legal framework for their effective
   promotion and protection.
In general such standards have been set by developing multilateral
   treaties which create legally binding obligations upon member
   States.
• Parallel to this activity, the member states of the UN, has adopted
   numerous instruments referred to as “soft laws” for the promotion
   and protection of human rights.
• The “soft law” category are human rights instruments that can be
   understood at best as providing authoritative guidance on specific
   issues relating to human rights and freedoms.
• We shall focus on the most important human rights instruments of
   “soft” and “hard” categories.
    International Human Rights Standards
                    Cotd
International Human Rights Standards can be divided into three majors
sections: International Bill of Rights, Core International Human Rights
Instruments and Human Rights in the Administration of Justice

International Bill of Rights
•    Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948
•   International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966
•   International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966
•   Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on civil and Political Rights,
    1966
•   Second Optional Protocol to the international Covenant on Civil and Political
    Rights, 1989
    International Human Rights Standard Cotd

Core International Human Rights Instruments:
There are 13 core international human rights Instruments. They are:
•   International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (21-12-65)
•   International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (16-12-66)
•   International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (16-12-66)
•   Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women 18-12-79
•   Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
    (10-12-84)
•   Convention on the Rights of the Child (20-11-89)
•   International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of
    Their Families (18-12-90)
•   Optional protocols to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (16-12-66)
•   Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the
    Abolition of Death Penalty (15-12-89)
•   Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women 10-12-99
•   Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of Children in
    Armed Conflict (25-5-00)
•   Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child
    Prostitution and Child Pornography (25-5-00)
•   Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading
    Treatment or Punishment (18-12-02)
  International Human Rights Standard Cotd

Human Rights in the Administration of Justice
The UN has adopted 20 human rights principles in the field of administration
of criminal justice. 11 of them are specifically relevant to law enforcement
Officials:
•    Body of Principles for the protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment
•    United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty
•    Declaration on the Protection of all Persons from being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel,
     inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
•    Principles on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
     or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
•    Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials
•    Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials
•    Unite Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice
•    Guidelines for Action on Children in the Criminal Justice System
•    Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power
•    Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary
     Executions
•    Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
                Human Rights in Nigerian Law
Chapter four of the Nigerian Constitution 1999, known as the Fundamental
Rights Section of the Constitution has extensive provision on Human Rights.
The highlights are:
•   Right to life, S.33(1)
•   Right to Dignity of Human Person, S.34(1)
•   Right to Personal Liberty, S.35(1)
•   Right to Fair Hearing, S.36(1)
•   Right to Private Family Life, S.37
•   Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion, S. 38(1)
•   Right to Peaceful Assembly and Association, S.40
•   Right to Freedom of Movement, S. 41(1)
•   Right to Freedom from Discrimination, S. 42(1)
•   Right to Acquire and Own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria, S.43

Similar and further provisions on human rights can be found in the African Charter
Incorporation Act, which domesticated the provisions of the African on Human and
Peoples Rights in Nigeria and the Evidence Act of 1960, which prohibits the use of torture in
interrogation.
       Human Rights Treaties Ratified By
                  Nigeria
Out of the 13 core international human rights treaties in
  force today, Nigeria has ratified 9. They are:
•   International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
    Discrimination (04-1-69)
•   International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (29-10-93)
•   International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (29-10-93)
•   Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women
    (13-7-85)
•   Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading
    Treatment or Punishment (28-7-01)
•   Convention on the Rights of the Child (19-4-91)
•   Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the
    involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (08-9-00)
•   Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale
    of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (08-9-00)
•   Those not ratified are the optional protocols, except those relating to the
    rights of the child
      Enforcement Mechanisms of Human
                   Rights
Treaty Monitoring Bodies
•    There are 6 major human rights treaties with monitoring bodies to ensure effective
    implementation of treaty obligations by member states: ICCPR, CESR, CERD, CEDAW,
    CAT and CRC.
•    Member states are obliged to send their periodic report on the implementation of their
    treaty obligations to the treaty monitoring bodies, which reviews such reports and make
    comments on the performance of the reporting party. These comments, which are
    sometimes hash, help member states in living up to their obligations.

•    NGOs are also permitted to submit alternative reports to those of member states,
    providing further information on areas state parties may no be forthcoming in giving
    accurate information.
•    These alternative report, sometimes called shadow reports, help a lot in providing additional
     information on the basis of which the treaty monitoring bodies make their concluding comments on
     state report.
•    The treaty monitoring bodies also receive individual petitions from citizens of members states
     whose rights are violated. Their decisions on such petitions form an important enforcement
     mechanism on human rights violation.
     Enforcement Mechanisms of Human
                  Rights
Resolution 1503 adopted by the UN Economic and Social Council on May 27, 1970
established the procedure for dealing with petitions relating to violations of human rights
and fundamental freedoms. This resolution empowers the UN sub-commission on
Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to appoint a working group to
consider all petitions on human rights violation with a view to bringing to the notice of
the Sub-Commission petitions which appear to reveal a consistent pattern of gross and
reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Petitions that are found to reveal systematic violations of human rights in particular
countries are referred to the UN Commission on Human Rights for appropriate action,
which may include adoption of a resolution openly condemning human rights situation in
such countries.
      Enforcement Mechanisms of Human
                   Rights
Special Procedure Mechanism
•    Because of the delays inherent in the work of the treaty-based mechanisms in the
      enforcement of human rights, and the realization by the international community that
      victims of human rights need urgent response to their plight, the UN created a special
      procedure mechanism (also known as urgent procedure or non-treaty based mechanism)
     within its Centre for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland to respond to urgent situation
      requiring its intervention to save a victim from torture, extra-judicial killing, enforcement
     disappearances etc.
•    Under this mechanism, Special Rapportuers are appointed on specific human rights
     themes to respond to individual complaints on actual or potential human rights violation
     requiring speedy intervention through urgent appeal letters to governments to prevent
    the action or protect such people.
•    They also embark on missions to countries where many of such appeals for intervention are sent
      from to study what is happening their and make recommendations to the UN Commission on
     Human
     Rights During its annual sessions in Geneva on what should be done about those countries.

•   The important point about the Special Procedure mechanism is that your country does not need to
    be a party to a particular human rights treaty for you to send petition to it.

Many NGOs send petitions on human rights violations to the Special Procedure Mechanisms
         Human Rights and Police Work

• Are human rights an impediment or enhancer of police work?
• If an Impediment, Why?
• If an Enhancer, Why.

The Fact Remains:

• International Human Rights Law is binding on all States and their
  agents, including law enforcement officials.

• Law Enforcement Officials are obliged to know, and to apply
  international human rights standards.

• If you don’t, the long arm of the law will catch up with you someday
• Thank you!

								
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