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Myanmar: First seminar on international policing standards

12-09-2013 News Release 13/152

Yangon (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Myanmar Police Force have launched a four-day seminar in Naypyitaw on international policing standards and the exercise of police powers.

This is the first such seminar for police commanders that the ICRC has held in the country.

Running from 10 to 13 September, the seminar brings together twenty three senior police officials including directors of departments plus regional, state and battalion commanders.

"This landmark seminar demonstrates our willingness to expand our work in Myanmar," said Jurg Montani, the ICRC's head of delegation in the country. "We look forward to developing a professional dialogue with senior commanders this week through sharing experiences and best practices. We thank the Myanmar Police Force for their excellent cooperation and for recognizing the significance of incorporating international policing standards into their working procedures. We hope to strengthen our engagement with the force in the future through more joint activities."

The seminar was inaugurated by Brigadier General Kyaw Kyaw Tun, the Deputy Union Minister of Home Affairs, who said: "It is of great importance for the country to further professionalize its police force. A key element in that process is for all officers to understand and implement international standards, including in the management of public order situations. This seminar is a clear step in the right direction.”

The ICRC has amassed considerable expertise in running courses on law enforcement for police forces worldwide. This seminar will cover topics such as the use of force and firearms, public order management and crowd control practices, plus arrest, detention and search processes. "The programme balances practical case studies with theory, allowing participants to examine concrete examples and ensuring interactive and effective learning," said John-Erik Jensen, a former Danish police officer who is now the ICRC’s regional police expert and in charge of delivering the seminar.

The ICRC, a purely humanitarian and non-political organization, established an office in Myanmar in 1986. It works in the most tension-prone townships in Rakhine state to help restore and improve basic health services for the benefit of everyone, regardless of their origins. At the beginning of 2013, the ICRC resumed prison visits in various parts of the country to evaluate conditions of detention. In close collaboration with the Prisons Department, the organization has upgraded water and sanitation facilities in several major prisons. It currently supports four physical rehabilitation centres for amputees run by the ministry of health or the Myanmar Red Cross Society, its main partner in Myanmar. The ICRC also supports the Myanmar Red Cross by developing its capacity and by conducting various activities jointly, such as spring water protection and hygiene promotion in rural villages in Shan state.  

For further information, please contact:
Giuseppe Pogliari, ICRC Yangon, tel: +95 9 420 107 606
Ewan Watson, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 33 45 or +41 79 244 64 70