Strengthening Human-Rights based Policing in Bulgaria

In 2011, the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior decided to enforce initiatives to raise the professional standards of the Bulgarian police following a wave of allegations of abuse of force committed by police officers. One of those initiatives is to introduce practice-oriented courses at the Academy of the Ministry of Interior known to facilitate the acquisition of skills compliant with human rights. This change of pedagogy from the traditional classroom to scenarios, role plays, situations and problem-based learning involves an ambitious program that includes the revision of training manuals, the upgrading of trainer’s skills in the new pedagogy, and the construction of a modern infrastructure at the Academy allowing to design outdoor and indoor practical exercises and simulations.

Socially related security

The project contributes to the Bulgarian national authorities’ strategy to reach international and European standards in matters of rule of law and human rights. A “socially related security” implies that the police delivers public security services following high standards of excellence and complying with human rights.

OBJECTIVE OF THE SWISS SUPPORT

The overall objective of the project is to eliminate police abuse and improve police professional standards by a change of training paradigm informed by best practices in contemporary pedagogy and human rights-based policing approaches. The project pursues two interlinked special objectives, namely:

  • Professional standards of police officers are raised through the acquisition of practical skills on policing and human rights during their training;
  • Training capacities on human rights-based policing are upgraded through the modernization of the practical training infrastructure and IT-equipped facilities.

 

Activities

The main activities conducted successfully under the project have been the following:

  • Conduct a training need assessment;
  • Design, adopt and disseminate a new manual on police and human rights emphasizing the acquisition of human right practical skills;
  • Conduct 2 train-the-trainer courses for 80 instructors of the Academy of the Ministry of Interior to use the new police and human rights manual;
  • Conduct of 6 regional training sessions for 40 senior officers to disseminate the knowledge on human rights-based policing;
  • Construct a new practice-oriented and simulation-based training infrastructure with IT support and technical equipment;
  • Conduct 2 study visits to Switzerland for 16 people of the Academy of the Ministry of Interior to exchange with Swiss training institutions on situation-based practical training;
  • Conduct 2 project cycle management training weeks for 30 senior managers of the Academy of the Ministry of Interior.

Contacts

Academy of the Ministry of Interior
Ass. prof. Ivan Vidolov

Rector
1, “Alexander Malinov” blvd, Sofia

Phone: +359 29829213

 

Results and outcomes

The following results have been achieved:

  • Facilitated by Swiss experts of the Police Academy of Savatan, a modern “Police and Human Rights” training manual has been developed and adopted by the Academy of the Ministry of Interior in 2015. Since then, 368 cadets of the bachelor program of the academy and 2’450 police officers have been trained;
  • 120 instructors of the Academy of the Ministry of Interior and regional senior executives have been trained in the new police and human rights manual;
  • A modern practice-oriented and simulation-based training infrastructure with IT support and technical equipment has been completed in March 2018. The large infrastructure hosts simulation facilities such as a bank office, shops, a restaurant, a police station, a border crossing point, urban environment with a road network and a public square, as well as training rooms.
  • Project management skills of 30 senior staff of the academy of the Ministry of Interior have been upgraded through courses on projects’ cycle management and two visits to training institutions in Switzerland.

Swiss partner

Police Academy of Savatan
Col. Alain Bergonzoli
Director
1890 St-Maurice
Phone: +41 24486 96 96