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The Fund for Peace

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Human Rights Training for Security Forces in the Extractive Industry

Published October 18, 2013 | By J. J. Messner
 
A comic book may not seem like an obvious method of training military forces on human rights, but that is exactly what the Fund for Peace (FFP) has used for training in Cameroon. FFP has developed a human rights training program, in partnership with oil and gas exploration and production company Kosmos Energy and Cameroon’s Bataillon d’Intervention Rapide (BIR). This training seeks to provide soldiers, or “combatants” as they are known in the Cameroonian elite forces, with a practical understanding of how to ensure that the safety, security, and human rights of the people they come into contact with is safeguarded. The participatory nature of the training – where the combatants took a significant role in crafting the program – and its focus on the practicalities of human security will help to ensure the program’s acceptance and long-term effectiveness.

Briefing: Chemical Weapons

Published September 19, 2013 | By Jacob Grunberger

The advent of chemical weapons, originally in the forms of chlorine and mustard gasses, is often attributed to being a direct byproduct of the industrialized nature of World War I. The first major use of this technology occurred on April 22, 1915 by the German military at Leper, Belgium. After witnessing the destructive capabilities of poison gas on entrenched soldiers, the European powers began to combine chemical weapons with long-range artillery, ultimately accounting for over one million casualties by the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

Greater Site and Community Security through Partnerships

Published September 1, 2013 | By Krista Hendry
 
This paper examines issues related to ensuring greater site and community security through collaborative efforts, focusing on the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs). It provides background on the VPs for those less aware of the initiative. It then discusses company and non-governmental organizations developing partnerships, followed by a discussion on the need to include governments in the collaboration for long-term success. It closes with a discussion of how the VPs, as both a framework and an opportunity for cross-sectoral collaboration, can be a key risk management tool for mining companies.

Security Sector Reform and the Private Sector: Bringing New Voices and Skills into the VPs

Published August 23, 2013 | By Krista Hendry

The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPs) were developed to address the issue of oil, gas and mining companies’ association with human rights abuses in relation to the provision of security. This was – and continues to be – particularly true when these companies are operating in remote, less governed spaces or areas prone to conflict and human rights abuses. With the rise of “corporate social responsibility” (or simply, “CSR”) in the past decade since their creation, the VPs were easily picked up by CSR departments and have increasingly therefore been viewed by many as a CSR issue. This has led to the almost singular focus on the activities of the companies to reduce the likelihood of human rights abuses on or around their facilities.

Conflict Bulletin: Rivers State - August 2013

Published August 21, 2013 | By Nate Haken*

Rivers, among the largest of the oil-producing Nigerian states, had been at the heart of the Niger Delta militancy until 2009. Now it is beset with a different array of issues as former combatants have turned to criminality, and uneven economic development continues to pose a challenge to sustainable peace and human security. This conflict bulletin takes a closer look at the patterns of conflict risk at the local level in Rivers state, using the P4P platform and drawing on data from UNLocK, Nigeria Watch, Council on Foreign Relations, WANEP, and CSS/ETH Zurich. Bulletins focusing on other states will be forthcoming.

Failed States Index 2013: What Were You Expecting?

Published June 24, 2013 | By J. J. Messner

In compiling the 2013 Failed States Index (FSI), there was some optimism at The Fund for Peace that we would finally see Somalia climb out of first place on the Index after having been firmly anchored in top position for five straight years, especially given the encouraging signs that have been emanating from the country in recent times. It was not to be. Somalia has, for the sixth time in succession, taken top spot in the FSI.

Most Improved Country for 2013: Japan

Published June 24, 2013 | By Sebastian Pavlou

Japan continues to recover with relative speed from the triple crisis of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant meltdown that devastated the country on March 11, 2011. After the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami tore through the country's north-eastern coastal communities of Miyagi, Iwatu and Fukushima, at least 20,851 people died or remain missing. This figure includes the confirmed number of dead, 15,881, those who are missing, 2,668, and 2,303 others who died from disaster-related issues.

Failed States Index 2013: The Troubled Ten

Published June 24, 2013 | By J. J. Messner & Kendall Lawrence

Though it is called the Failed States Index, that is not to say that every country on the FSI is a failed state — after all, Finland is ranked on the FSI. That is also not to say that any country on the FSI is necessarily failed — though Somalia might be the closest approximation to what many people may consider to be a failed state. Rather, the Failed States Index measures the pressures experienced by countries and thus adjudges their susceptibility to state failure. Ranking top on the FSI does not in and of itself mean that a country is failed — it simply means that of all countries, that one country is the most at risk of failure.

Anatomy of a Storm: Regional Impacts of the Arab Spring

Published June 24, 2013 | By Nate Haken

Does state failure matter? Obviously it matters mostly for the population of that country, but even for its neighbors, the answer is a resounding yes. Chaos in a single country can often impact an entire region. In 2011, as measured in the 2012 FSI, Tunisia and the wider “Arab Spring” were the case in point. In 2012, Mali — the most worsened state in the 2013 FSI — dragged the Western Sahel into a vortex of instability.

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