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Abstract: A new law passed by the Colombian government to make reparation to victims of the
armed conflict has implications for the approximately 455,000 Colombians who live
as refugees, asylum-seekers, or in a refugee-like situation outside the country.
Although these vulnerable individuals may be entitled to reparation for human rights
violations suffered in Colombia, the ongoing armed conflict impedes their access to
this offer. This paper investigates the legal and practical implications of offering such
‘transnational’ reparations to externally-displaced victims in circumstances of
protracted armed conflict.
The new Victims’ Law in Colombia provides for wide-ranging reparation measures to
persons who have suffered damages directly as a result of human rights violations or
infractions of international humanitarian law.
Although refugees and other
EDVs do not figure prominently in its provisions, this new legal framework generates
a range of wider questions about the positioning of such persons vis-à-vis the offer of
reparation from their home country, including:
- To what extent does international law require the home state to address the
specific needs of EDVs when designing reparation measures and
- What are the international law implications of home country reparation to
EDVs for third states?
- What is the role of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – as the international agency mandated with refugee protection
in such processes?
- What does ‘reparation’ mean for refugees and other EDVs, and what are
their needs in this regard?
- What are the political consequences of the often tense border dynamics
that accompany refugee outflows for the implementation of any reparation
measures for EDVs?
By addressing these questions through a Colombian case study, this paper constitutes a
first step towards understanding what the provision of reparation may mean for
refugees and other displaced persons where the circumstances giving rise to their
Abstract: In 2001, Pax Christi Netherlands published a report
about the kidnapping industry in Colombia. Seven years on, and the number of kidnappings
worldwide has risen even more. The crime has lost
nothing of its potency as a cause of human tragedy.
Kidnapping is a serious violation of the most
elementary right of mankind: the right to a dignified
existence. We set out in this report to provide a brief
summary of the kidnapping issue on a global level, in
particular of kidnapping in conflict regions and fragile
states. The questions to be answered are concerned with
the financial and political requirements that the
kidnappers set, and with the impacts of these practices
on the conflict and its perpetuation, and on the
performance of the state.
Following on from the previous report, the emphasis of
this investigation is on kidnapping and extortion in
Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Firstly, we wished to
ascertain how the kidnapping issue has developed in
these countries in the past ten years. This raised the
question of whether there was any relationship between
the kidnapping practices in Colombia, and trends in
this crime in the neighbouring countries. Another
primary question regarding Colombia was concerned
with the role of the kidnapping theme in peace talks
and other dialogue between illegal armed groups and
the Colombian government, and with the possible role
of the theme in any future peace talks.
The final chapter investigates the kidnapping-related
policies of the EU member states, and as far as possible
we compare their policies with their actions in practice
in recent years. The main question is whether there is
any European consensus on how to deal with
kidnapping, and how to suppress the phenomenon.
What obstacles are there to a joint approach to the
Abstract: Last February, Reporters Without Borders released its first-ever thematic report on organized crime, the main source of physical danger for journalists since the end of the Cold War. Produced with the help of our correspondents and specialists in several continues, that report underlined how difficult it is for the media to investigate the criminal underworld’s activities, networks and infiltration of society. Aside from covering bloody shootouts between rival cartels, news media of any size usually seem ill-equipped to describe organized crime’s hidden but ubiquitous presence.
Paraguay, which a Reporters Without Borders representative visited from 3 to 10 July, is a good example of these problems. Overshadowed by Brazil and Argentina, its two big neighbours in the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), it has long received one of the world’s worst rankings in Transparency International’s corruption index. It is also a major way station in the trafficking of cocaine from the Bolivian Andes to the Southern Cone.
While the level of violence is not as high as in Mexico, Colombia or some Central American countries, the persistent corruption, judicial impunity and influence of mafia activity on political and business activity prevent the media and civil society from playing a watchdog role. Although elections brought about a real change of government for the first time in 2008, Paraguay is still struggling to free itself from the code of silence and complicity that prevailed during the decades of dictatorship and affects the media as well. This was clear from interviews with journalists, observers and state officials in Asunción and Concepción, in the border cities of Ciudad del Este and Encarnación, and the Argentine border city of Posadas.
Abstract: Over 300,000 children are estimated to be conscripted participants in conflicts
throughout the world. Depending on the particular armed group that
employs child soldiers, girls represent 6 to 50% of child soldiers. Despite this
prevalence of involvement, the experience of girls as soldiers in war and political
conflict has rarely been investigated. In order to build a foundation for more
focused study on girl soldier experiences, this literature review aims to provide
a comprehensive report of girl soldiers throughout the world. The analysis focused
on three aspects of conflict experience: (1) how girls become affiliated
with armed groups; (2) their experiences while associated with armed groups;
and (3) the effects of participation in war. Particular attention was given to
whether girls’ experiences vary across geographic area. Generally, in African
conflicts (e.g., Sierra Leone and northern Uganda) girls become affiliated with
armed groups through abduction. Often, they experience sexual abuse and,
as a result, are stigmatized by their families and communities when they return
home. In contrast, in the Americas (e.g., Colombia and El Salvador) and
in Indonesia/South Pacific (e.g., Philippines and Sri Lanka) girls become involved
as an escape from unpleasant home lives. These girls are less likely to
experience sexual abuse, and do not experience the same stigmatization from
families and communities. Often these girls are taught a skill, such as nursing,
while with an armed group but are unable to find job opportunities post-war
using their newly acquired skill. The apparent variations in girls’ experiences in
armed conflict have implications for both research and application in helping
focus attention on the conflict-specific aspects of girls’ experiences. In some
regions both research and applied efforts need to focus on the effects and treatment
of sexual abuse, whereas in other conflicts, time and resources would be
better spent at understanding and promoting female integration into the postconflict
Abstract: Deeply entrenched connections between criminal and political actors are a major obstacle to conflict resolution in Colombia. Illegal armed groups seek to consolidate and expand their holds over local governments in the October 2011 governorship, mayoral, departmental assembly and municipal council elections. The national government appears more willing and better prepared than in the past to curb the influence of illegal actors on the elections, but the challenges remain huge. The high number of killed prospective candidates bodes ill for the campaign, suggesting that the decade-old trend of decreasing electoral violence could be reversed. There are substantial risks that a variety of additional means, including intimidation and illegal money, will be used to influence outcomes. The government must rigorously implement additional measures to protect candidates and shield the electoral process against criminal infiltration, corruption and fraud. Failure to mitigate these risks would mean in many places four more years of poor local governance, high levels of corruption and enduring violence.
Decentralisation in the 1980s and 1990s greatly increased the tasks and the resources of local government, but in many municipalities, capabilities failed to keep pace. This mismatch made local governments increasingly attractive targets for both guerrillas and paramilitaries. Violence against candidates, local office holders and political and social activists soared. With a largely hostile attitude to local governments, guerrillas have mainly concentrated on sabotaging and disturbing the electoral process. By contrast, paramilitary groups, particularly after the formation of a national structure under the United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC), used their links with economic and political elites to infiltrate local governments and capture public resources. That peaked in the 2003 local elections. Since then, and particularly after the official demobilisation of these groups in 2006, the influence politicians linked to paramilitaries enjoyed has weakened but not disappeared.
Abstract: The past century has seen a transformation in women’s legal rights, with countries in every region expanding the scope of women’s legal entitlements. Nevertheless for many of the world’s women the laws that exist on paper do not translate to equality and justice.
Progress of the World’s Women: In Pursuit of Justice looks at how the legal system can play a positive role in women accessing their rights, citing cases that have changed women’s lives both at a local and at times global level. It also looks at the important role women have played and continue to play as agents for change within the legal system, as legislators, as lawyers, as community activists but also asks why, despite progress on legal reform, the justice system is still not delivering justice for all women.
The report focuses on four key areas: legal and constitutional frameworks, the justice chain, plural legal systems and conflict and post-conflict. Drawing on tangible examples of steps that have been taken to help women access justice, the report sets out ten key recommendations for policy and decision makers to act on in order to ensure every woman is able to obtain justice.
Abstract: This report is the culmination of a six-month project commissioned
by the Women’s Refugee Commission and co-funded by the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to address the
rights and needs of displaced persons with disabilities, with a
particular focus on women (including older women), children and
youth. Based on field research in five refugee situations, as well as
global desk research, the Women’s Refugee Commission sought to
map existing services for displaced persons with disabilities, identify
gaps and good practices and make recommendations on how to
improve services, protection and participation for displaced persons
with disabilities. The objective of the project was to gather initial
empirical data and produce a Resource Kit that would be of
practical use to UN and nongovernmental organization (NGO) field
staff working with displaced persons with disabilities.
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: This paper seeks to do three things. First, it provides an analysis of the
current economic dynamics of the armed conflict in Colombia, with a
special focus on the drug trade and extractive industries. Secondly, it
examines theories of political economies of war and free trade, and
considers the implications of the new economic dynamics of the armed
conflict in Colombia for peacebuilding initiatives. Thirdly, the paper
makes some preliminary recommendations for further Canadian
involvement in Colombia and relates them to Canadian foreign policy
objectives in the region, particularly the advancement of human rights and
greater economic engagement through bilateral trade agreements.
Ultimately, this paper argues that an unbalanced agenda favouring trade
and economic development over human and social development
initiatives will not create the conditions for peacebuilding in Colombia.
Four prominent aspects of the Colombian context inform the
recommendations of this paper:
• The Colombian armed conflict is changing, it is not necessarily
• The drug economy is fuelling a significant portion of the violence
that ravages the country today, although it is not the only element
prolonging the armed conflict. Licit economic activities also play an
important role in direct and indirect participation in the violence;
• Without directed investment in social infrastructure greater trade
liberalizationand lack of market protection may drive more small-scale
farmers towards coca production or participation in armed groups, which
enables and fuels armed violence.
• Human security is currently one of the greatest challenges facing
Colombia, given the continuing armed conflict, the humanitarian crisis of
internal displacement, and ongoing structural violence.
Abstract: Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) moved into North Sudan's South Kordofan state capital Kadugli at the start of the month, triggering large-scale fighting with Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) units from the region. The UN reported heavy bombardment of villages by the SAF, widespread civilian casualties and at least 73,000 people forced to flee. It also accused the government of blocking aid deliveries and intimidating peacekeepers.
Violence spilled over into South Sudan, with several villages bombed by the North. On 28 June the government and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (North) signed an agreement on political and security arrangements for South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
In Afghanistan, a standoff between parliament and President Hamid Karzai threatens to deepen the country's political crisis.
Proposals by Senegal's ruling party to amend the constitution were condemned by opposition politicians as undemocratic and sparked unprecedented violent protests.
Myanmar/Burma saw its worst clashes since 2009, as fighting broke out between government forces and the Kachin ceasefire group. Tens of thousands have been displaced and some 20 reportedly killed.
In Mexico, a number of incidents highlighted the deterioration in security around Monterrey, the country's second city, industrial hub and capital of Nuevo León state.
In Venezuela, speculation about President Hugo Chávez's health intensified, leading to infighting within his ruling PSUV party and highlighting the country's lack of alternative leadership.
Abstract: Canadian foreign direct investment in Colombia has
grown consistently since the 1990s, particularly in
telecommunications, mining, and fossil fuel extraction.
Canadian mining and oil companies are major players in
Despite a concerted public relations campaign by
the Colombian government, Colombia continues to suffer
widespread human rights abuses, including extrajudicial
executions, disappearances, extortion, and threats.
Control over land, labour, and natural resources are
integral to the war and violence in Colombia, and the
past few decades have seen massive displacement and
murder for political and economic ends. Striking correlations
have been observed between where investment –
both domestic and foreign – takes place and rights abuses,
ranging from murder and massacres and related massive
land and property theft to violations of the rights to
freedom of movement and to a healthy environment.
Human rights violations are linked to efforts by
those behind Colombia’s murderous paramilitaries to
create conditions for investment from which they are
positioned to benefit. There are also ongoing relations
between the paramilitary forces and all levels of government
and the armed forces, up to the highest officials,
and there are clear indications that political cover for
such human rights abuses and crimes will continue.
Abstract: While the world’s attention often gravitates to the latest emergency situation, we are acutely aware that
most of the world’s internally displaced persons (IDPs) live in protracted displacement. Displacement
drags on, sometimes for years or decades, because of continuing conflict, because peace processes are
stalled, or because political settlements fail to provide the necessary security and support for the displaced to find solutions.
The 2nd Expert Seminar on Protracted Internal Displacement was held in Geneva from 19-20 January 2011 on the theme of “IDPs in protracted displacement: Is local integration a solution?” Around 100 participants discussed challenges and possibilities of local integration in diverse protracted displacement situations over the course of the two days.
This publication includes the six case studies commissioned for the seminar as well as an introductory essay which
explores the common themes emerging from the studies on protracted displacement and local integration. By focusing on the possibilities and challenges of local integration in protracted displacement, we hope that these
six case studies lead to better understanding—and to concrete actions—which will bring an end to internal displacement
which has gone on for far too long in these six countries and in many others.
Abstract: Colombia currently accounts for the vast bulk of cocaine produced in
Latin America. In 2009, the country produced 270 metric tons (MT)
of cocaine, making it the principal supplier for both the United States
and the worldwide market. Besides Colombia, Peru and Bolivia constitute
two additional important sources of cocaine in Latin America.
In 2009, these two countries generated enough base material to respectively
yield 225 and 195 MT of refined product.
Between 60 and 65 percent of all Latin American cocaine is trafficked
to the United States, the bulk of which is smuggled via the eastern
Pacific/Central American corridor. The remainder is sent through
the Caribbean island chain, with the Dominican Republic, Puerto
Rico, and Haiti acting as the main transshipment hubs. In both cases,
Mexico serves as the main point of entry to mainland America, presently
accounting for the vast majority of all illicit drug imports to the
Abstract: Since 1985, between 3,300,000 and 4,900,000 Colombians have become internally displaced due to conflict. Displacement has caused the abandonment of an estimated 5.5 million hectares or roughly 5% of Colombian territory. President Juan Manuel Santos has pledged to redress this situation through the approval of a land restoration bill that is currently being debated in the legislature. Even if finally approved, effectively implementing the bill is bound to be an arduous task. As this paper will argue, fulfilling President Santos’ promise will necessarily face an array of hurdles, most notably the existence of an unresolved conflict. Indeed, the fact that violence in Colombia has not ceased and that irreconcilable interests still exist around the use of land may result in the non-viability of restoration policies. Restoration, in turn, could contribute to breaking the stalemate that Colombia has found itself in for decades through the consolidation of state power in areas traditionally under the control of the armed groups.
Abstract: Transnational criminal organizations, networks, and terrorist groups are increasingly helping each other move products, money, weapons, personnel, and goods. They accomplish this through an informal network or series of overlapping pipelines. These pipelines can be best understood as recombinant chains with links that can couple and decouple as necessary to meet the interests of the networks involved. Many operate in “alternatively governed” spaces outside of direct state control or within criminal state enterprises. A criminal state counts on the integration of the state's leadership into the criminal enterprise and the use of public services—such as licensing, issuance of official documents, regulatory regimes, border control—for illicit purposes. A further variation of the criminal state occurs when a state franchises part of its territory to nonstate groups, with the protection of the central government or a regional power sharing the profits. The author shows that understanding and addressing these threats requires capacity-building in human intelligence collection and prosecuting transnational criminal organizations.
Abstract: Most of the world’s 27.5 million internally displaced people
(IDPs) live in protracted displacement. These are
situations where the process for finding durable solutions
is stalled, and/or where IDPs are marginalised
as a consequence of violations or a lack of protection
of their human rights, including economic, social and
cultural rights.1 Solutions are absent or have failed and
IDPs remain disadvantaged and unable to fully enjoy
The seminar brought together about 100 participants
from around the world, from a range of backgrounds
and organisations. They included representatives of
governments and civil society organisations in countries
with protracted internal displacement, international
humanitarian and development organisations (including
UN agencies) donors, research organisations, academics
and other experts. The Chatham House Rule was in
effect during the meeting to allow participants to speak
The seminar focused on the experiences of six countries
with protracted internal displacement – Burundi,
Colombia, Georgia, Serbia, southern Sudan and Uganda.
For each country field research was commissioned and
the resulting case studies were distributed before the
seminar. Other background materials circulated to participants
included an overview of local integration of
IDPs in protracted displacement and reference materials
relating to durable solutions.
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: Crisis Watch summarises briefly developments during the previous month in some 70 situations of current or potential conflict, listed alphabetically by region, providing references and links to more detailed information sources (all references mentioned are hyperlinked in the electronic version of this bulletin); assesses whether the overall situation in each case has, during the previous month, significantly deteriorated, significantly improved, or on balance remained more or less unchanged; alerts readers to situations where, in the coming month, there is a particular risk of new or significantly escalated conflict, or a particular conflict resolution opportunity (noting that in some instances there may in fact be both); and summarises Crisis Group’s reports and briefing papers that have been published in the last month.
Amid mounting tensions between North and South Sudan over the disputed border area of Abyei, clashes broke out between the two sides at the beginning of the month. Northern Sudanese forces invaded Abyei on 20 May and asserted control in breach of existing peace agreements. Tens of thousands are reported to have fled south. The attacks threaten renewed conflict and weaken confidence between North and South as critical post-referendum arrangements remain unresolved.
Tensions also increased over military control and the presence of armed forces in the transitional areas of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, and CrisisWatch identifies a conflict risk alert for North Sudan for the coming month.
Violence escalated further in Yemen, where military forces loyal to President Saleh battled on several fronts, renewing fears that the continued political stalemate could erupt into civil war.
President Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria continued to use troops and tanks to violently suppress the ongoing revolt, with hundreds of protesters feared killed, thousands detained, and widespread reports of torture.
In Pakistan, the U.S. killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad at the beginning of the month again raised questions about the military's possible involvement with jihadist groups.
Local elections in Albania on 8 May proved even more troubled than anticipated as the race for the Tirana mayor's seat ended deep within the margin of error.
In Guatemala, the Mexican Los Zetas cartel killed and decapitated 27 farm workers in the northern Petén department.
In Serbia, war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb military leader accused of commanding the Srebrenica massacre and the siege of Sarajevo during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, was arrested after 16 years on the run. He was extradited to The Hague, where he will stand trial for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
Abstract: Russia and Mexico, two of the world’s most murderous countries for the press, are heading in different directions in combating deadly anti-press violence, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found in its newly updated Impunity Index. The index, which calculates unsolved journalist murders as a percentage of each country’s population, found improvement in Russia as journalist murders ebbed and prosecutors obtained two high-profile convictions. But deadly anti-press violence continued to climb in Mexico, where authorities appear powerless in bringing killers to justice.
Colombia continued a years-long pattern of improvement, CPJ’s index found, while conditions in Bangladesh reflected a slight upturn. But the countries at the top of the index—Iraq, Somalia, and the Philippines—showed either no improvement or even worsening records. Iraq, with an impunity rating three times worse than that of any other nation, is ranked first for the fourth straight year. Although crossfire and other conflict-related deaths have dropped in Iraq in recent years, the targeted killings of journalists spiked in 2010.
“The findings of the 2011 Impunity Index lay bare the stark choices that governments face: Either address the issue of violence against journalists head-on or see murders continue and self-censorship spread,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “Convictions in Russia are a hopeful sign after years of indifference and denial. But Mexico’s situation is deeply troubling, with violence spiking as the government promises action but fails to deliver.”
CPJ’s annual Impunity Index, first published in 2008, identifies countries where journalists are murdered regularly and governments fail to solve the crimes. For this latest index, CPJ examined journalist murders that occurred between January 1, 2001 through December 31, 2010, and that remain unsolved. Only the 13 nations with five or more unsolved cases are included on the index. Cases are considered unsolved when no convictions have been obtained.
Impunity is a key indicator in assessing levels of press freedom and free expression in nations worldwide. CPJ research shows that deadly, unpunished violence against journalists often leads to vast self-censorship in the rest of the press corps. From Somalia to Mexico, CPJ has found that journalists avoid sensitive topics, leave the profession, or flee their homeland to escape violent retribution.
Abstract: The author examines the city as a site in which the provision of public goods and services for citizens is demanded and provided through the transfer of central state revenues. The relationship between state and citizens is not conceived simply in the relatively passive and limiting terms of welfare delivery, but rather within the broader arena of social rights, understood as a core component of substantive citizenship – an important characteristic of developmental states. The focus of the paper is derived from the recognition that social rights, notably access to land and housing, are of particular importance in cities. Conflicts over the appropriate use of land are more likely to arise in urban areas, and the high value of land combined with its potential to contribute to economic development mean that the state almost inevitably becomes involved in these conflicts. This paper's examination of the spatial aspects of social rights in urban areas gives rise to a discussion of the 'right to the city', and how the denial of this right can create increased tension and destabilisation in the cities of fragile states. The author outlines the theoretical basis for the paper with an examination of social rights and substantive citizenship, illustrated through the case of a housing movement of the urban poor in São Paulo, Brazil. The paper then develops the discussion of the link between social rights and state stability through a reading of a selection of CSRC case studies of cities in fragile states.
Abstract: As communities emerge from conflict, they often face a critical shortage of
capacities needed to secure a sustainable peace — the core capacities to run a
government, to re-establish institutions of justice, to reintegrate demobilizing
fighters, to revitalize the economy, to restore basic health and education, and many
The United Nations has seen success in humanitarian operations and
peacekeeping, built on a strong partnership with Member States. But the
international community has had less success in supporting and enabling the national
capacities that are essential for an enduring peace. Faced with expanded civilian
mandates in a growing number of crises, the United Nations struggles both to rapidly
deploy the range of expertise required and to transfer skills and knowledge to
national actors. This has increased the risk of relapse into conflict.
In some cases, the needed capacities are just not available. It is difficult, for
example, to find people who can rebuild a judicial system. Conflict may have
weakened capacities at home and the international market has not been able to
provide enough talented people with the right skills, language and cultural fluency
who can deploy at short notice and will stay long enough to be effective.
Often, however, there is more national capacity than is at first apparent. Even
countries ravaged by conflict have latent capacities that must be protected and
Abstract: Via Resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008) and
1889 (2009), the United Nations Security
Council has strongly promoted the collection
of data about wartime sexual violence and other issues
related to gender equality in situations of armed
conflict. The resolutions do not fully appreciate the
size of the task laid out. Sexual violence, in wartime or
in peacetime, is among the most notoriously difficult
forms of violence to measure. A data mandate that
does not point the way toward data quality leaves
policy-makers in the dark as they seek to prevent or
mitigate sexual violence, to punish perpetrators, or
to make reparations to victims. Worse, poor-quality
data on sexual violence may give a false impression of
specificity and reliability, leading to incorrect policy
assessments, misallocation of resources, and other
outcomes that are assuredly not in line with the United
Nations’ goals on this issue.
This report addresses the challenges of sexual violence
measurement in a specific context: Colombia’s ongoing
internal armed conflict. After discussing in depth the
difficulties faced by researchers attempting to measure
sexual violence around the world, the report addresses
several Colombian data collection efforts more specifically.
Both governmental and non-governmental
data sources are considered; more importantly, the
authors outline several key cultural and political issues
affecting sexual violence data collection in Colombia.
In particular, the research team found, sexual violence
reporting procedures in Colombia are fragmented and
incomplete. Sexual violence is frequently viewed as a
domestic violence or criminal justice issue; it is seldom
considered as a phenomenon in its own right, or as an
outcome associated with armed conflict.
Abstract: Criminal violence has taken on epidemic proportions in several Latin American countries. While the violence has complex causes and expressions, a major reason behind the current surge in levels is the strengthening of transnational criminal organisations (TCOs), most of which are based on illicit drug trafficking. TCOs have fuelled a deepening of multi-faceted state crises, which in some cases may be characterised as the “criminalisation of the state”. The seminar on which this report is based focused on the causes of this wave of violence and policy responses at different levels.
The main conclusion from the seminar was that, while US policy includes an array of measures, it is still heavily focused on military assistance and a “supply-side” approach to curbing the flow of drugs and other illicit goods into the US. National responses have in many cases mirrored this approach, focusing on strengthening police controls and in some cases deploying military forces. Regional responses have so far proven weak, yet there are important initiatives in the pipeline. The idea of an alternative agenda is also gaining support both nationally and regionally. This includes measures to decriminalise the production and possession of soft drugs, bolster police and judicial reform, and focus on treatment and finding alternative livelihoods for growers.
Abstract: This Security Policy Brief looks at the vote
on the UNSC resolution on Libya and tries
to see in it some signs of the new
international order in the making. Why did
the BRIC countries abstain? Why was the
US so shy? What does it all mean for the
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.