Commonwealth trains over 500 police in Mauritius on protecting human rights

15 November 2022
Shavana Haythornthwaite, Head of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Human Rights Unit, speaking at a five-day training in Mauritius.

The Commonwealth Secretariat is in Mauritius this week working with the Government to train local law enforcement and help enhance their relationships with the diverse communities of the country through the teaching of applied human rights principles in policing.

At the request of the government, the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Human Rights Unit is conducting an intensive five-day training with over 500 new police recruits and established senior officials in Mauritius.

Speaking on day one of the workshop, Mr M. Rassen, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mauritius Police Force said:

“I am sure that this tailor-made training which both our trainees and old hands will be exposed to for the next 5 days, will be an opportunity for them to take stock of the latest developments in the field of torture prevention and will also raise the level of awareness on challenges faced by police officers in their relentless quest to ensure a balance between the requirements of maintaining public security and order, as well as the respect for and preservation of human rights.

There’s no doubt that this training will constitute a fertile ground for vigorous debates and sharing of experiences related to good practices in implementing legal guarantees in the fight against torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment."

The panel at the five-day training workshop in Mauritius

On the importance of this workshop, Shavana Haythornthwaite, Head of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Human Rights Unit said:

 “Police and other law enforcement officials play an essential role in the protection of human rights. Our global programme of work involves fostering a greater understanding of, and an enhanced skillset on, how to prevent violations of human rights and strengthening the relationships between law enforcement and communities.

This week, the Human Rights Unit will build the capacity of the Mauritius Police Force and Prison Service in these areas, in order to facilitate the enjoyment of human rights, which in turn, will increase the effectiveness of the criminal justice system. We encourage capacity-building in this area to all law enforcement bodies across The Commonwealth and look forward to working with our member countries further.”

The training is taking place from November 14th-18th and highlights international human rights standards, especially those that are relevant to the prevention of torture. It will train the police force on how they can incorporate strategies for protection from torture into their everyday practice.

Cadets Mauritius

The workshop will cover the practical application of best practices for methods of interrogation and interviewing that contribute to the prevention of torture; conditions of detention; the role of various actors including legal and medical professionals in the prevention of torture; and the particular needs of vulnerable groups when deprived of their liberty.

This workshop takes place ahead of next week’s Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting 2022. Hosted by the Attorney General’s Office of Mauritius, Commonwealth Law Ministers Meeting will convene in Mauritius under the theme: ‘Strengthening international cooperation through the rule of law and the protection of human rights".  

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Media contact

  • Rena Gashumba  Communications Adviser, Communications Division, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • T: +44 7483 919 968  |  E-mail