CARIFORUM Crime and Violence Prevention Initiatives Continue in Guyana

Participants at crime and violence mitigation training in Antigua and Barbuda earlier this year
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A national consultation in Guyana to agree on crime and violence mitigation training in primary schools will be held on 8-9 August 2019, at the Roraima Duke Lodge, in Georgetown, Guyana.

The forum targets stakeholders from the business and public sectors (primarily  the Ministries of Education and Public Security).

The consultation is an activity of the Crime and Violence Project component of the CARIFORUM–EU Crime and Security Programme under the Tenth European Development Fund. The programme’s approach to tackling crime and security focuses on drug demand and supply reduction, crime prevention, social development, and capacity-building of law enforcement and security agencies.

The two-day activity in Guyana is the last of five consultations. Similar ones were held in Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, Saint Lucia and Suriname. It is a follow-up to the rapid assessments of the risks, threats and protective factors in primary schools and related communities, which were undertaken in Guyana earlier in February and March 2019, as well as additional studies conducted also this year in relation to mitigation of drug use in secondary schools in selected Member States.

It also builds upon a Pilot Project to reduce youth on youth violence, particularly in secondary schools across five Member States under a CARICOM/Spain Project which ended in 2017  The findings of that assessment indicated the need for focus to be also placed in primary schools.

The specific objective of Crime and Violence and Mitigation Training is to build the capacity of primary school teachers and counsellors for evidence-based interventions to address crime and violence in primary schools through data collection, analysis and designing and implementing relevant crime and violence prevention and mitigation strategies in the Member States.

In addition to mitigation training, the initiative will inform the development of an Action Plan which identifies the way forward for Guyana in this particular thematic area.

Given the pervasiveness of school violence, an assessment of the threats, risks, resilience and protective factors in relation to school-based gang-related violence, bullying, aggression and other forms of deviant behaviours is critical for identifying targets for preventive interventions among students.

Crime and insecurity remains one of the principal obstacles to social and economic development in the Caribbean Region.  Conservative estimates place annual direct expenditure on youth-related crime and violence in five CARICOM Member States between 2.8 per cent and 4 per cent of GDP. (Chaaban, 2009).

In July 2014, CARICOM Heads of Government approved its Community Strategic Plan for 2015-2019. That plan identified six strategic priorities, and Deepening Crime Prevention Initiatives and Programmes is an area of focus in the strategic priority of Building the Social Resilience of the Community.

 

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