The Community Security Initiative
Following violent inter-ethnic clashes in the southern Kyrgyz provinces of Osh and Jalal-Abad in June 2010, the government of Kyrgyzstan requested the OSCE’s support to help the police working in a multi-ethnic environment in protecting human rights and improving community-police relations.
Working closely with the Kyrgyz authorities, the OSCE agreed to send unarmed, civilian police advisers to ten districts across the country, primarily in affected areas around southern Kyrgyzstan.
The Community Security Initiative (CSI) was given a mandate in November 2010 by all 57 OSCE participating States to support Kyrgyzstan’s police in dealing with the still-fragile security situation.
For a photo gallery of the CSI in action, click here.
The main focus of the CSI is to increase the respect for and protection of human rights by the police and to build confidence between law enforcement agencies and communities including through the promotion of multi-ethnic policing.
Consequently by April 2011, 28 civilian police advisers were co-located in district police stations, working directly with the local police. This arrangement allows the advisers to follow developments and daily challenges that the local communities and police face.
To encourage dialogue as a way to build better relations, each CSI team also instigated monthly community-police discussion forums, the Community Safety Working Groups, where police, local authorities and civil society representatives talk about their concerns.
Where are the CSI's areas of operations? Click here to find out.
In a number of areas it was possible to re-establish police presence through the deployment of 12 Mobile Police Receptions. These customized minivans, donated in July 2011, contain the basic equipment required for a functioning mobile police reception. Since their introduction, police and community leaders have increasingly used them as places to raise and discuss problems.
Small-scale community initiatives, such as sports events, police open days and cultural celebrations, have also been used to re-build the bridges between communities and the police.
Kyrgyzstan’s government has requested the OSCE to expand the CSI’s activities to other districts in the country and extend the mandate until December 2012.