CHRAJ to sensitise security personnel on Luanda Guidelines

Joseph Whittal – CHRAJ Boss

The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) is set to sensitize security officers on the guidelines on the Conditions of Arrest, Police Custody and Pre-Trail Detention in Africa (Luanda Guidelines).

This would be done at a workshop being organised by CHRAJ in partnership with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) and African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum, scheduled for October 1st and 2nd in Accra.

The security officers would also be schooled on the Guidelines on Sexual Violence and its consequences, especially in relation to persons in detention centres and prisons.

Mr Joseph Whittal, the CHRAJ Commissioner, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that, the Luanda Guidelines were adopted by the ACHPR during its 55th Ordinary Session in Luanda, Angola, in May 2014.

He said Article 2, 3,  5,  6,  7  and  26  of  the  African  Charter  on  Human  and  Peoples’  Rights  (the  African Charter) set out States’ obligations to provide all people with the rights to life, dignity, equality, security, a fair trial, and an independent judiciary.

Mr Whittal explained that the Luanda Guidelines, therefore, sought to assist States in implementing these obligations in the specific context of Arrest, Police Custody and Pre-Trial Detention.

The African Commission is mandated to formulate standards, principles and rules on which African Governments can base their legislation. It is on this basis that these Guidelines have been developed.

He said the adoption of the Luanda Guidelines was an important step towards promoting a rights-based approach to decisions to arrest and detain suspects, and to conditions and safeguards with respect to police custody and pre-trial detention.

The Guidelines reflect the collective aspirations of States, National Human Rights Institutions and Civil Society Organisations in promoting a rights-based approach to this critical area of criminal justice.

The Luanda Guidelines have been subject to extensive consultations and expert review by State Parties to the African Charter, National Human Rights Institutions, and Civil Society Organisations across Africa.

Source: GNA

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