Two consecutive trainings on international humanitarian law (IHL) were held this November for at least 45 members of the Philippine National Police who take part in internal security operations.
The trainings, conducted by the PNP Human Rights Affairs Office in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), are part of efforts to integrate the teaching of IHL, also known as the law of armed conflict, in the police force.
On Nov. 9-10, 25 instructors from the Special Action Forces (SAF) and representatives from the Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC) underwent an IHL workshop in Tagaytay City to enhance their capacity to teach IHL in the PNP-SAF Training School in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, and integration of IHL in the curriculum of the PPSC.
On Nov. 12-13, a separate training was held in Baguio City for 20 members of the SAF, Regional Public Safety Battalion and Provincial Public Safety Companies in the Cordillera Administrative Region.
Topics include the general principles of IHL; Republic Act 9851, or the domestic IHL law; as well as international standards on policing.
“These trainings are highly relevant to these PNP units that are involved in internal security and counter insurgency operations. We look forward to continue working with the PNP to ensure that IHL is understood and appreciated among these units,” said ICRC legal adviser Evecar Cruz-Ferrer.
IHL regulates the means and methods of warfare and protects those not or no longer participating in hostilities, including civilians.
The ICRC, a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organization, promotes the teaching of IHL to increase awareness and foster compliance among weapon bearers.
It has been working with the PNP HRAO since 2012 to integrate IHL and human rights law in the education of PNP personnel, and has trained around 300 police officers on these subjects.