Human Development Report for Latin America 2013-2014 "Citizen Security with a Human Face: evidence and proposals for Latin America"

Published on 12 Nov 2013
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The Latin American region has established itself firmly on the international stage, and is making progress on poverty and inequality reduction and on economic growth and financial stability. 

There are, however, still challenges: taken as a whole the region carries a heavy burden of violence, registering more than 100,000 homicides per year. Most countries in the region have homicide rates which are much higher than for other regions and which are considered to be at epidemic levels by the World Health Organization. The human and social costs of this violence are high. 

This reality led UNDP to dedicate its Regional Human Development Report 2013-14 for Latin America to the challenge of providing citizen security. Citizen Security with a Human Face: Evidence and proposals for Latin America maps the problems of crime and violence in the region, and offers important recommendations for improving public policies on citizen security. The report builds on UNDP’s Central America Human Development Report, Opening Spaces to Citizen Security and Human Development launched in 2009, and its Caribbean Human Development Report, Human Development and the Shift to Better Citizen Security, of 2012.

Around the world, rule of law and citizen security are key elements of UNDP’s programming. We work on justice and law enforcement, and on preventive measures like generating employment opportunities and promoting social inclusion and a culture of peace and stability.

Citizen security, as defined in this UNDP Report, is a sensitive issue which preoccupies many political decision-makers, and reverberates in the heat of electoral campaigns. 

It is not surprising that the issue has escalated in Latin America to become the number one public concern in many countries. The level of insecurity many experience impedes human development. 

This report analyzes the phenomenon of citizen security in-depth, studying successful experiences, and proposing concrete recommendations for improvements. UNDP’s Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean has involved both experts and high-level political leaders in the discussion and preparation of the report, and has collected a wealth of data and analyses on which it plans to improve continuously in both scope and quality.

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