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05 Dec 2021

Hundreds of gardaí conferred as 'human rights champions'

Hundreds of gardaí conferred as 'human rights champions'

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Over 550 Garda members and Garda staff across various ranks and grades have been conferred as 'human rights champions.'

This comes after they successfully completed the Certificate in Policing and Human Rights Law in Ireland accredited by University of Limerick earlier this year.

The Certificate in Policing and Human Rights Law in Ireland is a bespoke course developed by An Garda Síochána in collaboration with the University of Limerick, and is ranked at level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).  It is the first of its kind and has attracted interest from other international agencies and police services. 

Over 200 Garda personnel from across the Dublin Region were conferred last Friday with their certificates from Commissioner Drew Harris, An Garda Síochána and Course Director, Executive Dean University of Limerick Professor Shane Kilcommins.

The remaining Garda personnel, who have successfully completed this course to date, will be conferred with their certificate at Regional award ceremonies over the coming weeks. These successful human rights professionals will embed a network of human rights advocates across An Garda Síochána.

A further 500 students are currently undertaking the Certificate in Policing and Human Rights Law in Ireland course to be completed by December 2021. In addition to members of An Garda Síochána partaking in this course, the Commissioner has allocated places to staff members of the Policing Authority, the Garda Síochána Inspectorate, the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, the Irish Defence Forces and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Speaking at Friday’s conferring ceremony Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said, "Public trust in policing, respect and the protection of human rights are deeply intertwined. In fact, human Rights form the very foundation and purpose of our work as Gardaí.

"This course reinforces the importance of that approach, and ensures that our personnel are fully equipped with the knowledge and expertise to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of every single person that engages with An Garda Síochána.

"I am very pleased to see so many Garda personnel volunteer to undertake and excel at this course, and I must sincerely thank the University of Limerick for providing such a comprehensive programme to the benefit of us all. Those who have been conferred today will help us maintain public confidence in our organisation, and in turn improve our culture, practices and perceptions for the better.”

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