Geoff Burt

Policy and Research Papers

Deportation, Circular Migration and Organized Crime: Jamaica Case Study

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This report by the Canadian Department of Public Safety's Research Division, the Security Governance Group, reviews the impact of forced deportations, criminal and otherwise, on public security and organised crime in Canada and Jamaica, with a focus on transnational connections between deportees, organised crime and Canada. Within Canada, non-criminal deportations should be considered in the context of their impact on Jamaican-Canadian families and communities, where deportation has become a sensitive and political issue. In Jamaica, criminal deportations from Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom have had a profound impact on public security. Caribbean security officials are adamant that criminal deportees are at least partly responsible for rising crime rates throughout the region. Even non-criminal deportees, who lack opportunities for successful reintegration, contribute to street-level crime. Recent law enforcement operations in Canada have revealed long-standing connections between organised crime groups in both countries. While deportation is not thought to have played a role in the genesis of these criminal linkages, it may be responsible for strengthening contemporary connections. The report concludes by discussing possible mitigation strategies in Canada and Jamaica to minimise the unwanted impacts of deportation on public security.

For full access to Deportation, Circular Migration and Organized Crime: Jamaica Case Study, kindly follow the link.

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Security Sector Reform, Legitimate Politics and SDG 16

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In spite of a broad international consensus about the desirability of security sector reform (SSR) and its model of implementation, the concept continues to suffer from a relatively poor record of implementation, particularly in challenging environments. Nevertheless, SSR continues to be seen as a lynchpin of international development assistance in fragile and conflict-affected states. It will also play a central role in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 16, to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

This brief by the Centre for Security Governance argues that the inability of SSR to make a sustainable impact at both the national and community level must be addressed in order for it to contribute to the achievement of SDG 16. Too often SSR has been an externally led exercise involving like-minded political elites and failing to account for the complex interplay between actors, programs and processes at the international, national and local level. SDG 16, by contrast, emphasizes legitimate and inclusive political processes at all levels.

For full access to the brief about Security Sector Reform, Legitimate Politics and SDG 16, kindly follow the link.

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Foreign Ownership Bans and Private Security: Protectionism or Security Sector Governance?

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This paper published by the Centre for Security Governance discusses the practice of banning or restricting foreign ownership of private security companies (PSCs). It outlines the current trends of expansion and consolidation in the global private security industry and presents a survey of foreign ownership legislation in a variety of case study countries. The research indicates that the practice is relatively common globally, but is not strictly motivated by a desire to exert greater governance over the domestic security sector. Rather, local governments responded to a range of relevant factors, including security concerns, economic and political interests, and obligations under international free trade agreements. The attitudes and assumptions of states enacting foreign ownership restrictions represent an important critical perspective on efforts to improve the governance of transnational private security provision, and should be given careful consideration by policy makers, researchers and industry representatives.

For full access to the Foreign Ownership Bans and Private Security: Protectionism or Security Sector Governance?, kindly follow the link.

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“Diaspora as Partners”: The Canadian Model of Countering Violent Extremism

The first step in an effective countering violent extremism (CVE) strategy is to develop a detailed and nuanced understanding of the relevant communities. Building on a research project completed for Public Safety Canada—which examined the impact of overseas conflicts on Syrian, Afghan, Somali, and Tamil communities in Canada— this paper identifies key insights about the country’s diaspora communities. Serious attempts to address violent extremism begin by accepting the reality that future attacks are as likely to come from within societies as abroad. Diaspora communities can be a country’s greatest asset in combating violent extremism. Strengthening the social capital of these communities is the most promising and cost-effective means to counter the threat of radicalization. This requires a serious commitment to research, dialogue, and law enforcement strategies that promote engagement instead of confrontation. 

To access “Diaspora as Partners”: The Canadian Model of Countering Violent Extremism, kindly follow the link. 

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Integrating SSR and SALW Programming

Security sector reform (SSR) and small arms and lights weapons (SALW) reduction and control programmes have become staples of peacebuilding policy and practice in fragile, failed and conflict-affected states (FFCAS). There is wide agreement in the peacebuilding field that the two areas are intricately interconnected and mutually reinforcing. However, this consensus has rarely translated into integrated programming on the ground. Drawing on a diverse set of case studies, this paper presents a renewed argument for robust integration of SSR and SALW programming. The failure to exploit innate synergies between the two areas in the field has not merely resulted in missed opportunities to leverage scarce resources and capacity, but has caused significant programmatic setbacks that have harmed wider prospects for peace and stability. With the SSR model itself in a period of conceptual transition, the time is ripe for innovation. A renewed emphasis on integrating SSR and SALW programming in FFCAS, while not a wholly new idea, represents a potential avenue for change that could deliver significant dividends in the field. The paper offers some preliminary ideas on how to achieve this renewed integration in practice.

To access the full report Integrating SSR and SALW Programming, kindly click on the link.

This paper is part of DCAF's SSR Papers series. Click on the link for more DCAF publications on security sector reform.

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Other Documents

Refugees, IDPs and Peacebuilding in the Contemporary Middle East - eSeminar Summary n°6

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The Centre for Security Governance (CSG) hosted the third in a series of eight online seminars focusing on the theme of “Contemporary Debates on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding.” The event examined the regional refugee crisis fuelled by conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, with a particular focus on Syrian refugees. The distinguished panellists discussed how the refugee and IDP crisis should factor into peacebuilding approaches throughout the region. Some of the key topics and questions that arose as part of the discussion included the ability of refugees to play a constructive role in peacebuilding, the potential for refugee flows to create conflict and instability in the bordering countries, the economic conditions facing refugees as well as the educational opportunities available to refugee children in neighboring countries.

To access the eSeminar n°6 - Refugees, IDPs and Peacebuilding in the Contemporary Middle East, kindly follow the link.

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