Fifth workshop on integrating key children’s rights competencies in police and gendarme training programmes and practice in Africa

Séance plénière, atelier de réflexion

Pooling resources to uphold the best interests of the child…
Monsieur Alpha Ousmane Diallo, Coordinateur des projets Sabou Guinée

–Alpha Ousmane Diallo, Project Coordinator, Sabou Guinée

Forging a new culture in terms of teaching modules on child rights and protection…
Monsieur Yaovi Fiomagne, Chef d’escadron, Commandant de l’École nationale de gendarmerie (Togo)


Project duration : November 12 to 15, 2013.

In November 2009, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (OHCHR), an initial brainstorming workshop was held in Ouagadougou. It brought together the IBCR, representatives from non-governmental organisations such as Francopol and the International Organisation of La Francophonie, as well as representatives from some 10 police and gendarmerie schools in French-speaking Africa. The goal of the meeting was to raise participants’ awareness on children’s rights in general, and more specifically, on the application of the principle of the best interests of the child in police practice. The discussions held at this meeting revealed certain shortcomings among police and gendarmerie forces in their application of child protection standards, as well as a lack of consistent child rights training in educational institutions. Thus there was an urgent need to remedy this problem by working toward the development of a common strategy.

In response to the enthusiasm generated by this first workshop, the initiative was replicated annually, first in Cotonou, then Dakar, Niamey and Lomé, rallying more countries around the cause of children each time. Among other achievements, those meetings led to the adoption of six core competencies that must be taught to police officers and gendarmes to maximize their ability to respect children’s rights in their professional practice (lien vers les compétences). The workshops also resulted in the creation and development of national action plans aimed at adapting the proposed approach to the contexts of the different countries in question.

In November 2013, it fell on the city of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire to host some 22 delegations for the Fifth International Workshop on Training Security Forces in Children’s Rights.

Our Goals :

A police officer or gendarme who has been properly trained and understood the principles of rule of law plays an important role in the prevention, identification and correction of children’s rights violations. The goal of the fifth workshop was to get all the represented training schools for security forces to adopt training modules on child rights and protection that could be integrated as mandatory and compulsory elements of the initial training course. This approach should guarantee the protection of child victims, witnesses or suspected offenders in the long term.

The six countries that were the furthest ahead in the development of their national action plan (Cameroon, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Senegal and Togo) were brought in to share their accomplishments in the field of child rights, while the other countries represented had the opportunity to put the finishing touches on their own projects with the help of more experienced delegations. The different action plans developed during that meeting are available online.


  • Intervention locations : Abidjan
  • Project duration: 12 au 15 novembre 2013
  • Partners :
  • Highlights:
    •  22 African delegations participated in the workshop: Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, the Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sudan, Swaziland, Chad, Togo, Tunisia, Zambia
  • Fields of activity and expertise :
    • Capacity building

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