About Us

Resistance to Democratic Reforms

-Colonial Era Legislation:  India, Pakistan and Bangladesh retain the 1861 Police Act – a colonial legislation that does not contain democratic checks and balances or external oversight mechanisms. As of early 2013, the Maldives is in the midst of drafting new police legislation.  

-Across the region there is deep resistance to establishing accountability mechanisms and the political establishments are constantly challenging efforts to limit political oversight of the police. 

-At present, reform agendas remain largely state-led, with little space for civil society involvement or input. NIPSA hopes to challenge and change this.

A Democratic Police Organisation is one that: 

-Is accountable to the law and remains within international law and standards at all times; 

-Is accountable to democratic structures and the community and must independently answer to all three branches of governance;

-Is transparent in its activities, with information on individual behavior and broader operations available to the public; 

-Serves the people, and especially responsive to persons and groups who are vulnerable and marginalised.

3+1 Model for Police Accountability

An effective model includes oversight by:

-Democratically elected representatives (in national parliaments if police are structured at the national level, in state legislatures if police are organised at the state level, and in local councils if policing is organised at the local level);

-An independent judiciary;

-A responsible executive; and

-At least one independent statutory civilian body, such as an Ombudsman or a Human Rights Commission or, ideally, a dedicated body that deals with public complaints about the police. 

Overview

Who we are:

A regional network of individuals and organizations from Bangladesh, India, Maldives and Pakistan that have come together to promote and enhance civil society participation in police reform debates and influence legal and policy changes towards better policing.

Why we came together:

Our countries, while varying in levels of democratization, are all in dire need of democratic police reform within a human rights frame.  The fact remains that each of these countries is resisting such a shift.  So in 2010, a group of likeminded individuals and organisations came together and decided to address this by garnering the strength of an organized and informed civil society network, which is a necessary force to challenge state-driven reform agendas. NIPSA was formed. By moving away from the traditional state-centric approaches to reform and instead supporting and strengthening civil society efforts, NIPSA aims to promote dialogue between civil society actors, governments and police organizations to influence police laws, policies, structures and practices. 

Our Vision:

To bring civil society’s voice into police reform debates and discussions in South Asia.

And Our Mission:

To provide a forum for reform advocates to share knowledge, tools and strategies, exchange information and lessons, and ultimately to build a broader, stronger movement for democratic police reform at both the national and regional levels. 

Our Secretariat and Members:

The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, a non-governmental organization headquartered in India, is the Secretariat for NIPSA, coordinating the work of the Network which is made up of over 15 members over Commonwealth South Asia.

How Our Strategy Works:

Advocacy with Members

In country, members conduct research, build capacity, raise public awareness about better policing and advocate with governments, policy makers and police to move towards more democratic policing policies.

Regionally

We hold regional conferences and online seminar on various issues concerning reform of the police. Additionally we also come up with regional reports on the status of reform as well as other relevant issues.

Interactive Resource Rich Website

Host an interactive resource rich website that acts as a go-to portal for all things related to policing in this region.

Online

In an attempt to encourage more writing on policing issues as well as showcasing reform initiatives or emerging trends in policing, every quarter we bring out an online newsletter that covers articles from the region. We also fortnightly send out updates that inform readers about what’s hot and happening in policing.

Strengthening the Network

The network can only be as strong as its members, and so we will continue to expand and deepen our network through the strategy above, while always keeping the focus of reaching out to our readers.  Our goal is to better determine what the desires of society are, and how we can leverage our individual and collective strengths to turn those desires into a voice that can’t be ignored. 

Our Members

BLAST CPDI CPLC
HRCM HRCP MDN
SHEHRI-CBE SICHREM University of Sindh, Criminology Department
Janaagraha    

 

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