Engaging with police forces in the Pacific
From 23 to 29 April, the APT travelled to Samoa and took part in discussions which could lead to the adoption, by police services of all Pacific territories, of a regional code of conduct. Together with representatives of the Secretariat of the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for the Pacific, the APT discussed the challenges confronting Pacific law enforcement agencies, and how a code of conduct could assist them in discharging their functions.
Together with representatives of the Secretariat of the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police (PICP) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for the Pacific (OHCHR), based in Suva (Fiji), the APT discussed the challenges confronting Pacific law enforcement agencies, and how a code of conduct could assist them in discharging their functions.
While in Samoa, the APT participated in an international conference entitled 'Strategies for the Future: Protecting Rights in the Pacific' jointly organised by the National University of Samoa, the New Zealand Centre for Public Law and INTERIGHTS. During that event, the APT was able to share with other participants, most of which were from the region, its views on how the human rights community in the Pacific should and could further engage with police forces at the national level. For this purpose, the APT drew from past experiences in other regions, for exemple through a partnership with the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (see SARPCCO Code of Conduct).
This visit, the first conducted by the APT in the Pacific Islands, proved to be a valuable opportunity for building ties with local and regional human rights actors, with the potential for future activities in that part of the world.
Left to Right: Ms Tanya Smith, OHCHR Regional Representative for the Pacific; Mr Mark Thomson, APT Secretary General; Mr Lilomaiava Fou Taioalo, Assistant Police Commissioner; Hon. Papali’I Samuelu Petaia, Associate Minister of Police.