Tackling the Ebola crisis from a law enforcement perspective

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Ebola poster
20 February 2015

From 4 to 6 February 2015, CEPOL hosted a residential course on the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). Experts from all 28 EU Members States and from Norway along with specialists from the European Commission, FRONTEX, the IOM and UNMIL as well medical experts addressed the issue of Ebola virus from a law enforcement perspective.

Ebola virus outbreak 2014 was declared in Guinea and rapidly spread to other West-African countries. This crisis was handed over to the army and not to the medical sector, thus turning it into a security issue. Even though this presented the advantage of promoting the construction of hospitals in West-Africa, it also had problematic consequences. Travel bans had a devastating effect on West-African countries’ economies, civil liberties and freedoms were restricted and the media contributed to create public fear and mass hysteria. This has had heavy consequences for law enforcement agencies, there but also in Europe.

This CEPOL course gave an insight into these consequences. The presentations encouraged debate among participants around the following topics

  • The types of security and prevention policies required
  • How traveller screening at arrival and departure should be organised to ensure efficient control
  • The required safety equipment
  • How to efficiently inform citizens and travellers
  • How to optimise cross-border cooperation (border guards / police, medical staff)
  • The safety rules that law enforcement staff (at borders and on missions) should follow
  • Ebola as a potential weapon for bioterrorism

Participants at the Ebola course

Participants learned how this crisis is tackled at EU level, but also within various Member States. They could also discover what impact this invisible disease with an extremely high mortality rate has on people and what law enforcement can do to contain the crisis.

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Contact

Office address

European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
1066 Budapest
Ó utca 27
Hungary

Correspondence address

European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Training
1903 Budapest
Pf.314
Hungary

Email address

Telephone: +36 1 803 8030/8031

Fax: +36 1 803 8032