Capacity Building Training for Police officers on Child Justice Standards.
One of the main objectives of the training was enhance capacity of police officers for communicating with children, trust building, and assuring that the children will have a less traumatic experience while interring the justice system.
By Diana Kako in Duhok | 4th Sep, 2022 | English
Within the general framework agreement of Harikar and UNICEF "enhance justice for children services and system in Duhok and Erbil governorates KR-Iraq" multiple workshops are planned to strengthen the capacity of services providers for providing qualitative services for children in contact with law.
Police officers play a vital role in the justice system, as they are the very first people who contact children when interring the justice system either as witness or when committing a delinquency. Thus it's very important for them to be trained on standard procedures of how to approach children during investigations. In coordination with ministry of interior; a three days capacity building training was organized for 20 police officers affiliated to directorate of police - Duhok.
On August 30th 2022, with the presence of Mr. Salah Yasin the Executive director of Harikar NGO; the training started by a speech delivered by Brigadier General Fakhri Ahmed (the head of Duhok police officer department), who urged the need of such trainings which serve for the benefit of children in contact with law, and he also thanked Harikar and UNICEF for their usual support for children.
One of the main objectives of the training was enhance capacity of police officers for communicating with children, trust building, and assuring that the children will have a less traumatic experience while interring the justice system. Taking into consideration the sensitivity of their age with the all other psychological changes during adolescent age, the investigation experience might be very traumatic for the child, especially when passing by multiple investigators whom may use physical or psychological and emotional violence while investigating the case. During the three days trainings, multiple subjects were discussed through different sessions focused on the law and legislation of Iraq, KRI, international conventions, and also the psychological aspects.
In the first day of training, first session was dedicated for a review on the juvenile welfare care where Mr. Bahzad explained for participants the law, the application of law, and what are the gaps in this law.
The second session was delivered by Mr. Zeravan who focused on techniques of investigation and what are the common errors conducted by the officers during investigation.
Participants were engaged in a role play where they played the role of child and investigator to realize the violations of human rights that they practice unconsciously while investigating the case with children. During the discussions participant said that "the nature of their work and recurrent working in such cases is not making it easy for them to stay in a calm manner while talking to the children". Part of participants believed that they need to have a serious face so the child may be afraid and admit the crime.
The second day of training was about the psychological causes for child violent behaviors. Participants were taught on how to communicate with each child and try to analyses the psychological and social impacts on their behaviors. Participant practiced communication with children in different scenarios gave by the facilitator.
In the third day of training, facilitator focused on self-care of police officers especially when working for long times in crime cases. Participants shared the challenges they face daily and how the working environment is also affecting their personal life. Deep breathing and relaxation techniques were also part of the third day exercises which was given to the police officers.
Police officers are in need for routine psychological trainings as they face challenging situations in their daily work, yet the job environment put a huge barrier in front of them to ask for psychological help. Even they were trained on how to investigate with children without using violence, yet almost all participants believes that using little threatening is not abusive behavior and it's legally accepted. They had different definition for violence, according to participant using little violence will encourage the child to admit what they did, and abuse and violence were defined as using massive amount of violence against the children.
In the end of the training certificate of participation were distributed to all participants.