NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 22 – The availability of well-trained, empowered female police officers is directly correlated with the ability to effectively counter sexual and gender-based violence: on the day dedicated by the United Nations to mark its campaigns to end violence against women, an Italian female Carabinieri officer addressed the Security Council on the importance of specific training for female policing.
Major Anna Patrono addressed a Security Council briefing on UNAMI, from the Special Representative of the Secretary General Ian Kubis. “Stability policing is a sector in which the Carabinieri have established themselves as one of the most innovative and reliable Partners for International Organizations such as the United Nations”, Patrono told the Council.
In April 2017 Patrono was Team Leader during the First Female Policing Course, delivered by the Carabinieri for the Iraqi Federal Police in Baghdad. Since 2015, when a Task Force was deployed in order to lead and coordinate all training initiatives for the Iraqi Federal Police, “our main mission is to enhance, through training, advising and assisting, the capabilities of Iraq’s Police Forces, allowing them to play a primary role in the stabilization of the country”, she said. In this context, the specific focus on female policing truly constitutes the backbone of the Carabinieri’s strategy in crisis management. “The reason for this is simple”, Major Patrono said: “Strengthening women’s participation in the Police, and improving women’s role and influence in post-conflict environments, can dramatically improve the overall effectiveness of stabilization efforts, especially at the local level”.
This aim is achieved by performing a dedicated training in favor of Police female personnel, through separate “female policing” courses. In total, some 100 police personnel have already been trained during two courses performed in Baghdad (April and July 2017), while the plan is to continue training many more in the coming months.
The main purpose of the first female policing course was to increase the knowledge and awareness of fundamental human rights in order to deliver a suitable training on gender-related law enforcement techniques and tactical procedures. The course, which took place inside the “Civil Defense Training Center” in Baghdad, was organized on a two-week period, and was specifically tailored to 40 Iraqi Female Police Officers, Warrant Officers and non-commissioned Officers.
Trainees took part in classes and lectures on the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, which we consider as the essential precondition for every training initiative. Special attention was devoted to enhancing the capability to carry out investigations aimed to counter SGBV (Sexual and Gender-Based Violence), as well as crimes against more vulnerable categories.
“This is a crucial point that I wish to emphasize”, Major Patrono said: “The availability of well-trained, empowered female police officers is directly correlated with the ability to effectively counter sexual and gender-based violence”.
The second part of the course was more focused on increasing the trainees basic competence and skills, such as self-defense, search and handcuffing techniques. In doing so, interactive de-briefings and discussions were performed, in order to check the respect for professional ethical principles and code of conduct. The increased efficiency, integration and interoperability of female police officers that we have trained is now confirmed by the successful employment of these very personnel to stabilize areas liberated by Da’esh, especially at the local level. (@alebal)