Promoting International Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigations and Information Gathering
In 2017 NCHR together with The Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT), and the Anti-Torture Initiative (ATI) launched an initiative to develop a set of guidelines on non-coercive interviewing by law-enforcement officials and on the implementation of associated legal and procedural safeguards.
The principles, launched June 9th 2021, aim to reduce the well-documented risk of mistreatment and coercion that persons face during questioning by law enforcement, and during the first hours of custody.
Globally, NCHR's engagement with investigative interviewing follows three complementary tracks. One is the anti-torture track working with NGOs and UN agencies to prevent torture by implementing investigative interviewing practices. The second concerns developing training manuals, material and standards for the UN Department of Peace Keeping's police division (UNPOL), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes. The third is promoting the international Principles on Effective Interviewing for Investigations and Information Gathering, also referred to as the "Mèndez Principles" for the questioning of victims, witnesses and suspects of crime and political violence based on investigative interviewing. Here, the NCHR works with a broad coalition of UN agencies, NGOs, and expert practitioners from law enforcement and intelligence.
The Principles will assist authorities to improve the effectiveness, fairness, and outcomes of investigations and intelligence gathering processes, while protecting the inherent dignity and human rights of all persons being interviewed. - Professor Juan E. Mèndez, former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.
Developing Teaching Resources
The NCHR seeks to expand its pool of instructors in collaboration with the Norwegian Police University College to meet the growing demand. Training materials have already been developed and translated into Indonesian and Vietnamese. NCHR has also contributed to the CTI (Convention against Torture Initiative) training manual Investigative Interviewing for Criminal Cases. The next goal is to develop an e-learning course.