Suva Fiji – The Fiji Police Force today launched two curricula for inclusion in courses at Recruit, Investigator and Supervisory levels at the Fiji Police Academy.
The subject matter of the curricula focuses on enhancing the human rights of all Fijians, whether on arrest and detention or as the victims or witnesses to a crime.
The training materials which include trainer manuals, learner resource guides, PowerPoint presentations and demonstration videos have been developed over the last few weeks at the Fiji Police Academy through various consultations and workshops.
The knowledge products have been developed to improve standards and practice in early access to justice initiatives, investigative interviewing and specialist interviewing of vulnerable persons. The products were developed by the Fiji justice stakeholders with technical guidance provided by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and an expert from the United Kingdom (UK). The undertaking of the series of activities to develop the curricula and knowledge products was funded by the British High Commission in Suva.
The Fiji Police Officers based at the Academy underwent training in curriculum development, delivered by the UK expert, Mr Phil Stokoe and thereafter, the curriculum writers designed and developed the curricula in early access to justice and specialist interviewing over two weeks.
The multi-agency collaborative approach between the Fiji Police Force, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Judiciary, the Fiji Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Commission and the Legal Aid Commission, in accumulating and fine tuning the materials has resulted in curricula which place people at the center of investigations and strive to uphold human rights for all. The curriculum writing team was also informed by the expertise of Medical Services Pacific which provided valuable input in the context of sexual offences and vulnerable persons.
The teaching course using the curriculum and the knowledge products will be delivered in the Police Academy this year with the current intake of recruits and the upcoming course for Investigators in August.
As part of the curricula development sessions, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions was supported by Mr Stokoe and reviewed their Police Prosecutors course material and handbook.
Commissioner of Police, Brigadier-General Sitiveni Qiliho said, “Following Fiji’s ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) in March 2016, the Totogo Police Station and the Criminal Investigations Division in Toorak have been implementing a Pilot of the First Hour Procedure and Video-Recorded Interviews in partnership with other justice sector institutions. I am proud to present the training materials which have been finalized into formal curricula capable of being rolled out to officers in the Fiji Police Force at all levels,” he added.
Access to justice during the early stages of the criminal justice process is crucial in protecting people at a time when they are most vulnerable. It ensures they are treated with respect and dealt with fairly, and strengthens the criminal justice institutions to be more responsive to the needs of citizens. The activities carried out over the past number of weeks follow sustained knowledge sharing between Fiji and the UK through initiatives supported by the British High Commission in Suva.
The British High Commissioner to Fiji, Ms Melanie Hopkins said, “The UK is delighted to facilitate the sharing knowledge and expertise in this pilot initiative, which resulted in this level of development ensuring sustainability of early access to justice training through the Police Academy Curriculum.”
UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Resident Representative Levan Bouadze said, “I commend the Fiji Police Force for its aspiration for strengthening early access to justice developing strong and enthusiastic partnership among the justice sector institutions. I must thank the British High Commission for its generous support to wider initiative to strengthen the security sector governance in the Pacific region.”
This initiative aims to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with focus on the Goal 16, which is commitment to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build eﬀective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. It also supports the Goal 5, which is commitment to achieve gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls.
For media queries, please contact:
Ana Naisoro, Fiji Police Media Liaison Officer; tel: (679) 3348107 / 9905999; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vosita Kotoiwasawasa, British High Commission in Suva; email: email@example.com
Grace Rossa Kiernan, Access to Justice Specialist, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji; tel: (679) 7150113; email: firstname.lastname@example.org