History of establishment the sub-working group “Civil Society assistance to Police Reform”

The OSCE Office inTajikistanwithin the Police Reform Steering Group has created a sub-group from the most active representatives of civil society ofTajikistanunder the name “Civil Society Assistance to Police Reform,” the provision of which was approved on 13 July 2012.

This sub-group is a prototype of the Public Council on Community Policing; the members of it will have broad authorities on performing police activities monitoring by civil society, as well as will participate actively in the process of Police Reforming and development.
Heads of directorates and units of the MIA of Tajikistan, representatives of the OSCE Office inTajikistan, Embassies of Germany,France,Russian FederationandUSAparticipated on the meeting of the Police Reform Steering Group. The First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Head of the Police Reform Steering Group – Major General N. Oripov was chairing the meeting, and the National Police Reform Coordinator, the Deputy Head of International Cooperation Directorate of the MIA, Ms. Zumrad Solieva and Senior OSCE Police Reform Expert - Oliver Janser were facilitators of the meeting.

Legal basis for Police Reform by civil society participation

The Government of Tajikistan has confirmed in the signed MoU its allegiance for full and timely implementation of the OSCE commitments concerning providing assistance in police development and overall Police Reform, including all aspects of democratization of the police system, as well as ensuring confidence between citizens Of Tajikistan and Police by altering the attitude of certain police officers, so they would equally serve for and protect all citizens of Tajikistan.

In the light of the Police Reform, the President of the country Emomali Rahmon, at his Appeal to the Parliament said the following: “for the sake of successful implementation of crucial tasks, it is necessary to mobilize a constructive and creative power of the state structures and bodies, of different public organizations, and of active members of civil society, since in the era of globalization, the use of obsolete methods will bring effective results.”

The goals of the Working Sub-Group “Civil Society Assistance to the Police Reform”

The main goal of the working sub-group is to facilitate police reform and development by civil society involvement in the working out of main regulatory acts, development of public and administrative partnership between the civil society and police, implementation of the publicity, openness and transparency principles of internal affairs bodies while protecting human rights and main freedoms of an individual and of a citizen of Tajikistan.

The role of the civil society in Police Reform

The sub-group members will contribute to the improvement of training and preparation of police staff, in particular, with the participation of non-governmental organizations, including the development of curriculum, examination of methodological and other materials, providing methodological help to specialists of educational institutions of the MIA, and teaching of certain training courses. They will also participate in the development and review of the drafts of the Police Reform Strategy and Program, other concepts, programs, as well as initiatives of public unions and citizens on most urgent issues of police activities.

A sub-group from civil society will monitor independently the police activities in the fields aimed at violation detection and prevention committed by police staff, as well as will participate in the elaboration of the form of civilian control over police activity.

Strengthening of cooperation between police and civil society

Further strengthening of cooperation between the civil society and police, which is responsible for the protection of public order, as well as facilitating the development and taking comprehensive and reasonable measures, and their further practical implementation would morph police of Tajikistan into a professional police institute, which acts according to the interests of citizens, provides public order, public security, and counters crime. Meanwhile, the taken measures must be directed to increase openness and accountability of the MIA as a whole and police in particular for society, in combination with increasing of civil society participation in police activities; optimize the management system, as well as the system of professional training and educational one, and fundamental change of police activities assessment system.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan by implementing open policy of cooperation creates necessary conditions for further development of partnership with civil society, which allows ensuring citizens their constitutional rights and freedoms, as well as public safety. Openness, transparency and access to information are the main principles of Police Reform Strategy implementation, a path for development of constructive dialogue with society. This is the essential condition to revive a respect to Police profession, to rehabilitate the trust of society towards police, and to strengthen its authority in amongst citizens.

Advantages of the civil society partnership with police

The advantage of this cooperation is a reinforcement of civil society/non-governmental organizations (NGO) while protecting interests of people, and in promotion of relevant international tools by establishing permanent partnership connections between the NGOs and law enforcement agencies.

The involvement of society into performance of law enforcement functions contributes to enhancement of their activities’ effectiveness. It is possible to reduce crime rates in the country and to increase the number of solved cases by assistance of citizens in ensuring public order. The solution to the problem consists in the consolidated efforts of the state authorities, local municipality, and public and human rights organizations.

This is based on the acknowledgement of the fact that police, acting apart, is not able to fully solve all the problems, impeding public safety and law and order in the society, and that police is interested in establishing business contacts with the population.