IPCB Trains Over 600 Participants on the Luanda Guidelines

The Independent Police Complaints Board (IPCB), with funds from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the on-going project of Strengthening the Rule of Law, Security and Human Rights and Social Cohesion in Sierra Leone, has trained 644 participants on the Guidelines on the Conditions of Arrest, Police Custody and Pre-Trial Detention in Africa (also known as The Luanda Guidelines), targeting Sierra Leone Police (SLP) personnel, Civil Society Activists, Human Rights Defenders, traditional leaders, women’s groups, Corrections Officers, Metropolitan Police, Chiefdom Police Officers, Journalists, Local Policing Partnership Board (LPPB), among others.

After the officially opening of the Freetown training, participants, staff of the IPCB and UNDP posed for a group photo at the IPCB headquarters, New England on Thursday 8th July, 2021

According to Amadu Femoh Sesay, IPCB Programme and Communications Officer, the objective of the nationwide training was to strengthen public awareness and sensitization on the existence and provisions in the Luanda Guidelines; improve the skills and knowledge of police officers in handling of persons subject to arrest and police custody to ensure that their treatment complies with the relevant international norms; and also strengthen the existing strained relationship between the SLP and the civil populace.

 

He said the Guidelines, designed under Articles 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 26 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights was adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights during its 55th Ordinary Session in Luanda, Angola, from 28 April to 12 May 2014. Mr. Sesay maintained that the Charter sets out States’ obligations to provide all people with the rights to life, dignity, equality, security, a fair trial, and an independent judiciary.

 

The Guidelines ensures that law enforcement agencies, especially the police exercise their power of arrest and police detention only when strictly necessary and uphold and protect the rights enshrined in the Charter in their practice and procedures.

 

To ensure that the rights, dignity and welfare of those going through arrest and police custody are upheld, promoted and protected at all times in Sierra Leone, the IPCB took a very bold step to implement the Luanda Guidelines in the country. In order to guarantee an efficient and effective process of rolling out the Guidelines, the IPCB in partnership with other relevant stakeholders and with the support of the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF) and the Open Society Foundation (OSF) hosted a two day stakeholders’ meeting to discuss and develop strategies to effectively promote the implementation of the Guidelines on the Conditions of Arrest, Police Custody and Pre-Trial Detention in the country.

The engagement which was held in May, 2017 at the Conference Hall of the IPCB Headquarters at New England Ville, Freetown, attracted stakeholders from the Human Rights Commission Sierra Leone (HRCSL), Sierra Leone Police (SLP), Sierra Leone Correctional Centre (SLCS), non-governmental organizations and the donor community.  After the meeting of minds, the IPCB developed the 5-Year Strategic Plan (2017-2021) for the Implementation of the Luanda Guidelines on the Conditions of Arrest, Police Custody and Pre-Trial Detention in the country.

In May, 2018, the IPCB commenced the popularization of the existence of the Luanda Guidelines and its provisions through countrywide training exercises in which 464 participants were trained. In the following year (2019), the IPCB also trained 591 community residents who were mostly personnel of the Sierra Leone Police.  

 

Uganda, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Tunisia and South Africa are among countries that have commenced the implementation of the Luanda Guidelines.

The 2021 trainings were conducted in the following locations and dates:

No. District Location/Town Date
Western Area Rural Waterloo Tuesday 6th July, 2021
Western Area Urban IPCB Headquarters Thursday 8th July, 2021
Falaba Mongo Bendugu Town Monday 16th August, 2021
Koinadugu Kabala Town Tuesday 17th August, 2021
Karene Kamakwie Town Thursday 19th August, 2021
Tonkolili Magburaka/Mile 91 Saturday 21st August, 2021
Kenema Kenema City Monday 23rd August, 2021
Kailahun Kailahun Town Wednesday 25th August, 2021
Kono Koidu City Friday 27th August, 2021
Bo Bo City Thursday 2nd September, 2021
Pujehun Pujehun Town Friday 3rd September, 2021
Moyamba Moyamba Town Monday 6th September, 2021
Bonthe Mattru-Jong Wednesday 8th September, 2021
Bombali Makeni City Friday 10th September, 2021
Port Loko Port Loko City Monday 13th September, 2021
Kambia Kambia Town Tuesday 14th September, 2021