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Abstract: Human Security Research is a monthly compilation of significant new human security-related research published by academics, university research institutes, think-tanks, international agencies, and NGOs.
Articles in this issue:
GOVERNANCE: Africa and the Arab Spring: A New Era of Democratic Expectations
NATURAL RESOURCES: Do Giant Oilfield Discoveries Fuel Internal Armed Conflicts?
PRIVATE SECURITY: From Market for Force to Market for Peace: Private Military and Security Companies in Peacekeeping Operations
ARMS: Lessons from MENA: Appraising EU Transfers of Military and Security Equipment to the Middle East and North Africa
STATE-BUILDING: State-Building, War and Violence: Evidence from Latin America
EAST AFRICA: Hostage to Conflict: Prospects for Building Regional Economic Cooperation in the Horn of Africa
DISPLACEMENT: Invisible Refugees: Protecting Sahrawis and Palestinians Displaced by the 2011 Libyan Uprising
IRAQ: The Outcome of Invasion: US and Iranian Strategic Competition in Iraq
INTERNATIONAL LAW: From Responsibility to Response: Assessing National Approaches to Internal Displacement
PEACEBUILDING: Recovery and Development Politics: Options for Sustainable Peacebuilding in Northern Uganda
UNITED NATIONS: Shaky Foundations: An Assessment of the UN's Rule of Law Support Agenda
PHILIPPINES: The Philippines: Indigenous Rights and the MILF Peace Process
Abstract: The Middle East is undergoing a profound and dramatic political transformation. But
the analysis of the scope, pace, and quality of this change has focused largely on the quality
and results of initial elections in countries such as Tunisia and Egypt. Unfortunately,
this sort of analysis overlooks how these transitions are affecting women and minorities—
key indicators of the robustness of democracies around the world.
Despite the prominent role played by women in organizing the popular movements
that have overthrown and challenged authoritarian regimes across the region, the early
results on the treatment of women in three key countries—Egypt, Yemen, and Libya—
raise serious concerns about the future of democracy and human rights in the Middle
East as the region experiences tectonic political change.
As momentous as these changes are, they are occurring within a social context that
has made sexual violence against women a powerful instrument of political repression.
In many cases sexual violence against women is a desperate reaction of the powerful
elite groups linked to authoritarian leaders and dictators who are rapidly losing
power and relevance.
Like other forms of violence and repression, sexual violence against women has been
used as a tool to punish or intimidate those advocating for political change. The most
horrific of these tools being used to control women is rape. Using rape as a weapon
of war is not new, but in the context of patriarchal religious societies, it holds unique
potential as a horrific tool of political repression.
This issue brief outlines the role women have played in three countries that experienced
changes in leadership—Egypt, Yemen, and Libya. It analyzes the use of sexual violence
as a tool of continued repression and a means to hold back political change, and
attempts to offer recommendations to U.S. policymakers and others in the international
community to help protect women in the Middle East. At the same time, the limitations
in influence foreign powers like the United States have in shaping the social and political
realities of these countries must be acknowledged.
Abstract: This report, published in English and French, aims to systematically document the status of gender integration in the security sectors in 14 Member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The report is designed to be a resource for people working in, or with, security sector institutions; for those interested in governance and development in West Africa; and for those involved in gender-related issues. It combines information gathered by in-country researchers, interviews, document analysis and desk research. Much of the data in this report has never before been published or compared across countries in the region.
The survey is guided by the following two questions: Are security sector institutions providing adequate response to the different security and justice needs of men, women, boys and girls? What steps have been taken to create internally equitable, representative and non-discriminatory institutions?
The report contains three main sections: an introduction, a summary and analysis of findings, and individual country profiles. The introduction provides background on the survey rationale, methodology and research challenges. The summary and analysis of findings offers a cross-country and cross-institution analysis of the survey findings, and includes a list of recommendations. The 14 extensive country profiles present easy-to-read yet detailed information structured by 101 indicators on national governance, police services, armed forces and gendarmerie, the justice system and penal services.
The report can be downloaded as a single document in English and French, or in individual sections.
Abstract: Dans la section suivante, les profils de 14 pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest révèlent des bonnes pratiques innovantes et des défis communs rencontrés par les institutions de la sécurité et de la justice dans la prestation de services de sécurité et de justice équitables et la création d’institutions représentatives et non-discriminatoires. Bon nombre des services de police, des forces armées, des gendarmeries, des systèmes judiciaires et des services pénitentiaires étudiés ont commencé à intégrer les questions relatives au genre dans leurs politiques et procédures institutionnelles. Ils ont également réalisé des progrès dans le recrutement de personnel féminin et dans la prestation de services de sécurité et de justice aux victimes de violence sexiste. Toutefois, une attention moindre a été portée à l’amélioration de la conduite du personnel ou au développement de mécanismes de contrôle interne ou externe. Par ailleurs, au niveau national, s’il existe des politiques portant sur les femmes et sur le genre dans la plupart des pays étudiés, les questions de genre sont généralement considérées comme spécifiques aux femmes et traitées séparément des priorités de sécurité nationale.
Cette section présente un résumé des tendances générales, des bonnes pratiques et des principaux défis rencontrés par les institutions du secteur de la sécurité (ISS) dans les pays d’Afrique de l’Ouest. L’introduction comporte un aperçu des ISS des 14 pays en matière de systématisation de la prise en compte de la dimension du genre, de prestation de services, de personnel et de contrôle. Vient ensuite une analyse régionale comparative structurée par institution et par indicateur, couvrant la gouvernance nationale, les services de police, les forces armées et la gendarmerie, le(s) système(s) judiciaire(s) et les services pénitentiaires. Enfin, la section s’achève sur une série de recommandations à l’intention des ISS et des organes de contrôle du secteur de la sécurité sur les mesures à prendre pour traiter de façon complète les questions de genre.
Abstract: Women in Sri Lanka’s predominantly Tamil-speaking north and east are facing a desperate lack of security in the aftermath of the long civil war. Today many still live in fear of violence from various sources. Those who fall victim to it have little means of redress. Women’s economic security is precarious, and their physical mobility is limited. The heavily militarised and centralised control of the north and east – with almost exclusively male, Sinhalese security forces – raises particular problems for women there in terms of their safety, sense of security and ability to access assistance. They have little control over their lives and no reliable institutions to turn to. The government has mostly dismissed women’s security issues and exacerbated fears, especially in the north and east. The international community has failed to appreciate and respond effectively to the challenges faced by women and girls in the former war zone. A concerted and immediate effort to empower and protect them is needed.
Thirty years of civil war between the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has resulted in tens of thousands of female-headed households in the north and east. Families throughout those areas experienced many waves of conflict, displacement and militarisation. In the war’s final stages in 2008 and 2009, hundreds of thousands of civilians in the northern Vanni region endured serial displacements and months of being shelled by the government and held hostage by the LTTE, after which they were herded into closed government camps. Most lost nearly all possessions and multiple family members, many of whom are still missing or detained as suspected LTTE cadres. When families eventually returned to villages, homes and land had been destroyed or taken over by the military. There was less physical destruction in the east, which was retaken by the government in 2007, but those communities have also suffered and now live under the tight grip of the military and central government.
Abstract: This report, launched 7 December 2011, presents the findings and analysis generated by a needs assessment on gender and security sector reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina [BiH]. The needs assessment was a joint initiative by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces and two BiH civil society organisations − the Atlantic Initiative and Žene Ženama − with the objective to examine and outline national- and local level good practices on gender and security sector reform, as well as areas where further improvements are required.
The report provides data and analysis on the current state of gender integration in the armed forces, police, judiciary, and penal institutions at the central, entity, and cantonal levels and Brčko District. It examines the implementation of relevant national legislation and international instruments and explores the gender sensitivity of current policies and practices as well as the role of civil society organisations working on gender and security.
The report is fruit of a year-long effort involving desk research, individual interviews with a broad range of stakeholders and twelve local and entity-level consultations conducted in twelve municipalities throughout BiH including Banja Luka and Sarajevo.
Abstract: The report, co-drafted by the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (formerly known as the Centre for Civil-Military Relations) and the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence with the support of DCAF, presents the findings of the needs assessment on gender and SSR in Serbia.
• Generates a detailed baseline for the current state of gender mainstreaming in security sector institutions at the central, provincial and municipal level;
• Identifies local needs, gaps and shortcomings of current SSR processes, and prioritizes needs which should be addressed by national authorities and civil society, with the support of the international donor community, including DCAF’s gender and SSR project.
The needs assessment is built on desk research, interviews, and a series of local stakeholder consultations conducted in Novi Sad, Kragujevac, Novi Pazar, Bujanovac and Belgrade in the course of March and April 2010. It forms the building block of DCAFs dedicated and long term gender and SSR project in Serbia.
Abstract: Traditional and popular understandings of torture have focussed in the past on the pain and
suffering inflicted on a person – usually thought to be male – in the state’s custody. But
seeing torture only in this way denies protection from the many egregious forms of severe
pain and suffering deliberately inflicted on others in different contexts – often women and
those from marginalized groups – in an assertion of power and control by the state or with its
The international legal framework implementing the prohibition of torture – once criticized for
ignoring the experiences of women and marginalized groups – has been harnessed in the past
decade to recognise and validate these serious harms. It has also exposed the discrimination
and power dynamics driving them. This has created an imperative to provide a remedy and
reparation to victims of torture at the hands of both state and non-state actors. This is not
about changing the definition of torture, but rather recognizing that some egregious harms
which do fall within the definition have not always been seen as the responsibility of the
state. By recognizing that a state is implicated in acts carried out by non-state actors by its
failures to prevent and respond to such acts, the nature of the harms now addressed under
the framework has been significantly enlarged. But how far have we come, and what more
needs to be done?
This two-day conference brought together representatives of non-governmental organizations
and academics from around the world to discuss and reflect on the role the legal framework
on torture has and can play in achieving justice for women and those from marginalized
groups who are the victims of deliberately inflicted harm, often at the hands of non-state
actors. In doing so it looked at different gender dimensions to torture: considering how
gender impacts not only the circumstances of the commission and its consequences, but also
on its remedy.
Abstract: This report is based on testimony from artisanal miners,
Congolese civil society representatives, officials of
the UN peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO11), and
international human rights organizations. It paints a
grim picture of eastern DRC. There are widespread
reports of collusion between rebel groups and the national army to illegally exploit, tax, and trade minerals, money
and arms.12 This is a system that rewards illicit trade and discourages legal and stable commerce. Minerals mined
in areas controlled by armed groups pass along the supply chain with unreliable, falsified, or simply nonexistent
documentation. Military and civilian authorities are often unable, or unwilling, to fulfill their most basic regulatory
responsibilities. Many are preoccupied with extorting illegal “taxes” along trade routes and at checkpoints.13 The
militarization of mining is exacerbating the armed conflict,14 and the heightened degree of force and coercion
imposed on a vulnerable population intensifies the factors that support slavery.
At the same time, tens of thousands of rural artisanal miners and their
families rely heavily on mining for their livelihood. This reliance has deepened
over the decades of violent conflict. Poor governance and the absence of
the rule of law have eroded the social fabric of communities and the viability
of sustainable economic alternatives. For those who can choose to extract
and transport minerals, mining activities bring minimal benefit beyond
This report documents several types of slavery in Congo’s mines. Some forms of slavery are directly linked to the
conflict, including the use of so-called “child soldiers” and the kidnapping of civilians for forced labor and sexual
slavery by illegal armed groups and uncontrolled army units. Other forms of slavery are familiar around the world:
debt bondage, forced marriage, slavery in the commercial sex trade, and child slavery that grows out of poverty
and the lack of community-enforced norms respecting child rights.
Abstract: In Afghanistan, directly as a result of violent conflict, women face displacement, the possibility
of becoming internally displaced, the loss of male heads of household, lack of access to work and
economic improvement and mobility, and the limited access or total denial of education. Violent
conflict affects the space women occupy and the security women have within the family,
community, and country. In this state of conflict, women are more prone to being used for human
trading, trafficking, rape, and abuse. The effects of conflict on the whole community makes
women and girls a focus point on which honor, prestige, and wealth revolve.
Currently in Afghanistan there is no national action plan on United Nations Security
Council Resolution 1325.
This report examines the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 implementation in Afghanistan using a set of indicators developed originally by AWN and other members of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders. The Afghan Women's Network was created after the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China. Afghan women living as refugees in Pakistan attended this conference and were inspired to establish a platform where they could share their observations and concerns and ways to resolve them. The Afghan Women's Network is a major force in Afghanistan's nascent women's movement and serves as a well-established network of women's organizations operating throughout the country.
Abstract: Ten years after the September 11th attacks in the United States and the military campaign in Afghanistan, there is some good news, but unfortunately still much bad news pertaining to women in Afghanistan. The patterns of politics, security/military operations, religious fanaticism, heavily patriarchal structures and practices, and ongoing insurgent violence continue to threaten girls and women in the most insidious ways. Although women’s rights and freedoms in Afghanistan have finally entered the radar screen of the international community’s consciousness, they still linger in the margins in many respects.
Socio-cultural and extremist religious elements continue to pose serious obstacles to reconstruction and development efforts. These constraints and impediments have an immensely devastating impact on the lives of girls and women in Afghanistan, and most often result in severely impairing quality of life and even reducing female life expectancy.
Another ominous trend that has undermined Afghan women’s rights is President Hamid Karzai’s political constituency, consisting of increasingly conservative and religious fundamentalist characters. In order to appease them and gain political support, the Karzai government has compromised women’s rights, and in some cases has cast a symbolic vote to Taliban-like mindsets. Meanwhile, women politicians, activists, and journalists constantly face intimidation and threats, and a number have even been assassinated.
One glance at the health and education statistics pertaining to Afghan girls and women alone is enough to see that improvements have been painfully gradual, and attention to these harsh realities has been grossly deficient. This paper examines these health and education variables, as well as the government policymaking that has triggered setbacks in women’s rights. Trends in violence against women and insecurity are also analyzed.
All of the variables that negatively affect the lives of girls and women in Afghanistan are interconnected and interdependent. Therefore, none of them can afford to be overlooked. Overall, the situation for girls and women in Afghanistan remains bleak and tragic.
Abstract: The EU has made commendable efforts towards incorporating the UN Security Council Resolution 1325  on women, peace, and security in its Common Security and Defense Policy [CSDP]. The EU has also made decisions to mainstream gender sensitive policies throughout CSDP. Although the policy framework on gender policies is well developed, its implementation in EU military and civilian crisis management operations has proved a real challenge. This is not only a problem from the point of view of human rights, but the deficiencies in implementation also create an obstacle to the effectiveness of operations.
Abstract: Since 2000, the hostilities in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have re-emerged and escalated, and mobility restrictions on people and goods remain in place. The Palestinian economy remains fettered, Palestinian households in the West Bank are becoming poorer and more indebted. This report investigates how Palestinians are adapting at the household level both by focusing specifically on the gender differences within households, and by examining how the coping strategies employed affect the household’s resource base. While most households attempt to manage by reducing their consumption, many are also depleting their resource base.
Abstract: This report examines the police and judicial response to the violence following the 2007 elections, which pitted ruling party supporters and the police against opposition-linked armed groups and civilians. Human Rights Watch found that of the 1,133 or more killings committed during the violence, only two have resulted in murder convictions. Victims of rape, assault, arson, and other crimes similarly await justice. Police officers, who killed at least 405 people during the violence, injured over 500 more, and raped dozens of women and girls, enjoy absolute impunity.
Abstract: This Discussion Paper explores the debates, theoretical perspectives and current trends in gender, conflict and post-conflict reconstruction, and security sector reform (SSR) in Africa. It provides a broad overview of and critical insights into the gender-conflict-security nexus, capturing the trends in the discourses, identifying the gaps in the literature and prioritising issues and areas for future research. This Discussion Paper is essential reading for all those with a deep interest in gender, peace, development and security in Africa, particularly gender scholars, students, activists and practitioners.
Abstract: Shortly following its independence in 1991, Tajikistan suffered a violent civil war.
This study explores the effect of this conflict on education and labour market outcomes for
men and women. The study uses the 2003 and 2007 Tajik Living Standards Measurement
Surveys and employs the regional and cohort-level exposures to the conflict to identify these
relationships. The results suggest that the conflict had a large and lasting impact on education.
In the conflict affected regions, women who were of school age during the war are
significantly less likely to complete both nine and eleven years of schooling as compared to
women of the similar age from the lesser affected areas. Thus, the gap in education created
during the war may have become permanent. Further, these young women were also more
likely to have held a job in the last 14 days. The increased workforce participation among
young women signals that creation of new local jobs is likely to be welcomed by women if
the government were to pursue job-creating policies. Conditional on being employed, men
and women in the more conflict affected areas do not receive wages that are significantly
different from wages received by men and women in the lesser affected areas.
Abstract: In resource-scarce East Africa, minority groups face major challenges over the control of and access to land and natural resources. Minorities find themselves competing with other communities, with the state, and with corporate interests for control of resources upon which they depend for their livelihood, culture and future development. This report describes the situation of selected minorities and their neighbouring groups in Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan’s Jonglei State. As globalization, population explosion, and climate change converge to increase the demand for land and other resources, these communities face extreme livelihood challenges, vulnerability to conflict, and ongoing discrimination.
This report documents case studies from a diverse array of communities dealing with different multiple types of conflict, from mineral extraction to cattle rustling, to drought, to inter ethnic violence to the creation of national parks for tourism. It also outlines Minority Rights Group's key recommendations on this issue.
Abstract: Supporting inclusivity in any future peace process, the People’s Dialogue seeks to ensure broad participation of Afghans and inclusion of the widest possible spectrum of opinions. During October 2011, 78 focus groups discussions occurred in 31 provinces, involving more than 1,500 Afghan men, women and youth. Sessions involved Afghan men and women from different ethnic groups and all walks of life including public employees, farmers, business owners, representatives of civil society including women’s organizations, unemployed persons, representatives of youth associations, persons with disabilities, members of ulema and women’s shuras, religious scholars, tribal and community representatives, housewives, teachers, high school and university students, medical professionals, workers/labourers, civil society activists, journalists, victims of the conflict, artists and ex-combatants who joined the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme [APRP].
This report represents a summary of the key issues and concerns raised by the more than 1,500 Afghan men and women who participated in the People’s Dialogue. Through this report Afghan civil society aims to carry the voices and views of Afghan people to the International Afghanistan Conference in Bonn, Germany [5 December 2011] in an effort to ensure that the views, concerns and desires of ordinary Afghans are heard and considered by decision-makers addressing critical issues linked to Afghanistan’s future peace and stability at Bonn.
The report reviews four key areas for an inclusive peace process: key principles for achieving peace; components of durable peace; how to achieve peace and reconciliation; and finally, the people's recommendations to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, to the International Community, to the Armed Opposition, and to Civil Society.
Abstract: Based on a pilot study of seven African countries – Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),
Liberia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and South Africa – this Policy & Practice Brief presents
insights on amnesty regimes and conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) beyond conflict termination.
It shows that CRSV often continues past conflict termination and that most of the conflicts under
study negotiated amnesties. Yet, this finding is not enough to confer that impunity leads to continued
CRSV. The combination of amnesties and continued CRSV raises important questions about how to
address sexual violence in post-conflict situations and build durable peace.
Abstract: Countries emerging from conflict typically confront a wide range of urgent
demands to build and sustain peace, yet they often face a critical shortage of capacity
to meet priority needs quickly and effectively. The international community has
recognized this challenge, and many bilateral and multilateral actors have taken steps
to improve support to conflict-affected countries. These individual efforts, however,
have fallen short of a establishing a reliable and effective mechanism to provide
countries with the assistance that they seek. The United Nations still struggles to
recruit and deploy civilian expertise and to support national actors in expanding and
deepening their skills. In March 2010, I appointed a Senior Advisory Group, chaired
by former Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Marie
Guéhenno, to undertake an independent review of civilian capacity in the aftermath
of conflict with a view to providing concrete and practical proposals to strengthen
civilian support for sustainable peace and development.
The report of the Senior Advisory Group (A/65/747-S/2011/85) [see Related Document URL 1] was presented
to Member States in February 2011. The present report is the first response of the United Nations to the independent
review on civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict. Its starting point is the
current United Nations system and the procedures and practices that fall within my
purview as Secretary-General to strengthen the support provided by the Organization to countries emerging from conflict. Putting our own house in order is a prerequisite
for effective engagement with Member States, regional organizations, civil society
partners and, above all, the countries seeking our assistance. This alone, however, is
not enough to improve international civilian support.
Abstract: This study is a first step in clarifying the causal relationship between conflict and poverty in
order to lay the foundations for further research and robust policy recommendations. The study reviews the multi-disciplinary literature on the impact of conflict on the
intergenerational transmission (IGT) of chronic poverty. It addresses the following issues: the
mechanisms by which conflict causes poverty, the duration of the resulting poverty, the
likelihood that poverty will be transmitted intergenerationally, the types of conflicts that
generate poverty and the households and individuals most affected by conflict-related
poverty. In this report we focus on the impact of conflict on civilians; we do not address the
recruitment, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of combatants.
Abstract: The Government of Afghanistan took a big step forward in support of women’s equality
and protection of women’s rights when it enacted the Law on the Elimination of Violence
against Women (EVAW law) in August 2009. The landmark legislation criminalizes for
the first time in Afghanistan child marriage, forced marriage, forced self-immolation and
19 other acts of violence against women including rape, and specifies punishments for
perpetrators. This report examines implementation of the EVAW law by judicial and law
enforcement officials throughout Afghanistan for the period of March 2010 to September
2011, and identifies both positive progress and large gaps.
UNAMA/OHCHR’s research for this report suggests that judicial officials in many parts of
the country have begun to use the law – but that its use represents a very small
percentage of how the Government addresses cases of violence against women.
UNAMA/OHCHR found there is a long way to go to fully protect women from violence
through the EVAW law.
Abstract: This report provides the first assessment of benchmarks for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), which was established on 9 July 2011. The report reviews political developments, including the formal declaration of South Sudan as an independent State, and a review of bilateral relations between South Sudan and the Sudan. In addition, it extensively covers security developments in South Sudan after 9 July 2011, including discussion of: militia groups; intercommunal conflict; civilian disarmament; attacks by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA); the military deployment of UNMISS; disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and security sector reform; mine action; and protection of civilians. The report also reviews humanitarian developments, rule of law and human rights, and additional issues.
Abstract: The heterogeneous nature of a community can give rise to conflicts of interest. When disagreements
arise, so does the need for an institution to help reconcile the divergent interests of opposing
groups or individuals. The Igbos have a system of peacemaking and governance with
limitations in respect to gender equality and sensitivity. Gender equity would, however, assist efforts
to consolidate democratic governance, establish foundations for socioeconomic development
in contemporary Nigeria and Africa, and create more inclusive and socially just communities.
Abstract: In conflicts throughout the world, armed forces and groups recruit children to fight, maintain
their camps, perform labor and be used for sexual purposes. The experiences of children
associated with armed forces and groups (CAAFAG) are not uniform, nor can there be a uniform
approach to helping them when the conflict is over. This article examines the gendered
experiences of girls prior to recruitment, during their time with the fighting forces, through
disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) processes, and in their communities
after formal DDR has ended. We also present some of the experiences of the Participatory
Action Research (PAR) Study with Young Mothers in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Northern
Uganda—a study conducted predominantly with former CAAFAG which used a highly
participatory methodology to help participants attain community-based reintegration. In the
PAR study young mother participants took a central role in the design and implementation of
their reintegration process. A mixture of self-help style psychosocial support and livelihood
support were critical to their success. As this population had exceptionally low social status,
lacked confidence and self-respect, and did not have rudimentary economic skills at the
start, social support and community mobilization were critical in laying the groundwork for
livelihood activities and facilitating the sustainability of these activities.