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URBAN SOCIETY | Violence and Human Rights

This section emphasises actions reducing violence and advancing human rights: including innovative programmes for protection against domestic and public violence against women, protection of street children and child sweated labour, and establishment of human rights provisions inmunicipal charters and administrative practices.

quick links

local level city level
  international level websites

local level

Mann, Gillian (2002) - “Wakimbizi, wakimbizi”: Congolese refugee boys’ and girls’ perspectives on life in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - Environment & Urbanization, Vol 14 No 2 October 2002 - IIED [pdf]

Tanzania - This paper draws on interviews and discussions with 40
Congolese refugee boys and girls who live in Dar es Salaam. It describes their lives and the difficulties they face, and discusses the implications of their clandestine existence (since refugees are not meant to live in Dar but to stay in refugee camps). Children have to conceal their identities and often have their mobility restricted by parents for fear that they will be identified as refugees. Children talk about the harassment they suffer and how they learn to distrust all strangers. Many parents do not send their children to school because they feel their time in Dar is temporary. Most children still think of Congo as home and have little hope that things will improve if they stay in Dar es Salaam. The paper discusses the need to recognize
the rights of the “hidden” refugees, who are common and often numerous in many African cities.

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice - Successful Experiences in the Prevention of Violence: Foundation La Guaca [pdf]

Colombia -Successful Experiences in the Prevention of Violence a programme that involves the activities of La Fundacion La Guaca. Participation in this programme is voluntary. This programme mobilises the people in the process of social construction which requires commitment from the participants.

UN-Habitat (2002) - Best Practice - Community Watch Against Domestic and Gender Violence [pdf]

Philippines - Bantay Banay, a Family/Community watch group against domestic and gender violence was organized on January 31, 1992 in Cebu City by participants to a Forum where Lihok Pilipina stated that 6 out of 10 women are battered by their partners. The initial effort was to work with each other in order to respond to the cases of domestic violence and help minimize the reality that our homes have become the most dangerous place for many of our women and children.

city level

M’packo, Michèle (2000) - Violence, Déliquance et insécurité à Douala - UN-Habitat [pdf]

Cameroon - Si d'un point de vue historique, le phénomène d'insécurité à DOUALA a toujours existé, il convient de relever que depuis l'avènement de la violence dans les médias et les troubles en Afrique, du fait de la démocratisation et de l'ajustement structurel qui en fut l'un des corollaires, les habitants de la capitale économique ont vécu des périodes de remous qui leur ont rappelé les évènements de l'Indépendance d'une part, et ont, d'autre part, provoqué une psychose grandissante.

Nga Ndongo, Valentin (2000) - Violence, Déliquance et insécurité à Yaoundé - UN-Habitat [pdf]

Cameroon - En prenant appui sur les termes de référence définis par "Habitat", le présent document a pour modeste ambition d'exposer une vision synthétique et panoramique de l'insécurité à Yaoundé. Il rapporte, en l'analysant brièvement, l'information générale publique immédiatement accessible sur ce phénomène dans la métropole politique camerounaise.

Urban Management Program (1998) - Crime in Johannesburg: Results of a City Victim Survey - ISS Monograph Series No 18, UN-Habitat [pdf]

South Africa -Reducing levels of crime in Johannesburg relies on a multi-faceted strategy that draws on the resources and skills of a variety of role players. This is because crime cannot be ended through policing interventions alone: some types of crime, such as those associated with high levels of alcohol abuse, for example, are most effectively prevented through initiatives which aim to undermine the causes of and opportunities for crime.

international level

COHRE (2002) - Forced Evictions: Violations of Human Rights, Global Survey No. 8 - COHRE [pdf]

Forced evictions continue to occur on a large scale in virtually all countries in all parts of the world. This Global Survey marks the eighth and most extensive compilation on forced evictions published by COHRE since this series began in 1990 and addresses forced evictions that COHRE has monitored between January 1998 to the end of 2000.

Gargarella, Roberto - Too far removed from the people - Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires [pdf]

This paper discusses access to justice for the poor in Latin American countries. It takes its cue from the ‘Latin American legal paradox’: provisions for economic and social rights are generously incorporated into the legal framework of most countries, yet they score poorly in terms of accommodating those rights for the poor.

PDHRE (1998) - Developing Sustainable Human Rights Cities: Knowing, Claiming and Securing Our Right to be Human - PDHRE [pdf]

A historic initiative in which a whole community examines traditional beliefs, collective memory and aspirations as related to the Universal Declaration of human rights… --Guided by the commitment made and obligations undertaken by their governments - having ratified numerous human rights conventions- all its governing bodies and community institutions and groups, learn about human rights as related to their daily lives and concerns.. --to assure that all the laws, policies, resources and relationship in the community maintain the dignity and serve the well being of all its members.. –Moving to develop a sustainable Human Rights City.

Shaw, Margaret & Lullu Tschiwula for UN-Habitat (2002) - "Developing citizenship among urban youth in conflict with the law" - Environment & Urbanization, Vol 14 No 2 October 2002 - IIED [pdf]

This paper summarizes the outcome of an international conference
on addressing the issue of urban youth in conflict with the law in Africa. It discusses the most effective responses to youth crime and violence which centre on prevention and inclusion (especially of youth in government) rather than exclusion, punishment and incarceration. It also highlights the key role for local governments in developing effective local responses that draw in and support all key local actors (parents, schools, police, businesses).

Vanderschueren, Franz (2000) - Prevention of Urban Crime, Background Document - UN-Habitat [pdf]

The growth of organised crime contributes to the destabilisation of political order and increases the effects of economic crises through housing market speculation. Organised crime also tends to draw in some young delinquents as a source of cheap labour.Within a democratic framework, the fight against crime is based on three principles: law enforcement for all, solidarity and crime prevention.All in all, prevention aims at the creation of a culture of solidarity that is the incorporation of a natural culture of prevention into the population.

web sites

Universal Declaration of Human Rights [pdf]

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of
countries or territories."


List of documents highlighting DFID/IUDD's work in support of violence and human rights

"Adressing the Multiple Causes of Urban Crime" - Allen, Adriana; Nicholas You (2002) – Sustainable Urbanisation: Bridging the Green and Brown Agendas – DPU [pdf]

Columbia - Medellín is one of the most violent cities in the world. In the districts where poverty prevails, this has meant the need to develop networks to tackle the social causes of violence and crime and the physical environment in which crime prospers.

"Bringing Judicial Reform in Line with Environmental Concerns" (2002) - Ibid. [pdf]

Bolivia - Since 1993, Bolivia has been pursuing a comprehensive reform of its judicial system, to make it more independent, transparent, accessible and efficient. The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, an American-based NGO, has initiated a review of this process, selecting environmental law as its entry point, for a number of reasons.

"Safer Cities Programme" (2001) - Wakely, Patrick; Nicholas You (2001) – Implementing the Habitat Agenda: In Search of Urban Sustainability - DPU [pdf]

Tanzania - The Safety Audit illustrates how community participation can identify clear strategies in tackling crime in a neighbourhood and in creating the feeling of a safer environment.

"Urban Poverty Project Kingston" - Ibid.[pdf]

Jamaica - The Jamaica Urban Poverty Project has transformed the inner city of Kingston from a place of violence, fear and poverty to a centre of cooperation, revitalization and hope. Using innovative strategies to strengthen public/private partnerships, broad-based participation, and local capacity building, the Kingston Restoration Corporation has built a model
of urban development and restoration.

2003 Development Planning Unit | Sikandar Hasan | Anna Soave | Khanh Tran-Thanh || Tina Simon