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Investigators and prosecutors go for professional development online to better combat ill-treatment

Kyiv 9 June 2020
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© Council of Europe

© Council of Europe

Human-rights compliant staff performance relies on continuous in-service training. How to ensure its continuity, particularly in the context of COVID-19 pandemic, time v. effectiveness constraints, staff motivation challenges? Online education might be just the right answer. It proved to be particularly resultative for adult audiences due to the level of their self-motivation and self-discipline. Rather than bounding by formal constraints of time and place, the CoE HELP Programme gives its learners freedom to gain knowledge where, when, and how they prefer and feel comfortable with.

Online human rights training is therefore welcomed by legal professionals as a rewarding experience. It as well supports measures to incorporate into professional training of legal and law enforcement professions the ECHR and the case-law of the ECtHR pursuant to the Committee of Ministers Recommendation (2019) 5.

Today the CoE project “Supporting Institutions to Combat Ill-Treatment in Ukraine” and the HELP Programme launched a tutored online course on “Prohibition of Ill-Treatment in Security, Coercive and Other Contexts” for 26 investigators of the State Bureau of Investigations and prosecutors of the Office of the Prosecutor General. During the upcoming month course participants will shape their knowledge and skills in European standards and safeguards against ill-treatment, effective investigation into alleged violations and combatting impunity, standards for use of force as means of restraint, conditions of detention, access of detainees to medical treatment.

Given the acuteness of ill-treatment problem in Ukraine, this training is actively supported by national partners.

Oleksandr Sokolov, Acting Director of the State Bureau of Investigations: “We rely on online education a lot. Our institution is currently 45% understaffed and people have such a workload that sometimes it is the only option for us to ensure all employees get access to professional development. We agreed with the CoE on support under our new joint project in helping us set up internal system of professional online education”.

“An important condition for the implementation of effective measures to combat torture is the introduction of appropriate specialization in those governmental agencies that investigate this type of crimes. In-service training on the subject is one of preconditions for further improvement”, says Yurii Bielousov, Head of Special General Prosecutor Office’s Department dealing with ill-treatment and other serious human rights violations by law-enforcement.