Abalo Assih is a current Humphrey Fellow for the 2014-2015 Fellowship year. In Togo he works as a Superintendent of Police with the National Police. He is responsible for creating training programs for all National Police Forces in order to establish strong criminal justice administration in the country. He is also in charge of educating other trainers in professional police instruction. Previously, he led and conducted criminal investigations and police officer trainings on criminal justice procedures. He has served as representative of his country at the International Criminal Police Organization’s (ICPO-INTERPOL) meetings and conferences and had a short United Nations mission experience as a member of the investigation section in Rwanda (UNAMIR) in 1994. Mr. Assih completed criminal justice programs in Roswell (New Mexico, USA), Stockholm (Sweden), and Lyon (France) after receiving his LLB from the Université du Benin in Lomé in 1989.
Human rights mean a great deal to Abalo because he knows the feeling of living in a country where human rights are often violated. He defines human rights as inherent rights of every human being that must not be taken away from an individual by governmental orders or discrimination.
Abalo mentions that police work is inherently socially divisive. According to Abalo, in Togo the national police’s quality is very poor. Often the national police commit human rights abuses. In Abalo’s home country, the national police are directly linked to the political system and the party in power, which is not democratic. Abalo notices a huge lack of human rights education in Togo as well.
Abalo applied to the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program in order to improve his language and leadership skills as well as to gain knowledge about human rights law. During his fellowship year, Abalo has built partnerships with governmental organizations and NGOs that are involved in human rights advocacy. He has also received educational support in becoming a “Mission Leader” who coordinates peacekeeping operations within the scope of ECOLAWS, the African Union or the United Nations Organizations. For achieving that goal, Abalo is using his stay in the United States to gain more knowledge about international justice and administration standards. In this way, Abalo hopes to establish and preserve human rights recognition in Togo. He wants to be part of Togo’s development into a democracy.
Abalo’s advice for future Humphrey Fellows:
“The Humphrey Hubert Fellowship Program is a rewarding and enriching international program to achieve professional goals. Therefore, every professional who is keen on working for a better life should focus on contributing to his/her management skills, leadership abilities, and commitment to public service.”