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Brazil: Humanitarian law programme for military police

18-03-1998 News Release 98/11

An ICRC delegate specializing in the teaching of humanitarian law to armed and security forces was in Brasilia from 2 to 9 March to initiate an extensive programme for Brazil's military police. Over the next two years, training will be given to some 300 instructors who, in turn, will teach the basic principles of humanitarian and human rights law to an estimated 600,000 members of the military police. While in the Brazilian capital, the ICRC delegate set up the training programme for the coming months, provided teaching materials and selected 20 military police officers who will be in charge of the future instructors. The ICRC will also take part in a national conference of generals commanding units of the military police in April.

At the invitation of the military police in the state of São Paulo, the delegate also gave a one-day seminar for all military police unit commanders in the state. With 82,000 men, the Sao Paulo force is the largest in the country.

Finally, the ICRC agreed to launch a pilot project in São Paulo that will include instruction in the basic provisions of human rights law. The course will be attended by some 250 police instructors.