Making Southern Africa Safe: Promoting Crime and Violence Prevention in the Southern African Region

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) recently developed and approved the Guidelines on Crime and Violence Prevention (‘the Guidelines’). The Guidelines acknowledge that building a region that is safe for all is not the sole responsibility of the police, security agencies, and the criminal justice system. The state and non-state actors within and outside the security sector have a vital role to play. Building upon Aspiration 4 of Agenda 2063 among other sources, the Guidelines recognise the importance of a developmental response in building a safe region and of a partnership between the state and the people at a local level in understanding and addressing the factors that increase the risks which contribute to crime and violence, while, at the same time, developing and supporting those factors that make communities more resilient.

This paper, written in collaboration with the ICPC, provides an overview of the Guidelines. It begins with a discussion on crime prevention and its development within the discourse on safety, law enforcement, and criminal justice. Thereafter, the paper describes the development of the Guidelines and the importance the aforementioned recognition has in the evolution of the SADC, including the promise it holds for sustainable development.

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