Erich Meier Jr. graduated from the Comprehensive Security Cooperation (CSC) course in March of 2022. While he was eager to complete his Fellow’s Project on maritime security, he soon discovered that his project would have to change. After the course, Bangladesh officials notified him that his planned symposium on maritime security had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Determined not to give up on his Fellows Project, he created a new project to host a symposium on human rights during the early stages of detention. His project was titled “2nd Asia Pacific Police Colloquium.” After approval from his faculty mentors, he began planning for the event in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Philippine National Police. The event took place from November 27 to December 1, 2022, in Manila, Philippines, and brought together senior police officers from 12 different countries to discuss human rights issues during the early stages of police detention.

Erich Meier Jr.

According to Meier, persons in custody by law enforcement across the Indo-Pacific region face a substantial risk of human rights violations. The symposium emphasized the need to train police on how to protect the human rights of their citizens. During the workshop, the participants developed awareness of preventing excessive force, preventing ill-treatment during interrogations, preventing sexual violence, and ensuring access to medical and legal services.

In February 2023, Meier returned to the Center as a special guest speaker to discuss his completed project. The Center presented Meir with a certificate of completion and a red-lettered lanyard that commemorates the completion of his Fellows Project. In addressing the Fellows of CSC 23-1, Meier encouraged them to coordinate with others in their organizations and define the milestones for completing their project. He reminded them that they would need perseverance and discipline to complete their tasks.

Said Meier, a former officer in the Brazilian military, “For any police officer or service officer, giving up is not an option. We have to accomplish our mission.”

Meier plans to continue hosting events that raise awareness of humanitarian rights in the early stages of detention. He plans to host another event with the ICRC in 2023. Meier currently serves as the regional police and gendarme delegate for the ICRC and is stationed in the Philippines.