Assessment of crime and violence in Mozambique

This report is an assessment of crime and violence in Mozambique undertaken between August 2011 and March 2012. The report was commissioned by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) and the Open Society Foundations Crime and Violence Prevention Initiative (OSF CVPI), which are currently supporting violence prevention programs in Kenya, Namibia and Mozambique.

The full report can be downloaded below

Richard Lee's picture

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Strategic communications for WWF

July 25th, 2012

This report is an assessment of crime and violence in Mozambique undertaken between August 2011 and March 2012. The report was commissioned by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) and the Open Society Foundations Crime and Violence Prevention Initiative (OSF CVPI), which are currently supporting violence prevention programs in Kenya, Namibia and Mozambique.

The full report can be downloaded below

The objective of the assessment was to provide a broad overview of the crime and violence situation in Mozambique and help inform future programming decisions there for OSISA and the OSF CVPI. It was written on the basis of key stakeholder interviews and analysis of existing data. Given the complexity of issues surrounding crime and violence, the report attempts to highlight major initiatives in a variety of sectors and is meant to inform debate and programme design.

Section 1 of the assessment introduces the report and presents the methodology.

Section 2 focuses on the Background and Context of crime and violence in Mozambique. After a brief history, the emphasis is on crime and violence data and analysis. As the report argues, reliable data is hard to obtain, but recent victimization surveys indicate that Mozambique is significant in that rates of victimization are particularly high, while rates of reporting crime to the police are particularly low. This phenomena is likely linked to issues around a lack of trust in the police services and perceived corruption.

Armed robberies are the major reported crime concern for most Mozambicans, although levels of domestic violence and child abuse are also estimated to be extremely high. Maputo City, Maputo Province, and Sofala are the provinces with the highest levels of reported crime.

Following the analysis on crime and violence data, the section ends with a summary of the Mozambican legal and policy framework, which is considered to be well developed – although clearly lacking in full implementation.

Section 3 analyses the major drivers of crime and violence in Mozambique and includes a detailed analysis on inequality, urbanization, corruption, organized crime, centralization, lack of opportunities for youth, victimization of women and children, high numbers of street dwellers, culture of violence, weak criminal justice system, prevalence of HIV/AIDS, rise in vigilantism, damaging customary practices and local beliefs, and trafficking along the coastlines and land corridors. While none of these factors in isolation cause crime and violence, all contribute to the challenges faced by Mozambique.

Section 4 of the assessment report highlights the key actors in crime and violence prevention. Government agencies (including MDI, MDN, PRM, MINJUS, MINED, MISAU, MMAS), key donors, non-governmental organizations, and research and academia organizations are included and their relevant initiatives and interventions presented.

For ease of analysis, the NGO sector is broken down into four areas, namely 1) women victimization organizations, 2) children victimization organizations, 3) governance, human rights, and community development organizations, and 4) peace, security, and conflict prevention organizations. The assessment notes the particular emphasis placed on women and children victimization by almost all of the key actors, although also notes an absence of support for unemployed and out-of-school youth.

Section 5 of the assessment highlights promising prevention initiatives in Mozambique undertaken by key stakeholders. Innovative programs range from local level interventions to national government programmes.

Section 6 analyses some of the key challenges to crime and violence prevention in Mozambique including: 1) Lack of opportunities for youth, 2) Marginalized role of local government, 3) Lack of engagement of the private sector, 4) Limited research and knowledge sharing on crime and violence prevention, 5) Absence of debate on security sector reform, 6) Parenting and early childhood development not prioritized, 7) Religious sector not fully engaged, 8) Poor support for displaced people, and 9) Disconnect between national policies and programs and local realities.

The final Section 7 of the report makes a series of recommendations for Open Society, largely directed towards a community based focus, the importance of knowledge generation, building off of Brazilian expertise, providing opportunities for marginalized youth, and engaging new sectors in the crime and violence prevention debate.

The assessment report is also accompanied by a community case study, which analyses crime and violence issues in two communities, Magoanine “C” and Feroviario das Mahotas. The case study, which was conducted by FOMICRES, provides an important point of reflection and highlights the juxtaposition between the national level policy and programs and the realities on the ground in marginalized communities.

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