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Recommendations on Policing in Multi-Ethnic Societies



Recommendations to encourage and facilitate the adoption by States of specific measures to alleviate tensions relating to national minorities


The Recommendations aim to provide States with some practical guidance in developing policies and law in accordance with international norms and standards, and based on international experience and best practice which can balance and meet the needs and interests of all sectors of the population, including those of persons belonging to national minorities. Obviously the Recommendations need to be implemented in a way which is sensitive to the specific situation in each State – including such factors as the ongoing police reform process and the actual situation on the ground.

The Recommendations are divided into six sub-headings which group the twenty-three individual recommendations under general principles; recruitment and representation; training and professional support; engaging with ethnic communities; operational practices; and the prevention and management of conflict. All guidelines are to be interpreted in accordance with the General Principles in Part I which also establish the need for States to develop policy and law in this area and provide guidance in this respect. In Part II through Part VI some specific points of action are suggested to the governments, police services and national minority communities. A more detailed explanation of each recommendation or guideline is provided in an accompanying Explanatory Note wherein express reference to the relevant international standards is found and examples of good practice are elaborated.

The central message of the Recommendations is that good policing in multi-ethnic societies is dependent on the establishment of a relationship of trust and confidence, built on regular communication and practical co-operation, between the police and the minorities. All parties benefit from such a relationship. The minorities benefit from policing which is more sensitive to their concerns and more responsive to their requirements for personal protection and access to justice. The police benefit from greater effectiveness, since good communication and co-operation are keys to effective policing in any community. The state benefits both from the integration of minorities and from the greater effectiveness of its policing. For States seeking to integrate minorities, and at the same time develop professional service-oriented community policing, the Recommendations provide a practical way forward.