In a United Nations-backed effort to encourage strengthening of law enforcement in Afghanistan by improving police officers’ behaviour with the public, the country’s Ministry of Interior (MoI) released a pocket booklet containing police code of conduct and a poster this week, according to a news release of the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
“The adoption of the Code of Conduct by the Afghan National Police (ANP) force is yet another step towards progress into professionalization within police and building trust between the police and the public,” said the country’s Minister for Interior Affairs, Mohammed Omer Daudzai, in the news release issued on Tuesday. “The ANP will be shifting its focus enormously towards working among and with communities to ensure public safety for the months and years to come.”
The illustrated pocket booklet and poster, printed in Dari and Pashto languages, set out the code’s uniform standards and nine basic principles guiding the behaviour of ANP officers while on and off duty. Among the principles are respect for human dignity, restraint in using force, honesty and service to the community.
The UNDP, which has been supporting the MoI to build “a modern civilian police force,” said the booklets will soon be in the hands of ANP personnel across the country.
“The Code of Conduct reinforces the message that protecting citizens, sustaining peace and stability for society, and preventing and detecting crimes are core obligations of the ANP, and that the Afghan people have the right to expect the highest standards of policing,” said the UNDP Country Director, Alvaro Rodriguez.
UN agencies and other international partners worked closely with the government since 2011 to develop the code itself and deliver training to Afghan police personnel to promote the code’s uptake, according to UN development agency.
As of 24 February 2014, a total of 10,393 ANP personnel have attended Code of Conduct training, including 818 police commanders. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL) and UNDP partnered with the government to develop and deliver the training.
In his latest report on Afghanistan to the UN Security Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has noted that the capabilities of Afghan security institutions continued to grow.
UNDP has also trained 200 ANP national Code of Conduct trainers to deliver a basic course and, as a result, ongoing training and education about the code is now nationally-led.
“Consistent with international policing standards, the code is enforceable by the government and code violations can have disciplinary consequences for police, while also giving police the right to appeal,” said UNDP in the news release.
The training programme has been funded by the Republic of Korea through UNDP’s Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA), which provided support to some 141,600 police personnel and 4,901 prison guards in a range of areas as at 18 November 2013.
"The Code of Conduct is another meaningful achievement in transforming the Afghan National Police into a more mature and civil oriented authority that protects the Afghan people and the rights they deserve," said the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Afghanistan, Cha Young-cheol.