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Human Rights Education for Police: A Study of Police Academy in South India

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The fundamental duty of any law enforcement agency is to uphold the rights of all citizens equally by following the procedure laid by the law. Paradoxically, in India, there are various situations and instances where police acts seen contrary to their charted duties. In this regard, sensitization of the police has become an urgent need of the day and human rights education (HRE) has been observed as an instrument to fulfill that need. In this context, the paper examines to what extent HRE can sensitize the police. The study compares the attitude of Sub-Inspector (SI) rank officers on observing human rights and HRE training being received from a Police Academy in South India. Though, HRE emerged as a potential factor in sensitizing the police attitude, the results indicate that experienced police officers express significantly less sensitivity on observing human rights norms relative to new police recruits. This contemplates that there is a dilemma over human rights education from the perspective of police officers and the major reasons observed are their ‘personal conceptions of justice and belief in the ideal of crime control’ which evolved through their experience. Based on the study, paper argues that HRE can sensitize the police by insisting on the ‘ideal of due process’ and offering feasible solutions with realistic approach to avoid human rights violations.

Keywords: human rights education; ideals of due process and crime control; police; sensitization

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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  • Political Crossroads is a bi-annual, international, refereed journal which, since 1990, publishes critical and empirical scholarship in political science and international relations. Its areas of focus include global security, terrorism, national identity, migration and citizenship, and the politics of resources and trade.
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