SERI made written comments on the draft Geneva Guidelines on Less-Lethal Weapons and related Equipment in Law Enforcement to the Geneva Academy and the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (University of Pretoria). These draft set of Guidelines relate to the lawful and responsible design, production, procurement, testing, training, transfer, and use of less-lethal weapons and related equipment.
The purpose of these Guidelines is to provide guidance to states, law enforcement agencies, human rights bodies and mechanisms, private security companies, manufacturers, and individuals or agents of any bodies using force for law enforcement purposes, human rights defenders, and individuals seeking to assert their rights on the lawful and responsible design, production, procurement, testing, training, transfer, and use of less-lethal weapons and related equipment.
This draft document aims to build upon, the United Nations (UN) Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.
SERI welcomes and concurs with the broad aims of the draft Guidelines in the following aspects:
In SERI’s experience the failure by the authorities to ensure that the above accountability measures are implemented systematically or at all, including at the level of internal post-operation reviews and lesson-learning, leaves victims of the unlawful use of force further traumatised and potentially discouraged from exercising their rights.