Kenya: Symposium on Police-Management Relations in Africa

For many years, the police and prisons services were usually excluded from general labour legislation in many countries. Police and Prisons Acts were enacted covering issues such as appointment and service conditions, but there was no involvement of the officers themselves. Even as other civil servants gained their organizational rights, the police and prisons did not, arguably due to the nature of their responsibility for the internal security of the country.

For many years, the police and prisons services were usually excluded from general labour legislation in many countries. Police and Prisons Acts were enacted covering issues such as appointment and service conditions, but there was no involvement of the officers
themselves. Even as other civil servants gained their organizational rights, the police and prisons did not, arguably due to the nature of their responsibility for the internal security of the country.

Through the deliberations, the symposium will urge governments to further examine the possibility of allowing the establishment of police trade unions in the East African region. The presentation of case studies of Norway and South Africa will show that the creation of police trade unions does indeed provide police officers with the right to participate in social dialogue. The primary purpose of organizing police officers in a trade union format is to enhance police-management relations and conclude collective agreements. Better relations between police officers and their manager will stop police officers resigning from their positions to join private companies or go abroad in search of jobs, and to create situation in which professional and experienced police officers return to the service.