Rights Sensitisation for Law Enforcement Officers

(Castries, Tuesday, 19 May 2015) Following a very successful human rights sensitisation with the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force in 2014, United and Strong is extending efforts to other law enforcement and community service providers. An exercise from Tuesday May 19 to Friday May 22, 2015, focussed on officers from the Air and Sea Ports, Customs and Corrections. It also included members of civil society who may have occasion to interface with law enforcement on behalf of their community.

Human rights lawyer and activist Maurice Tomlinson is facilitating the session, along with his spouse Tom Decker, a trained police officer and instructor. The duo also conducted the first exercise, which spanned the RSLPF from the Commissioner of Police to new recruits.

Executive Director of United and Strong Kenita Placide notes, “This training is important to continue to re-emphasise the need for better community policing and ensure the basic understanding of human rights is the foundation of policing in Saint Lucia. This training happening in Saint Lucia now, happened in Barbados last week and hoping for the rest of the OECS in the coming months is just a small piece of United and Strong’s advocacy and education to reduce incidents of discriminations and achieve equality for all.”  U&S is hosting the exercise in partnership with the Canadian HIV AIDS Legal Network, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the British High Commission, CariFLAGS and the RSLPF.

In the final days of the sensitisation, selected participants will engage in a “training of trainers” session. This prepares them to instruct their own cohort, ensuring the continuance of the learning. In the long term, this is expected to result in a more humane and professional law enforcement, a reduction in stigmatising behaviours and a generally healthier society.

Certificates will be awarded to participants during a closing ceremony at the Police Training School in La Toc on Friday May 22, 2015. The media is invited to cover the closing ceremony, which begins at 3pm.

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United and Strong (U&S) is the strongest and most vocal LGBTI representative organisation in the small island Caribbean. A registered NGO formed in 2000, it houses the eastern hub of the Caribbean Forum for Liberation & Acceptance of Genders & Sexualities (CariFLAGS) and ILGA Women’s Secretariat. https://unitedandstrongstlucia.wordpress.com/ www.facebook.com/Unitedandstrongstlucia Tweet @UnitedStrongSLu

For more on LGBTQIA persons in the Americas, see OAS http://www.oas.org/en/iachr/lgtbi/mandate/concepts.asp

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Media Contact

Maurice Tomlinson                                  Kenita Placide                                       Maria Fontenelle

Workshop Facilitator                               Executive Director                                 Communications and Advocacy

maurice_tomlinson@yahoo.com    unitedandstrongslu@gmail.com         unitedandstrongslu@yahoo.com

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