20 Dec 2016 03:55:49 GMT
Growing numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs) live in informal settlements in major Afghan urban centres. Compared with other Afghans they are more likely to be non-literate, to have lower rates of school enrolment, to live in larger households (but with lower household incomes), to be unemployed and to be highly food insecure.
There is insufficient understanding of and response to the needs of youth, and particularly vulnerable females, displaced to urban areas. This report presents findings of research in three informal settlements in Jalalabad, Kabul and Kandahar which was commissioned by the Norwegian Refugee Council and researched by The Liaison Office (TLO), an Afghan non-governmental organisation.
The study confirmed earlier findings about the impacts for IDPs of living in poor urban settlements, characterised by inadequate and crowded accommodation, insufficient water and sanitation facilities, extreme food insecurity and inability to get education or employment.
The findings of the research break new ground, confounding the common assumption that urban women and girls should be more able – in a supposedly more secure and progressive urban environment with a concentration of service providers – to access services and employment and social opportunities than prior to their displacement.
This research found the opposite, showing that displacement places women and children at disproportionate risk, living with fewer freedoms and opportunities than those they enjoyed in their natal villages or when living in Pakistan or Iran. Evidence gathered shows that displaced females face significant enhanced gendered constraints to accessing education, health and employment opportunities. They have lost freedoms, social capital and networks they may have previously enjoyed. The controlling tendencies of their male kin, and their propensity to violence, are enhanced by their own desperation.
19 Dec 2016 02:37:13 GMT
Gravely affected by the Syrian crisis, Lebanon has remained relatively stable against all odds â despite the influx of some 1.5 million Syrian refugees and an internal political crisis involving supporters of oppos- ing Syrian factions. Lebanonâs resilience can be explained by the high opportunity cost of state breakdown for domestic, regional and interna- tional political actors. Moreover, international economic assistance, d iaspora remittances and informal networks established by refugees help to prevent outr ight economic breakdown. However, stability re- mains extremely precarious. P rimary tipping points include (1) an IS strategy to spread the conflict to Lebanon , with consequent disintegra- tion of the army along sectarian lines, (2) democratic decline and peo- p le â s dissatisfaction, (3) Hizbullahâs domestic ambitions and Israeli fears over the groupâs growing military powers and (4) the potential that frustration between refugees and host communities may erupt into recurrent violence. The slow economic and sanita ry decline in the country (5), however, is considered the biggest challenge.
16 Dec 2016 06:05:22 GMTThe adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1325 in 2000 was a groundbreaking event. The resolution recognised the disproportionate impact of conflict on women, the need to protect women from violence during conflicts, and the vital importance of women’s participation and the protection of women’s rights for international peace and security. Since 2000, the Security Council has adopted a further six resolutions on women, peace and security. Resolutions adopted by the Security Council are binding on all UN members.The Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security are intended to bridge the gap between theory and practice in this field. The present Action Plan is a tool to help Norway contribute to these efforts. The resolutions establish norms and make recommendations on how to integrate a gender perspective into peace and security efforts. The starting point is that ensuring women’s participation and taking the experience of women into account are of crucial importance in preventing and dealing with conflict, in providing effective protection for women, and for establishing peace processes that result in sustainable peace. The resolutions point to the need to incorporate a gender perspective into international operations, so that the security needs of both men and women are taken into account. They also recognise that humanitarian efforts must address the needs of both women and men in conflict situations. Four of the resolutions deal with sexual violence and recommend ways of preventing and combating such violence. This is the Norwegian authorities’ third national plan on women, peace and security, and represents an important step forward in Norway’s efforts to implement the Security Council resolutions.Norway will continue to contribute to international efforts to achieve sustainable peace on the basis of human rights, the rule of law and democracy. Peace means far more than the absence of war. Norway’s efforts must be designed to meet women’s security and humanitarian needs and uphold women’s rights. The Government’s global health and education efforts, which are targeted particularly at women and girls, tie in with these overall aims. Our goal is to ensure that more children and young people affected by crisis and conflict receive a good-quality education. We will also seek to ensure that education is given higher priority in humanitarian aid work. There is systematic discrimination against women in many countries and in many areas of activity. Armed conflict can exacerbate the situation because women are forced to flee their homes, and also because parties to conflict may deliberately attack or abuse women. The lawlessness that accompanies conflicts can make women vulnerable, for example to sexual violence.It is of crucial importance to improve women’s security and increase their freedom of action and influence. The participation of women is important in itself: everyone has the right to take part in decision-making processes that affect their own future. Men need to be encouraged to become partners in efforts to change the situation. The aim is for women and men to be involved in decision-making processes as equal partners. This will help to ensure that the security needs of the whole population are met, and will strengthen the legitimacy of decisions. Ensuring that such processes are inclusive is also a way of preventing conflict. It is not possible to achieve sustainable peace if half the population is excluded from peace processes and decisions. At the same time, the security institutions themselves must be changed. It is essential to incorporate a gender perspective into all peace and security work, which means that the impact on both women and men must be evaluated during each phase of the work. To achieve the goal of mainstreaming a gender perspective in peace and security efforts structures, attitudes and practices must all be changed. This calls for clear leadership from both women and men, adequate expertise, and an u[...]
15 Dec 2016 04:45:46 GMT
30 Nov 2016 06:40:43 GMT
NRC´s research shows that this is compounded by the repressive social norms women experience from their communities and families. Those who face discrimination because of their ethnicity, place of origin and gender, are more likely to become homeless and, oncehomeless, are exposed to more serious protection risks.
30 Nov 2016 06:22:21 GMT
The aim of this report is to highlight some of the consequences of limited legal status, with a specific focus on the coping mechanisms of refugees to try to maintain their housing each month and what impact such, often negative, coping mechanisms have on women in particular.
25 Nov 2016 04:31:21 GMT
The environment provides the very foundation of sustainable development, our health, food security and our economies. Ecosystems provide clean water supply, clean air and secure food and ultimately both physical and mental wellbeing. Natural resources also provide livelihoods, jobs and revenues to governments that can be used for education, health care, development and sustainable business models. The role of the environment is recognized across the internationally agreed seventeen sustainable development goals adopted in 2015.
The slaughter of elephants and rhinos has raised awareness of the illegal trade in wildlife. We are facing mass extinctions and countries are losing iconic wildlife species. However, the scope and spectrum of this illegal trade has widened. Criminals now include in their trafficking portfolios waste, chemicals, ozone depleting substances, illegally caught seafood, timber and other forest products, as well as conflict minerals, including gold and diamonds.
The growth rate of these crimes is astonishing. The report that follows reveals for the first time that this new area of criminality has diversified and skyrocketed to become the world’s fourth largest crime sector in a few decades, growing at 2–3 times the pace of the global economy. INTERPOL and UNEP now estimate that natural resources worth as much as USD 91 billion to USD 258 billion annually are being stolen by criminals, depriving countries of future revenues and development opportunities.
Environmental crime has impacts beyond those posed by regular criminality. It increases the fragility of an already brittle planet. The resulting vast losses to our planet rob future generations of wealth, health and wellbeing on an unprecedented scale. They also compromise our ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
An additional by-product of environmental crime is that it undermines peace. It is not surprising that the UN Security Council has recognized the serious threat to security posed by environmental crime, with UN reports pointing to armed groups and potentially even terrorists sustained through the spoils of this rising criminal industry.
However, an enhanced law enforcement response can help address this worrying trend. There are significant examples worldwide of cross-sectoral efforts working to crack down on environmental crime and successfully restore wildlife, forests and ecosystems. Such collaboration, sharing and joining of efforts within and across borders, whether formal or informal, is our strongest weapon in fighting environmental crime.
But to meet the scale of this threat, a broad-ranging, targeted effort must be put forward so that peace and sustainable development can prevail.
25 Nov 2016 03:02:39 GMT
Since its inception in 2005, the annual index produced by the Washington DC-based Fund for Peace has ranked 178 countries based on measures of their stability and the pressures they face. The vast amount of information acquisition and interpretation involved in such a project is no small task and the commendable objective of the Fragile States Index (FSI), aimed at policymakers and the wider public, is to inform political risk assessment and better policy responses. Called the Failed States Index when the IPCS last issued a report on it, the FSI has generated lively debate in South Asia and further afield. While it has received some qualified praise, it has also faced wide-ranging arguments by numerous scholarly and policy critics. The term 'failed state' and the FSI more broadly have been variously regarded as excessively biased and politicised, overly simplistic, and lacking analytical precision and predictive utility.
22 Nov 2016 10:15:40 GMT
As the global development landscape continues to evolve, new and emerging actors – countries transitioning from being aid recipients to aid providers – are becoming increasingly visible on the global scene. Although the approaches, interests and resources of emerging donors are far from uniform, their increasing presence in global development – particularly in fragile and conflict-affected settings – could create new ways of thinking about foreign aid and contribute to more horizontal, equitable and efficient practices. The rise of these donors also poses challenges: their compliance with international standards in development assistance, the effectiveness of their aid and the inclusivity of their efforts have often been questioned.
Turkey’s presence in Somalia is an important example of emerging donor engagement in a conflict setting. Its involvement in Somalia intensified in response to the devastating 2010–2012 famine, but has since gone well beyond delivering aid and assistance to famine survivors. It has hosted international and regional conferences, mediated among various parties, engaged in capacity-building efforts, encouraged bilateral trade and delivered development assistance. Turkey’s engagement in Somalia has been remarkably multifaceted; it has included the Turkish government, religious institutions, nongovernmental organisations, the private sector and local municipalities. It is too early to accurately assess the impact of Turkey’s involvement on Somali institutions or to understand whether it has attenuated the conflict. Instead, this report draws on dozens of interviews in Turkey and Somalia to examine trends and challenges.
Turkey’s engagement in Somalia has distinguished itself by a readiness to deploy staff in the field despite the security risks, deference to the Somali government and a push for national ownership, as well as its involvement in the security and private sectors. However, its experience has also brought to the fore critical tensions: Will its respect for sovereignty and support to security institutions clash with norms of human rights and the inclusion of other parts of society in peacebuilding? Can this multi-pronged approach to aid be channelled toward a coherent and comprehensive peacebuilding strategy? And will these nascent aid institutions be able to weather domestic pressures in Turkey? [Authors' summary]
22 Nov 2016 03:41:31 GMT
Households in developing countries have to cope with a myriad of uncertain events, some of which may happen simultaneously. One important example is the interplay between climatic shocks and violent conflict.Although the extent to which conflict and disasters interact differs across countries and contexts, in general, people living in fragile and conflict-affected states find it harder to cope with natural disasters given the impact of violence and instability on health, basic service provision, social cohesion, mobility opportunities and livelihoods.
Existing evidence on how individuals, households and communities cope simultaneously with violence and natural disasters is, however, largely anecdotic and descriptive. This is partially due to lack of data, but also to challenges in identifying empirical causal effects when endogeneity biases may be potentially large.
The objective of this paper is to address this gap in the literature by analysing the combined effect of exposure to political violence and drought on child nutrition. The context of the analysis is the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, which was for several decades affected by a left-wing (Naxal) guerilla insurgency. Households in Andhra Pradesh face in addition cyclical climatic shocks that affect the nutrition levels of their children, often quite severely.
The paper shows two important results. First, drought exerts a strong impact on malnutrition, but only when it occurs in a violent environment. Second, the authors found that political violence exerts a long term impact on child malnutrition only indirectly, when the combination of conflict with drought prevents households to appropriately protect their children against adverse nutritional shocks. Although existing data does not show irrefutable evidence for the mechanisms at play, analysis strongly suggests that the adverse combined welfare impact of conflict and drought is explained by a failure of economic coping strategies and restricted access to public services and aid in conflict affected communities, possibly due to fear, insecurity and isolation.
18 Nov 2016 12:35:35 GMT
On 21–22 October 2015, the African Union (AU), in collaboration with the Government of Namibia, hosted the Sixth AU High-level Retreat of Special Convened under the theme of “Terrorism, mediation and non-state armed groups”, the objectives of the retreat were to provide a platform for delegates to deliberate on the successes and challenges in relation to tackling the underlying causes of terrorism in Africa, to provide recommendations, and to discuss and exchange views on shared responsibilities and coordination between African and international actors working on preventing and combating terrorism.
A key element of the retreat was to use the opportunity to start conceptualising a shared continental counterterrorism response strategy, as well as specifically to explore the ways in which dialogue and mediation could be used to counter terrorism. A key outcome of the retreat was the Windhoek Declaration, attached as an appendix to this report.Envoys and Mediators on the Promotion of Peace, Security and Stability in Africa in Windhoek, Namibia.
This research report is based on the deliberations of the Windhoek Retreat and provides an overview of the proceedings, highlighting the key points that came out of the discussions. Much of the report is dedicated to expanding and elaborating on some of the discussions that took place. Structurally, the report first explains the background and context to the deliberations by providing an understanding and definition of terrorism, and its origins. It also focuses on the causes of terrorism in Africa and identifies violent extremist actors, trends and dynamics on the African continent. Second, the report highlights the current approaches that have been adopted in response to countering terrorist acts, with specific reference to the challenges that remain and the role of mediation as an effective approach to oppose terrorism, by drawing on a number of case studies. Finally, several recommendations have been elicited to determine the most effective way forward that promotes a holistic approach to dealing with terrorism and violent extremism.
18 Nov 2016 01:15:06 GMT
Since 2009, the Government of Liberia (GoL), working with its national and international partners, has continued to provide leadership in responding to a myriad of critical confl ict factors. It has done this through various peacebuilding frameworks, such as the Strategic Roadmap for National Healing, Peacebuilding and Reconciliation in Liberia, the Liberia Peacebuilding Program (LPP) and the Agenda for Transformation (AFT).3 In addition, Liberia has concluded its post-Ebola recovery plans, supported by the United Nations (UN) and other partners, in the midst of the UN Mission in Liberia's (UNMIL) transition in 2016, as well as within the context of the country’s 2017 national elections. It was against this backdrop that the Peacebuilding Offi ce (PBO) within the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) and other partners had to rethink and reprioritise Liberia’s peacebuilding and reconciliation strategies, programmes and interventions, moving forward. As such, a comprehensive confl ict-mapping and confl ict analysis exercise was pivotal to allow for a systematic and empirical process in which Liberian confl ict issues and potential confl ict drivers could be identifi ed.
This Policy & Practice Brief (PPB) seeks to refl ect on the 2016 National Confl ict-Mapping Exercise (NCME) process, as well as the methodological approaches used to gather and analyse the data. It further highlights the importance of the NCME as a process and outlines the supportive role of international partners to the PBO, which guaranteed that the process is locally owned and steered by the PBO. Although it has a definitive end in the form of fi ndings, the NCME itself should be seen as an important component for enhancing the coherence and coordination of peacebuilding interventions in Liberia.
06 Oct 2016 01:18:39 GMT
The deepening of China’s engagement with Africa has also prompted the broadening of its interests on the continent. This has resulted in China’s expansion into increasingly riskier territories, which means there is a greater urgency to protect its interests from the political vagaries endemic to conflict-affected African states. This evolution marks a shift away from traditional perceptions of Chinese engagement in Africa as being limited to its economic interests, towards one where China becomes a politically interested and invested actor. This trend is paralleled by a macro-level reorientation of China’s foreign policy goals, where it envisions itself playing a stronger norm-setting role in the global arena.
This policy insights paper explores the values and imperatives that motivate China’s engagement in peace and security, human rights and human security in Africa.
China’s foray into political matters is a consequence of the growing need for it to respond to attacks on its citizens and investments on the ground, but can also be traced to grander foreign policy underpinnings associated with its desire to position itself as a norms entrepreneur in the global arena. What emerges from the interplaybetween these two factors is a dynamic foreign policy that is responsive to the political contexts of African states while guarding the sanctity of state sovereignty.
To be a successful player in promoting peace, security and human rights in Africa, China has found it necessary to develop an approach that mitigates the challenges of operating in volatile environments by increasing its engagements in multilateral organisations. In doing this, China positions itself as an important alternative to established global norms, projecting its aspirations of becoming a more responsible great power in world affairs.
04 Oct 2016 05:18:11 GMTThe Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, hosted a two-day policy research seminar in Cape Town, from 19 to 20 March 2016, on the theme “War and Peace in the Great Lakes Region”. The meeting brought together about 30 prominent African and Western policymakers, scholars, and civil society activists to assess the major obstacles to peace and security in the Great Lakes, and considered seven broad themes: Security and Governance in the Great Lakes Region; the cases of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); Burundi; Rwanda; and Uganda; as well as the role of the United Nations; and that of the European Union, in the Great Lakes. The following 10 key policy recommendations emerged from the policy research seminar:since post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding efforts in the Great Lakes have become stalled due to the unresolved issues in the region’s political economy, it is imperative that governments urgently address the major issue of youth unemployment – more than 30 percent of the region’s population are aged between 10 and 24the international community must adopt a less selective approach to responding to the governance deficiencies of the countries in the region, acting swiftly to criticise the government in Burundi but being reluctant to condemn governments in Uganda and Rwanda due to strategic interests in both countriesaddressing sexual violence in the DRC must become a key priority. Making progress in security sector reform which has been largely uncoordinated by external actors amid a lack of political will on the part of the government of Joseph Kabila, would also be critical to efforts to tackling gender-based violenceBurundi needs effective leadership and a government that is accountable to its own people. A mass movement must therefore be fostered to promote an inclusive negotiation process. Beyond Burundi, mass advocacy movements should also be built among the 127 million citizens of the Great Lakescarefully targeted international sanctions against the Rwandan government for its actions in the DRC have had some effect in changing its behaviour. Such sanctions should also be applied to Rwanda’s domestic human rights situationthere is an urgent need for governments in the Great Lakes region to recommit to peace accords and tackling regional insecurity related to issues of identity and citizenshipthere is also an urgent need for political parties and conflict actors in the Great Lakes to revisit peace accords that were signed more than a decade and a half ago with a view to adapting as well as implementing principles of constitutionalism and multi-party democracy which were enshrined in these accordsthough some have suggested that UN peacekeepers should withdraw from the DRC to create room for endogenous solutions to the country’s long-running conflict, other voices have cautioned against a premature withdrawal of the UN, citing the example of Burundi in 2006 where such a withdrawal removed the international community’s capacity for tackling instabilityit is time to rethink the role of the UN in the DRC in the areas of peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Its bureaucracy has become dysfunctional which has negatively affected the efficiency of UN peacekeeping missions. The UN Security Council must therefore do more to align mandates, roles, and resources closer to the realities onthe groundthe EU and other international actors need to undertake more outreach to Tanzania, South Africa, the EAC and other regional actors in their peacebuilding efforts in the Great Lakes[...]
30 Sep 2016 02:30:02 GMT
The Centre for Confl ict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, and the Johannesburg-based Foundation for Human Rights (FHR) hosted two public dialogues in Cape Town, one on 11 April 2016 on “South Africa in Africa: National Interest Versus Human Rights?”, and another on 30 June 2016 on “South Africa in Southern Africa: ‘Good Governance’ Versus Regional Solidarity?” Both events were held at the Centre for the Book in Cape Town.
The main focus of the public dialogue “South Africa in Africa: National Interest Versus Human Rights?” was to discuss South Africa’s obligations to the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) generally, and its specific obligations towards arresting Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes by the ICC. Following the adoption by the United Nations (UN) Security Council of resolution 1593 in March 2005, several investigations resulted in two warrants being issued by the ICC for the arrest of al-Bashir in March 2009 for war crimes, and, in July 2010, relating to charges of genocide, both committed in Sudan’s Darfur region.
The following four key recommendations emerged from the two public dialogues:
26 Sep 2016 03:07:15 GMT
The Nuba’s peripheral homeland of the Nuba Mountains, in southern Kordofan, is one of Sudan’s current killing fields, with high numbers of civilian casualties, of wounded and internally displaced persons, refugees, families, and individuals. One key overarching argument framing this paper is that the recurring and prolonged wars in Sudan are better understood when put in a wider precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial historical context of the Sudanese socio-political historiography. Thus, it is argued here that the present excessive violence in Sudan in general, and in the Nuba Mountains in particular, is essentially a result of institutionalized insecurity prevalent throughout the precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial history of the Sudanese state.
The wide range of literature covering different political episodes in Sudan supports this assertion. It succinctly confirms the continuity of institutionalized insecurity and perpetual violence from the precolonial kingdom; the Turco-Egyptian rule and its slave trade institutions, the Mahdist’s brutal Jihaddiya of forced militarization; the colonial closed district policy coupled with brutal punitive operations, the postcolonial violence and protracted civil wars generated by the state against its own citizens at the peripheries.
23 Sep 2016 10:42:57 GMT
Sabyasachi Panda is an ordinary man with a curious claim to fame. A mathematics graduate from a middling college in rural India, Panda, with his custom short haircut (combed to the side), generic reading glasses, and stock-standard moustache (almost universal amongst Indian men), speaks softly and almost entirely in well-worn clichés. Unimposing (both in personality and physicality), neither impressive nor unimpressive, intellectually unremarkable and entirely non-descript in appearance, by all logic, Panda really ought to have lived out his days quietly and unnoticed in the shadows – just another face in India.
The fact that he has not stands as an affront to any ideal of a merit based society. Panda's prominence, it seems, is an accident of history; something that should ordinarily provoke protests – he just does not seem like someone who deserves media attention. Yet it is safe to say that no one in India today envies Panda as he sits in solitary confinement facing an almost certain life sentence. His mug-shot remains the last and only indication that there might be something more to his character: the man now considered a martyr for his cause – "India's Che Guevara" (Pandita 2012) – is spitefully pouting as he stares down the camera in a final act of defiance.
22 Sep 2016 10:56:57 GMT
From the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to fourteen disasters causing over a billion dollars each in damage in the United States, 2011 was particularly damaging for developed countries. Reviewing 2011’s natural disasters, this report analyses the range of disasters and lessons to be learned from those that occurred in developed countries.
20 Sep 2016 04:09:48 GMT
Youth radicalisation towards violent extremism is a global phenomenon that threatens peace, security and stability. This paper reviews the evidence on the factors that may contribute to the dynamics of youth radicalisation in Africa.
Available findings from East Africa and the Horn of Africa, West Africa and the Sahel, and North Africa are used to understand the dynamics that may contribute to radicalisation and, potentially, to violent extremism. Many factors emerge including political, economic, social and individual factors. Religion, identity and gender also arise as topics for further analysis.
Youth radicalisation is a complex phenomenon that cannot be attributed to any one explanation or set of factors. This paper recognises these complexities, offers recommendations and identities additional issues that should be explored further.
20 Sep 2016 04:04:11 GMT
08 Sep 2016 11:27:27 GMT
The Centre for Confl ict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, and the Johannesburg-based Foundation for Human Rights (FHR) hosted two public dialogues in Cape Town on 24 February 2016 on South Africa and the International Criminal Court (ICC), and on 31 March 2016 on South Africa and the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council.
In 1993, less than a year before the end of apartheid, Nelson Mandela - South Africa's first democratically elected president - identified the protection and promotion of human rights and democracy as core principles to guide the country's foreign policy. However, two decades on, South Africaâs efforts to forge a human rights-based foreign policy have been confronted by the realities of regional and global politics, with critics decrying the perceived forfeiture of its role as a 'human rights entrepreneur'. Tshwane (Pretoria) has, however, emphasised the need for a balance between normative ideals and pragmatic concerns, pointing to the decisive influence that national interests play in international politics and arguing that South Africa should not be judged by a higher standard than other countries.
The following seven key policy recommendations emerged from the two public dialogues:
08 Sep 2016 10:19:42 GMTAround the world, nearly 50 million children have migrated across borders or been forcibly displaced. This report presents comprehensive, global data about these children - where they are born, where they move and some of the dangers they face along the way. The report sheds light on the truly global nature of childhood migration and displacement, highlighting challenges faced by child migrants and refugees in every region.Based on the findings of the report and its work in the field, UNICEF has developed six goals and practical suggestions to protect child migrants and refugees and provide them with hope for the future: protect child refugees and migrants, particularly unaccompanied children, from exploitation and violence - introduce measures to strengthen child protection systems, including the training of social and child workers and working with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and professional groups. Clamp down on trafficking through enhanced law enforcement, and the systematic appointment of qualified guardians; better access to information regarding the management of their cases and access to legal assistance. Governments should also develop clearer guidance for case officers when determining the migration status of children, to prevent the return of children and families to persecution, dangerous or life-threatening situationsend the detention of children seeking refugee status or migrating - introduce practical alternatives to detention wherever children (or their families) are involved, given the negative impact of detention on a child’s development. Examples of alternatives to detention include: the surrender of passport and regular reporting requirements; guarantors or bailees who may be family members or community supporters; foster care and supervised independent living for unaccompanied and separated children; and compulsory registration with authoritieskeep families together as the best way to protect children and give children legal status - develop clear policy guidance to keep children from being separated from their parents during border control processing and any migrant legal processes. States should speed-up procedures and make it easier for children to reunite with their families, including with their extended families in destination countries. Children born to migrant parents need legal identity for their future wellbeing. Governments should provide birth registration and/or other identity documents to enable children to access services and avoid statelessnesskeep all refugee and migrant children learning and give them access to health and other quality services - an increased collective effort by governments, communities and the private sector is needed to provide education, health, shelter, nutrition, water and sanitation, and access to legal and psychosocial support to these children. This is not only a collective responsibility, it is in all societies’ common interests. A child’s migration status should never represent a barrier to accessing essential servicespress for action on the underlying causes of large scale movements of refugees and migrants - address the root causes of conflict, violence and extreme poverty in countries of origin. This should include increasing access to education and social protection; expanding opportunities for family income and youth employment; and fostering more accountable and transparent governance. Governments should facilitate community dialogue and engagement towards pe[...]
18 Aug 2016 12:52:54 GMT
Small island developing states (SIDS) are a unique group of countries that bear a disproportionate share of the impacts of climate change despite their minimal contribution to its causes. Their vulnerability and lack of resources to adapt raise signifi cant questions for global security and justice in the decades ahead.
This policy brief reviews both the challenges that SIDS face because of climate change in terms of adaptation and development, internal displacement and migration, sovereignty and exclusive economic zones, as well as the means they use to advance their cause, such as legal claims to compensation and multilateral diplomacy.
The policy brief proposes an agenda for action that identifies political, legal, economic, and other possible ways of addressing the predicament of the SIDS. The authors encourage policymakers to consider the proposals presented here at fora such as the upcoming Third International SIDS Conference, UNFCCC negotiations, other climate summits and discussions on a post-2015 sustainable development framework, with a view to taking concrete decisions for action.
18 Aug 2016 01:38:08 GMTThe Centre for Confl ict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, hosted a three-day policy research seminar in Cape Town, from 27 to 29 April 2016, on the theme “The African Union: Regional and Global Challenges”.The meeting was convened with about 30 prominent African, Asian, and Western policymakers, scholars, and civil society actors to reflect critically on the historical mission, achievements, challenges, and prospects of the African Union (AU) in a changing regional and global environment.The following 10 key policy recommendations emerged from the Cape Town policy seminar:the AU Commission should engage more strategically with African civil society, think tanks, the private sector, and the philanthropic sector in order to implement its mandate more effectively. There is an urgent need to revisit Adebayo Adedeji’s 2007 five-year review of the AU Commission in order to implement its main findings on reforming the AU’s institutions and accelerating regional integration and economic development efforts in Africa. Key parts of the 2013 Olusegun Obasanjo Report on alternative sources of funding for the AU should also be implemented to ensure a sustainable source of future financingthere is an urgent need to sanction non-performing AU staff members and to implement results-based management at the AU Commission in Addis Ababa. Recruitment, retention, and training of personnel should be greatly improved. There is also a need for better coordination between the AU’s Department of Political Affairs and its Peace and Security Department. The AU Commission must further strengthen its administrative and financial management capacity to be able to absorb and manage donor fundsthe AU’s continental early warning system needs greater coordination with the mechanisms of sub-regional bodies such as IGAD, ECOWAS, and SADC. Furthermore, African leaders must provide greater financial and political support to the APRM, strengthening its capacity and restoring its previous consistent fundingthere is an urgent need to create institutionalised mechanisms for regular consultation and coordination between the AU’s Peace and Security Council and the organs of the RECs; this must include the increased participation of civil society and parliaments in decision-making to promote greater synergy and complementarity between the policies and initiatives of the AU and the RECs in this arearegional integration in Africa should take into account the configuration of interests in member states, and put in place mechanisms to compensate groups that may lose out from integration. There is an urgent need to cultivate a national entrepreneurial class to drive socio-economic development across Africa. The continent also needs more “Afrocrats” – young, highly competent officials with a strong commitment to Pan-Africanism, similar to many of the EU’s “Eurocrats”the AU needs to rationalise relations between the RECs and the African Economic Community in light of the multiple membership of the former. It might also be necessary to create a smaller grouping of African states in which conditions for entry involve sound economic and political performance, resulting in greater aid and investment for its membersin line with the Common African Position devised by the AU, five key principles should underpin relations between the AU and the UN: promotion of collective security in the context of Chapter VIII of the UN Charter[...]
12 Aug 2016 11:07:29 GMT
12 Aug 2016 04:42:32 GMT
12 Aug 2016 04:33:44 GMT
08 Aug 2016 12:34:49 GMT
12 Jul 2016 11:54:48 GMT
06 Jul 2016 04:57:22 GMT
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission established the Mediation Facilitation Division (MFD) in June 2015 to backstop mediation efforts undertaken by its mediation organs, member states, non-state actors and joint initiatives with other international organisations, such as the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations (UN). In January 2016, the structure was further upgraded to a directorate within the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS).
This Policy & Practice Brief (PPB) examines the rationale for taking the bold step to institutionalise a mediation support structure within the ECOWAS Commission; the legal and normative instruments that underpin its mediation interventions; the mandate, vision and scope of operation of the mediation support structure; and the key activities undertaken by the structure within one year of its existence. The PPB identifies the uniqueness of ECOWASâs experiences in interventions in the 1990s, and the subsequent importance accorded to preventive diplomacy and mediation as a key factor that informed the decision to establish a mediation support structure - in contrast to using an ad hoc arrangement to backstop its mediation efforts in the past. This new arrangement, the PPB argues, will ensure that mistakes such as the marginalisation of ECOWAS in mediation processes in the region, the disconnect between the ECOWAS Commission and its appointed mediators, facilitators and special envoys, are remedied. It will also ensure a coordinated approach to capacity building and mediation knowledge management within the ECOWAS Commission and its institutions, as well as with its partners, including mainstreaming Tracks II and III mediation into official Track I mediation.
06 Jul 2016 03:25:32 GMT
Differences in the way Nigerian men and women are socialised and valued – and disparities in their abilities to access power, resources and key roles in society - create an imbalance of power within relationships between the two sexes. These differences also fuel personal struggles as well as conflict and violence in the home and the wider community and further deepen gender inequality.
This study examine masculinities, conflict and violence in four states in Nigeria: Borno; Kaduna; Lagos; and Rivers. It explores what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman because the two sets of notions are fundamentally linked. The study was conducted using focus group discussions and key informant interviews and reveals important insights which have relevance across the research states.
Research findings offer compelling evidence for policies and programmes which are adapted around development, gender equality, peace and security. The study found many significant ways in which perceived ideas around masculinities drive conflict and violence and, conversely, highlighted the impact that deviation from these norms and behaviour can have on peace. This opens up opportunities for positive change where interventions avoid reinforcing inequitable masculinities or adding to the pressure that men experience in trying to live up to often impossible ideals.
06 Jul 2016 03:16:23 GMT
Ipastoralists and farmers in Nigeria have been on the rise. This social conflict has traditionally consisted of disputes over natural resources and is often presented as a conflict between settlers and nomadic people. However, what began as conflict between pastoralists and farmers over land has recently developed into rural banditry with heavy human and economic cost, ranging from the sexual assault of women and girls, attacks on villages, to catte rustling, amongst others. The bandits traversing Benue, Plateau, Niger, Kwara, Nassarawa, Zamfara, Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kano are involved in crimes such as armed robbery and kidnapping. There have also been reported cases of rural banditry in Delta, Enugu, Ondo, Oyo and Ebonyi states.
Examining the root causes of rural banditry and social conflict requires an understanding of its historical trajectory, social contexts, development and the dynamics of the often conflictual, but also symbiotic relationship between two production systems (agricultural and pastoral) that not only depend on land and its related resources, but are also fundamentally different in important respects. It is against this backdrop that the researchers undertook a broad interrogation of the economic and social forces that might have triggered the current realities. The 10 chapters of this book focus on wide-ranging issues, including: cattle rustling; animal husbandry; transhumance; grazing reserves; herdsmen and farmers association; media and construction of popular narratives; social impact of the phenomenon; and women's livelihoods.
The findings of the 10 reports reveal that factors which account for rural banditry and social conflicts include: ecological and climate change and consistent shift in the human and livestock population; expansion in non-agricultural use of land; weak state capacity and the provision of security; proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALWs); rise of criminality and insecurity in rural areas; and weakening or collapse of informal conflict resolution mechanisms.
The reports also draw attention to the international dimensions of rural banditry and social conflicts, from the perspective of the rising incidences of cross-border crimes and how it impacts on the proliferation of SALWs in Nigeria. The book incorporates recommendations to policy makers and other relevant stakeholders that, if considered and implemented, may help mitigate and manage this challenging phenomenon.
06 Jul 2016 02:59:28 GMT
In the more than two decades since Mozambique's civil war ended and its first multiparty elections were held, the country still faces persistent social, political, economical and developmental challenges. What have been some of the main drivers and threats to Mozambique's peace? this paper examines the plans and processes that have been developed in the pursuit of national stability. It also highlights current and future challenges for continued consolidation of peace. By exploring key plans to address demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration, economic and social development, decentralisation, justice, and natural resource investment, this paper puts forward seven key findings with implications for peacebuilding in Mozambique and for the field as a whole.
06 Jul 2016 02:31:47 GMT
This paper examines the economic and social underpinnings of rising political instability in South Africa such as poverty, unemployment and inequality. The paper then reviews the patterns of violence across different categories before concluding with a brief analysis of the extent to which corruption, poor governance and lacklustre leadership exacerbate social turbulence. In this way, it presents the context for a separate paper, South African scenarios 2024, and a subsequent set of policy recommendations Rainbow at risk that set out the prospects and requirements for change.
06 Jul 2016 02:11:12 GMT
In South Africa, the trade in certain kinds of fi rearms and military equipment is controlled for reasons of safety and security. However, there is a gap in legislation when it comes to the control of law enforcement equipment that can facilitate torture and ill treatment. This brief examines electric shock devices as an example of security equipment that needs stronger trade- control measures.
The brief outlines concerns over the use of electric shock equipment, and discusses the manufacture of these items in South Africa and their trade with other countries. It also looks at trade controls currently used elsewhere, and provides recommendations for changes in the control measures surrounding these products in South Africa.
06 Jul 2016 01:34:54 GMT
06 Jul 2016 01:04:38 GMT
28 Jun 2016 04:03:55 GMT
This protocol outlines plans for conducting an evidence synthesis on the impact of food aid on pastoralist livelihoods. The distinctiveness of pastoralists – including factors related to the erosion of their livelihood strategies and the difficulty posed by identification of frequently mobile households, and their particular vulnerability to humanitarian crises, suggest that the effects of humanitarian interventions targeting them are likely to differ from other populations. The purpose of this review is to use evidence synthesis methods to: systematically identify all available evidence on the impact of food assistance to pastoralist livelihoods (during and after) a humanitarian crisis; compare and contrast the effects of assistance delivered (by population, assistance type etc.); qualitatively and (if possible) quantitatively synthesise identified data and concepts; assess the quality of evidence, as appropriate; and identify gaps in the current evidence-base and further comment on future research needs in this space.
24 Jun 2016 02:00:27 GMT
The case of South Sudan shows that peace on paper does not necessarily mean peace on the ground. Many displaced persons are sceptical of the peace process and the commitment of their leaders, in particular as nothing has changed since the beginning of the conflict.
Nevertheless, over ten thousand people have already returned, and aid agencies expect many thousands more who return because they feel alienated in South Sudan’s neighbouring countries or try to find livelihood opportunities to support their families outside the camps. But their return needs to be sustainable to prevent new conflict as a first wave of two million returnees between 2007 and 2013 had already failed.
So how can return be made sustainable and new conflict be prevented?
The author recommends:
21 Jun 2016 04:42:54 GMT
This toolkit was produced as part of the Sexual HIV Prevention Project (SHIPP) to support in-house training on gender, HIV, youth, and community mobilisation for programme implementers working on HIV and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention at the district and community levels. The toolkit modules cover a range of topics and can be selected based on organisational needs and specific knowledge gaps among staff and volunteers. According to the toolkit, "an advantage of the modular arrangement is that rather than having to set aside large blocks of time for training workshops, exercises and modules can be conducted on a stand-alone basis through sessions as short as two to three hours, or, if time permits, over a day or several days, or intermittently over a number of weeks or months." The toolkit also provides a detailed outline of the key principles and techniques of participatory learning.
The following topic areas are covered:
16 Jun 2016 01:23:07 GMT
14 Jun 2016 12:31:39 GMTcivil protests and strike action have become increasingly commonplace in South Africa. Although several institutions collect data on various forms of protest, the available information varies in quality, reliability, coverage and accessibility. it is for this reason that the institute for Security Studies launched its interactive public and election violence-monitoring project in 2014.The objective of this project is to enhance understanding of the nature and extent of all forms of public violence taking place across South Africa to contribute to better initiatives that address their root causes. this paper sets out some of the preliminary findings from the project and provides initial considerations for ensuring appropriate responses to protest and strike action.Measuring public violence is complicated by the difficulty of developing a suitable definition that adequately describes the phenomenon in all its various forms. Moreover, the nature of public violence can shift or expand, with, for example, a protest starting over inadequate housing but resulting in attacks on foreign-owned shopkeepers. research also shows that inappropriate actions by state and non-state actors can escalate tensions and result in violence..Without an improvement in the understanding of the extent, nature and dynamics of different forms of public violence, it will be difficult to develop and implement effective strategies or responses that result in sustainable reductions. Certain steps can be taken to improve responses to the challenge of addressing public violence in South Africa:efforts should focus on collaboration and analysis by all role players to establish a common understanding of the meaning of ‘violence’ during crowd events. This process should include the development of a shared and objective definition of ‘violence’ during crowd eventsnational information-gathering system should be established. It could be similar to the peace monitor system that existed during the first years of democracy. This emanated from the signing of the National Peace Accord and the Election Monitoring Services once managed by the now defunct Institute for Democracy in Africafurther research is required to examine the inter-relatedness of various forms of public violence and the triggers that can lead to these forms of violence. For example, the triggers for xenophobic attacks need to be interrogated, as well as whether these can be identified and addressed before their resulting in physical violencemechanisms for the notification of public marches or protests should be user friendly and permission should be encouraged, unless rational and clear reasons for denial are given and discussed. The research shows that the notification processes provide an opportunity for organisers, municipalities and the police to open dialogue that could minimise the occurrence of violence during public eventsthe role of the SAPS , as well as of the metro or traffic [...]
14 Jun 2016 11:54:13 GMT
10 Jun 2016 04:13:01 GMT
As Europe struggles to manage its largest migrant crisis in more than half a century, attention has focused largely upon the refugee flows from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, where years of war and instability are driving the exodus. But in 2015, an estimated 154,000 migrants entered Europe via the Central Mediterranean Route – an increase of nearly 400% over the previous year, and more than 1,000% over 2012 – most of them from the Horn of Africa. By far the largest contingent of migrants – nearly 39,000 in 2015 – is from the sub-region’s
second smallest country: Eritrea. In contrast with the mass, largely uncontrolled movements of refugees from the Middle East, irregular migration from the Horn of Africa is dominated by highly integrated networks of transnational organised criminal groups. Coordinated by kingpins based chiefly in Libya and the Horn of Africa, these networks “recruit” their clients via schools, the Internet and word of mouth; they corrupt government officials to ensure seamless travel across borders; they collude with Libyan militias to secure safe passage across the desert to launching points on the southern shores of the Mediterranean; and they cast their human cargoes adrift at the limit of Libyan territorial waters in order to avoid interdiction and arrest by European security forces.
The purpose of this report is to map out as much as possible the networks involved in human smuggling and trafficking and to identify what policies could be brought to bear in dealing with them.
The report deals with general trends and patterns of migration from the Horn of Africa. It synthesises evidence unearthed by various law enforcement operations, to identify some of the criminal ringleaders involved in human smuggling and trafficking from the Horn of Africa through the Central Mediterranean. It also examines the responses of various national authorities and international organisations with respect to human smuggling and trafficking.
08 Jun 2016 05:33:31 GMT
This short (20 page) report overview looks at the reality for refugee women and girls living in Germany and Sweden. Both countries have welcomed unprecedented numbers of refugees however the magnitude and speed of the migration has led to short-term solutions which do not always address, and in some cases perpetuate, the risks of violence against women and girls. Key issues covered:
The report provides a set of useful recommendations to address these issues for Germany and Sweden specifically, and for European Union member states and other European countries more generally.
03 Jun 2016 12:37:55 GMT
31 May 2016 12:07:46 GMTGhana’s governance of its natural resource wealth is critical to after its development prospects. Natural resources dominate Ghana’s economy: in 2013, gold, petroleum and cocoa exports accounted for 70% of total exports. However, and despite being portrayed as a relatively democratic, well-governed and prosperous African country,Ghana has yet to show the capacity and commitment to manage natural resources in ways that support inclusive development. This problem is not necessarily one of having the ‘wrong’ institutions– Ghana has arguably adopted some ‘best-practice’ policies and institutional arrangements – but rather that its institutions are not always well aligned with how political power actually works in Ghana. In particular, the intense levels of party political competition and the related tendency for the public bureaucracy to become highly politicised and personalised, have reduced both the capacity of government and the commitment of political elites to govern natural resources in the national interest. This perspective helps reveal the limitations of mainstream efforts to promote ‘good governance’ inthe sector, and suggests that policy efforts could be usefully and equally directed towards a stronger focus on building the capacity and supporting the autonomy of bureaucratic actors in the mining and oil sectors. This briefing sets out the ways in which these forms of power and politics, refered to as ‘competitive clientelism’, have shaped the developmental character of natural resource governance in Ghana, with a particular focus on mining and oil. Competitive clientelism occurs where political power is closely contested between opposing factions in ways that tend to reduce the time-horizons of ruling elites and increase their incentives to politicise public institutions and distribute resources according to political rather than technical criteria. This research has involved in-depth investigations and key informant interviews with stakeholders at each level of the relative sectors. Key findings:Ghana’s commitment and capacity to govern its natural resources in developmental ways is uneven and fails to reflect after its status as one of Africa’s most democratic and well-governed middle-income countries. Whilst it has managed to secure some good deals with foreign companies in the oil sector, it has been outperformed by other new oil-producing countries in this regard, whilst in the mining sector foreign companies continue to benefit disproportionately from mineral extractionthis performance is directly shaped by the character of politics in Ghana: its highly competitive system of multi-party politics and continued reliance on clientelism as a means of distributing resources and maintaining power have directly undermined the extent to wh[...]
27 May 2016 03:17:10 GMT
In the natural resources sector, laws are often formulated to regulate the relationship between men and the environment. Ideally, the law can play a vital role in regulating and protecting communities from adverse environmental and social impacts of mining, loss of land, biodiversity and natural wealth, as well as other human rights violations. Almost all countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have developed laws and institutions to regulate and monitor the extraction of mineral resources and their impact on the environment and people. However, the level of implementation and enforcement of those laws varies across the region and in some cases legal gaps exist.
In light of this, the Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) commissioned research in three SADC countries – Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe – to assess the effectiveness of exiting legal and institutional frameworks governing land, social and environmental accountability in the extractive sector.
This policy brief analyses the findings of the three reports and identifies current legal and institutional frameworks in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana that seek to protect land, biodiversity and communities from the adverse impacts of mining. It highlights good practices while also capturing crosscutting weaknesses and gaps in the legal frameworks. The policy brief also analyses the institutional capacities of responsible government departments, whose legal mandate is to monitor and hold mining companies accountable, and looks at the domestication and application of regional and international instruments. More importantly, the efficacy of voluntary practices and standards adopted by mining companies and financial institutions to promote social and environmental accountability in the extractive sector is also assessed.
27 May 2016 01:44:04 GMT
The Great Lakes Project (GLP) constitutes one such effort in promoting a regionally focused programme for sustainable peace. Over the past three years, the GLP has sought to channel the comparative advantages of each partner into promoting a regional dimension to sustainable peacebuilding.
This special Issue of Conflict Trends highlights some of the most pressing peacebuilding challenges that confront the Great Lakes Region. It also reflects on some of our experiences in implementing a project that sought to forge relations across sectors (state and non-state) and across different countries, while keeping a clear and consistent focus on the common thread of peacebuilding.
Africa’s Great Lakes Region will confront a further number of interrelated development challenges over the next few years. From potential conflicts over governance and land to promoting local-level economic growth and social cohesion, the actions undertaken by a variety of local stakeholders will have lasting impacts on the communities themselves and the region at large.
The GLP model, exemplified through non-state actors working to promote regional efforts for sustainable conflict prevention and peacebuilding, can be applied to other regions of the world, especially those confronted by complex regional security and peacebuilding challenges. While the GLP does not claim to have addressed all the peacebuilding dynamics confronting the Great Lakes Region, the outcomes achieved in this work will leave a lasting and positive influence on the region at large.
26 May 2016 05:17:42 GMTMaritime security and oceans governance are rapidly becoming important international challenges.1 The importance and relative urgency to address these challenges gave reason for this symposium to be held, which was co-hosted by the Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD) and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), funded by the Open Society Foundation (OSF) of South Africa initiated under its former South African Foreign Policy Initiative (SAFPI), and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) South Africa Office. The symposium was held in Pretoria, between the 18th and 19th November, 2014.According to the concept note drafted for the symposium, “within the context of conceptualizing a South African global South geo-strategy,” the symposium aimed “to build on discourses regarding South Africa’s evolving approach to national security and development focusing on the strategic significance of its maritime domain and that of the African continent.” Furthermore, utilizing South Africa’s positioning as a “geographically pivotal state” placed it as an important contributor to global oceans’ governance, “maritime security and functional cooperation along with the promise of a ‘blue economy’.”Therefore, the points of reference for the symposium were as follows;understanding the strategic dimensions pertaining to comparative South African, Indian, Brazilian and Australian perspectives on the Indian Ocean and South Atlanticanalysing naval and maritime security perspectives on challenges in securing the African sphere of the global oceans commonsanalysing comparative African regional perspectives on these challengesunderstanding the oceans’ economy as it pertains to South and Southern Africa in terms of maritime domain issues, sustainable development and trade and investment outlining future prospects for Global South cooperation, by elaborating on a framework for a sustained oceans and maritime security dialogue with the India-Brazil-South Africa trilateral linkage as a possible point of departure for arriving at such a cooperation framework.From these points of reference, the symposium ultimately sought to produce policy recommendations. These proposed recommendations sought to “promote partnerships in trade, investment and multi-sectoral capacity-building in naval and maritime security sectors, including commercial shipping which would be informed by environmental imperatives for sustaining healthy oceans.” The outcome of this process would be the formulation of a ‘framework for multi-dimensional dialogue and cooperation’ that would outline the future use of the southern oceans, as well as understanding how “securing these commons would further the development of S[...]