Oct 29, 2012

Guatemalan President: New MDGs should include reduction of violence

. . . I also believe that the new global goals will fall short of what is expected of them if the international community cannot also agree on specific targets aimed at ensuring universal access to justice and reduction of extreme violence for vulnerable groups.  
My country, Guatemala, continues to suffer from multiple forms of violence and high levels of impunity. Based on our experience, I can affirm that extreme violence, insecurity and limited access to justice are factors that prevent development in general, and particularly ensure the continuation of poverty and social exclusion. Let me explain this.
That is Guatemalan President Molina who argues that violence causes poverty. In the case of Guatemala (and probably in many other countries) I think he is right about the direction of the causality. 
He adds:
First, violence suffered by women, children and other vulnerable groups translates into impunity because a large proportion of people have limited or no access to justice. Impunity derived from low coverage and poor quality of justice is one of the major drivers of poverty (and intergenerational reproduction of poverty), because long exposure to a violent environment prevents otherwise perfectly healthy women and children gaining access to economic and social opportunities that may help them escape from the poverty trap.
The article is here

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