A considerable motive behind me joining this course was its unique feature of placing students for two weeks with different human rights organisations within the UK and abroad. Perhaps no university in the UK offers this sort of practical opportunity and that’s the hallmark of this degree program. The list of placement organisations given included North Yorkshire Police and I opted for it without a second thought. The Centre for Applied Human Rights and North Yorkshire Police are partner organisations in furthering the cause behind the York Human Rights City project. What could be more rewarding for a police officer than to have a placement with another police force abroad, known best for upholding professional, democratic and human rights values!
Before the start of the placement, we prepared ourselves academically. Our tutors equipped us with the knowledge and skills necessary to work with a public sector organisation. Step by step guidance by the project supervisor remained the best thing to help tackle unforeseen challenges in the field. We were encouraged to work in a team under agreed upon code of ethics.
On the front line
As a group we interviewed front-line police officers, exploring how they percieve human rights. Throughout this placement, I remained interested in human rights issues regarding BAME people. It was heartening to learn how police officers value human rights in their day to day interactions with the public. For me, it was exciting knowing about human rights legislation, training and current trends related to modern slavery, hate crime etc. This placement has allowed me to appreciate how human rights are embedded into day to day affairs of policing in the UK. This has enabled me to identify loopholes in our policing system back home.