The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works to keep Americans safe at home by countering international crime, illegal drugs, and instability abroad. INL helps countries deliver justice and fairness by strengthening their police, courts, and corrections systems. These efforts reduce the amount of crime and illegal drugs reaching U.S. shores.
Challenges: Côte d’Ivoire has made strides toward economic and political stability since the end of its post-electoral crisis in 2011. The government has since launched significant reform of its military, but more support is needed to help the government build the capacity of its civilian and internal law enforcement forces. INL support to Côte d’Ivoire’s law enforcement is geared toward enhancing its capacity to earn the confidence of the Ivorian people, create an ethos of shared responsibility for the country’s protection, and perform a wide array of internal security duties.
Goals: INL’s program in Côte d’Ivoire aims to strengthen law enforcement capacity, respect for human rights, and promote security and stability. In so doing, INL is reinforcing the Ivoirian government’s toolkit to address crime, including trafficking in persons and illicit goods, and terrorism.
- INL signed a Letter of Agreement with the Ivorian government in September 2013, which forms the basis for cooperation on strengthening civilian policing and the law enforcement sector.
- From 2015-2018, INL began implementation of the West Côte d’Ivoire Model Police Prefecture pilot project. Through this project, INL provided training, mentoring, and advising to support the Ivoirian National Police’s efforts to partner with the local population to identify, report, and stop internal security threats, which, by extension, improved human and state security in western Côte d’Ivoire. INL’s community policing mentoring resulted in over 100 community awareness meetings between police and citizens. INL also trained 98 police officers in community policing. In addition, citizens proactively created two associations to liaise with the police to sustain their proactive and results-oriented engagement with the police.
- In partnership with the UN Development Program, from 2018-2020, INL executed a train-and-equip program to improve police response to Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) crimes, and public awareness of the physical and social ills of SGBV.
- INL and Côte d’Ivoire have cooperated closely on building the capacity of drug treatment professionals. Côte d’Ivoire has completed the Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC), disseminated its use throughout the country, provided master trainers in the UTC and other training programs to assist other countries to develop their capacity.
- In 2019, INL partnered with the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection (MSCP) to establish and conduct monthly exchanges with an Ivoirian civil society working group, constituted of civil society representatives from across the country. In these exchanges, the Ministry in Abidjan hears directly from ordinary citizens about the security challenges they face, and is better positioned to respond to those challenges in a timely fashion. In July 2020, the MSCP formalized this civil society working group through a government ordinance.