Crime Hinders Development

The Caribbean Human Development Report (HDR) 2012: Human Development and the Shift to Better Citizen Security, commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as the first HDR on the Caribbean analyses the impact of insecurity and violence on human development, within the development context of Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Most importantly, the Caribbean HDR provides evidence based recommendations on how to better address insecurity and violence in the English- and Dutch-speaking Caribbean countries. The Caribbean is diverse, comprising several geographic groupings, including island countries and nations on the mainland.

The scope of the Caribbean HDR is, however, limited to the English- and Dutch-speaking countries, two sub-regions where insecurity has become a very serious threat to human development, particularly in the former. Seven countries were selected for research, in order to represent variations in geography, population size, level of development, and the degree and character of the problem of insecurity. The selected countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago (Caribbean - 7). The process of producing the Caribbean HDR involved extensive and intensive research and consultations.

The research included the administration of a citizen security survey to gather primary data on a representative statistical sample of citizens of the seven countries. The data coming from the survey allowed an analysis of the region as a whole, as well as country comparisons. The consultations involved more than 450 people including experts, practitioners and a variety of institutional actors and interested parties from across the region.

They were developed using the methodology of Democratic Dialogue and provided the opportunity to triangulate the findings from the data generated by the survey with the experiences of the participants who were involved in the consultative process. The report also relies on secondary data from official sources and academic research.

The Caribbean HDR presents the opportunity for the people of the region to learn more about each other and to enhance collective learning and solutions. It does not attempt to explore every aspect of the security situation in the sub-region or to replicate or to improve on previous efforts, but rather, to extend them. There are unavoidable overlaps between the HDR and earlier reports dealing with the issue of crime and insecurity, but there is a deliberate attempt to minimize these.

The Caribbean HDR limits the discussion of drug-trafficking and organized crime to their national traits and the violence they generate. This approach calls greater attention to the internal roots of this problem and does so without minimizing the importance of international cooperation in tackling transnational organized crime networks and drug-trafficking. Indeed, the central concern of the report is violence and the responses to this problem.

Source: UNDP

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