Community participation for violence prevention - selected experience from Latin America and South Africa
SUM Consult, Germany
In El Salvador, violence is often associated with the so-called maras, violent street gangs. While addressing associated problems, integrated urban upgrading projects also represent an alternative to measures of a merely repressive nature.
In Colombia, the country with the highest rate of assassination victims, community participation in settlement upgrading has proved to be an effective means of reducing daily violence. An essential condition, however, is coordination and cooperation between government departments and the private sector.
In order to counteract violence in South African townships, new forms of policing and community participation, including community policing, are required. Football schemes involving children and young people have proved to be an excellent medium for practising the rules of peaceful cohabitation.
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