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Abstract: Peacebuild, in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) convened the third in a series of six workshops on peacebuilding and conflict prevention policy issues on 31st May 2011 in the CANADEM conference room in Ottawa. The purpose of the workshop series is to exchange current information and analysis among expert civil society practitioners, academics and Government of Canada officials aimed at developing policy and programming options to respond to new developments and emerging trends.
This workshop examined the dynamics of peace and conflict, including drug violence and crime, in Latin America. This policy brief provides a synopsis of the findings and analysis from discussion and the papers presented during the event, highlighting key recommendations to improve prevention and responses to conflict and crime that emerged from the workshop.
Abstract: A year and a half after the Western Hemisphere’s deadliest
earthquake devastated Haiti, 650,000 victims still wait for
permanent housing in more than 1,000 unstable emergency
camps dotting Port-au-Prince. The first storms of the 2011
hurricane season have flooded 30 camps, forcing tent
dwellers to flee and killing 28 persons nationally. Michel
Martelly, who replaced René Préval as president on 14
May, faces an immediate crisis in the growing frustrations
of the victims in the camps and those with near identical
unmet basic needs who remain in the urban slums. Forced
evictions, some violent, along with the reappearance of
criminal gangs in those camps and slums, add to the volatile
mix. Adopting, communicating and setting in motion
a comprehensive resettlement strategy, with full input from
the victims and local communities, is the first critical reconstruction
challenge he must meet in order to restore
stability. It will also test the capacity for common international
action beyond emergency relief after a year of disturbing
divisions within the UN country team and among
donors over resettlement strategy.
Abstract: The Examples from the Ground are concrete illustrations of ways in which a gender perspective has been integrated in different security sector institutions around the world. They range from measures to counter human trafficking in Kosovo, to women’s organisations’ involvement with security institutions in Nepal, to female parliamentarians’ contribution to post-conflict reconstruction in Rwanda. These examples can help policymakers, trainers and educators better understand and demonstrate the linkages between gender and SSR.
The examples are organised around the following nine themes, for which a short introduction is provided:
• Police Reform and Gender
• Defence Reform and Gender
• Justice Reform and Gender
• Penal Reform and Gender
• Border Management and Gender
• Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• National Security Policy-Making and Gender
• Civil Society Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• SSR Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation and Gender
Individual examples can also be downloaded individually, in English or in French, at: http://gssrtraining.ch/index.php?option=com_content&view;=article&id;=4&Itemid;=131〈=en
Abstract: On 23 May 2010, the Governor-General of Jamaica declared a State of Public Emergency in
the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew. Within two days, at least 74 people, including one
member of the security forces, had been killed in Tivoli Gardens in West Kingston, scene of
much of the violence. At least 54 others, more than half of them members of the security
forces, were injured during police operations.
More than 40 of those killed in Tivoli Gardens are alleged to have been the victims of
extrajudicial execution by the security forces. Unlawful killings were also reported in other
operations conducted during the state of emergency. More than 4,000 people were detained
under emergency powers, without charge or trial or access to an effective means of
challenging the lawfulness of their detention before a court. Two people reportedly taken into
custody remain unaccounted for and may have been victims of enforced disappearance.
The May 2010 violence has been described as “the worst in Jamaican post-independence
history”. Despite the scale of the loss of life and compelling testimonies of grave human rights
violations – including possible extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and
arbitrary arrests – investigations into the violence have yet to establish the facts and the
responsibilities conclusively. Independent organizations and institutions in Jamaica continue
to call for a full public inquiry into the security forces operation. One year on, the demand for
justice by many survivors and victims’ families has yet to be answered.
Abstract: Cuba Archive is developing a comprehensive registry of disappearances and fatalities of a political nature resulting from the Cuban Revolution. This information is gathered and disseminated for educational purposes and to advance human rights.
Abstract: Child Protection in United Nations Peacekeeping: Volume I is the first
in a series illustrating the challenges and successes of protecting
children in some of the most dangerous places on earth. In the
following pages you will learn about the work of Dee, Svjetlana, James
and Julie—peacekeepers and child protection advisers who rely on their
diverse individual experience at home and in the field to introduce the
relatively new concept of child protection to missions in distinct conflict
and post-conflict situations.
The creation of this publication was initiated by Under-Secretary-General
for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy and Special Representative
of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika
Coomaraswamy on the occasion of Universal Children’s Day when the two
United Nations officials reaffirmed their commitment to protect innocent
girls and boys faced with the brutality of war.
Abstract: The world’s worst online oppressors are using an array of tactics, some reflecting astonishing levels of sophistication, others reminiscent of old-school techniques. From China’s high-level malware attacks to Syria’s brute-force imprisonments, this may be only the dawn of online oppression.
In reporting news from the world’s most troubled nations, journalists have made a seismic shift this year in their reliance on the Internet and other digital tools. Blogging, video sharing, text messaging, and live-streaming from cellphones brought images of popular unrest from the central square of Cairo and the main boulevard of Tunis to the rest of the world. Yet the technology used to report the news has been matched in many ways by the tools used to suppress information. Many of the oppressors’ tactics show an increasing sophistication, from the state-supported email in China designed to take over journalists’ personal computers, to the carefully timed cyber-attacks on news websites in Belarus. Still other tools in the oppressor’s kit are as old as the press itself, including imprisonment of online writers in Syria, and the use of violence against bloggers in Russia.
To mark World Press Freedom Day, May 3, the Committee to Protect Journalists is examining the 10 prevailing tactics of online oppression worldwide and the countries that have taken the lead in their use. What is most surprising about these Online Oppressors is not who they are—they are all nations with long records of repression—but how swiftly they adapted old strategies to the online world.
In two nations we cite, Egypt and Tunisia, the regimes have changed, but their successors have not categorically broken with past repressive practices. The tactics of other nations—such as Iran, which employs sophisticated tools to destroy anti-censorship technology, and Ethiopia, which exerts monopolistic control over the Internet—are being watched, and emulated, by repressive regimes worldwide.
Here are the 10 prevalent tools for online oppression.
Abstract: This report explores the historic reform process currently underway in Cuba. It looks first at the
political context in which the VI Cuban Communist Party Congress took place, including the
Cuban government's decision to release a significant number of political prisoners as part of a new
dialogue with the Cuban Catholic Church. It then analyzes Cuba's nascent processes of economic
reform and political liberalization. To conclude, it discusses the challenges and opportunities these
processes pose for U.S policy toward Cuba.
Abstract: The latest volume is a collection of English and Spanish articles by academics and practitioners from the Americas who share their perspectives, experience and lessons learned on a multitude of core issues within or closely related to peace operations.
The articles discuss a number of topics including:
- The role of military observers and police in peace operations
- The participation of women and training requirements for addressing gender issues
- Challenges to police reform
- Confidence-building initiatives.
The Pearson Peacekeeping Centre has been engaged in Latin America for a number of years, but its presence has also become more noticeable with the development of the Latin America Peacekeeping Capacity Building project in 2009, funded by the Government of Canada. Working closely with members of the Latin American Association of Peacekeeping Training Centres (ALCOPAZ), the project was designed to enhance the Latin American peacekeeping training centres’ ability to contribute civilian, military and police personnel to United Nations peace operations. This project has led to the undertaking of a number of activities with partners in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and others.
These activities allowed the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre to identify several focus areas that will guide its partnership with Latin America in the coming years, such as the participation of women in peace operations, support to ALCOPAZ and new peacekeeping training centres in the region, and police training for peace operations.
Abstract: This issue of CrisisWatch summarizes developments during the month of March 2011 in some 70 situations of ongoing or potential conflict. It assesses whether the overall situation in each case has, during the previous month, significantly deteriorated, improved or on balance remained unchanged. Moreover, it alerts readers to situations where there is a particular risk of escalated conflict or, on the other hand, a conflict resolution opportunity.
Abstract: In proximity to the United States, and with such a chronically unstable political environment and fragile economy, Haiti has been a constant policy issue for the United States. Congress views the stability of the nation with great concern and commitment to improving conditions there. Both Congress and the international community have invested significant resources in the political, economic, and social development of Haiti, and will be closely monitoring the election process as a prelude to the next steps in Haiti's development.
This report provides an overview of the controversies surrounding the first round of voting in late 2010, and concerns related to the second and final round of the elections. In addition to ongoing issues regarding the legitimacy of the upcoming March 20 elections, other questions have raised concerns within the international community and Congress. These include the destabilizing presence of former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, and former President Jean- Bertrand Aristide, and the newly elected government's ability to handle the complex post-earthquake reconstruction process and its relationship with the donor community.
Abstract: On January 16, 2011, former president-for-life of Haiti, Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier,
returned to his homeland after nearly 25 years in exile. The government of Haiti responded
by re-opening a 2008 investigation into alleged financial crimes, and several victims of
serious human rights violations under the Duvalier government also came forward and filed
complaints with the prosecutor. The investigation into Duvalier’s alleged financial and
human rights crimes is currently underway.
This report provides an overview of human rights violations under Duvalier, details the
current status of the proceedings against him, including obstacles to a successful
prosecution, and analyzes applicable Haitian and international law. We conclude that
investigation and prosecution of the grave violations of human rights under Duvalier’s rule is
required by Haiti’s obligations under international law. While there are still obstacles to
overcome, the case presents an historic opportunity for Haiti.
Abstract: This report collects statistics from a variety of sources on casualties sustained during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), which began on October 7, 2001, and is ongoing. OEF actions take place primarily in Afghanistan; however, OEF casualties also includes American casualties in Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, Seychelles, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and Yemen. Casualty data of U.S. military forces are compiled by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), as tallied from the agency's press releases. Also included are statistics on those wounded but not killed.
Because the estimates of Afghan casualties contained in this report are based on varying time periods and have been created using different methodologies, readers should exercise caution when using them and should look to them as guideposts rather than as statements of fact. This report will be updated as needed.
Abstract: Violence and everyday insecurity are amongst the root causes of poverty: a simple and true statement that has at last been
acknowledged in several international agreements, including the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence (2008) and Dili Declaration
(2010). Several new funding mechanisms have even been established to support efforts to reduce violence, including
those that address the special security needs of excluded groups, women, youth and children. What recent policies have failed
to adequately consider, however, is that poor and dispossessed people often perceive the state as a perpetrator or accomplice -
whether by active complicity or passive omission – in the violence visited upon them. For policymakers and practitioners eager
to move beyond top-down approaches to reducing insecurity and violence, this policy briefing offers insights into how local
residents can be directly involved in finding solutions for their security and livelihood needs. Research from a range of contexts
characterised by violence and everyday insecurity suggests that external actors can help to broaden spaces where citizens can
take action in non-violent, socially legitimate ways, but that success depends on gaining a locally nuanced understanding of the
complex relationship between violent and non-violent actors, and between forms of everyday violence and political violence.
Abstract: How does violence affect the everyday lives of citizens in countries, regions
and cities of the global South? This has been the central theme of five years’
work in the Violence, Participation and Citizenship (VPC) group of the
Development Research Centre (DRC) on Citizenship, Participation and
Accountability, an international research partnership coordinated by IDS from
2000–2010. While other DRC researchers studied new forms of citizenship that
could help make rights real, the VPC group undertook projects in four countries
to examine how violence affects the exercise of meaningful citizenship and how
efforts to open space for citizenship in such contexts affect the use of violence.
VPC set out to explore these dynamics in partnership with organisations and
community members in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro), Jamaica (Kingston), Mexico
(Chiapas and Guerrero States) and Nigeria (Kaduna, Kano and Plateau
States). Our investigative frame, developed as a group, was a set of questions
about the scope for participatory social action, the exercise of citizenship, and
processes of peaceful social transformation in contexts of violence.
Abstract: As the so-called January 14 Jasmine Revolution inspires protests in Egypt and other nearby states, it may be worth recalling that North Africa is not the only part of the world clamoring for more representative, accountable government. Despite the current trend toward liberal democracy and open markets, the Americas still have a few regimes that frustrate the political and economic desires of their constituents and do little to attack corruption or reduce income inequality between the rich and poor. While major discontent seems to be in abeyance in the Western Hemisphere, the conditions that feed it are still active in some quarters.
Abstract: Across the globe today, you'll find almost three dozen raging conflicts, from the valleys of Afghanistan to the jungles of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the streets of Kashmir. But what are the next crises that might erupt in 2011? Here are a few worrisome spots that make our list. [Captions provided by International Crisis Group]
Abstract: The Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the Director of the Central Intelligence
Agency and the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, shall make publicly available an
unclassified summary of -
(1) intelligence relating to recidivism of detainees currently or formerly held at the Naval
Detention Facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by the Department of Defense; and
(2) an assessment of the likelihood that such detainees will engage in terrorism or communicate
with persons in terrorist organizations.
Abstract: Nine actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and one improved in November 2010, according to the latest issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch released today.
Tensions surged on the Korean peninsula as two South Korean civilians and two marines were killed when North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells at Yeonpyeong Island, where South Korea was conducting military drills. Haiti ’s late month presidential elections ended in confusion, as several opposition candidates called for the vote to be annulled amid reports of fraud, and thousands of people took to the streets in protest. International observers from the OAS called the vote valid despite “serious irregularities”, but tensions remain high. Ivory Coast saw deadly pre-election clashes on the streets of the capital Abidjan between rival supporters of the two presidential candidates, incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara. The tightly contested 28 November run-off and delays in announcing the preliminary results has led to heightened tensions between the two camps and fears of further violence.
In Guinea, preliminary results declaring opposition leader Alpha Condé winner of the 7 November second round presidential election sparked three days of violence resulting in at least four deaths and dozens injured. CrisisWatch also noted deteriorated situations in Burundi, Central African Republic, Madagascar, Egypt and Western Sahara.
In Niger, the situation improved as results from the 31 October referendum showed 90 per cent of voters in favour of the new constitution, paving the way for January 2011 elections and a return to civilian rule.
Once again this month CrisisWatch describes violence against civilians in North and South Kivu provinces in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Abstract: Currently Latin America and the Caribbean is a region that finds itself somewhat out of the global spotlight. The region is not at the heart of the financial crisis but instead is, on the whole, a victim of the collapse of the global economy. At the end of the first decade of the ‘global war on terror’, the region has played a marginal role in the conflict and its flashpoints in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Even in the debates and developments in what has been termed the ‘regionalisation’ of global politics, Europe and Southeast Asia have absorbed the focus with discussion of Latin America and the Caribbean acting more as an afterthought than a key point of analysis. Yet this is unlikely to remain the case for long. In a region where poverty, militarism and environmental limits are coalescing, Latin America and the Caribbean is becoming a testing ground for responding to security challenges that are increasingly global in nature.
To address these issues, security experts, academics, journalists and civil society leaders from across Latin America and the Caribbean were brought together by ORG and the Norwegian Peacebuilding Centre (Noref) in January 2010. The meeting explored the implications of a ‘sustainable security’ framework for the region. The meeting identified the regional drivers of insecurity as: state practices and insecurity; militarisation; urban-rural divides and socio-economic divisions; and environmental and energy insecurity. The blockages to achieving change in the region were identified as: conceptions of security, historical legacies and economic models, and regional institutions and identity. The report includes an integrated analysis of these issues, together with recommendations for policy-makers.
Abstract: Thank you for the opportunity to speak today about natural disasters and human rights with a particular focus on international responses to Haiti and Pakistan. I’d like to begin with 4 general statements about natural disasters and human rights, then give a brief overview comparing the response to the two disasters but spend most of my time talking about some of the larger issues – ethical issues if you will – raised by the comparison between these two responses.
1. Disasters aren’t so natural. I’m using the term natural disasters as a sort of short-hand for the more accurate but more awkward phrase ‘disasters resulting from natural hazards.’ In reality, disasters are almost always the result of both natural phenomena and human action. For example, mudslides increase in Nepal as a result of both glacier runoff (a natural cause) and deforestation (a man-made cause). We could take this a step further and ask to what extent was the breaching of the levees in New Orleans the result of Hurricane Katrina or the failure of US authorities to take preventive actions to protect its citizens?
2. There have always been natural disasters of course, but they are increasing in severity and intensity as a result of climate change. And yet the reality is that the international humanitarian system is not prepared to cope with more than one large-scale disaster a year.
3. Disasters always hurt the poor and marginalized more than others. The poor tend to live in less sturdy housing and on marginal land. Similarly while disasters in developed countries tend to have high economic costs, they generally result in lower casualties than those taking place in developing societies. For example, in August 2010, New Zealand had an earthquake measuring over 7.0 on the Richter scale which destroyed 100,000 homes. No one was killed. Recovery is faster in wealthier countries. Access to assistance is often more readily available and the delivery of that assistance is easier with paved roads and multiple communication networks. The spread of disease is less likely when medicine is on hand, sanitation can be addressed, and functioning hospitals are nearby.
4. Assistance is not neutral. In fact, sometimes the response itself can exacerbate inequities. The way in which a government responds to natural disasters is often politically motivated and almost always has political consequences. If aid is not distributed in an impartial fashion, ethnic, class or religious resentments and conflicts can intensify.
Abstract: Jamaica’s murder rate—62 per 100,000 in 2009— is one of the highest in the world.
The small island grapples with violent crime within a context of gangs, guns, and allegations of political and police corruption.
This report presents an overview of the history, prevalence, and distribution of gangs, focusing in particular on their involvement in international drug and arms trafficking and the possible influence of deportees from the United States.
It finds that there is a dense social web connecting highly organized, transnational gangs to loosely organized gangs whose activities are often indistinguishable from broader community violence.
Persistent facilitation of gang activity by politicians continues to hinder targeted violence reduction efforts, despite the government’s public condemnation of crime and violence, and official support of violence reduction.
Abstract: Lack of local ownership is seen as a central explanation for why peacebuilding efforts often fail to yield sustainable peace dividends. But how is local ownership understood and acted upon by those who are engaged in peacebuilding efforts at the country level? Based on research in four countries – Afghanistan, Haiti, Liberia and Sudan – this study finds that the way ownership is operationalized by external actors at the country level is quite different from how it is defined in policy documents. The most prevalent operationalization is ownership as a conditional right with external actors seeing ownership as theirs to give to local actors when certain conditions (such as capacity or responsibility) are met. The result is often that reform efforts are unsustainable. This report suggests some concrete steps that can be taken to render ownership an operational principle.
Abstract: Ten years ago, on 31 October 2000, the United Nations Security Council took
an important and unprecedented step into new territory. Recognizing the vulnerability
of women and girls to violence during and after armed conflict, and the
absence or low level of women’s representation in efforts to prevent war, build
peace and restore devastated societies, the Council passed resolution 1325. The
resolution sought formally for the first time in the Security Council to end this neglect and actively to promote and draw
on the untapped potential of women everywhere
on issues of peace and security.
The release of the 2010 edition of The
State of World Population report coincides
with the 10th anniversary of that historic
resolution. The report highlights how women
in conflict and post-conflict situations—as
well as in emergencies or protracted crises—
are faring a decade later.
The 2010 report is different from previous
editions, which took an academic
approach to topics related to the mandate
and work of UNFPA, the United Nations
Population Fund. The current report takes
a more journalistic approach, drawing on
the experiences of women and girls, men
and boys, living in the wake of conflict and
other catastrophic disruptions. This report is constructed around
interviews and reporting in Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Haiti, Jordan, Liberia, the
Occupied Palestinian Territory (West Bank),
Timor-Leste and Uganda.
Abstract: It has long been recognized that the arts hold the power to expose wounds of conflict, soothe tormented spirits and teach lessons about war and peace. Children in refugee camps draw stick figures of men with guns and houses aflame. In countries as vastly different as Uganda and Afghanistan, informal or more professional drama groups give audiences a chance to laugh or cry or just say, Yes, that's the way it was—or is. Young Sri Lankans have turned to fiction to explore a violent era of civil war and a tsunami of epic pro-portions. Cambodians in refugee camps a generation ago kept alive classical Khmer dancing as a precious link to their ruined country's heritage. Almost everywhere today, creative responses to tragedy go on in many forms.