The focus of international efforts to tackle organised crime is typically at the national, regional or global level. The mantra often repeated is that tackling cross-border flows relies on better cooperation and coordination between states. But this emphasis neglects the impact of such illicit flows on ordinary people’s lives, particularly in a context where the plight of local communities in crime-ridden zones is not seen as a priority area for response. Such communities, long marginalised by the powerful forces of globalisation, are suffering under many of the most severe consequences of globalisation’s dark side.
Militarised and vigilante-style responses encouraged by populist politicians often exacerbate the threat and increase the human cost, without achieving much in terms of real results to stem the illicit flows. Instead, there is much to learn from community efforts to stem criminal control and illicit markets at the local level. What is required is to build a new global movement of communities sharing experience in responding to and building resilience against local forms of criminal governance.
The #GIResilience project is part of the GI´s efforts to address and alter the governance paradigm for criminal groups, and build resilience of communities in the long term to respond to and prevent the negative impacts of the presence of criminal enterprises.
It is designed as a global project for local change by harnessing the experience of communities across the world – and connecting key actors within a wider international network responding to criminalised governance.
The project collects experiences from those communities most affected by organized crime, to integrate them in the global development dialogue – by so doing connecting the local to the evolving global debate. It provides a platform for exchange with key community opinion leaders, where people share experiences and views, in a safe space. The aim is to draw ideas and frameworks from those conversations, to evaluate the current climate of resilience and to make recommendations to all stakeholders to increase capacity to address organized crime.
The project seeks to collect quantitative and qualitative data on the local responses to organized crime to identify and potentiate successful practices that can be replicated and escalated at the national, regional or global level. By tapping on the communities’ own sources of resilience, we can build sustainable responses to organized crime and develop their capacity to thrive.
Take a look at some examples below.
Let us know if you know of more examples of community resilience to organised crime that we should also be documenting.