Inteligencia y Seguridad Frente Externo En Profundidad Economia y Finanzas Transparencia
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09/05/2007 | High levels of violence and crime are undermining growth in the Caribbean, a World Bank report says.

BBC

Drugs, gun crime and youth violence pose a major threat to welfare and deter investment, it added.

While the Caribbean needs to tackle the root of some problems, with mentoring schemes and tougher policing, other countries must act as well.

 

The report says many issues, like drug trafficking, transcend borders and need action in the other countries affected.
The fact that the region was a trans-shipment centre for drugs rather than a major market put an onus on major markets such as the US and Europe to deal with demand there.

"The report clearly shows that crime and violence are development issues," said Caroline Anstey, World Bank Director for the Caribbean.

"Donors and OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries need to work together with Caribbean countries to reduce the current levels in the region."

Solutions needed
The study was carried out with the help of the the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Without action, it said, access to financing will decline, as will worker productivity while spending on security will increasingly become a burden.

If, instead, the high murder rate in the Caribbean could be cut by a third, the region's growth rate would more than double.

The survey argued that even though there was no "ideal" solution to the region's problems, a number of "interventions" could help top cut crime.

Youth crime and violence must be tackled as youngsters were "disproportionately represented" in the ranks of both victims and perpetrators, with youth homicide rates in several countries of the region "significantly above the world average".

Indirect measures
Moves such as after-school clubs, mentoring and measures to keep high risk young adults in school longer could all help curb the problem, the report added.

Other indirect measures to cut crime prevention - such as investment in slum-upgrading projects - could also help.
Conversely, the World Bank and UNODC also warned leaders from relying too heavily on straightforward crime-prevention measures, arguing that many problems were impervious to such initiatives.

Instead, the efficiency of the criminal justice system should be improved by enhancing the way information is shared, tracking the performance of justice, monitoring reform and increasing accountability to the public.

"Crime and violence are not immutable," the report adds.
"While the Caribbean faces serious challenges, especially in the areas of drugs guns and youth violence, informed policies at the national, regional and international levels can make a significant difference."

BBC (Reino Unido)

 



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