Belgium: urban violence and humanitarian challenges
This report is based on a colloquium on urban violence and humanitarian challenges organized by the ICRC and the European Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) that took place on 19 January 2012 in Brussels.
This was the second colloquium co-organized by the ICRC and the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS). The aim was to present the causes and humanitarian consequences of urban violence, together with related trends and challenges for the European Union and humanitarian agencies.
Two case studies were selected, focusing on different types of violence affecting urban environments. The first examines pilot projects that address humanitarian needs arising from organized crime and gang violence in megacities, while the second is an analysis of the humanitarian challenges emerging from urban violence in the context of uprisings, referring specifically to the lessons learned from the protests in the Arab world.
Urban violence represents numerous challenges for policy makers and humanitarian agencies alike. Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities and it appears that urban centres are likely to absorb almost all new population growth in the coming decades. It has therefore become increasingly important to understand the dynamics of violence in an urban setting.
By bringing together experts, academics and representatives from various relief organizations, the ICRC and the EUISS hope to have contributed to the debate and spurred further interest in this increasingly important issue.
The colloquium was directed by Pierre Apraxine, Anne Duquenne, Sabine Fetta and Damien Helly.