UN-LiREC Strengthens the Capacity of Andean Women in Controlling Illicit Firearms Trafficking

11 January 2011

IANSA is delighted that our women-only Training Institute model* is inspiring others around the world to engage in similar women-focused initiatives.

In December 2010, UN-LiREC (The UN Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean) organised its first Inter-Institutional Course on Combating Illicit Firearms Trafficking for women working in the field of small arms control in the Andean Region. This ten-day course brought together 40 female officers from law enforcement institutions, judiciary power and the public prosecutor's office of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

The immediate aim of the course was to increase the knowledge of participants on a variety of subjects related to firearms trafficking and improve multi-sectoral cooperation, thus contributing to the strengthening of national capacities and more effective implementation of international instruments in this field.

Recently awarded "best practices" by United Nations Agencies, donors and regional organizations working in the field of regional initiatives in small arms control, UN-LiREC's training course on combating illicit firearms trafficking provides practical and up-to-date information on a variety of subjects, such as identification of firearms, investigative techniques and intelligence, stockpile management, chain of custody and human security, among others.

Thanks to the support of the Government of Canada, UN-LiREC's training courses for the law enforcement community form part of the technical assistance provided by UN-LiREC to States of the region in its fight against illicit firearms trafficking. Since 2004, UN-LiREC has trained more than 2,700 officials from law enforcement institutions and public security agents in Latin America and the Caribbean, with the aim of achieving a safer society in the region.

For more information see: http://www.unlirec.org

* In April 2010, 20 women from Central America and the Caribbean participated in an Institute on 'Women and small arms control' and in December 2009, 12 women participated in the pilot Institute in Ethiopia. These Institutes have increased the capacity of women to become trainers and educators in their own countries and regions, and to share experiences and best practice on work in gender and small arms.