The Human Rights Department at the he General Secretariat of the Office of H.H Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Interior strives to preserve and protect the dignity of all members of society, in response to the directives of the Police leadership. This goal is achieved via a wide array of initiatives, activities and events that contribute to spreading the culture of respect for human rights amongst the Ministry of Interior’s staff members.
Brigadier Ahmed Mohammed Nekhairah, Head of Human Rights Department, stressed the department’s commitment to protect the freedoms, rights, and dignity of every member of society through the country’s constitution, laws, and legislation that have been derived from our values and our righteous religion. “The department is also keen to upgrade police work, so as to ensure the best humanitarian practices in dealing with community members without distinction between the different social classes”, he added. Moreover, he pointed out that the department’s different specialized sections and branches, have carried out a large number of events and achievements throughout 2015, in line with the objectives of the Ministry of Interior and the country’s policy. “The UAE also works towards implementing international and regional agreements and treaties it has acceded to in the field of human rights, in addition to participating with a myriad of strategic initiatives that have been adopted and implemented,” he said.
Brigadier Nekhairah stressed that the department has launched numerous relevant initiatives, projects, events and publications. It has endeavored to spread and raise awareness about the fundamentals and principles of human rights’ respect; to preserve fundamental freedoms amongst the ministry’s staff members and to ensure their commitment to the regulations relating to human rights respect and protection, in accordance with the provisions of the country’s Constitution and laws.
Training and Qualification
According to Brigadier Nekhairah, the Human Rights Department, out of its firm belief in the importance of training and qualification, has sought to provide the Ministry of Interior’s staff members with the necessary skills, each according to his specialization, and to rehabilitate them in the field of human rights. “The training included dispatching staff members abroad to learn foreign languages (English - Korean - Chinese - Urdu - Japanese - Italian, etc.), and enrolling them in several local and international courses,” he added. Moreover, Brigadier Nekhairah mentioned that the department also prepares brochures and leaflets in multiple languages targeting all segments of society, notably the Code of Conduct and Police Ethics, which contains (33) rules, most notably about equality between community members, in addition to holding seminars, conferences and workshops.
Rights of all Social Segments
The Human Rights Department follows-up on the conditions of all segments of society, including women and children, and endeavors to ensure their rights. In this context, it has issued a guidebook, outlining the standard operating procedures to be adopted when dealing with the elderly, children, people with special needs and women, in the evidence collection process performed by the police. The guidebook focuses on the humanitarian aspect and scientific methods in collecting the statement of women and children, whether they are victims, suspects or witnesses, with the aim of safeguarding their dignity and humanity. The department also follows-up on the conditions and rights of people with special needs, in terms of providing them with the necessary care and developing their capabilities and skills, commensurate with international and national legislations, which regulate and ensure their rights. Moreover, the department has organized various events to mark the International Day for the Elderly and the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Coordination with International Organizations
Adding further, Brigadier Nehkairah said: “The department oversees the creation of a modern database for all matters related to human rights, in cooperation and coordination with the concerned authorities in the country and abroad. It also endeavors to keep abreast of the latest global and regional developments related to human rights; in order to avail of these developments to establish the strategic vision, policies, and plans related to human rights. To this end, the department coordinates with foreign diplomatic entities on all issues related to the rights and freedoms of their citizens, within the framework of the country’s legislations. It also prepares all periodic and special country reports for 2015 on the state of human rights in the country and their compliance with the international standards. It also takes part in international conferences and seminars and represents the UAE locally and internationally in issues related to human rights and the Ministry of Interior’s work.”
“The department also welcomes delegations of international human rights’ bodies and organizations and representatives of foreign countries in order to review the experiences and discuss the human rights issue. These delegations include the Saudi Ministry of Labor delegation, which reviewed the MoI’s experience in combating human trafficking; and several other local delegations. It also prepared several local and international reports related to the empowerment of Emirati women and reviewed international laws and agreements to provide the required consultations to the concerned authorities,” he added.
Conferences and workshops
Colonel Mohammed Al Shehhi, Deputy Director of the Human Rights Department, explained that the department has carried out several events and activities via its specialized sections and branches. “These activities include a series of lectures on human rights for MoI staff members and participating in several coordinative meetings, workshops, and conferences such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ meeting Strategic Plan on Human Rights, as well as the legal Ramadan councils organized by the Ministry of Interior, and preparing response to international reports on human rights,” he added.
Moreover, the department has carried out several events and activities during 2015 in order to reinforce culture in various areas of human rights; notably organizing more than six conferences, courses, workshops, and lectures, which were attended by 2,405 MoI staff members. Colonel Al Shehhi added that the department also endeavors to protect the rights and freedoms of all members of society, in accordance with the Constitution and the laws in force in the UAE, as well as the international conventions on human rights. It also follows-up on and reviews the compliance of competent authorities at the MoI with the regulations related to the protection of those rights. The department also undertakes the task to spread the culture of human rights by publishing periodic leaflets and brochures that highlight the role of the individual, the country’s organizations and the civil society organization in protecting these rights.
The 2015 initiatives
In conclusion, Colonel Al Shehhi noted that in 2015, the department has implemented an initiative to qualify a team of national staff members in the area of human rights; in addition to creating a specialized database on human rights and the Reference Model on Anti-Human Trafficking Crimes.