ROLSI delivers strategic and technical advice to national authorities and partners for the review of national SSR strategies, legal frameworks, policies and action plans in defence, security and criminal justice areas, in line with SC resolution 2151 (2014). The foregoing is done in harmony with the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy (HRDDP) on support to non-UN security forces. ROLSI, in coordination with other international partners, is fostering a modern, holistic vision for SSR through the review of the national 2006 SSR Strategy Document, the keystone plan for the re-organization of the armed forces, security and criminal justice. Some key aspects of that plan will need to be addressed at the constitutional level (see section on political dialogue).
ROLSI assists in the design and implementation of SOPs for defence, security and criminal justice actors; the demilitarization of law enforcement and the judicial, nationwide expansion of community policing including through UNIOGBIS’ Regional Offices in Buba, São Domingos, Bafatá and Bubaque (which are staffed with personnel from the political, human rights and public information components).
ROLSI strives to mitigate communication and coordination gaps across national institutions dealing with inter-linked defence, security and criminal justice issues, providing secretariat services to the SSR Steering Committee, the Council of Police Chiefs and the International Partners Working Group on SSR and Rule of Law, in which ECOWAS also has a prominent role. Actions of law enforcement entities, prosecution, courts and military are intertwined with political, human rights and public information interventions. The arbitrary detention of high-level military officers and civilians, the investigations on past political assassinations, the poor condition of prisons and detention centres are just a few areas where a combined effort is paramount.
In close cooperation with ROLSI, PIU has been assisting in the production of a television series on the root causes of conflict and the need for SSR. The unit has also dedicated 10 radio programs and the same number of web articles to the issues related to this area of the mandate, namely explaining the concept of rule of law and the organization of the Bissau-Guinean State, the role of each organ of sovereignty as well as progress in critical reforms.
Strengthening criminal justice and penitentiary systems
ROLSI is providing strategic and technical advice to the Ministries of Justice and Interior, Judiciary Police, Office of the Prosecutor General and Criminal Courts to strengthen law enforcement, criminal justice and penitentiary systems, in line with Security Council Resolution 2185 (2015). ROLSI is continuing efforts to raise awareness of military justice personnel on “International Principles Governing the Administration of Justice by Military Courts”. Since 2011, ROLSI supports the organization of an annual high-level national criminal justice forum focusing on issues of common interest to defence, security and justice reforms, such as coordination among national institutions, harmonization of military and common justice. .
HRS and ROLSI provide regular joint training for security and defence forces in all regions, on their specific role in human rights protection, taking into account the past contribution of these forces to gross human rights violations that are still to be addressed. In addition, the HRS also trains military trainers on human rights, international standards and national law concerning their protection responsibilities, based on a Human Rights Guide for the Armed Forces developed by UNIOGBIS. The ultimate goal of the Training of Trainers is to ensure that human rights are integrated in the training curricula of future military and police academies in a sustainable manner.
HRS and ROLSI also work together to adapt military justice to international standards, and are currently providing comments to a draft Code of Military Justice and a draft law on witness and victim protection. The first one aims to ensure a clear definition of the military court jurisdiction, and the latter to support the fight against impunity and enable independent and impartial investigations into illegal trafficking and gross human rights violations. In order to help improve the penitentiary system and safeguard the rights of persons deprived of their liberty, HRS in cooperation with ROLSI, the Ministry of Justice, the Faculty of Law and NGOs, prepared a Human Rights Guide and a Guide for Prisoners.