Madagascar: Agreement signed with policing authorities

24 June 2015
Madagascar: Agreement signed with policing authorities
Madagascar’s State Secretary for the Gendarmerie and the head of the ICRC regional delegation signing the agreement. CC BY-NC-ND/ICRC/Narindra Rakotonanahary

Madagascar's Department of State for the Gendarmerie and the ICRC signed a memorandum of understanding on 13 May 2015 at a ceremony at the offices of the ICRC regional delegation for the Indian Ocean.

The aim of the memorandum is to build the Gendarmerie's capacity to bring its operational policing practices into line with international human rights law and humanitarian principles.

The agreement focusses on two priority areas: revising the Gendarmerie's policy and operational procedures, and training officers.

The ICRC has been supporting the Gendarmerie and the national police force in Madagascar for several years with training on international human rights law at the National Gendarmerie School in Moramanga. The training courses aim to remind the security forces of their obligation to put human rights principles into practice during law enforcement operations and when making arrests. The courses also provide opportunities for the ICRC to explain the principles behind the Red Cross's neutral, impartial humanitarian action, so that the security forces allow Red Cross workers to reach those in need of help, safely and at all times.

Christoph Vogt, head of the ICRC's regional delegation for the Indian Ocean, explained that "Signing the memorandum of understanding formalizes the cooperation between our two organizations on training and highlights the government's determination to do its utmost to ensure that Madagascar respects its human rights commitments. The memorandum also lays the groundwork for the ICRC to work with the Gendarmerie on integrating international human rights law into its policy and implementation cycles, including reviewing existing legislation, policy, operations manuals and systems of sanctions and, if necessary, developing new training tools specific to the Madagascan context."