The course, held on 10-11 March, was conducted by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). It was attended by staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia, the police and the elite presidential guard service, the Anti-terrorist Unit.
OCHA-Liberia Protection Officer Awa Dabo said the training was part of a UNDP Protection Programme aimed at building the capacity of agencies engaging in the protection of IDPs and refugees.
The officers were taught the Guiding Principles of Internal Displacement, the convention and protocols relating to refugees, the Liberian constitution vis-a-vis the protection of IDPs, the Geneva Convention and protocols, IDP Camp management, the child rights convention and the protection of children in armed conflicts. Other topics included sexual and gender-based violence, juvenile justice, security for humanitarian workers and the responsibility of the security forces to protect civilians.
Facilitators came from the ICRC, Save the Children, UNICEF, the Liberian Refugees, Repatriation and Resettlement Commission, the Ministry of Justice, Defense Ministry, OCHA and UNHCR.
Liberia's Deputy Justice Minister for Legal Affairs, Theophilus Gould, urged security personnel to handle IDPs and refugees with a high degree of care and shield them from danger. He said people fleeing conflict had basic rights which security personnel were obliged to respect and protect.
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