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Abstract: Crimes under international law, including rape and murder, continue to be committed by the Congolese army and armed groups in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo following decades of similar crimes across the country, Amnesty International said today.
A new Amnesty International report The time for justice is now; new strategy needed in the Democratic Republic of Congo calls for the reform and strengthening of the country's national justice system to combat impunity that has been fostering a cycle of violence and human rights violations for decades.
"The people of the DRC have suffered war crimes and crimes against humanity - including torture, sexual violence and the use of child soldiers - on an enormous scale and yet only a handful of perpetrators have ever been brought to justice," said Veronique Aubert, Amnesty International's Africa deputy director.
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: A host of publications over the last decade have highlighted the important role played by artisanal and small scale mining of coltan, gold and cassiterite in the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, yet there is still little awareness of the modus operandi of the various actors involved in the exploitation and trade of these minerals. It is vitally important that initiatives aimed at reforming the artisanal mining industry are based on a thorough knowledge of the political, economic and social dynamics at the grassroots level. This research report analyzes the trading networks within the mining sector and their links to military, economic and political actors in eastern DRC, focusing on the provinces of North and South Kivu, and Ituri District in Orientale Province.
Abstract: This U.S. strategy document regarding combatting transnational organized crime was released on July 25, 2011. President Obama's opening letter states,
Despite a long and successful history of dismantling criminal organizations and developing common international standards for cooperation against transnational organized crime, not all of our capabilities have kept pace with the expansion of 21st century transnational criminal threats. Therefore, this strategy is organized around a single, unifying principle: to build, balance, and integrate the tools of American power to combat transnational organized crime and related threats to our national security – and to urge our partners to do the same. To this end, this strategy sets out 56 priority actions, starting with ones the United States can take within its own borders to lessen the impact of transnational crime domestically and on our foreign partners. Other actions seek to enhance our intelligence, protect the financial system and strategic markets, strengthen interdiction, investigations, and prosecutions, disrupt the drug trade and its facilitation of other transnational threats, and build international cooperation.
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: The death of Osama Bin Laden in May 2011 has once again put the media spotlight on Al-Qaeda. The movement’s weakening due to the loss of its main leader does not amount to its elimination: Al- Qaeda has become a brand, mainly targeting the international community, and several scattered movements will continue to lay claim to it, whether situated in Europe, the Maghreb, Yemen and the Sudan, or Indonesia. Al-Qaeda’s weakening does not settle the political and social conflicts which have served as its background. There is hoped however that the erroneous prism constituted by the US-led ‘war on terror’ waged after 11 September 2001 will be abandoned. This ‘war’ contributed to the overlap of an internationalised Jihadi movement with situations of local tension in which Islam was, to very diverse degrees, claimed as a narrative by which to explain the conflict. The idea that every conflict affecting Muslim populations had a more or less direct link to international terrorism distorted Western readings not only of the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, of that between Tamils and government forces in Sri- Lanka, as well as, the understanding of Pakistan’s domestic frailty due to the emergence of its own Taliban movements.
The international community pays regular attention to the Islam issue in the Middle-East. Today it is in a better position to understand the lack of unity that characterises radical Islam in the Maghreb, Mashrek and the Persian Gulf, and has realised the importance of social and political questions (radical Islam is a response to social marginalisation and political repression).
Abstract: Enthusiasts of human security argue that what is needed in the post-Cold-War period is a
foreign policy agenda that is more ‘people-centred’ than the state-centred focus of security
policy during the Cold War period. Among the most enthusiastic proponents of the human
security paradigm in the 1990s was the Canadian government, which, in partnership with
a number of other like-minded governments, sought to press the human security agenda,
taking a number of human security initiatives. However, since the late 1990s, we have seen
a paradox: the concept has attracted increased attention from scholars while its salience
among policy-makers appears to be declining. Using the case of the Canadian government’s
policy towards the crisis in Timor in September 1999, we explore the difficulty that
policy-makers have had in moving human security from the rhetorical realm to the level of
concrete policy that makes a difference to the safety of people whose security is threatened.
We conclude that there was a significant gap between Canada’s human security rhetoric
and Ottawa’s actual policy in Timor. While the Canadian government did eventually
contribute troops to the International Force, East Timor (INTERFET), we show that
Canada’s response was slow, cautious, and minimalist. There was neither the willingness
nor the capacity to be at the forefront of the efforts to send a robust force to East Timor.
This case demonstrates some important limits of the human security agenda, and why this
agenda remained so firmly in the realm of the rhetorical in the 1990s.
Abstract: This briefing note outlines practical and achievable steps that the
UN Security Council can take to ensure stronger protection for children
affected by armed conflict. The recommendations detailed in this note
are based on 32 interviews with child protection stakeholders, including
members of the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed
Conflict (Working Group), UN agencies, field- and headquarters-based
nongovernmental organization (NGO) staff, members of the Group of
Friends, and subject experts. The note is timed to coincide with the
Security Council’s annual Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict
(CAC), scheduled for July 2011, and seeks to inform any discussions
regarding a new Security Council resolution.
Abstract: This report presents information on the current state of femicide in
Guatemala. In Part II, we discuss the meaning of the term “femicide” and
place the phenomenon as emerging out of a culture involving pervasive and
widespread violence against women. In Part III, we revisit a topic
examined in our prior two reports — the theories regarding the causes for
the escalating gender-motivated murders of women. In Part IV, we detail
the response of the Guatemalan government to rising violence, as well as
the efforts and pronouncements of international human rights bodies
regarding the femicide. We also examine the efficacy, or lack thereof, of
recent developments in Guatemala, as well as the barriers that exist to
meaningful change. Finally, in Part V, we discuss recommendations for
action by the Guatemalan government, as well as for other significant
actors involved in developing a response to this phenomenon, including the
United States government.
Abstract: Nearly three generations of Angolans have been at war for 41 years. Together with the destruction of most of the country’s infrastructure, the social capital of Angola’s communities was damaged during one of the longest wars in Africa, a war that was preceded by 500 years of slavery and colonialisation. The war resulted in 500,000 to 1 million war-related deaths; hundreds of thousands of people were directly affected by the armed conflict; there were major internal population displacements of approximately 4.5 million people throughout the country, and approximately 400,000 thousand people fled to neighbouring countries as refugees. Throughout this process, people suffered enormous physical and emotional damage, families were separated; communities were repeatedly fragmented and dispersed. The institutional capacity to design and implement projects of collective interest was crippled. The infrastructure to deliver social services such as health and education was largely destroyed. There are an estimated 2-7 million landmines scattered across Angola; the road network is in tatters, and food production remains below minimum levels of food security.
The level of vulnerability among the general population in Angola is one of the highest in the world. A greater percentage of Angolan people are at risk of disease and destitution than in virtually any other African country. In January 2004, more than 20 percent of the entire population (4 million) was still displaced and at least 10 percent dependent on external assistance to survive. Of the displaced peoples, 65 percent were under the age of 15, with women and children making up more than 80 percent of the total. Displaced and refugee/returnee women and girls are particularly vulnerable to the effects of violence and poverty. Amongst the most vulnerable in this group, are the girls who were separated from their families during the armed conflict. In this group, the formerly abducted girl soldiers are the most excluded and most vulnerable.
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: Over the last decade, the global trade in illicit Afghan opiates
has been one of the world’s greatest transnational drug
and crime threats – with severe consequences for health,
governance and security at national, regional and international
In Afghanistan and elsewhere, transnational organized
crime groups were the main beneficiaries of the US$68 billion
trade in 2009, which they supplemented with other
forms of crime such as arms trafficking and human smuggling.
In 2009, the Afghan Taliban was estimated to have
earned around $150 million from the opiate trade, Afghan
drug traffickers $2.2 billion, and Afghan farmers $440 million.
While the findings suggest that most insurgent elements
content themselves with taxing the trade rather than
attempting to become active participants, it now appears
that some insurgents involve themselves directly in the
heroin supply chain, including in the procurement of acetic
anhydride. Anti-government elements based in Afghanistan
and Pakistan may gain access to only a fraction of the value
of Afghan opiate exports, but this is nonetheless enough to
support logistics, operations and recruitment.
Areas under insurgent influence, such as the border between
Iraq and Turkey and the border between Pakistan and
Afghanistan, also provide a key competitive advantage for
organized crime groups as those areas lie beyond the reach
of law enforcement. If global organized crime groups managing
the opiate trade pocketed only 10 per cent of the
profit, they would have earned at least $7 billion in 2009.
All these illicit profits are laundered in one way or another,
a process that undermines the vulnerable economies of
areas such as the Balkans and Central Asia.
Traffickers tend to shift routes and change their modus
operandi as law enforcement pressure increases. Traditional
methods of land border control may not be sufficient to
stem the flow of opiates into destination markets.
Abstract: In November 2009, the massacre of 57 people in the
province of Maguindanao in Mindanao garnered
global attention. Directed by the politically powerful
Ampatuan clan, against the family members of
their political rivals, the Mangudadatu, many of the
individuals accused of participating in the massacre
belonged to Civilian Volunteer Organizations - CVOs -
controlled by the Ampatuans. Such CVOs
were recruited and funded by the local government
units - LGUs - which form a core part of the country’s
national security policy. Despite the fact that
they were under the control of the LGUs they had
come to effectively serve as the private army of the
This was a graphic example of an everyday
phenomenon in Mindanao where private armies,
militia, "civilian defense forces" and vigilante forces
have become indistinguishable. The Philippines is
marked by weak and fragmented public security
which is dominated by lethal clan rivalries, dynastic
politics and underdevelopment. Weak and poorly
implemented gun laws mean weapons are readily
available and often used. Militia have evolved to be
actors in armed violence and violent conflict across
Mindanao, particularly Muslim Mindanao which
is predominantly the focus of this report.
Abstract: Following allegations of human rights violations against Gambian human rights defenders
and a public statement made by President Jammeh in 2009 threatening to kill anyone who
sought to sabotage and destabilise his Government, in particular human rights defenders
and those who support them, the World Organisation Against Torture and the International
Federation for Human Rights, in the framework of their joint programme,
the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, decided to send a fact-finding
mission to The Gambia.
The objective of the mission, which took place from May 2 to 11, 2010, was to assess the situation of human rights defenders, by drawing a panorama of the main actors of the civil society
operating in the country - both defenders of civil and political rights and economic social
and cultural rights - and the risks they face in carrying out their activities.
To that end, the mission was mandated to collect first hand information and testimonies on
the working environment of Gambian human rights defenders including NGO members,
trade-unionists and journalists as well as the effective enjoyment of their rights and notably
their freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly, their rights to a fair trial and
to an effective remedy.
Abstract: This report highlights a poorly documented phenomenon: the scope and nature of irregular migration and human smuggling of men from East Africa and the Horn owards South Africa. It addresses the issues of protection, human rights abuses, corruption, complicity of public officials, as well as the related border management challenges.
Abstract: This working paper is written against a background of continued formation of national
co-ordination mechanisms for the control of SALW globally and the persistent
question as to whether existing and emerging structures are living up to expectations.
It assesses the achievements and challenges faced by two such structures, namely the
National Focal Points for SALW (NFPs) control in Kenya and Uganda, while also
examining the record of a supporting regional body, the Regional Centre on Small
Arms (RECSA). Preliminary conclusions and recommendations are drawn at the
end of the paper targeting RECSA, the two governments and also external actors like
donors and civil society. A combination of desk research and selected interviews with
NFP staff and external stakeholders informed the research.
Kenya and Uganda have been selected for analysis because they were among the first
countries in the East African region to establish co-ordination bodies following agreement
of the Nairobi Declaration on the Problem of the Proliferation of the Illicit Small
Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lakes Region and Horn of Africa (the ‘Nairobi
Declaration’) in the year 2000 and as such have had sufficient time to demonstrate
both successes and failings. The paper does not claim to be a comprehensive study on
the effectiveness of NFPs in the region as this would require more substantial research
and many more case studies. It does however provide an overview of the issues affecting
SALW control efforts in the region which can be built on in subsequent research.
Abstract: Why do armed groups recruit large numbers of children as fighters, often coercively? The international
community has tried to curb these crimes by shaming and punishing leaders who commit
them—in short, making the crimes costlier. Are these policies effective and sufficient? The
answer lies in more attention to the strategic interaction between rebel leaders and recruits. We
adapt theories of industrial organization to rebellious groups and show how, being less able
fighters, children are attractive recruits if and only if they are easier to intimidate, indoctrinate
and misinform than adults. This ease of manipulation interacts with the costliness of war crimes
to influence rebel leaders’ incentives to coerce children into war. We use a case study and a novel
survey of former child recruits in Uganda to illustrate this argument and provide hard evidence
not only that children are more easily manipulated in war, but also how—something often asserted
but never demonstrated. Our theory, as well as a new “cross-rebel” dataset, also support the
idea that costliness matters: foreign governments, international organizations, diasporas, and local
populations can discourage child recruitment by withholding resources or punishing offenders
(or, conversely, encourage these crimes by failing to act). But punishing war crimes has limitations,
and can only take us so far. Children’s reintegration opportunities must be at least as
great as adults’ (something that demobilization programs sometimes fail to do). Also, indoctrination
and misinformation can be directly influenced. We observe grassroots innovations in Uganda
that could be models for the prevention and curbing of child soldiering and counterinsurgency
Abstract: Education has been long neglected in
emergency relief efforts. In 2007, Save
the Children estimated that more than 39
million children and youth who are affected by
armed conflict do not have access to education.
In mid-2007, the Women’s Refugee Commission
(formerly called the Women’s Commission for
Refugee Women and Children) approached the
Population Council about conducting research
on the protective role of education in conflict.
The result was a collaboration between the two
organizations on a research project in Darfur,
Sudan. The Darfur region has been significantly
affected by displacement from ongoing conflict.
Given the large size of the affected population,
the level of international involvement, and
the documented violations against children
and youth, Darfur serves as a compelling case
study of the extent of educational coverage for
primary-school-age children in this setting as
well as certain basic elements of educational
quality. The ultimate goal of the project was to
improve the well-being of displaced children and
youth through increasing the provision of quality
and safe education. This report is the outcome of
the research project.
Abstract: There are several innovations to the research projects captured in this report. Firstly, it consists of studies of
both xenophobic violence and community protests, drawing the links both empirically as one of collective action
spawns or mutates into another, and theoretically through the concept of insurgent citizenship (Holston, 2008).
Secondly, the research was conceived of, and conducted, through a collaboration between an NGO, The Centre
for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) and an academic research institute, the Society Work and
Development Institute (SWOP) at University of the Witwatersrand. This brought together scholars and practitioners,
psychologists and sociologists, in a challenging and productive partnership to try to understand collective violence
and its underlying social dynamics. Thirdly, it combines an attempt to probe and understand the repertoires and
meanings of collective violence with a wide-ranging analysis of local associational life, local politics and class
The origins of this research lay in the appalling violence of the wave of xenophobic attacks which swept
across the country in May 2008, and the response of both organisations to this. CSVR was rapidly drawn into
coordinating the relief work of NGOs across Gauteng, while in SWOP there was a sense that this violence
connected to current research on strike violence and social precariousness. For both of our organisations, it seemed
increasingly important to look at this outbreak of violence with a fresh eye for ways in which it challenged our
understanding of the depths of anger, fragmentation, exclusion and violence in our society and, more specifically,
the intervention practices which still drew much of their inspiration from the negotiated transition to democracy
in South Africa. Ready assumptions about violence as pathological or criminal, about ‘lost generations’, about
‘community organisations’ and ‘civil society’, conflict mediation and educational workshops, needed to be tested
with empirical research and new theoretical perspectives
Abstract: Three decades of civil war and cold war powers interference have resulted in an extremely painful
situation for children in Cambodia. They suffer from the physical and psychological scars of conflict, from
displacement and exploitation, from insufficient health care and environmental insecurity, from a political
culture of corruption which diverts funds from their educational and health objectives and from a brutalisation of
the society which endangers their freedom from fear. This study attempts to review the vast range of threats to
which Cambodian children may be subject and to use the Human Security approach to highlight how
interdependent these threats are, thus using the academic revolution introduced by this paradigm in threat
assessment. But it has also attempts to exploit the more controversial “operational” side of HS in sketching
personal insights on how the dealing with these respective threats may be improved, notably through more
Abstract: The United Nations Security Council has warned that Guinea Bissau is being undermined
by prolific drug trafficking, making the situation in that country a threat to West
Africa’s stability. Cocaine consignments are carried by ships and planes from South America to West Africa where they are unloaded at abandoned airstrips in the islands off Guinea Bissau or dropped at sea and picked up by small boats en route to Guinea Bissau. The trafficking of cocaine through the West African region indicates a new pivot point in the trafficking route to Europe, marking a shift from using traditional routes such as the Iberian Peninsula, extreme south west of Europe that includes Spain, Portugal, and a small part of France, and the Caribbean, to Europe and America.
Abstract: This report, Ghana: Assessing Risks to Stability, is part of a series examining the risks of instability in 10 African countries over the next decade. The 10 papers are designed to be complementary but can also be read individually as self-standing country studies. An overview paper draws on common themes and explains the methodology underpinning the research. The project was commissioned by the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). The papers in this study are not meant to offer hard and fast predictions about the future. While they sketch out some potential scenarios for the next 10 years, these efforts should be treated as thought experiments that look at how different dynamics might converge to create the conditions for instability. The intention is not to single out countries believed to be at risk of impending disaster and make judgments about how they will collapse. Few, if any, of the countries in this series are at imminent risk of breakdown. All of them have coping mechanisms that militate against conflict, and discussions of potential “worst-case scenarios” have to be viewed with this qualification in mind.
Abstract: Genocide is different from civil war: it usually involves deaths on a much larger
scale and targets particular groups – mostly civilians - often with the aim of exterminating
them. The violence is one-sided, and, fortunately, genocides are much rarer than civil wars.
Although with genocide, as with civil wars, it is possible to identify underlying political and
economic patterns that make genocide more likely, there have been two distinct strands of
investigation by social scientists: studies of the economic and political causes of ‘normal’
civil war; and those studying genocide. This paper contrasts the findings of the two strands of
investigation, focussing on quantitative investigations, exploring the main differences in
findings, and pointing to policy conclusions that emerge. It finds that civil wars tend to be
higher in low income countries and in intermediate regimes, whereas genocides tend to be
higher in low and middle income countries and in authoritarian regimes. Both, however, are
more common during political upheaval and transition. In the case of genocides, civil wars
themselves are one important predisposing condition. Hence policies to prevent civil wars
may also contribute to preventing genocide. Once a situation has evolved in which there are
high risks or actual episodes, any policy advice about preventative action is likely to fall on
deaf ears. What is important is that appropriate policies should be in place in every
multiethnic society to avoid a high risk situation emerging.
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.