Criminalized Condoms Force China’s Sex Workers to Make a Difficult Choice

Shasha, a transgender sex worker in China, was stopped on the street one night by the police. Though she hadn’t conducted any business that night, she was hauled to a local precinct for questioning. Once there, the police searched her bag and found lubricant and condoms. Declaring them evidence of guilt, she was immediately sent …

Fair and Effective Police Stops: Lessons in Reform from Five Spanish Police Agencies

Around the world, police departments, policy makers, and communities have struggled to develop best practices that ensure the delivery of both fair and effective policing. Recently, five police departments in Spain undertook an ambitious reform program intended to reduce ethnic profiling and increase the effectiveness and fairness of police stops and searches. Their collective experience shows that change is possible—while also illustrating the challenges and resources required to make change sustainable. Through a series of steps outlined in this report, police agencies reduced the ethnic disproportionality of their stops, increased the effectiveness of stops, while reducing the total number of people stopped, and improved relations with ethnic minority communities.

A Death in Police Custody, an Outpouring of Anger in the Netherlands [Photos]

Violent clashes between police and demonstrators raged for four nights last week in The Hague in the Netherlands—protests sparked by the death in police custody of a 42-year-old man from the Dutch Caribbean territory of Aruba, Mitch Henriquez. On the streets of the Schilderswijk, one of the Netherland’s poorest inner-city neighborhoods, riot police backed by …

Livelihoods, human development and human security: Exploring conceptual differences, similarities and complementarities

This paper, originally published as a chapter in an edited volume, explores the meanings, similarities and divergences of the “human security” concept with other leading conceptual security frameworks for development practitioners, namely “livelihoods” and “human development”. Each serves as the guiding policy and analytical framework for a variety of governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental agencies. While they hold significant currency within debates, policies and practices of international development, they are less prominent within the peace and security fields, where the concept of human security is better known. Moreover, the meanings of the three concepts – and more precisely their relationships with one another – often remain poorly understood.

Evolving Internal Roles of the Armed Forces: Lessons for Building Partner Capacity

Governments and societies have been contemplating the appropriateness of newly defined or previously secondary purposes for their armed forces, which extend beyond their core role of national defense. These include the assignment of a variety of external and internal military and civilian roles and tasks. Some of these are performed as a subsidiary activity in support of operations under civilian command. An examination of the internal roles of the armed forces in 15 Western democracies shows that armed forces assist in internal security provision mainly as a resource of last resort when efforts are required to respond to exceptional situations. This is the case primarily during and after natural and humanitarian catastrophes as well as other emergencies that exceed the response capacities of civilian and hybrid security institutions. Under the command and control of civilian agencies, the usually subsidiary operations of the armed forces are designed to enhance the capacity of civilian security providers in such situations. What does this mean for armed forces in the developing countries in their indigenous state-building processes? What are the implications for donor nations from the North in their efforts towards “building partner capacity?”

Ferguson, Missouri: Not Just an American Tragedy

The shooting death of Mike Brown by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer and the subsequent stand-offs between protestors and heavily armed law enforcement units might seem like a quintessentially all-American tragedy. But it’s not. Consider the violent rioting that erupted across England in 2011, after police in London shot dead Mark Duggan, a black British …

Equality Betrayed: Speaking Out Against Ethnic Profiling by French Police

Adji Ahoudian is a French citizen, and an elected member in the office of the mayor of the 19th arrondissement in Paris. He proudly remembers the day he received his new official I.D., with the Republican motto “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”. But then, after attending a council meeting one day, he was stopped by the police …