Presentation on theme: "OVERSIGHT OF THE POLICE BY NGOs AND SCHOLARS by Hugo Frühling Police Accountability and the Quality of Oversight Conference ALTUS 2005."— Presentation transcript:
OVERSIGHT OF THE POLICE BY NGOs AND SCHOLARS by Hugo Frühling Police Accountability and the Quality of Oversight Conference ALTUS 2005
MAIN OBJECTIVES OF PRESENTATION Identify role and activities of NGOs and scholars regarding police accountability Describe more generally political and contextual factors that determine the impact of particular programs and research projects Describe a few recent examples in Latin America Define variables that make them promising or successful
Functions Performed by NGOs and Scholars NGOs Scholars Organize awareness campaigns Organize, interpret and disseminate data on police practices Promote legal reformsRaise critical analyses of particular police programs Monitoring of police practices Develop policy alternatives to deal with police management and tactics Develop projects with police
Promising Examples of NGOs and Scholars Gaining Influence on Police Changes The telling case of CELS in Argentina and its Influence on legal reforms (1994 to date) Documenting police violence Reporting trends in police violence Monitoring legal changes Media campaigns Forming international coalitions
Scholars and Police Violence in Brazil Human rights critics on police violence Development of scholarship in the area Emergence of first research centers University training courses for police officers (Minas Gerais, Pernambuco, Amapá, Rio Grande do Sul, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia) Collaboration in the implementation and evaluation of community policing projects Evaluation of the ouvidurias Where is the reform of the police going?
A Few Shortcomings of NGOs and Scholars NGOs seem to be most efective in setting the agenda and less so in producing enduring reform outcomes Still, few ambitious research projects with access to a whole array of data
Factors determining the impact of oversight by NGOs and scholars Structure of Political Opportunities Police size, organizational complexity and relationship to the structure of government The ambiguous effect of police corporateness and professionalism
New and Promising Examples of Oversight by Civil Society Actors Insyde’s intervention in Naucalpan (2005) Development of a methodology to analyze the internal accountability system within the police Working with police municipal authorities to agree on a reform agenda Institutionalizing changes
Centers for the Prevention of Police Abuse in Dominican Republic (2005) Implemented this year by the Human Rights Institute of Santo Domingo, Dominican Committee for Human Rights and the National Police Objective: independent human rights groups receive, register and chanel citizens’ complaints to the police They publish every year four public reports on the complaints received and on how they were disposed by the Police
Continuation A final annual report containing all complaints received, as well as result of investigations carried out. Lessons learned regarding training needs in the police
Research on Police Violence and Advocacy Groups in Argentina and Chile Claudio Fuentes research on police violence in Chile uncovers an invisible reality: Denunciations of police abuse have increased steadily from 1990 to 2004 This increase is not correlated to the frequency of crimes or number of arrests by the police Judicial action on this matter is highly ineffective No ccesible public information on internal investigations or number of abuses denounced
Promising research projects Analysis of working relations between prosecutors and detectives in Valparaiso, as well as impact of institutional changes within the police (CESC) (2005) Evaluation of Mexican human rights ombudsmen and their handling of complaints on police abuses (FUNDAR)
What makes a project on oversight a successful one? It uses a strategy that it is most appropriate for its objectives (confrontation or collaboration) It is persistent in time, rather than a one time project It disseminates knowledge learned to a diversity of social sectors It establishes alliances with sectors within the governmental structure.