Gendered Implementation of the Global Fragility Act: A Case for Haiti

Marvin Dee Mathelier and Tahina Montoya

The Global Fragility Act (GFA) and its subsequent Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability (SPCPS) constitute a fundamental shift in the way the U.S. government will act to address the root causes of violence in fragile states and stabilize conflict-affected areas. Given bipartisan support and congressionally mandated funding, the GFA is designed to produce a coordinated strategy that builds on lessons learned and prioritizes building partnerships with local communities and civil society actors. In terms of implementation, the GFA requires a whole-of-government approach and interagency process with regular reporting mechanisms applied to five high-priority countries over a ten-year period.

In Spring 2023, four years after the passing of the GFA, the U.S. State Department released a 10-Year Strategic Plan for four priority countries and one priority region. Haiti is one of the SPCPS-designated priority states, along with Libya, Mozambique, and Papua New Guinea, as is the region of Coastal Western Africa (which includes Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, and Togo). The SPCPS specifically links the U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) to its work, recognizing that the root causes of violent extremism are gendered and thus intimately linked to structural inequalities and discriminations that must be addressed to reduce state fragility. Haiti’s own 10-Year Strategic Plan identifies severe gender inequality and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) as elements that undermine Haiti’s stability. 

With the SPCPS specifically calling attention to drivers of conflict that are deeply gendered, this policy brief argues that country implementation plans must consider a whole-of-government (WOG) approach that integrates a gender perspective. Haiti’s implementation plan must also recognize Haiti’s complex history and how it has contributed to the gendered dimensions of Haiti’s current violence—political, economic, cultural, and structural—and integrate these factors into the tailored approach emphasized in the GFA’s strategic documents. 

The policy brief begins with an assessment of current conditions in Haiti and then turns to the question of why current conditions are so intractable. Using Haiti as a case study, the policy brief shows how consideration of a country’s history and gender-specific issues are factors that must be considered when developing tangible solutions, as doing so is necessary to promote long-term stability. The policy brief then presents a set of recommendations that can strengthen the Haiti implementation plan and programmatic objectives in critical areas: formalize the informal sector workforce to empower women, reform education policy, increase support to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, and mobilize the Haitian diaspora in support of U.S. assistance to Haiti.

Haiti: The Current Situation

In addition to the 2020 COVID pandemic, 2021 was a devastating year for Haiti. Multiple protests and demonstrations have since occurred in response to high inflation and rising food and gas prices. The poverty-stricken country also saw an alarming increase in criminal and gang activity, a sign of the weakening authority and the incapacity of the Haitian National Police to control the gangs. Tensions escalated when, on July 7, 2021, a group of 28 foreign mercenaries broke into the home of President Jovenel Moïse and assassinated him. Only five weeks later, on August 14, 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the southern claw of Haiti, causing billions of dollars worth of infrastructure damage and affecting the lives of over 1.2 million people.  

In the wake of these political, economic, and social crises, human rights violations over the past two years have escalated and accelerated. Women and children are particularly vulnerable. The number of kidnappings and abductions has tripled since 2021 as gangs use women and children for financial gain or tactical advantage. Of the 5.2 million Haitians requiring humanitarian aid (nearly half the population), three million are children. Severe malnutrition and cholera outbreaks are overtaxing a failing healthcare system, and gender-based violence is rampant.

It is estimated that gangs control 90% of the capital, Port Au Prince, instilling fear through the use of violent tactics such as kidnapping, rape, and murder to control areas. Occasionally, to further aggravate the populace, and in an attempt to oust Prime Minister Ariel Henry from power, these gangs block off access to fuel and goods, preventing access to other parts of the country. This further exacerbates food shortages that, if left unchecked, can lead to a man-made famine. The international community’s hesitancy to get involved has left citizens with few choices, leaving many to combat gangs on their own. Some citizens have retaliated by taking extreme actions of their own, such as burning gang members in the road as a deterrent.

On October 23, 2023, after intense pressure from both the Haitian government and human rights organizations, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) approved a Kenyan-led security mission to help the Haitian National Police combat gang violence. However, on October 24, 2023, Kenya’s High Court blocked the deployment of Kenyan police to Haiti after a petition was filed challenging the government’s deployment decision, and Kenya’s parliament has yet to schedule a debate on the issue, a ruling the High Court is expected to make on November 9.

Roots of Systemic Failure          

For Haiti, the current violence that handicaps efforts to stabilize the country and protect at-risk groups has roots in Haiti’s tumultuous history, which has been shaped by foreign intervention and occupation, crippling debts, weak governance structures, and devastating natural disasters.

Independence and Struggle: 1800-1900. Haiti became the first free Black republic on January 1, 1804, when a band of slaves raised an army to defeat France. To recoup and compensate for its economic losses, the French demanded reparations totaling 150 million francs ($20-30 billion in today’s currency). Debt payments consumed over 80% of Haiti’s revenues for the subsequent 122 years. The fear of political contagion from Haiti’s successful slave rebellion led countries, including the United States, to withhold recognition of Haiti’s sovereignty or offer any support for the young country.

U.S. Occupation: 1915-1934. The U.S. occupation of Haiti was designed to quell the political and economic turmoil plaguing Haiti and, through a campaign known as the Banana Wars, to protect U.S. financial assets and economic growth in the Western Hemisphere. Many atrocities and human rights violations, including torture, forced labor, and religious persecution against voodoo practitioners occurred during the U.S. occupation of Haiti. Additionally, under the guise of protecting Haiti’s financial assets, the U.S. took custody of over $500,000 from Haiti’s national bank, roughly equivalent to $15,351,300 billion in current dollars. The loss of these funds had significant impacts on the country’s economic development and stabilization, and especially on Haiti’s social fabric and education system.

Despite promoting the goal of creating 1,074 schools in Haiti, the U.S. built only 306, much lower in comparison to schools constructed by the U.S. in Cuba (2,600) and the Philippines (1,000). For children in those countries, this support resulted in a significant increase in access to both schools and education. Rather than develop schools to promote education for all Haitians, the U.S. provided agricultural training for predominantly black Haitians, while their mixed-race peers continued their education at the limited and exclusive French-based curriculum schools in Haiti. This specifically limited black Haitians’ ability to acquire critical skills and knowledge, further widening the education and socio-economic gaps for black Haitian children.

The Duvalier Regime: 1957-1986. The 30-year reign of terror of François and Jean-Claude Duvalier that led to the killing of over 50,000 men, women, and children contributed to a massive exodus of Haitian citizens. This “brain drain” of highly educated and skilled Haitians had a devastating effect on the country’s social and economic development and placed the country in a perpetual cycle of poverty. Haitian citizens continue to struggle while members of the Haitian diaspora secure more economic growth and send remittances back to Haiti, often the only income many families have. Women, in particular, were severely affected by the impacts of emigration and economic crises, as most were forced to work almost exclusively within the informal sector. Statistics show the staggering cost: in 2021, the World Bank reported that “vulnerable employment” among Haitian women had reached 83.5%. 

2004 and Beyond: 2004 ushered in a crushing series of humanitarian, political, and economic crises that continued to disproportionately impact women and children in Haiti. This began with the second coup of Haitian President Bertrand Aristide on February 29, 2004, which in the wake of Aristide’s ouster led to the establishment of the UN peacekeeping mission Mission des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation en Haïti (MINUSTAH). Peacekeeping forces worked with the Haitian National Police to support police efforts to reduce violence. Unfortunately, trust in MINUSTAH evaporated as tensions grew. Corruption and GBV were endemic; serious incidents of sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers against local citizens occurred, but few were held accountable for their actions. A severe cholera outbreak traced back to a sewage leak from a MINUSTAH base resulted in the loss of over 10,000 lives, and the UN was slow to accept responsibility. The withdrawal of MINUSTAH troops in 2019 left much destruction, loss of life, and a glaring security gap, creating an opening for gangs to take control of the country.

Finally, with more than 96% of its population exposed to hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes, Haiti has become even more vulnerable to natural disasters. A 2010 earthquake killed 222,570 people, injured over 300,000, and displaced 3.5 million Haitians. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew killed around 250,000 people and wiped out 120% of its GDP. The destructive earthquake that hit Haiti on August 14, 2021, was followed two days later by Tropical Storm Grace, causing massive flooding and landslides and worsening the already desperate conditions on the ground. 

All these systemic issues and intractable problems, combined with a lack of faith in the government, have forced Haitians to fend for themselves. For women, this meant relying increasingly on the informal sector, primarily selling goods on the street and making the hard decision to use their financial resources to feed their children, pay for medical bills, or decide which of their children was most eligible to go to private school. This overwhelming conundrum created a practice with serious repercussions for poorer Haitians. With little money to send their children to school, a legalized form of child labor or slavery called Restavèk developed. With the creation of this system, limited resources drove many families to send their children to other, presumably wealthier, families who had the relative means to provide education, shelter, and food in exchange for their children’s service.

Current Impact on Women and Children

Gender-Based Violence (GBV)

With the ongoing turmoil in Haiti, marginalized groups such as women and children continue to be disproportionally impacted. GBV and violence against women and children are used as a deterrent to control a community. A Health Policy Watch study that evaluated the use of rape as a weapon of war in Haiti stated that “80% of the women and girls who participated in this research had been victims of one or multiple forms of sexual violence by one or more perpetrators. In 33% of the cases, the assailants were described as bandits, gang members, or kidnappers. 14% of the victims were only 10 to 18 years old.”  

Unemployment Rate & Informal Work Sector

Haiti’s unemployment rate is currently 15.73%. Women make up 62% of the labor force, and nearly half of the Haitian women are heads of households, but they do not work in the formal sector. Women constitute more than 75% of the informal economy in Haiti, where they sell produce and other items on roadsides to support their families with no benefits, health insurance, or other job protections.  

Lack of Representation in Politics

Unsurprisingly, women’s political representation in Haiti is negligent. In 2019, women constituted only 2.54% of the Haitian parliament, though as of January 2023, there is no functioning parliament at all in the country. Haiti established a Gender Equality Policy in 2014 and the Haitian Ministry for the Status of Women and Women’s Rights (MCFDF) in 1994. Nevertheless, the plan has not been effectively implemented, and the MCFDF faces chronic underfunding (0.01—0.05% of the national budget), government and parliamentary hostility, and little political will to change the status quo. 

Restavèk System

As noted, a modern version of child slavery known as Restavèk remains prevalent in Haiti. Studies have shown that male and female children who have been “restavèks” (more than half of whom are girls) likely never attended school and are more prone to experience sexual, physical, and emotional violence in childhood than non-restavèk children (See Figure 1). Some children do return home, but with few options available to them, many turn to prostitution, join gangs, or become beggars, which only continues the poverty-stricken cycle in Haiti. The Haitian government has attempted to crack down on this practice, but many families continue to resort to the only means they can afford to feed their children and families. 

                     Figure 1: Restavèk vs Non-Restavèk Children

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Access to Education

Education in Haiti is valued but not accessible to all since 85% of schools in Haiti are private schools. Families understand the power and opportunities an education can bring and, if they have the means, are willing to pay more than 40% of their income to send their children to school. In families with multiple children, children may skip a year to let their siblings go to school or, as is often the case, preference is given to boys under the assumption that it will be easier for them to find jobs. Parents often have no money to pay for their daughter’s education, and it has been known that some girls ask their male counterparts for money in exchange for sex in hopes they will make enough money to afford an education. Additionally, while the global average for “mean years of schooling” is 8.7 years, Haiti’s is a mere 5.6 years, placing it 124th out of 150 countries.

An Opportunity for Change: The Global Fragility Act

The U.S. 10-year Strategic Plan for Haiti identifies key factors that contribute to Haiti’s fragility (including the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and increased criminal gang activity) and delves into gender-specific issues that continue to contribute to the countries’ instability, namely, GBV and gender inequality that disproportionately impacts women and girls. It specifically highlights the creation of a working group that consulted 230 individuals from different facets of the Haitian government and civil society. But gaps remain. 

It is particularly important that a detailed implementation plan arising from interagency discussions successfully integrate a gender perspective. However, a growing list of documents referenced for GFA implementation (see Figure 3) has made an already complicated effort more onerous. 

Figure 3: U.S. Government Documents: WPS and GFA

December 2017The United States Women, Peace, and Security Act of 2017
June 2019The United States Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security
December 2019Global Fragility Act
December 2020The U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability
December 20202020-2024 The USAID Strategic Framework: Haiti
April 2022Announcement of GFA Priority Countries and Regions
March 2023U.S. Department of State Integrated Country Strategy
March 2023Publication of Country and Regional Plan Summaries

Despite multiple failed attempts by Haiti and the international community to address existing complex conflict dynamics, the Global Fragility Act and its 10-Year Strategic Plan for Haiti offers an opportunity to course-correct if implemented with a gender-sensitive lens alongside the people of Haiti. We offer four tangible recommendations that help codify how gender-conscious GFA implementation could look like in Haiti. They provide a unique and crucial approach to stabilizing Haiti’s fragile situation through the lens of gender-centric solutions.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendation 1:  Increase Women’s Economic Agency in the Workforce

Through the support of the DoS, DoD, and USAID under the GFA, the Haitian government should create a joint coalition with the Haitian Ministry of the Economy, local government officials, and local NGOs to develop a pilot project for supporting the women-led informal sector. While most plans would center their efforts in the capital, specifically in Port-au-Prince, this plan is better suited for development and implementation in Cap Haitian, the second-largest city in the country.  With over 190,000 people, Cap Haitian is in the northern tip of Haiti and has thus far been shielded from the violence currently engulfing key cities in Haiti. Through monitoring mechanisms and data collection, a pilot case will provide lessons learned for implementing programs tailored to support women’s agency in more fragile and conflict-ridden environments. This approach has positive multiple effects, and it will address the persistent insecurity women face socially and economically and help ensure they are in a space that enables economic growth for their families and encourages career development.               

Recommendation 2:  Enhance the Ministry of Women’s Affairs

While the Haitian government has established laws addressing gender equality, policymakers are noncompliant with the laws. Enhancing the capability of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs is needed to oversee and enforce these laws, though it is doubtful the Haitian government will extend the resources and staff to support the Ministry’s work. International assistance can provide financial support for the Ministry’s activities, such as developing education and gender awareness programs for men, women, and children or building women’s economic empowerment. Collaboration among diverse international stakeholders that provide training, business advice, and increased access to financial resources or that work to build women’s business leadership and ownership in emerging markets will strengthen the Ministry’s capacity to empower more women.

Recommendation 3:  Education for Children

Education is the key driver to economic growth within a country. A highly educated and skilled labor force will increase the quality of work in all sectors and will contribute to increased income, tax revenue, and better-quality public education. To get there, with the help of GFA entities, Haiti should establish an education initiative similar to the approach conducted in the High Performing Asian Economies (HPAE) that includes Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China. Although different in culture, government structure, and region, these countries were able to shift from developing countries to leading economies within half a decade. With high rates of investment in education, the governments were able to reallocate funds towards human capital such as schools and other necessary training, which helped each respective economy grow. This is a challenge for Haiti–not just because of government instability and scarce resources for education, but because of structural inequalities in the education system itself that must be eliminated to spur greater economic growth in the country. Nevertheless, making progress towards quality universal education must be a political priority.

Recommendation 4: Mobilizing the Haitian Diaspora

Despite significant international assistance to Haiti–$13 billion between 2011 and 2022 alone–Haiti remains an impoverished failed state. Earlier efforts have failed for many reasons, among them, poorly managed projects, local capacity limitations, corruption, and a political and economic elite complicit in gang violence and unwilling to implement structural changes to address state instability. An approach that has not been optimized is leveraging the Haitian diaspora to advance develop-driven, long-term solutions for Haiti, with the diaspora working hand in hand with the U.S. government and Haitians on the ground. Outside of the Haitians on the ground, there is no other group that understands the complexity and issues within the island nation or that contributes more to Haiti’s GDP: around two-thirds of Haiti’s GDP comes from remittances, showing that the Haitian diaspora not only influences but drives and deeply cares about Haiti’s success.

The Global Fragility Act and the 10-year strategic plan for Haiti can lead to novel implementation approaches by incorporating members of the diaspora while engaging with Haitian civil society organizations, and do so with the intent to leverage Haitian diaspora expertise. This includes engaging with organizations like the U.S. National Haitian Elected Officials Network (NHEON), a U.S.-based organization of Haitian-American politicians who can be an additional voice and liaison between Haitian citizens and U.S. organizations working towards implementing the GFA. We also recommend exploring the opportunity to grant voting rights to Haitians living abroad. While Haitians living abroad are eligible for dual citizenship, they cannot currently vote in Haitian elections. Doing so would insert a diversity of views and weaken the ability of corrupt politicians to manipulate voters, in the hope that diaspora voters would help to push the Haitian government to be more accountable to its citizens.

Conclusion

While Haiti’s history has contributed greatly to its current situation, and prior policies (with the best of intentions) have failed to alter Haiti’s current state, the Global Fragility Act is, undoubtedly, currently the best option to address fragility in Haiti. Though a challenge, cooperation between U.S. government agencies working with Haiti’s citizens and the diaspora to develop and implement the above-listed recommendations would contribute to addressing key concerns of GBV, employment, education, and safety, all of which are discussed in the guiding frameworks that have been identified as key documents for GFA implementation in Haiti. Despite the delay in implementation, the GFA is a policy that provides a significant opportunity for change. If implemented alongside the people of Haiti in a gender-sensitive way, the GFA can address fragility in innovative ways that will work for Haiti and its people.

Dr. Karin L. Johnston, Dr. Diorella Islas, Larissa Abaunza

On October 31, 2000, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325),
the first of ten Security Council resolutions that together comprise the Women, Peace, and Security
(WPS) Agenda to advance gender equality and women’s representation and participation in all decision-making processes in peacebuilding and conflict prevention. Its passage was the culmination of decades
of international efforts to ensure women play an active role in addressing the impacts of war and conflict
on their lives along the spectrum of conflict resolution, peacemaking, peacekeeping, post-conflict
reconstruction, and conflict prevention. Since 2005, creating National Action Plans (NAPs) within
countries worldwide has become a major vehicle for institutionalizing the WPS agenda.
The focus on peacekeeping and the participation of women in security sector forces brought renewed
attention to the process of integrating a gender perspective in military and national police operations.
In 2020, Women In International Security (WIIS) was approached by the U.S. Southern Command
(USSOUTHCOM) to establish a baseline of data and best practices to assist partner nations in Latin
America and the Caribbean in evaluating the implementation of the WPS agenda in their respective
security sector forces.
WIIS reported its first findings on 14 countries (13 countries in the USSOUTHCOM area of responsibility
(AOR) plus Mexico) in the 2020 report “Enhancing Security: Women’s Participation in Latin America
and the Caribbean.” The present report continues the work that began in 2020 to study progress in
implementing the WPS agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean. This second report examines the
remaining 15 countries in the USSOUTHCOM AOR utilizing the research questions and methodology
framing the 2020 report.
Supporting the conclusions from the 2020 report, the 2023 study shows that despite many countries
lacking national militaries or NAPs, all countries in the study have strong normative frameworks in
place to advance gender equality at the national level. There is growing momentum in integrating gender
equality in military and defense forces, police forces, and other forces responsible for public security,
though the pace and scope among the countries vary. Nevertheless, the study also underscores that
the gap between the rhetorical support of gender equality and the implementation of the WPS agenda
persists, challenging governments to apply the necessary political will and resources to advance gender
equality and the WPS agenda in the region.
The findings of our assessment examining the level of integration of gender equality and the WPS agenda
in security forces in Latin America and the Caribbean are outlined below:

  • Countries have developed a range of regional and state agencies, institutions, and agreements that
    reflect a commitment to greater advancement towards gender equality in security forces, even in the
    absence of a NAP and references to the WPS agenda;
  • A broad commitment to gender equality and gender integration both nationally and in security
    institutions has not seen consistent, transformational changes in policies and practices that can
    recruit, promote, and retain women in security forces;
  • Women’s representation in military and national police forces remains low;
  • Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms are poorly resourced, often lacking the data collection and
    civil society interaction that allow decision-makers to identify problem areas in plan implementation
    and make needed course corrections.
    Based on these findings, the report proposes the following recommendations:
    National Level:
  • Adopt a WPS NAP: A WPS NAP can be a valuable tool that supports and complements a nationallevel gender mainstreaming strategy. It induces government actors to work together at the national and
    local levels and more closely with civil society. It also creates avenues for greater gender participation
    throughout the plan’s design and implementation.
  • Ensure Civil Society Participation: Include civil society actors from the earliest stages of plan
    development and throughout the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation phases.
  • Commit Human and Financial Resources: Using a gender-responsive budgeting process, governments
    should ensure gender-equitable allocation and distribution of resources and provide sufficient staff,
    including GENADs and GFPs, to ensure a NAP’s sustainability.
  • Monitor and Evaluate Progress: An effective monitoring and evaluation mechanism should be in
    place and appropriately funded.
  • Ensure Transparency: The defense forces and public security institutions should consider
    communication strategies to publicly share their progress and challenges in advancing their gender
    integration efforts.
    Institutional Level:
  • Expand Women’s Operational or Combat Positions: Efforts should expand beyond creating gendersensitive recruitment policies and material to aim for women’s unrestricted and equal access to all
    military, police, and security forces positions. Often, restricted operational positions are pathways for
    promotion to senior ranks.
  • Evaluate Quality of Life and Force Retention Policies: Policies that provide support and incentive
    for women to remain in the force should be institutionalized, e.g., providing and designing maternity
    and paternity leave policies and available childcare facilities, extending family leave policies, and
    providing equipment and facilities that serve women’s needs.
  • Appoint a Gender Advisory Workforce: To support the effective implementation of gender
    mainstreaming and WPS principles at all levels of decision-making—strategic, tactical, and
    operational—security institutions should appoint GENADs and GFPs who have training in WPS and
    gender studies.
  • Institutionalize WPS Training: Implementing foundational training at all military service branches
    and rank levels to educate and integrate the WPS agenda and gender equality should be a high priority
    in the military and national police forces.
    Regional Level:
  • Create an Annual WPS Summit: Representatives from the defense forces, national police agencies,
    and subject matter experts (SMEs) should meet regularly to share best practices and lessons learned
    to ensure continued advancement in gender integration.
  • Create Regional Training Courses: Create a joint WPS strategy training for countries considering or
    developing a WPS strategy or that have yet to appoint a GENAD.
  • Gender and Regional Climate Cooperation: As regional cooperation increases in response to growing
    alarm about the impact of climate on security, ensure that a gender dimension is an integral part of
    any resulting regional framework for preventing, mitigating, responding, and adapting to climate
    change and environmental disasters.

Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, Ellen Haring, Diorella Islas, Ana Laura Velasco

Executive Summary

The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, launched by UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325) adopted in October 2000, brought renewed attention to the importance of the integration of a gender perspective for the effectiveness of military and police operations. It also pointed to the importance of increasing the participation of women in security (military and police) forces.[1] 

This report examines to what extent the WPS agenda, and more generally the principles of gender equality, have been integrated in the security sector (military and national police) in 14 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The research was commissioned by the Women, Peace and Security Program at the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), with the objective: (a) to establish a baseline of data and best practices with regard to the integration of the WPS agenda in security forces in Latin America and the Caribbean; and (b) to provide a framework for future partnerships between US SOUTHCOM and security forces in the region. While US SOUTHCOM commissioned the research, the authors bear sole responsibility for the content of this report and any errors or omissions.

Our research draws on an assessment tool developed by Women In International Security (WIIS) that examines how countries have integrated the principles of gender equality and the WPS agenda in security institutions and operations. [2]  More specifically, the tool defines indicators that measure: (1) the level of political commitment to gender equality and the WPS agenda; (2) how that commitment is translated into practice; and (3) what accountability measures have been adopted—that is, how well policy and practice are monitored and evaluated.

This report is based on desk and literature research in Washington, DC and field research conducted by 14 volunteer country research teams composed of active and retired members of the police and the military, academics, government officials, policymakers, and members from civil society organizations.

The findings of our assessment examining the level of integration of the principles of gender equality and the WPS agenda in the security forces in Latin America and the Caribbean are outlined below.

Overall Regional Assessment

The overall integration of the principles of gender equality and the WPS agenda in security forces in the region (all countries combined) is robust, with an average score of 64.6 (on a scale of 1-100).

Many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have strong normative frameworks for gender equality in place, are party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and have professed support to the WPS agenda. It provides a strong backdrop for the integration of the gender equality and WPS agenda in the security sector. That said, in most countries political rhetoric is often not matched by consistent implementation. In addition, most countries lack systematic monitoring and evaluation mechanisms (see Figure 1).

Figure 4: Overall

Average Regional

Scores

Of the 14 countries examined for this report, four countries scored above the average regional score.

Four countries scored around the regional average, and six countries fell below the regional average. What is common to the countries that scored high is that they have strong scores across all 3 categories of assessment. (See Table 1)

For many police and military organizations in the region, gender equality and the integration of the WPS agenda is focused on the number of women in the forces. That said, gender mainstreaming and the integration of the WPS agenda in military and national police forces requires more than just adding women; it also requires the integration of a gender perspective in operations and addressing gender norms and gender stereotypes in the organizations themselves.  Military and police organizations are highly gendered—masculine—constructs. Introducing gender perspectives and increasing the number of women does not come naturally to these institutions. Change only comes about with strong leadership from the top and continuous and systematic attention at all levels of military and police organizations.

Country Political Will Policy & Practice Monitoring Reporting   & EvaluationTotal Score 
Argentina98906890
Brazil44514849
Chile85756476
Colombia51476850
Costa Rica808810087
Dominican Republic63584858
Ecuador72566060
Guatemala78523655
Mexico60594058
Panama62636066
Paraguay67684466
Peru58576057
Trinidad & Tobago55643660
Uruguay78707672
Region Average686457.7064.60

Table 1: Average

National Scores by

Category

Main Findings by Category

All countries were assessed using simple sets of indicators that measure political will, the institutionalization of WPS principles in policy and practice, and, whether monitoring and evaluation mechanisms have been put in place.

Political Will

The most important measure of political will is whether countries have adopted WPS National Action Plans (NAPs).

  • Of the 14 countries surveyed in our report, five have developed WPS National Action Plans and five are in the process of developing a WPS NAP.
  • In most countries the WPS agenda and WPS NAPs are seen in the context of external engagements, most notably UN peacekeeping operations. While most countries see the WPS agenda as applicable only to armed conflict, some countries in the region have integrated human security challenges, such as human trafficking (Argentina) or rights of refugees (Brazil).

Institutionalization (Policy and Practice)

NAPs are most effective when they are accompanied by detailed implementation plans.

  • Most countries lack specific implementation plans with clearly defined goals and resources for implementation.
  • In all countries in the region, women remain under-represented in the military and the police. Even fewer women reach senior ranks. Many security forces have policies that exclude or limit (through the imposition of caps) women’s participation in the police or military. Few countries have welldefined recruitment strategies or set targets to increase women’s participation in the security forces.
  • The prevention of sexual harassment and abuse is critical to create a women-friendly work place, but few countries have programs to address harassment or abuse in the ranks.
  • Knowledge about the WPS agenda remains limited, and training on gender and the WPS agenda is ad-hoc and unsystematic.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring and reporting are critical for learning and identifying progress. Monitoring and evaluation practices must be an integral part of any NAP and implementation plan and include all stakeholders, including civil society organizations in the planning and implementation stages.

  • Few countries in the region have robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms that involve civil society.
  • Sex-disaggregated data about women in the military and police are not systematically collected or published.

Main Recommendations

The report concludes with two sets of recommendations. One is for governments in the region and their military and police forces. The other is for the region as a whole and identifies specific actions countries in the region and the US government (including US DoD and US SOUTHCOM) can take to advance the WPS agenda and solidify partnerships in the region.

National Actions:

All countries in the region have strong normative gender equality frameworks in place. This should provide a solid basis for governments in the region to apply the political will necessary to develop WPS NAPs. The most effective NAPs are whole-of-government efforts that engage all governmental and nongovernmental stakeholders and cover the entire range of security challenges, including human security and non-military security challenges.

  • All government agencies, including military and police forces, should develop implementation plans with clear goals and benchmarks for measuring progress.
  • Governments must back up their commitment to NAPs and implementation plans by pledging the necessary resources—personnel and financial—to ensure effective implementation.
  • Legislatures must become actively involved in the development of WPS NAPs. They should require the executive to present NAP updates at regular intervals and pass budgets with dedicated funding streams for NAPs and implementation plans.
  • Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms should be transparent and include members of civil society. Civil society actors are critical to ensuring transparency and providing expertise in the effective implementation of WPS NAPs.

The increase of the number of women in police and military organizations and the integration of gender perspectives in operations require actions at different levels.

  • Military and police organizations should develop organization-specific WPS implementation plans. This can be accomplished even in the absence of a nation-wide WPS NAP. Countries, such as Argentina and Colombia, have developed and effectively implemented military implementation plans before NAPs were developed.
  • In terms of gender balance, the military and police should remove all exclusions and caps that limit women’s full participation in the security forces. They should also develop recruitment programs and establish targets to increase the number of women in the ranks. Military and police should regularly collect and publish sex-disaggregated data on women in the ranks.
  • In terms of integrating gender perspectives in operations, and more generally the development of a gender mainstreaming strategy, the military and police should appoint Gender Advisors (GENADs). GENADs help with the development of organizational gender mainstreaming strategies, make sure that police and military exercises and operations have integrated a gender analysis, and advise on the education and training of soldiers and officers with regard to the WPS agenda. To be effective, GENADs should be located at the highest command level. In addition to GENADs, military and police organizations should appoint Gender Focal Points (GFPs) at lower levels of the organization.

GFPs are key to ensuring that implementation takes place at all levels.

International and Regional Actions:

There is a great deal of expertise in Latin America and the Caribbean that should be capitalized on for the good of the entire region. Unfortunately, the exchange and learning among security forces in the region is ad-hoc, uneven, and non-systematic. Countries in the region, including the United States government (US DoD and US SOUTHCOM), should create a WPS Center of Excellence for security forces (military and police) that can support the integration of the WPS agenda throughout the region. The Center—a multilateral governmental venture—should seek to actively engage non-governmental stakeholders. The Center would function as a regional hub to support military and police forces in the region. Areas of responsibilities would include:  

  • Research: encourage national and regional collaborative research efforts and focus on topics supporting the integration of the WPS agenda into security forces, such as measures to eliminate barriers for women’s participation in military and police forces, monitoring and evaluation practices, collecting and publishing sex-disaggregated data on gender balances in the forces;
  • Education and Training: facilitate the development and delivery of WPS and gender curriculum and training for the military and police;
  • Convening of stakeholders: exchange best practices;
  • Technical support: for the development of WPS NAPs and implementation plans, particularly implementation plans for the military and police.

More specifically, the US government (US DoD and US SOUTHCOM) should embed WPS discussions in all engagements, including in all security and military senior leader engagements. They should also incentivize women’s participation in any externally funded training programs they provide to regional partners by requiring that a certain percentage of military and police women participate in the training.

Preface

The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda launched in October 2000 by the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 has been a key instrument in advancing the role of women in the peace and security arena.

The United States, including the US Department of Defense, has been engaged with the WPS agenda since 2011, when President Barack Obama launched the first National Action Plan (NAP) on WPS.[3] The US Congress adopted the WPS Act in 2017, which directed the US government to develop a national WPS Strategy.[4] The US WPS Strategy was released in 2019.[5] Subsequently, in  mid-2020, the US Department of State, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US Department of Homeland Security, and the US Department of Defense published agency-specific implementation plans.

In its 2020 Implementation Plan, the US Department of Defense outlined the following lines of effort: 

  • Seek and support the preparation and meaningful participation of women around the world in decision-making processes related to conflict and crises;
  • Promote the protection of women and girls’ human rights, their access to humanitarian assistance, and their safety from violence, abuse, and exploitation around the world;
  • Adjust US international programs to improve outcomes in equality for, and the empowerment of, women; and
  • Encourage partner governments to adopt policies, plans, and capacity to improve the meaningful participation of women in processes connected to peace and security and decision-making institutions.[6]

The advancement of the WPS agenda is a key objective of US military partnerships, including in the Southern Hemisphere.[7] Yet there is very little data on how military and police forces in Latin America and the Caribbean have integrated women and gender perspectives in their operations and activities. As a result, the exchange and learning among security forces in the Western Hemisphere on how best to integrate gender perspectives in operations and activities is ad-hoc and non-systematic.

In the summer of 2020, WIIS was approached by the Gender Advisor of US SOUTHCOM, Lt. Col. (USAF) Duila M. Turner, to develop a tool that would provide baseline data on where security forces in the region stand with respect to the integration of the WPS agenda. The idea was to develop a tool that could structure and frame discussions on these issues with partner nations.

In consultation with the US SOUTHCOM Gender Advisor, we defined three main objectives for the WPS assessment tool:

Learning: Numerous studies show that there is still little awareness and understanding of the WPS framework. While there is an increasing awareness within security establishments that conflict affects men and women differently, military and police establishments have a hard time determining what this reality means for them in terms of operations and how to convey this to their security forces. By collecting data and examining best practices, the assessment tool should become a powerful analytical and hence educational and learning tool that helps develop a greater understanding of gender mainstreaming within military and police structures.

PartnershipsMany security challenges require regional and international cooperation. The development of military partnerships is a key objective of the US Combatant Commands. For states to work well together they need to share common standards. By exchanging data and best practices on gender mainstreaming, states will be able to work together in a more efficient and effective way across the region.

Monitoring and evaluationThe assessment tool should encompass a simple set of indicators that will allow states to evaluate how well they are implementing the principles of gender equality and the WPS agenda in their security structures and operations.

To develop the assessment tool, WIIS drew on its experience with the 1325 NATO Scorecard project.[8] WIIS adapted the tool from the NATO project to reflect the reality in Latin America and the Caribbean. Given the broad tasks of the military and the police in most countries in the region, and the fact that police in the region are sent to UN peacekeeping operations, we decided to include the police—that is, police that work at the national level and may be called upon to respond to cases of civil unrest, to protect the borders, or deal with in-country humanitarian emergencies.[9]

We organized three workshops between August and November 2020. The objectives of the workshops were threefold:

  • Identify people in the region interested in the integration of the WPS agenda in national security forces;
  • Create volunteer research country teams; and
  • Review progress, identify gaps, and develop national and regional recommendations for how best to advance the WPS agenda in security forces.

Our initial invitation to join this project and our first workshop led to the development of a diverse list of over 100 participants from government (military, police, defense, foreign affairs, women’s and gender equality ministries), academia, and civil society from 16 countries and the creation of 14 country research teams.

In total, over 90 people from 16 countries have participated in this project at various points. Initial findings were presented at the third workshop in November 2020. At this workshop, Ambassador Jean Manes, Foreign Policy Advisor and the Civilian Deputy to the US Southern Command Commander, made remarks. In her remarks, she signaled the strong commitment of US SOUTHCOM to this effort.

Over the course of the project, WIIS created a listserv for people involved and interested in the project. The listserv was formalized into a WIIS WPS Latin America and Caribbean network at the end of the third workshop.[10] For more information or to become a member of the network, visit: https://www. surveymonkey.com/r/GLSS6S8.

As societies and nations across the world face unprecedented challenges to gender equality, human security, and lasting peace, implementation of the WPS agenda is more important than ever. Indeed, research shows that societies are more peaceful and prosperous when women and men enjoy the same rights, liberties, dignities, and access to resources.[11]

Policymakers around the world have made gender equality a top policy priority. This WPS assessment report highlights steps Latin American and Caribbean countries have taken to implement the WPS agenda and ensure gender equality. The need is to expand these efforts in the face of growing evidence of the strategic and operational advantages such an agenda presents to military and police forces in a country. However, the report also shows that while there is much rhetoric, there is little follow-though in implementation. The time to match rhetoric to action is now.

Acknowledgements

This project would not have seen the light of day without the support and help of many people. The project directors would like to thank key people whose support has been critical for the success of this project. First, we would like to thank Lieutenant Colonel (USAF) Duilia M. Turner, the Gender Advisor for US Southern Command, who first came to WIIS with the idea of this project and provided us with support to carry it out.

We would also like to thank all the participants in our three workshops. Over 90 participants from

16 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean brought an array of perspectives from government (military, police, defense, foreign affairs, women’s and gender equality ministries), academia, and civil society. A very special thanks goes out to those who actively participated in the 14 research country teams. They were generous in sharing their expertise, time, and resources. This project would not have been possible without the dedicated support of these volunteers. They used their considerable government and non-government contacts to gather much of the data for this report. (See Annex I)

Special thanks is also due to Dr. Paula Drumond, Assistant Professor at the Pontificia Universidade

Catolica do Rio de Janeiro; Dr. Renata Giannini, Senior Researcher at the Igarapé Institute in Rio de

Janeiro; Dr. Fabiana Sofia Perera, Assistant Professor at the William J Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies at the National Defense University in Washington, DC; Dr. Tamya Rebelo, Professor at the Escola Superior de Popaganda e Marketing and the Centro Universitario Belas Artes de Sao Paulo, and Dr. Cristina Rodriguez-Acosta, Assistant Director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy at the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs at Florida International University, for their advice and support. We also thank Patricia Cepero of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for helping to navigate the administrative part of the project.

At WIIS, thanks is due to WIIS Fellows Dr. Diorella Islas and Ana Velasco. Many thanks also to Program Manager Kayla McGill and Program Assistants Allyn Anderson and Madison Beltz for their valuable research support. Lastly, thanks to WIIS member and retired Colonel Cornelia Weiss and Dr. Karin Johnston, Senior Fellow at WIIS, for their invaluable editorial support.

While this report is the product of a collective effort, we, the authors of this report, are responsible for any errors and omissions.

Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat, President, WIIS

Dr. Ellen Haring, Senior Fellow and Project Director

Washington, DC, USA

November 2020

Introduction

Gender equality has been recognized as a core principle of human rights in foundational international, regional, and national legal texts. The UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) set human rights standards that explicitly apply to every human being “without distinction of any kind, such as (…) sex.” [12] Latin American diplomats, legal scholars, and activists have been at the forefront of the development of these global human rights frameworks.[13]

These legal instruments, as well as the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of

Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the 1994 Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence Against Women (Belem do Para Convention), have been the basis for the economic, social and political empowerment of women, including their entry in national security forces—defined here as constituting the military and the police.[14]

Support for the increased participation of women in the security sector received an important boost in 2000 when the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325). The resolution called on all UN member states to:

  • Increase the representation and participation of women in conflict prevention and conflict resolution processes, including in security institutions (military and police);
  • Integrate gender perspectives in the analysis of peace and security issues; and
  • Adopt special measures to protect women and girls from all forms of sexual and gender-based violence in conflict settings.

Since 2000, the UN Security Council has adopted nine more resolutions that have reinforced and refined what is now known as the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda.[15]

Regional and security organizations as diverse as the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU), and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have developed organizationwide policies and action plans to incorporate guidance from the WPS agenda into their deliberations and actions.[16] The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was an early adopter of the WPS agenda and issued Action Plans and Strategic Directives that committed to the WPS agenda.[17] For the Americas, the Organization of American States (OAS) has not yet formally adopted the WPS framework. However, the Inter-American Commission of Women has worked on all aspects of the WPS agenda, most notably the participation of women in political life, women’s human rights and gender violence, women’s economic empowerment, and a gendered approach to human or citizen security.[18]

At the national level, some 86 countries have developed National Action Plans (NAPs) and legislation to implement and advance the WPS agenda. In Latin America and the Caribbean, six countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Paraguay) have developed NAPs. [19] Chile was an early adopter and global leader when it published one of the world’s first NAPs in 2009 and a second NAP in 2015. Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay are in the process of developing a NAP.

Military and police security forces are important partners in the implementation of these NAPs. Indeed, the spread of NAPs in Latin America and the Caribbean has been spurred by increasing participation of countries in the region in UN Peace Operations.[20] Many countries and military leaders, particularly those who have been deployed in UN missions, have recognized that a more diverse force in terms of gender and gender perspectives increases operational effectiveness and readiness.[21] For many countries in the region, the adoption of the WPS framework has also meant greater attention to the role of women in their own security forces from both an operational and a rights points of view. In addition, many civil society organizations have advocated for NAPs that reflect a more inward-looking approach. This is particularly important in a region that no longer has traditional armed conflicts, yet faces high rates of violence, particularly against women and girls.[22]

Gender Balance, Gender Perspectives and Gender Mainstreaming

When considering gender equality and the WPS agenda within the security sector, three issues are key:

First, gender balance—that is, the equal representation of women within the force. Research has shown that more diverse organizations are more effective organizations.12 Military organizations are no different.[23] Yet, women remain grossly under-represented in security forces around the globe, including in Latin America and the Caribbean. The United Nations has repeatedly lamented the lack of women soldiers and police in its peacekeeping operations.[24] It is important to recognize the cultural and institutional barriers women may face in military and police forces.

Second, gender perspectives—that is, overlaying a lens that reveals gender differences when planning, executing, or evaluating military and police security force activities. The integration of a gender perspective involves the systematic and continuous process of assessing gender-based differences of men and women as reflected in their social roles and interactions. As explained by a commanding officer in the multi-national force deployed in Afghanistan, “a gender perspective is much more than female members in the team. It is about having and using knowledge about the gender roles and situation of both men and women in all activities of the mission.”[25] A good gender analysis before activities start will greatly enhance situational awareness that, in turn, will enhance operational effectiveness.

Third, gender mainstreaming—that is, an integrated strategy by which organizations implement the concepts of gender balancing and gender perspectives across their organizations and operations. NATO, for example, has defined gender mainstreaming as “a strategy to achieve gender equality by assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies and programs in all areas and at all levels.”[26] In other words, “gender mainstreaming is a set of specific, strategic approaches as well as technical and institutional processes adopted to achieve the goal of gender equality.”[27]

The Latin American and Caribbean WPS assessment tool helps to measure how security forces are doing along those three axes. More specifically, it measures gender balance, gender perspectives, and gender mainstreaming at two different levels: the political level and the institutional and operational level. Lastly, it measures to what extent practices of good governance—that is, monitoring and evaluation—have been integrated.

The Latin American And Caribbean WPS Assessment Tool

The Latin America and Caribbean WPS assessment tool measures progress along three main levels: political will, institutional policy and practice, and monitoring and evaluation. For each we defined a limited set of key indicators. 

The political level is a necessary first step. Is there political will and commitment to integrate the principles of the WPS agenda in the security forces—that is, is there political will to advance gender equality and gender perspectives in military and police forces? Political will can be measured in several ways. A first indicator is whether principles of gender equality have been incorporated in a country’s laws and regulations. In addition, we can measure to what extent political leaders refer to the principles of gender equality and the WPS agenda in their speeches. For the purposes of our project, a critical indicator of political will is whether a country has adopted a WPS NAP and whether implementation plans for the security sector have been drafted.  From our research on the integration of WPS principles in NATO countries, we know that countries that mention the defense department as a principal actor and those who outline clear lines of responsibility through an action or implementation plan generally score higher on implementation than countries whose plans fail to specifically call out the military as an implementing agency. Lastly, we examine whether any resources have been allocated. Indeed, the allocation of resources is often a good measure of political intent.

The operational level is about gender mainstreaming and institutionalization, that is, how gender equality and WPS principles are integrated in institutional and bureaucratic processes. Institutionalization is critical, in that it safeguards gender equality and WPS initiatives from political turn-over and turmoil.[28]  Gender mainstreaming is about gender balance and gender perspectives. To what extent is women’s equal participation and integration in military and police forces a priority, and to what extent are institutional processes in place that are conducive to the integration of women in the military and police? This requires collecting baseline data about gender in the ranks. It also means examining measures taken to address gender imbalances, including the lifting of structural barriers and barriers related to the work environment.  Three types of indicators are particularly important in this respect: first, whether all jobs are open to women; second, the existence of policies that deal with family issues (in particular, pregnancies and child care); and third, the existence of policies that deal with harassment and abuse. To what extent gender perspectives are integrated in operational policies and plans can be measured by examining strategic operational documents, field manuals, and other similar publications. The appointment of Gender Advisors (GENADs), as well as their standing and position in the force, is an important indicator for institutional support for gender mainstreaming. From our research on gender mainstreaming in NATO militaries, we know that a Gender Advisor is a commander’s best resource for ensuring the integration of gender perspectives into the planning, execution, and evaluation of military operations.[29] Lastly, gender mainstreaming requires attention to training and education. Are soldiers and senior leaders being taught how to do a gender analysis, and are they aware of the national and international legal frameworks?

The last step in ensuring institutionalization of gender equality and WPS initiatives is monitoring and evaluating progress over time. The WPS assessment tool measures to what extent policies and operations are subject to monitoring and evaluation processes. Monitoring and evaluation are key to capturing best practices, establishing realistic benchmarks, identifying gaps in resources and structural challenges, framing strategic planning efforts, and supporting accountability measures. Two key indicators include the systematic collection of sex-disaggregated data and to what extent outside actors, including civil society organizations, are involved in assessment efforts.

The WPS assessment tool, by examining military and police forces from the political to the operational and from the strategic to the tactical levels, measures the progress of military and police organizations comprehensively. Assessments like these work best when they become part of iterative processes that allow for dialogue and learning among countries in the region.

Methodology

In early August 2020, WIIS held its first Latin America and Caribbean WPS research workshop to assess interest in applying the assessment tool to countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. The workshop also allowed us to review the draft assessment tool. Over 70 people from the region joined the workshop and eventually formed 14 volunteer research country teams. These research teams were composed of active and retired members of the security forces (military and police), government officials (foreign affairs, defense ministries, women’s agencies), the legislative branch, academics, and civil society. Each team elected a team coordinator who served as the main point of contact with WIIS.

As a result of the discussions at the workshop, the WIIS team further refined and adjusted the indicators of the assessment tool. (See Figure 1 and Annex 1) The revised assessment tool, containing 51 indicators, was subsequently sent to each of the country teams.

WPS Assessment Tool for Security Forces In Latin America and the Caribbean
Category                                                                                                      Indicators I:  National Importance and Political Will  11 II:  Institutional Policies and Practice      A.  Strategy, Plans and Policy  14   B.  Gender in the Ranks  6   C.  Training, Education and Exercises  6   D.  Work Environment  8 III:               Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation                                             6

Figure 1: WPS Assessment 

Tool for Security Forces in Latin

America and the

Caribbean

By the end of September 2020, we had received data from 14 country teams. With that data, we were able to generate a scorecard for each country. That is, responses to the questions on the assessment tool received a predetermined numerical value following a scoring protocol.[30] These scores were then used to evaluate the relative importance attached to certain issue areas and to establish regional and national averages.

In addition to the quantitative assessment, we also prepared a qualitative assessment for each country. The qualitative assessment allowed us to contextualize the collected information. It also offers an overall assessment of where the country stands with regard to implementation of the gender equality and WPS agenda. Lastly, the qualitative reports contain a set of country specific recommendations detailing how the country and its security sector might move forward. The elaboration of quantitative and qualitative reports included many follow-up interviews with the country teams to ensure that we were accurately interpreting the data they provided. All country teams reviewed final country quantitative and qualitative reports. [31]

Figure 2: Sample Quantitative Assessment Tool        

Figure 3: Sample Qualitative Report

    Colombia – Summary Report   WPS National Action Plan (NAP) Status: Colombia has not developed a NAP. That said, the November 24, 2016 peace agreement includes many gender provisions. Additionally, in 2018 the Ministry of Defense (MoD) published its own transversal (intersectional) gender implementation plan for uniformed personnel in Colombia.   Overall Assessment: Colombia has a robust civil society network dedicated to advancing the WPS agenda, and many are lobbying the Colombian government to adopt a WPS NAP.1 Although the national government has made statements in support of gender equality and the MoD recognizes UNSCR 1325 and the WPS agenda, no NAP has been developed.   National Importance/Political Will: Gender equality is enshrined in the Colombian Constitution (See Articles 40 and 43).2 Colombia also has a Presidential Council for Women’s Equity, which collects and analyzes information related to the situation of women in Colombia. Gender equality, women’s rights, and the empowerment of women are also referred to in the 2018-2022 National Development Plan, an allinclusive policy document that addresses foreign and domestic security policies.3   In Colombia, the army, the air force, the navy, and the national police all fall under the authority of the (MoD). The MoD guidelines and policies apply to all four services. Its 2018 report, Public Policy for a Cross-Gender Approach for the Uniformed Personnel of the Public Force, explicitly refers to UNSCR 1325 and its related resolutions.4 The report, developed as a requirement of the 2016 peace agreement, is referred to as the military’s WPS implementation plan, and it includes the police under the umbrella term “public force.” It calls on the military and the police to make sure that women have equal access and opportunities. It also sets up Gender Observatories at the level of the MoD and General Command, as well as inside each military branch and the police.                                                   See Humanas Colombia, 20 Años Exigiendo que el Gobierno Colombiano se conecte con la Paz y la Seguridad de las Mujeres, Pronunciamiento (Bogotá, Colombia: Humanas, July 2020), at https://www.humanas.org.co/alfa/dat_particular/arch_contenidos/i_e_73153_q_PRONUNCIAMIENTO_R1325.pdf; Also from Humanas Colombia, see Observatorio Mujeres, Paz y Seguridad (a group actively lobbying for a WPS NAP), Cumplimiento del Estado Colombiano con la Resolución 1325 de 2000: Informe de monitoreo del año 2017 y primer semestre de 2018, (Bogotá, Colombia: Humanas, December 2018), at https://www.humanas.org.co/alfa/dat_particular/ar/ar_9042_q_R1325informe.pdf.. See Corte Constitucional, Constitución Política de Colombia 1991, Actualizada con los Actos Legislativos a 2016, (Bogota: Corte Constitutional), at https://www.corteconstitucional.gov.co/inicio/Constitucion%20politica%20de%20Colombia.pdf See Departamento Nacional de Planeación (DNP), Colombia en la Escena Global: Política Exterior Responsable, Innovadora y Constructiva, (Bogotá: DNP, May 2019) at https://www.dnp.gov.co/DNPN/Plan-Nacional-deDesarrollo/Paginas/Pilares-del-PND/Legalidad/Colombia-en-la-escena-global.aspx; and also from DNP, Plan Nacional de Desarrollo 2018-2022 at https://www.dnp.gov.co/DNPN/Paginas/Plan-Nacional-de-Desarrollo.aspx Ministerio de Defensa, Política Pública Sectorial de Transversalizacion del Enfoque de Genero para el Personal Uniformado de la Fuerza Pública 2018-2027, (Bogotá: MinDefensa 2018), at https://www.justiciamilitar.gov.co/irj/go/km/docs/Mindefensa/Documentos/descargas/Prensa/Documentos/politica_ genero.pdf   1  

WPS In Latin American And Caribbean Security Forces: 

Main Findings

In terms of the overall implementation of gender equality and WPS principles in the security forces, the region (all countries combined) had an average score of 64.6 (on a scale of 1-100). This robust showing is not surprising given the region’s strong adherence to international and regional legal human right instruments, such as CEDAW and the Belem do Para convention. The region has also been a strong supporter of the Beijing Platform of Action and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Particularly important in this regard is the Montevideo Strategy for Implementation of the Regional Gender Agenda within the Sustainable Development Framework by 2030, adopted in 2016 by countries of the region.[32] In the last five years, countries in the region have also prioritized access to political participation. Most countries in the region have instituted political quotas, which has increased women’s participation in decision-making institutions throughout the government.[33] Lastly, many countries in the region have established women’s or gender equality government agencies; in some cases, these agencies function at the ministerial level.

Despite a relatively strong score overall, many challenges remain. Indeed, this is a region where “patriarchal, discriminatory and violent cultural patterns remain in place, with gender stereotypes persisting in the education system, the media and political and cultural institutions.”[34] The security sector is, of course, not devoid of these stereotypes. As Ellen Haring has noted in a recent publication, “national military organization are quintessentially masculine constructs that rely on notions of men as warrior-protectors and women as the protected. (…) National militaries are set up to optimize men’s participation and rely on patriarchal social structures where women perform traditional family duties centered around caregiving while men go to war.”[35] Nicole Jenne and Fiorella Ulloa Bisshopp, in their study on the effectiveness of Chile’s efforts to promote a gender perspective in the military, emphasize how “resilient” gender stereotypes are in military organizations. For example, Chilean forces deployed in the UN peacekeeping operation in Haiti had a fair number of women. That said, the tasks these women were assigned hewed closely to traditional gender stereotypes: “Instead of performing the full range of peacekeeping tasks, women were often delegated to deal with issues concerning women and children and prevented from joining activities that were deemed to involve security risks.”[36] Gender mainstreaming in security forces requires more than just adding women; it also requires cultural and organizational change.[37]

When we examine the average performance of the region as a whole at the different levels of our assessment tool, the region scores highest at the political commitment level, with a score of 68. The score drops at the implementation level to 64 and at the monitoring and evaluation level to 57.7. 

(See Figure 4)

Figure 4: Overall

Average Regional

Scores

Figure 5: Overall

         
         49  76
         
                              50                            
         
       58      60  5866 66        72 4.4
                        
                        
                      55
                        
                                     
                                      57      60
                        
                        
                                                                    6
                                        

      Average National                             Argentina                                                                                                                         90

      Scores                                       Brazil

                                                        Chile

                                                  Colombia

  Costa Rica                                                                               87  Dominican Republic

  Ecuador             Guatemala

  Mexico  Panama

                                                   Paraguay

                                                         Peru

                                      Trinidad & Tobago

                                                    Uruguay

                                                    Average    

When we examine the overall performance of individual countries in the region, four countries scored above the average regional score. Four countries scored around the regional average, and six countries fell below the regional average. On the high side, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay significantly outperformed other countries. What is common to these countries is that they have strong scores across all levels. (See Table 1)

Country            Political Will      Policy & Practice           Monitoring Reporting     Total Score                            & Evaluation      
 
Argentina                    98                         90                             68                        90 Brazil 44 51 48 49 Chile 85 75 64 76 Colombia 51 47 68 50 Costa Rica 80 88 100 87 Dominican Republic 63 58 48 58 Ecuador 72 56 60 60 Guatemala 78 52 36 55 Mexico 60 59 40 58 Panama 62 63 60 66 Paraguay 67 68 44 66 Peru 58 57 60 57 Trinidad & Tobago 55 64 36 60 Uruguay 78 70 76 72 Region Average           68                         64                           57.70                    64.60

Table 1: Average

National Scores by

Category

Lastly, it may be noted that our results closely align with the scores of these countries in other gender equality indexes, such as the Women, Peace and Security Index published by the Georgetown University Institute on Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) and the Fighting Inequality in the Time of

Covid-19: The Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index 2020, published by Oxfam and Development

Finance International.[38] (See Table 2)

GIWPS Rank             Country                                                             Oxfam Rank
41 Trinidad & Tobago 16 45 Costa Rica 3 48 Argentina 2 49 Ecuador 8 55 Chile 1 58 Uruguay 11 68 Paraguay 15 69 Peru 18 70 Panama 22 74 Dominican Republic 23 98 Brazil 13 103 Mexico 14 104 Colombia 10 106                           Guatemala                                                                  24

Table 2: GIWPS and Oxfam Rankings

In sum, while there is broad regional commitment to the principles and ideas of the WPS agenda, commitment to actual implementation and monitoring and evaluation is considerably less robust. Rhetoric, generally, does not match action.

National Importance/Political Will

National importance and political will measures three main issues: (1) whether gender equality is recognized in a country’s main laws and regulations; (2) whether a country has adopted a WPS NAP; and (3) whether political leaders in their statements provide strong support to the principles of gender equality and the WPS agenda.

All countries in the region have enshrined gender equality in their constitutions, and many have also established gender equality and women’s empowerment agencies. That said, an important indicator of political commitment is whether a country has adopted a WPS NAP. (See Table 3)

 Countries with NAPs     Countries with NAPs      Countries without NAPs                           under development
           Argentina Costa Rica Colombia              Brazil Ecuador Dominican Republic               Chile Mexico Panama           Guatemala Trinidad & Tobago Peru            Paraguay                                 Uruguay

Table 3: National

Action Plans –

Status

Argentina and Chile—both with top scores overall and at this level—have developed and implemented WPS NAPs. However, the presence or absence of a NAP is not necessary or sufficient to score high. For example, Costa Rica, despite not having a NAP, scored high overall due to the government’s strong political commitment to advancing gender equality across the country and within its institutions.[39]On the other hand, Brazil fell below the regional average. Indeed, in the case of Brazil, a change in national level political leadership in 2019 resulted in diminished political will and commitment to gender equality and the WPS agenda.

The NAPs of the countries in the region have many similarities, but also significant differences. For most countries in the region, the WPS agenda is an external, rather than an internal, agenda. In most cases, the ministries of foreign affairs have lead responsibilities for the implementation of a NAP.[40] The extensive gender equality machinery established under CEDAW, the SDGs, or regional gender equality commitments is often seen as distinct from the WPS agenda. Guatemala is the exception and has adopted a whole-of-government approach. In Guatemala, the Women’s Ministry plays an important role in the development of a new NAP. In Costa Rica, the development of a NAP involves many government agencies, not just in the security sector, but also in the legislature. In addition, its National Institute for Women works at a ministerial level and has taken innovative steps to tackle structural gender inequalities at home, including machismo culture.

Most civil society organizations in the region advocate for whole-of-government efforts as well as a broadening of the agenda beyond traditional armed conflict.[41] They argue that the region grapples with many “gendered consequences of non-conventional armed violence,” and they point to high rates of femicide in the region.32 While several Latin American NAPs have integrated demands for a broader agenda, most remain very externally focused. Paula Drumond and Tamya Rebelo note that the Paraguayan NAP stands out with ambitious and long-term goals. The Paraguayan NAP defines one of its goals as “the elimination of cultural barriers that hinder the full participation of women in all areas of human society.”[42] The Argentinian NAP includes issues related to human trafficking. The Brazilian NAP includes gender-sensitive initiatives focused on the rights of refugees and refugee seekers in the country. The Chilean NAP expanded the principle of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) to include the protection of women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence.[43] The Argentinian, Brazilian, and Chilean NAPs all define protection as meaning not just physical security but also access to sexual and reproductive health.

                                        UN Ranking                  Total                    Male                  Female
  Uruguay 17 1,138 1,055 83 Argentina 42 304 276 28 El Salvador 45 292 263 29 Brazil 47 282 270 12 Peru 52 233 198 35 Guatemala 57 176 155 21 Paraguay 80 31 28 3 Chile 82 30 27 3 Bolivia 83 27 20 7 Mexico 94 13 6 7 Honduras 97 11 7 4 Ecuador 98 10 4 6 Dominican Republic 107 5 3 2 Colombia 108 4 3 1           Totals Region   2,556 2,315 241 Global Totals   81,820 76,596 5,328 Source: United Nations

Another positive driver for gender equality and the WPS agenda, including the development of a WPS NAP, is the extent of global—UN—engagements a country has. The participation in peacekeeping operations is particularly important in this regard. (See Table 4) For example, the Brazilian NAP expired at the end of 2018. Gender equality and the WPS agenda were not a priority for the new Brazilian administration that came to power in January 2019. Yet the administration decided to extend the NAP (developed under the previous administration) in March of 2019 for four years. Indeed, Brazil’s participation in UN peacekeeping operations was considered important and, in that context, the continuation of a NAP became significant.[44]Table 4: Participation in UN Peacekeeping Operations by Countries from Latin America and the Caribbean-Military and Police Combined – August 2020

However, while UN peacekeeping involvement is positively impacting the military, it does not appear to have a similar impact on the national police. Indeed, the police generally scored lower in most countries than did the military regarding implementation of the WPS agenda.

The engagement of international actors in the Colombia peace agreements has also been an important factor in pushing forward a gender equality and WPS agenda. For example, the 2018 Colombian Ministry of Defense’s report Public Policy for a Cross-Gender Approach for the Uniformed Personnel of the Public Force was developed as a requirement of the 2016 peace agreement. It is considered the military’s WPS implementation plan. It calls on the military and the police to make sure that women have equal access and opportunities. It also sets up Gender Observatories at the level of the Ministry of Defense and General Command, as well as inside each military branch and the police.

Other examples of international engagements and commitments that advance a gender equality and WPS agenda at home include: Uruguay, which co-chairs, with Canada, the United Nations GFP Network and is currently working on a WPS NAP; the Dominican Republic, which during 2020, together with Germany, co-chaired the UN Security Council Informal Expert Group (IEG) on WPS; or Mexico, which, since 2019, co-chairs with France the Generation Equality Forum—a global civil society-centered gathering for gender equality. Its work on the Generation Equality Forum, and the fact that Mexico launched a Feminist Foreign Policy in January 2020 and is currently developing a WPS NAP, are certainly not unrelated. High-level international engagements also help civil society organizations at home to press their governments to progress on the gender equality and WPS agendas.

Policy and Practice

Policy and practice examines how political commitment to gender equality and WPS principles is translated into practical action in the security sector. We distinguish four main areas: (1) policy, planning, and staffing, in particular the appointment of GENADs and GFPs; (2) women’s participation in the security forces (gender in the ranks); (3) policies and programs that support women’s participation in the security forces; and (4) training and education on WPS principles.

Policy, Planning and Staffing

Although national level commitment is critical in advancing the WPS agenda, it is not sufficient to realizing better outcomes in terms of gender mainstreaming. Even in countries that have published NAPs, these NAPs do not always require the participating ministries and departments to develop detailed implementation plans. Without such plans, including bureaucratic procedures and processes that mainstream gender in security institutions, change will be fleeting and easily reversible with changing political leadership.

Our analysis found that countries that developed military implementation plans even before or in the absence of a NAP have generally made significant progress in terms of gender mainstreaming. For example, in 2008 the Argentine Ministry of Defense adopted a WPS Action Plan (long before their 2015 NAP was published). It was developed in response to Argentina’s participation in UN peacekeeping operations and led to many “policy reforms in the field of defense and the armed forces.”[45] Participation in UN peacekeeping operations helped to strengthen pre-deployment training on gender issues. It also required the military to establish GENADs and GFPs.37

Indeed, a major indicator of progress with regard to the integration of gender equality and WPS principles is the appointment of GENADs and GFPs. They are critical in helping to mainstream the principles of the WPS agenda in all aspects of the operations of security forces. The role of a GENAD is to provide guidance and advice to senior level commanders on how to integrate gender perspectives into operations and missions, crisis and conflict analysis, concepts, doctrine, procedures, and education and training. GFPs are similarly trained but work at lower levels in the organization to mainstream the WPS agenda across occupational positions.[46]

Only a few countries in the region are systematically appointing, training and employing GENADs and GFPs. (See Table 5) Argentina has a robust GENAD and GFP program. It also provides gender training through its regional peacekeeping center—trainings that are open to other countries in the region as well. Uruguay, a top regional UN troop contributor, co-hosts, with Canada, the UN GFP network. It has appointed GFPs in both the military and the police, but these GENADs are all double-hatted—that is, they have other responsibilities as well. Neither the military nor the police have appointed full-time GENADS. In some countries, for example in Mexico and Peru, the security institutions have established gender equality institutions that have certain GENAD functions. However, most often these institutions work more in the human resources sphere, rather than the policy and planning spheres. Most often, they do not report directly to the highest command levels.

Gender in the Ranks: Women’s Participation in the Security Forces

All countries in our survey have low women’s participation rates in their military and police forces. (See Table 6) The promotion rates for women are even lower. In general, women have made greater inroads in the police than in the military. In the national police forces, all positions are officially open to women. That said, some of our investigators also reported that the practice does not always align with the formal rules. In some countries, women are not assigned to work “on the streets.” In addition, as women have made inroads within the police, some countries have begun to impose caps, thereby limiting women’s access. Such is the case in Trinidad and Tobago, where no more than 30% of the force is allowed to be women. There is also a waiting list for women who want to join the police.

In four out of 14 countries, women continue to be officially barred from some military occupations. (See Table 7) In addition, even if in theory all positions are open, women often face restrictions in practice, particularly in terms of where they are utilized. Many teams reported that data on military deployments reveal that women are far less likely to be deployed on operational missions.

Country            The country       The country       GENADs are     The country       has  appointed          has appointed    assigned for       has gender                             Gender Advisors         gender focal              pecific                 equality                                 (GENAD).            points (GFP).            missions.             offices/units.
Argentina                        Yes                        Yes                                                  Yes Brazil                                     Yes   Chile                                    Yes Yes Yes Colombia                                  Yes Costa Rica                                Yes Dominican Republic                 Yes Yes Ecuador                                    Yes Guatemala                                Yes Mexico                                     Yes Panama                                    Yes Paraguay                                  Yes Peru                                         Yes Trinidad and Tobago                   Yes Uruguay                                                       Yes                       Yes                       Yes

Table 5: Gender Advisors and

Gender Equity

Offices

Country                  Military        Percent of          Senior            Police             Senior                                                     Women          Military                                Police                                                   Deployed         Women                               Women
Argentina 17.3% 8% nd nd nd Brazil 7.6% 8% nd 9% nd Chile 10% 10% nd 34% 15% Colombia 6% 1.5% 1% 9% 2% Costa Rica na na na 18.7% di Dominican Republic 20.8% 5.1%-8% 4% 15% 4.7% Ecuador 2.7% di nd 15% di Guatemala nd 8% nd 16% nd Panama na na na 16.2% 14.9% Peru 10% di .5% 18% .4% Paraguay nd 10% nd Nd nd Mexico 12.4% 1-3% 2.5% 10% 19% Trinidad & Tobago 14.3% na nd 29% nd Uruguay                     11%                7%                1.7%             25.6%               3% nd=no data (data not provided or data not available) na=not applicable (these countries have no military forces or they do not deploy) di=data incomplete (not enough data to calculate percentage)

Table 6: Women’s

Participation as a Percentage of the

Total Force

Working on “the streets” and military deployments are generally career enhancing assignments;  the restrictions women face in this regard likely contributes to them being less competitive for promotions. These restrictions may explain why few women are represented at the highest levels in  the military or police.

Lastly, in terms of long-term policy and planning, we found that only four countries have active recruitment programs or set targets to raise the number of women in the force.

Table 7: Policy and Practice

Country Are all  Are there  Do they How much Is WPS Is  positions  recruitment  provide paid gender Monitoring  open to targets? uniforms &   maternity/ training & Evaluation  women (military/ equipment paternity provided ? conducted?  in the  police) adapted to leave  military?  women? is provided?   
Argentina Yes Yes/UNK Yes 90 days/10 days Yes Yes Brazil       No       No. There are  some caps/No.  There are local  caps No 180 days/5 days Yes No Chile No No/No Yes 126 days/UNK Yes Yes Colombia No No/No Yes 126 days/8 days Yes Yes Costa Rica Yes NA/No Yes 120 days/2 days Yes Yes Dominican Republic   Yes   Yes/Yes, but there are local caps No 98 days/7 days Yes Yes  Ecuador Yes No/No No 80 days/15 days Yes Yes Guatemala Yes No/No No 84 days/UNK Yes No Mexico Yes Yes/No No 90 days/10 days No No Panama Yes NA/ No Yes 98 days/3 days Yes Yes Paraguay No No/No Yes 126 days/UNK Yes Yes Peru Yes No/No No 98 days/UNK No Yes Trinidad and Tobago   Yes   No, there is a  30% cap Yes 90 days/3 days Yes No Uruguay                      Yes                 Yes/Yes                No             91 days/10 days            Yes                Yes NA=not applicable because they have no military forces UNK=unknown-data was not provided during data collection

More generally, it must be noted that data on women’s participation and promotion rates were elusive in many countries. Either the data are not being collected and tracked over time, or the country refuses to publish the data. One country indicated that data on women in the military were considered confidential and not publicly releasable.

Many organizations that track numbers and the composition of armed forces around the world, such as the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, generally do not collect sexdisaggregated data. The only known detailed survey of women in the armed forces and the police dates from 2010 and was carried out by the Argentine think tank RESDAL.[47]

Women-Friendly Policies and Programs

To increase women’s participation in the security forces, it is also important to have policies and programs that make military and police service possible on a personal level. Women tend to leave the military and police at higher rates than men when they have children or encounter a hostile work environment. Therefore, it is imperative that the military and police implement policies that make it possible for women to have a fulfilling career by ensuring that their organizations are inclusive, free of harassment, and accommodate family needs for women who often remain primary caregivers.

In all countries reviewed, both the military and police provide paid maternity leave for women, although the length of time varies greatly—from 80 days to 18 weeks. Many countries also provide a few days of paid paternity leave. Some countries offer varying levels of childcare and family leave, while others offer none.

A healthy and productive work environment also requires that sexual harassment and abuse is not tolerated, that it is strictly monitored, and that offenders are prosecuted. Most countries, particularly those involved in peacekeeping, provide basic human rights training, with a portion of the training directed specifically toward preventing sexual and gender-based violence in the areas of operations. However, the same level of training and attention is not being given to eradicating sexual harassment and abuse within a country’s own ranks. Data from countries that track and address harassment, including the US, Canada and Australia, show that sexual harassment and abuse of women in the ranks is pervasive in military organizations around the world.[48] Therefore, it is critical that military and police organizations address this behavior if they want to keep women in their organizations.

Finally, uniforms, equipment, and facilities must be adapted to accommodate women to optimize women’s performance and retention. Only half of the countries in our survey provide women-specific equipment. (Table 7 above). Requiring women to perform in uniforms and equipment designed by and for men degrades women’s performance, causes injuries, and can result in safety hazards. Furthermore, failing to provide bathrooms and safe billets also drives women out of military and police organizations.

In sum, security forces seeking to increase women’s participation must ensure that there are familyfriendly programs available to support women’s long-term participation, address sexual harassment and abuse within the ranks, and provide uniforms, equipment, and billets for women. While countries in the region score well in terms of maternity and paternity leave policies, much work remains to be accomplished in the other areas.

WPS Training and Education

Applying a gender lens to military and police organizations and operations requires training and education. It is not an intuitive process. The countries that participate in UN peacekeeping operations receive human rights and WPS training during pre-deployment training. Indeed, when countries engage with the UN, particularly in the context of contributing troops to UN peacekeeping operations, they are expected to meet certain UN WPS training requirements. However, for many countries, gender and WPS training ends with UN missions.

Some countries have more systematically integrated gender training into their entry, mid- and senior-level training and education programs. That said, this training is more likely to be found in the military than the police. Police training generally focuses on responding to and preventing domestic, sexual, and genderbased violence.

GENADs and GFPs require specialized training. Such training remains limited. A few countries like Argentina provide WPS training for the military. Costa Rica has mainstreamed gender throughout police training programs. Costa Rica is unique in the region for creating a gender training program that addresses masculinity and machismo culture.

Figure 6:

Masculinity Flyer

Eleven countries in the region host peacekeeping training centers. Many of these centers have not integrated gender and the WPS agenda in their curriculum in a systematic manner.[49] Helping these centers build up their WPS and gender equality curriculum and provide specialized courses for GENADs would be an obvious first step towards more robust training on WPS and gender equality  in the region.

Monitoring, Reporting, and Evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation are critical for learning and understanding whether progress is being made in implementing the WPS agenda. Monitoring and evaluation also had the lowest average scores. There are three main reasons for the low scores. First, even when countries have developed NAPs, strategies or implementation plans, they are often written without clearly defined and measurable goals and benchmarks. Second, countries generally do not appoint or support independent oversight bodies. Most governments are wary of such bodies and/or the involvement of civil society in the oversight of policies. Third, there is a dearth of sex-disaggregated data being collected or made available for evaluation.

The best monitoring and evaluation programs are independent, transparent, and involve civil society. Some country teams reported that monitoring and evaluation does occur, but the reports and data produced by entities in these countries can only be accessed by requesting them through government transparency programs, or they may not be available at all.

Costa Rica has the most robust monitoring and evaluating systems in the region. They are provided by Costa Rica’s National Institute for Women, which functions as a ministry. This ministry-level Institute has a national council responsible for decision-making at the national level. Furthermore, the Institute provides advice and has oversight over gender mainstreaming in all of the government ministries, including the Ministry of Public Security.

Some countries have robust independent civil society networks that provide some external monitoring and evaluation functions and keep pressure on governments to advance gender equality and the WPS agenda. For example, Colombia has a robust civil society network with 57 distinct organizations that promote the principles of UNSCR 1325 and the WPS agenda. It also has a Women Peace and Security Observatory, a coalition of civil society organizations that is actively lobbying the government to adopt a WPS NAP.[50] In some countries, the think tank and academic community are important players. For example, in Brazil, the Igarapé Institute has a considerable amount of expertise with regard to the WPS agenda and women in the military. Similarly, in Argentina, RESDAL has undertaken important work in this regard. The analysis by these institutions are important in collecting best practices and advancing the WPS agenda in the region. More generally, the Gender Division of the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC or CEPAL in Spanish) plays an important role in gender mainstreaming in the region and collecting data.

Recommendations and Concluding Remarks

To advance the gender equality and WPS agenda in the security forces in the region, the following actions should be taken at the national and regional levels.

National Actions

All countries in the region have strong normative gender equality frameworks in place. This should provide a solid basis for governments in the region to apply the political will necessary to develop WPS NAPs. The most effective NAPs are whole-of-government efforts that engage all governmental and  non-governmental stakeholders and cover the entire range of security challenges, including human security and non-military security challenges. More specifically:

  • All government agencies, including military and police forces, should develop implementation plans with clear goals and benchmarks for measuring progress;
  • Governments must back up their commitment to NAPs and implementation plans by pledging the necessary resources—personnel and financial—to ensure effective implementation;
  • Legislatures must become actively involved in the development of WPS NAPs. They should require the executive to present NAP updates at regular intervals and pass budgets with dedicated funding streams for NAPs and implementation plans;
  • Monitoring and evaluation mechanisms should be transparent and include members of civil society. Civil society actors are critical to ensuring transparency and providing expertise in the effective implementation of WPS NAPs.

The increase of the number of women in police and military organizations and the integration of gender perspectives in operations require actions at different levels.

  • Military and police organizations should develop organization-specific WPS implementation plans. This can be accomplished even in the absence of a nation-wide WPS NAP. Countries, such as Argentina and Colombia, have developed and effectively implemented military implementation plans before NAPs were developed.
  • In terms of gender balance, the military and police should remove all exclusions and caps that limit women’s full participation in the security forces. They should also develop recruitment programs and establish targets to increase the number of women in the ranks. Military and police should regularly collect and publish sex-disaggregated data on women in the ranks.
  • In terms of integrating gender perspectives in operations and more generally the development of a gender mainstreaming strategy, the military and police should appoint Gender Advisors (GENADs). GENADs help with the development of organizational gender mainstreaming strategies, make sure that police and military exercises and operations have integrated a gender analysis, and advise on the education and training of soldiers and officers with regard to the WPS agenda. To be effective GENADs should be located at the highest command level. In addition to GENADs, military and police organizations should appoint Gender Focal Points (GFPs) at lower levels of the organization.

GFPs are key to ensuring that implementation takes place at all levels.

International and Regional Actions

There is a great deal of expertise in Latin America and the Caribbean that should be capitalized on for the good of the entire region. Unfortunately, the exchange and learning among security forces in the region is ad-hoc, uneven, and non-systematic. Countries in the region, including the United States government (US DoD and US SOUTHCOM), should create a WPS Center of Excellence for military and police security forces that can support the integration of the WPS agenda throughout the region. The Center—a multilateral governmental venture—should seek to actively engage non-governmental stakeholders. The Center would function as a regional hub to support military and police forces in the region. Areas of responsibilities would include:  

  • Research: encourage national and regional collaborative research efforts and focus on topics supporting the integration of the WPS agenda into security forces, such as measures to eliminate barriers for women’s participation in military and police forces, monitoring and evaluation practices, collecting and publishing sex-disaggregated data on gender balances in the forces.
  • Education and Training: facilitate the development and delivery of WPS and gender curriculum and training for the military and police.
  • Convening of stakeholders:exchange best practices.
  • Technical support: for the development of WPS NAPs and implementation plans, particularly implementation plans for the military and police.

More specifically, the US Government (US DoD and US SOUTHCOM) should embed WPS discussions in all engagements, including in all security and military senior leader engagements. They should also incentivize women’s participation in any externally funded training programs they provide to regional partners by requiring that a certain percentage of military and police women participate in the training.

Concluding Remarks

It has been twenty years since UNSCR 1325 was unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council.

In the subsequent years, there has been slow but steady progress in realizing the purpose and intent of 1325. Many nations around the world, and six in Latin America and the Caribbean, have adopted WPS National Action Plans.

The concepts and terms gender balance, gender perspective and gender mainstreaming are better understood and becoming embedded within the operational activities of security institutions. Nations that are further along with gender mainstreaming have begun to realize the value of adopting a gender perspective to achieve better security outcomes. That said, normative thinking and behavior on complex social issues is slow to change, but change does happen. It requires concerted, continuous and systematic efforts by all.

Lastly, the success of gender mainstreaming efforts is closely related to the involvement of civil society. Global studies have shown that the most successful WPS NAPs are those that have the active involvement of civil society organization at every step of the way. This finding is not surprising, since gender mainstreaming is ultimately about debunking regressive gender stereotypes that exist within  our societies.

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Perera, Fabiana Sofia; and Lieutenant Colonel Duilia Mora Turner, eds., Twenty Years, Twenty Stories: Women, Peace and Security in the Western Hemisphere (Washington, DC: William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, 2020).

Masson, Laura, Militares Argentinas: Evaluación de Políticas de Género en el Ámbito de la Defensa, (Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires: Universidad de la Defensa Nacional, 2020)

Newby, Vanessa F and Clotilde Sebag, “Gender Sidestreaming? Analyzing Gender Mainstreaming in National Militaries and International Peacekeeping,” European Journal of International Security (November, 2020), pp. 1-23.

Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations (NCGM), A Military Guide to the United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security, (Stockholm, Sweden; NCGM,  April 2020)

Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations, Whose Security? Practical Examples of Gender Perspectives in Military Operations (Stockholm: Nordic Centre for Military Operations, 2015).

Razakamaharavo, Velomahaniha T., Luise Ryan and Leah Sherwood, Improving Gender Training in UN Peacekeeping Operations, WIIS Policy Brief (Washington, DC: WIIS, February 2018).

Wilén, Nina, “Female Peacekeepers’ Added Burden,” International Affairs, Vol. 96 No. 6, (November 2020), pp. 1585 – 1602.

3. Useful listservs and websites

Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF), https://www.dcaf.ch,

Igarape Institute, https://igarape.org.br/temas/consolidacao-da-paz/

London School of Economics Centre for Women, Peace and Security, https://www.lse.ac.uk/womenpeace-security/research/Rethinking-Policy-Advocacy-Implementation

NATO, Allied Command Transformation – Gender Advisor. The website contains on-line education and training modules and toolkits,  https://www.act.nato.int/gender-advisor

Pass Blue Women, press agency, https://www.passblue.com/category/women/

Red de Seguridad y Defensa de America Latina, https://www.resdal.org/

UN Women, https://www.unwomen.org/es

UN Peacekeeping, Department of Peace Operations, https://peacekeeping.un.org/es/department-ofpeace-operations

WILPF’s Women, Peace and Security, https://www.peacewomen.org/

Women In International Security, https://www.wiisglobal.org/wiis-wps-scorecard-security-forces-inlatin-america/

The WomenStats Project at www.womanstats.org

Women’s UN Report Network, listserve (also in Spanish, Portuguese, French), https://wunrn.com/

WPS National Action Plans, https://www.wpsnaps.org/

About the Authors

Dr. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat is President of Women In International Security (WIIS) since February 2013. She has held senior positions at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

North America; the US Institute of Peace; Center for Transatlantic Relations, Paul H. Nitze School of

Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC; and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) in Geneva. Dr. de Jonge Oudraat has published extensively on a wide array of international security issues. She is co-editor with Dr. Michael E. Brown of The Gender and Security Agenda: Strategies for the 21st Century (London: Routledge, July 2020). De Jonge Oudraat received her PhD in Political Science from the University of Paris II (Panthéon).

Dr. Ellen Haring is a Senior Fellow at Women In International Security where she directs the Combat Integration Initiative. She is the former CEO of the Service Women’s Action Network. Haring’s research and work focuses on women and gender in the military. She is a West Point graduate and a retired US Army colonel. She holds a PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University, and she has taught at the US Army Command and General Staff College, the US Army War College and Georgetown University. Haring has published numerous articles and papers on a wide array of military and security-related topics. She guest lectures, has testified before Congress as a subject matter expert, and has been a guest speaker on foreign and domestic news shows.

Dr. Diorella Islas Limiñana is a Fellow at Women In International Security and an independent security consultant on intelligence, transnational criminal organizations and national security policies. She is Adjunct Faculty member in the Countering Transnational Organized Crime (CTOC) program at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. She has worked as a consultant for the Royal United Service Institute in London, and as a security analyst at the Center for Information and National Security in Mexico City. She holds a PhD in Politics, Languages and International Studies from the University of Bath and a MA and a BA from Tec de

Monterrey, Mexico City Campus. She has taught at the Bader International Study Center of Queens University and delivered guest lectures at different universities and organizations around the world.

Ana Velasco is a Fellow at Women In International Security and a Researcher at Observatorio Nacional Ciudadano, a leading Mexican NGO focused on issues of security and justice. Previously, she worked as an international news reporter in Mexico, and she has held a diplomatic position for the Mexican Secretariat of Economy in Germany. Velasco is the winner of the “1325 and Beyond” international essay competition organized by WIIS and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung. She recently finished a MA in Gender, Violence and Conflict at the University of Sussex with Distinction, and she is about to start her PhD in International Relations at the same institution.

Project Participants*

Aguirre, Johanna (Panama)

Almeida, Katherine (Dominican Republic)

Aquino, Massiel (Dominican Republic)

Arboleda, Naomi (Dominican Republic)

Argueta, Ann Marie (Guatemala)

Arias, Jeannette (Costa Rica)

Baez Racalde, Maria Gloria (Paraguay)

Baires, Emily (Guatemala)

Balcazar, Mauel (Mexico)

Barriga Abarca, Lourdes Aurelia (Peru)

Barrios, Silvana (Argentina)

Beltran Del Portillo, Maria Fernanda (Colombia)

Broce, Rosa (Panama)

Canto, Maria Belen (Argentina)

Capellan, Belgica (Dominican Republic)

Cardenas Hidalgo, Maria Andrea (Ecuador)

Cerdas, Loreley (Costa Rica)

Chaves, Andrea (Argentina)

Colon, Victor (USA)

Cordon, Mireya (Colombia)

Dantas, Stela (Brazil)

Davila Calderon, Martha Jenneth (Colombia)

De Anda Martinez, Erika (USA)

Depaz, Leidy (Peru)

Donadio, Marela (Argentina)

Drumond, Paula (Brazil)

Espaillat, José Rafael (Dominican Republic)

Ferreira Costa, Ivana Mara (Brazil)

Ferreto, Yorleny (Costa Rica)

Fischer, Andrea (Chile)

Flores, Nancy (Guatemala)

Fundora, Cristobal (Panama)

Galan Paniagua, Sonia Maria (Guatemala)

Giannini, Renata (Brazil)

Gil Rosado, Maria Teresa (Dominican Republic)

Gonzalez, Pedro (Chile)

Henandez, Francia (Dominican Republic)

Hernandez, Brianna (USA)

Hormazábal, Javiera (Chile)

Ignacio, Mercedes (Dominican Republic)

Islas, Diorella (México)

Jarpa, Carolina (Chile)

Jeremias da Silva, Jessika Kelly (Brazil) Jiménez Morales, Karen (Costa Rica)

Jorge, Ramon (Dominican Republic) Justynski,

Ashley (USA)

Lancaster-Ellis, Karen (USA)

Layman, Matthew (USA)

Lopez Portillo, Ernesto (Mexico)

Made, Dominga (Dominican Republic) Manes,

Amb. Jean (USA)

Marcial, Cynthia (Argentina)

Marulanda Castano, Diana Marcela (Brazil)

McCann, Elizabeth (USA)

Méndez, Elvira (Panama)

Mendoza Cortes, Paloma (Mexico)

Miranda Vargas, Inaraquel (USA)

Montenegro, Nadia (Panama)

Ortiz, Nereyda (USA)

Otto, Fomina (Chile)

Pacheco, Gloria (Costa Rica)

Pagtakhan, Elisabet (USA)

Paredes Escobar, Byron Gabriel (Ecuador)

Parra, Veronica (Chile)

Pena, Elisama (Dominican Republic)

Perera, Fabiana (USA)

Placencia Almonte, Albania (Dominican Republic)

Porras, Silvia (Costa Rica)

Ramirez Herrera, Carolina (Dominican Republic)

Rebelo, Tamya (Brazil)

Rey Pinto, Eva María (Colombia)

Reynoso Barrera, Jonas (Dominican Republic)

Rivas, Reina Margarita (Colombia)

Rodriguez-Acosta, Cristina (USA)

Rogers, Rhea (Belize)

Rojas, Valeska (Chile)

Rojas Ballestero, Fiorella Andrea (Costa Rica)

Sahid Garnica, German (Colombia)

Salguero, Miguel (Argentina)

Sanabria, Diana (Ecuador)

Sancho, Carolina (Chile)

Sanjines, Karen (Jamaica)

Santolalla, Guillermo (USA)

Santos, Maria Dolores (Ecuador)

Seron, Christian (Chile)

Silva Freire, Maria Eduarda Laryssa (Brazil)

Sprinkle, Abby (USA)

Suarez, Hilda (Argentina)

Summers, Becky (USA)

Talamoni, Ana Florencia (Argentina)

Turner, Duilia (USA)

Typrowicz, Jennifer (USA)

Russ, Sarah (USA)

Velasco-Ugalde, Ana (Mexico)

Villalba, Laura     (USA)

Volia, Zoila (Costa Rica) Weiss, Cornelia (USA)

Williams, Dianna (USA)

* Project participants includes those who participated in at least one of our workshops and/or our country research teams.

[1] In this project we are examining military forces and national police forces (police that operate at the national level not at the local or municipal level).

[2] The methodology was developed by Women In International Security (WIIS) in the context of a NATO sponsored project that sought to assess how well NATO member and partner states had integrated the principles of gender equality and the WPS agenda in their military institutions and operations. See Chantal de Jonge Oudraat et al., Gender Mainstreaming: Indicators for the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its Related Resolutions- the 1325 Scorecard: Preliminary Findings (Brussels: NATO, 2015).

[3] See Executive Order, Instituting a National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security (Washington, DC: The White House, December 19, 2011). This Plan was subsequently updated in June 2016.

[4] See Women, Peace and Security Act of 2017, Public Law 115-68-October 6, 2017 (Washington, DC: GPO, 2017).

[5] See US Strategy on Women, Peace and Security (Washington, DC: White House, 2019).

[6] See US DOD, Women, Peace, and Security: Strategic Framework and Implementation Plan (Washington, DC: US DoD,  June 2020), p.7.

[7] Ibid.

[8] See Chantal de Jonge Oudraat et al., Gender Mainstreaming: Indicators for the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its Related Resolutions – The 1325 Scorecard: Preliminary Findings (Brussels: NATO, 2015). For a description of the NATO project and our country scorecard reports, see: https://www.wiisglobal.org/programs/unscr-1325-nato/.

[9] The term “police” in this tool does not include local or municipal police. The police agencies that are included are those police agencies that also send police officers to UN peacekeeping operations.

[10] For more see wiisglobal.org.

[11] This is a statement that has also been recognized and subscribed to by the US Department of Defense. See US DOD, Women, Peace and Security (2020), p.10.

[12] In the Southern Hemisphere the legal framework for human rights even predates the UDHR. The American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, (adopted in May 1948 in Bogota, Columbia) was the first human rights instrument that recognized equal rights for all people. It was followed in 1969 by the American Convention on Human Rights. The 1969 American Convention on Human Rights requires states to adopt domestic legislation to give effect to these rights.

[13] They were particularly important in integrating Human Rights in the UN Charter and the UDHR.

[14] For more see Marcela Donadio et al., Women in The Armed and Police Forces: Resolution 1325 and Peace Operations in Latin America (Buenos Aires: RESDAL, 2010). More generally see also Ellen Haring, “Gender and Military Organizations” in Chantal de Jonge Oudraat and Michael E. Brown, eds., The Gender and Security Agenda: Strategies for the 21st Century (London: Routledge, 2020), pp. 90 – 112.

[15] In October 2015, the UN Security Council, in Resolution 2242, called for the doubling of the number of female peacekeepers (military and police) within five years. In August 2020, the UN Security Council also adopted Resolution 2538 which recognized “the indispensable role of women in increasing the overall performance and effectiveness of peacekeeping operations.” It also stressed the need to increase the participation of uniformed women in peacekeeping operations.

[16] In 2013, CEDAW adopted General Recommendation 30 on women in conflict prevention, conflict, and post-conflict situations. This strengthened the links between the WPS agenda and CEDAW.

[17] NATO/EAPC Women, Peace and Security Policy and Action Plan, 2018. NATO committed to the three “I”s: Integration: making sure that gender equality is considered as an integral part of NATO policies, programs, and projects guided by effective gender mainstreaming practices; Inclusiveness: promoting an increased representation of women across NATO and in national forces to enhance operational effectiveness and success; and Integrity: enhancing accountability with the intent to increase awareness and implementation of the WPS agenda in accordance with international frameworks.”

[18] See Mary K. Meyer Mcaleese, “WPS and the Organization of American States,” in Sara E. Davies and Jacqui True, eds.,  The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace and Security (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), pp. 413 – 427.

[19] See, for example, Paula Drumond and Tamya Rebelo, “Global Pathways or Local Spins? National Action Plans in South America,” International Feminist Journal of Politics, Vol. 22, No. 4 (2020), pp. 462 – 484; See also Donadio, Women in the Armed and Police Forces (2010). In 2019 Brazilian Navy Lieutenant Commander Marcia Braga received the UN Military Gender Advocate of the Year award for her work in the UN operation in the Central African Republic.

[20] See Drumond and Rebelo, Global Pathways or Local Spins?

[21] See for example, Fabiana Sofia Perera and Lieutenant Colonel Duilia Mora Turner, eds., Twenty Years, Twenty Stories: Women, Peace and Security in the Western Hemisphere (Washington, DC: William J. Perry Center for Hemsipheric Defense Studies, 2020). See also Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations, Whose Security? Practical Examples of Gender Perspectives in Military Operations (Stockholm: Nordic Centre for Military Operations, 2015).

[22] See Renata Avelar Giannini et al., A agenda sobre mulheres, paz e segurança no contexto latino-americano: desafios e oportunidades, Hemisphere (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil: Instituto Igarapé, March 2018). 12  See, for example, studies by the McKinsey Institute and the World Economic Forum.

[23] For many practical examples see Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations, Whose Security? Practical Examples of Gender Perspectives in Military Operations (Stockholm: Nordic Centre for Military Operations, 2015).

[24] The UN’s 2028 target for women in military contingents is 15% and 25% for military observers and staff officers. The 2028 target for women serving in formed police units is 20% and 30% for individual police officers. In 2020, women constitute 4.8% of military contingents and 10.9 % of formed police units in UN peacekeeping missions. See Peackeeping.un.org.

[25] Cited in Chantal de Jonge Oudraat et al., Gender Mainstreaming: Indicators for the Implementation of UNSCR 1325 and its Related Resolutions – The 1325 Scorecard: Preliminary Findings (Brussels: NATO, 2015), p. 7.

[26] This definition is based on the UN ECOSOC definition of 1997. See also Helene Lackenbauer and Richard Langlais, eds., Review of the Practical Implications of UNSCR 1325 for the Conduct of NATO-led Operations and Missions (Stockholm: Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOA), 2013), p. 55.

[27] See UN Women website unwomen.org “Gender Mainstreaming.”

[28] For example, in the United States and Brazil, the WPS agenda and gender equality efforts were not supported by the Donald J. Trump and Jair Bolsonaro administrations. Yet in both cases, the WPS agenda had gained some champions within the foreign affairs and defense establishments. These establishments had also put in place certain processes to integrate gender perspectives. Together, the champions and the institutional processes were able to safeguard some of the efforts that had been started before the advent of the new administrations. In addition, in the United States the US Congress had adopted the WPS Act in 2017, which had broad bi-partisan support. It was a big factor in safeguarding some of the WPS capacities that had been developed earlier. The Act also allowed the expansion of WPS activities in the military with regard to training and the appointment of GENADs in the Combatant Commands. The US Congress even set aside some money for the latter.

[29] See de Jonge Oudraat et al, Gender Mainstreaming (2015), p. 10-11.

[30] See scorecard template in Annex 2 and the scoring protocol in Annex 3.

[31] See country scorecards and narrative reports at the WIIS website (provide link here).

[32] See ECLAC, Regional Report on the Review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in Latin America and Caribbean countries, 25 years on, LC/CRM.14.4 (Santiago: United Nations, 2019).

[33] See IDEA, Gender Quotas Database (Stockholm: IDEA @idea.int).

[34] See ECLAC, Regional Report on the Review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in Latin America and Caribbean countries, 25 years on, LC/CRM.14.4 (Santiago: United Nations, 2019), p. 17.

[35] See Ellen Haring, “Gender and Military Organizations” in Chantal de Jonge Oudraat and Michael E. Brown, The Gender and Security Agenda: Strategies for the 21st Century (London: Routledge, 2020), p. 90.

[36] Nicole Jenne and Fiorella Ulloa Bisshopp, “Female Peacekeepers: UNSC Resolution 1325 and the Persistence of Gender Stereotypes in the Chilean Armed Forces,” International Peacekeeping, (October 14, 2020), p. 21.

[37] For strategies to increase women’s participation in national military organizations, see Haring, “Gender and Military Organizations.”

[38] See Georgetown Institute for Women Peace and Security and the Peace Research Institute Oslo, The WPS Index 2020 (Washington, DC: GIWPS, 2020); Oxfam and Development Finance International, Fighting Inequality in the Time of Covid-19:

The Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index 2020 (Oxford: Oxfam, 2020).

[39] Costa Rica is unique in the region as one of only a few countries with no military. It was assessed based on the security provided by the national police.

[40] See Paula Drumond and Tamya Rebelo, “Global Pathways or Local Spins? National Action Plans in South America,” International Feminist Journal of Politics, Vol. 22, No. 4 (2020), pp. 462 – 484.

[41] For more general analysis of NAPs globally see Caitlin Hamilton, Nyibeny Naam and Laura J. Shepherd, Twenty Years of Women, Peace and Security National Action Plans: Analysis and Lessons Learned (Sydney: Sydney University, March 2020). 32  Drumond and Rebelo, “Global Pathways or Local Spins?” p. 1. See also Paula Drumond and Tamya Rebelo, 1325 and Beyond:

Moving Forward the WPS Agenda in Latin America, WIIS Policy Brief (July 2020); and

Ana Laura Velasco Ugalde, UNSCR1325 and the WPS Agenda: A Feminist Response to Authoritarianism, WIIS Policy Brief (June 2020), p. 1. Velasco notes the Covid-19 crisis and the call for staying at home has exposed the violence at home.

[42] Cited in Drumond and Rebelo, Global Pathways or Local Spins? p. 12. See also Paula Drumond and Tamya Rebelo, 1325 and Beyond: Moving Forward the WPS Agenda in Latin America, WIIS Policy Brief (July 2020).

[43] Ibid.

[44] For more on Brazil’s NAP see Renata Avelar Giannini and Perola Abrue Pereira, Building Brazil’s National Action Plan: Lessons

Learned and Opportunities (London: LSE, March 3, 2020 – blog); Paula Drumond and Tamya Rebelo, Implementing the “Women,

Peace and Security” Agenda in Brazil: An Assessment of the National Action Plan, Strategic Paper 31 (Rio de Janeiro: Igarape Institute, August 2019). See also https://igarape.org.br/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/2019-07-31_AE-31_Women-Peace-andSecurity-National-Action-Plan.pdf.

[45] Argentine NAP: p. 10. Government of Argentina, National Action Plan of the Argentine Republic for the Implementation of Resolution Nº1325/2000 of the Security Council of the United Nations. (Argentina, 2015) at: https://www.peacewomen.org/ sites/default/files/Argentina%20NAP%202015%20(English).pdf and see the Spanish version at: http://servicios.infoleg.gob.ar/ infolegInternet/anexos/250000-254999/252151/Dto1895.pdf. 37  Today Argentina leads the region in WPS implementation.

[46] See UN Secretary General, Departmental Focal Points for Women in the Secretariat, ST/SGB?2008/12 (New York: United Nations, August 1, 2008). See also UN Women, Gender Focal Points and Focal Points for Women @ unwomen.org; and United Nations, Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Policy: Gender Responsive United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (New York: United Nations, February 1, 2018).

[47] RESDAL obtained much of its data through freedom of information mechanisms. See Marcela Donadio et al., Women in the

Armed Forces and Police in Latin America: Agender Approach to Peace Operations (Buenos Aires: RESDAL, 2010). See Renata Avilar Giannini, Maiara Folly and Mariana Fonseca Lima, Situacoes extraordinarias a entrada de mulheres na linha de frente das Forcas Armadas brasileiras (Rio de Janieri: Igarapé Institute: 2017). We do not know to what extent the US government is collecting data on the number of women in military forces around the world and how it applies that data to its International Military Training and Education (IMET) programs.

[48] The US DoD tracks the incidence rate of sexual harassment and assault in the ranks and publishes annual reports on their Sexual and Prevention Website. This is a Congressionally mandated annual requirement. https://www.sapr.mil/. See also Government of Canada, 2019 Sexual Misconduct Incident Tracking Report https://www.canada.ca/en/department-nationaldefence/corporate/reports-publications/sexual-misconduct-tracking-report.html. In Australia, the Chief of the Army came out strongly against sexual harassment and abuse. See Australia’s Chief of the Army addresses to soldiers on sexual assault in the ranks. https://vimeo.com/71028162.

[49] Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. See Adriana Erthal Abdenur, Enhancing Peacekeeping Training Through Cooperation: Lessons from Latin America, Policy Brief (Rio de Janeiro: Igarape Institute, June 2018).

[50] See Humanas Colombia, 20 Años Exigiendo que el Gobierno Colombiano se conecte con la Paz y la Seguridad de las Mujeres, Pronunciamiento (Bogotá, Colombia: Humanas, July 2020) at https://www.humanas.org.co/alfa/dat_particular/arch_contenidos/ i_e_73153_q_PRONUNCIAMIENTO_R1325.pdf; Also from Humanas Colombia, see Observatorio Mujeres, Paz y Seguridad (a group actively lobbying for a WPS NAP), Cumplimiento del Estado Colombiano con la Resolución 1325 de 2000: Informe de monitoreo del año 2017 y primer semestre de 2018, (Bogotá, Colombia: Humanas, December 2018) at https://www.humanas.org. co/alfa/dat_particular/ar/ar_9042_q_R1325informe.pdf.

By Felicia Dede Addy and Shikshya Adhikari

Ghana is one of the biggest producers of gold in Africa and the world.1 Gold contributes significantly to Ghana’s economy, and small-scale mining—an important means of income for many low-income Ghanaian households—produces about 30 percent of Ghana’s total gold output.2 Under Ghanaian law, small-scale gold mining is reserved for Ghanaians, but the boom in gold prices in the 2000s and Ghana’s unprotected gold wealth drew thousands of Chinese miners to Ghana who started mining for gold illegally.3 Known locally as galamsey, illegal gold mining by Chinese migrants in Ghana has had devastating effects on the economy, the environment, communities, and women’s security.

The Ghanaian government has adopted several measures to curb the proliferation of illegal mining, but these measures have been ineffective because of government incompetence, severe corruption, a weak judiciary system, rampant violence in communities, and the complicity of locals.

Civil society can play an important role in dealing with the adverse effects of galamsey. Civil society organizations (CSOs) are particularly important in raising awareness in communities, helping curb violence, protecting women and pressuring the government to be accountable and transparent. This policy brief looks at small-scale mining in Ghana and the growing problems associated with illegal Chinese miners. It lays out the obstacles that government and local communities face in curbing galamsey and relates how CSOs are pushing for solutions. We conclude by providing recommendations for more active civil society engagement, both nationally and transnationally.

Small-Scale Mining in Ghana

Indigenous small-scale mining dates back to the 15th century in Ghana. It is an important means of livelihood for many rural people, who use the income from mining to supplement meagre farming income. Ghanaian small-scale mining may be second only to agriculture in its ability to create jobs and boost the economy.4 About one million people work directly in the sector, and approximately four million work in services dependent on small-scale mining.5

With so many Ghanaians practicing small-scale mining, the government felt the need to regulate mining practices to streamline the sector’s contribution to the economy, regulate the use of resources by small-scale miners, and provide official marketing channels for gold that the sector produced.6 In 1989, the government passed the Small-Scale Gold Mining Act, which introduced a licensing process. However, the process is highly bureaucratic, expensive, time-consuming, and riddled with corruption. Only those with money and political connections can secure licenses. Thus the process discourages many Ghanaians without money and influence from applying for and obtaining legal licenses. Since villages depended greatly on the mining sector, unlicensed smallscale mining continued.7

The scale of illegal mining expanded greatly in the 2000s, when Ghana’s gold reserves and the surge in gold prices attracted many foreign miners from neighboring Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and countries such as Russia, Armenia, and China. Ghana saw an especially large influx of experienced Chinese miners.

Two main reasons explain the influx of Chinese miners.8 First, China’s economic liberalization led many Chinese migrant workers to come to Africa for work in a range of industries. With its ample unprotected gold reserves, Ghana proved attractive to Chinese gold diggers. Second, the majority of the Chinese miners in Ghana come from the Guangxi autonomous region in China, a region with a long history of gold mining and expertise in advanced mining techniques. About 50,000 Chinese miners have flocked to Ghana over the past decade and have been illegally mining gold.9

Effects of Chinese Illegal Mining

Unregulated and illegal mining by Chinese migrants has severely challenged the Ghanaian government, local communities and rural populations. It has compromised the local economy and security, particularly the well-being and security of women. In response, the government passed the 2006 Minerals and Mining Act, which “reserved” small-scale mining for Ghanaian citizens, and instituted the Alternative Livelihood and Community Mining Program, which sought to diversify sources of livelihood in mining areas. But because of widespread government corruption among national and local officials, their implementation was unsuccessful.10 Therefore, Chinese miners’ galamsey continues.

Economic and Environmental Impacts

Chinese investors bought up plots of lands from local farmers and landowners and replaced farmlands with gold mines. Farmhands lost their jobs, and overall food production declined. In addition, the influx of Chinese miners increased housing prices, which in turn led to an increase of homeless people.11 Lastly, Chinese miners introduced technologies such as dredging and advanced excavators, replacing lowtech, traditional mining techniques, increasing productivity and making it difficult for Ghanaian small-scale miners to compete with them.

The use of advanced technology has also polluted remaining farms lands and rivers nearby with dust, cyanide and mercury.12 Major rivers such as the Pra, Ankobra and Birim— essential for supplying water in Western and Eastern Ghana— have been polluted by mining runoff.13 This pollution has depressed farm productivity and the livelihoods of people who depend on farming. In addition, the consistent use of mercury in gold extraction has also harmed people’s health, which in turn has made them unable to work and earn a living.14

Community Security

An increase in robberies, violence, and other criminal activity accompanied the influx of Chinese miners. Attacks on Chinese migrants increased as local resentment grew. In response, the Chinese miners acquired weapons to protect themselves.15 Some became involved in the illegal buying and selling of arms.16 In many mining communities, the use and trafficking of narcotics also increased.17

Some observers worried that the loss of local livelihoods and the increase in security problems were bound to multiply locals’ grievances, thereby making communities vulnerable to recruitment by violent extremist groups. Violent protests have on occasion broken out over grievances in local mining communities in Ghana.18

Impact on Women

The majority of women in Ghana’s small-scale mining communities work on cocoa farms under abysmal conditions. Many supplement their meagre farming incomes by working in illegal mines. Often, women force their children to work in the mines to help supplement the family income.19 Women’s weak economic standing has made them quite dependent on galamsey, and government crackdowns on Chinese illegal mining have hit them hard.20 Although the government has acknowledged women’s economic vulnerability, its efforts thus far have not been directed toward reducing women’s dependency on illegal mining.21

The arrival of Chinese miners has also led to increased prostitution and sexual exploitation and abuse. Some women provide sexual favors to miners in exchange for money. In so doing, they expose themselves to arrest, as prostitution is illegal in Ghana. As a result, they become vulnerable to extortion and corruption. Equally worrisome is the sexual abuse of women employed by Chinese miners.22 These women, as well as their children, are discriminated against and ostracized by local communities.23

Government Responses

Prior to 2013, the Ghanaian government paid little attention to the proliferation of Chinese migrants in the small-scale mining sector. Although the government did pass the Minerals and Mining Actin 2006, the law was undermined by corrupt officials taking bribes from Chinese miners to allow them to continue mining.

When news media began reporting on galamsey issues in

2013, the government felt pressure to respond. President John Mahama established a task force made up of military personnel and other state security forces.24 The task force was instrumental in deporting over 4,500 Chinese miners and the seizure of mining equipment, but it also attempted to curtail illegal mining by Ghanaians.25 During presidential and parliamentary electoral campaigns in 2016, however, the Mahama government held back on enforcement against Ghanaians due to pressures from some communities that threatened to vote against it for attempting to stop them from working in galamsey mines.26

After Mahama’s electoral defeat, the new government under President Nana Akufo-Addo nonetheless sought to reinforce the ban on illegal mining. In 2017, an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining was set up to deal with the problem.27 The new government also launched Operation Vanguard, which deployed 400 military and police officials in centers of illegal mining.28 An Alternative Livelihood and Community Mining Program is also in place to train those previously involved in small-scale mining for work in other sectors. All have failed to curb illegal mining.

Obstacles to Curbing Galamsey

The lack of government success in curbing galamsey is due to a variety of reasons, key among them are the corruption of government officials and heavy-handed crackdowns by the security forces. Other reasons include a weak judicial infrastructure and complicit local populations that directly benefit from illegal mining.

Corruption. Some task force officials and local police take bribes to “look the other way” and thus reap the benefits of illegal mining.29 Chinese miners boast about their “good working relationships” with local police. Indeed, Chinese miners who are caught and detained are usually let go after they pay fines and are thus free to resume their illegal activities. The lack of law enforcement transparency around who is arrested and released makes it difficult for civil society actors to protest or counter illegal mining. On occasion, prosecutions of Chinese miners have been halted without reasonable justification and their seized equipment returned to them.30

Weak enforcement of anti-galamsey laws and complicit officials make combating corruption particularly difficult. In January 2020, the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, which has oversight over the galamsey issue, revealed that about 500 excavators seized from illegal miners had gone missing, calling into question the vigilance of local authorities in policing the galamsey problem.31 Miners have relocated to more remote areas where authorities are less likely to discover them. This move “underground” to wait it out shows that the security forces’ vigilance waxes and wanes, making efforts to combat illegal mining inconsistent and, therefore, ineffective.32

Violence. Crackdowns by security forces have led to violence without effectively containing illegal mining. Both the Ghanaian and the Chinese communities have suffered the repercussions of this violence. Children and minors have been targets of violent raids. A 16-year-old Chinese boy was shot while fleeing a crackdown by Ghanaian forces.33 Families in China worry about family members who have been targeted in crackdown operations, as they receive no communication from Ghanaian authorities when their children or siblings are jailed or killed.34

Some aggrievedlocal authorities have incited young Ghanaians from the mining communities to engage in violence. In April 2020, a group of youth in eastern Ghana, with the support of a local assembly, set ablaze mining equipment belonging to Chinese miners and put the lives of many community members at risk.35

The ineffectiveness of government efforts has angered many local residents. In October 2016, some residents in Western Ghana violently demonstrated against Chinese miners, vandalizing government buildings and other infrastructure.36

Because miners carry cutlasses, shovels, and other mining equipment as weapons, they have been ready to attack at the slightest misunderstandings with communities or law enforcement officials, increasing the violence of attacks. Illegal miners have also armed themselves to protest closures of some illegal pits, causing panic and insecurity.37

Weak Judiciary. Those arrested on galamsey charges typically face minimal consequences. Beyond the problem of bribery, the legal and judicial process is slow. Thus many who are arrested post bail and quickly return to the field.38

Local Complicity. Galamsey provides ready income for many local people, much more than what farming offers or even compared with the government’s initiative on alternative livelihoods.39 Thus some individuals would rather sell land for galamsey, work in galamsey fields, or protect perpetrators by failing to report their activities. In some cases, community members clash directly with security forces seeking to prevent galamsey.40 Chiefs and family heads and custodians of communal and family lands in Ghana have seen large plots of land go to the highest bidder: foreign miners with no interest in sustainable mining to preserve the environment for future generations.41

In sum, illegal mining has not ceased despite some government efforts. Miners have become more likely to conceal their activities, however, making it more difficult for authorities to curb their activities or find other solutions.42 Ghanaian communities, meanwhile, have become more dependent on illegal mining, exposing them to violence and destitution.

The Role of Civil Society

CSOs can play an important role in curbing the proliferation of illegal Chinese mining activities in Ghana and alleviating its negative impacts on communities. CSOs have the standing to reach both the government and the people and can strategically position themselves as mediators.

Local civil society groups have been instrumental in pressuring the Ghanaian government to take action on illegal mining.43 Ghanaian CSOs have publicized the impact of galamsey on the environment and community security. They have worked to rehabilitate mined-out or degraded lands, and they have provided legal aid to those affected in galamsey communities while holding the government to its promises to curb galamsey.44

One such CSO, the Media Coalition against Galamsey, has been pressuring the Akufo-Addo government to take action. To promote reforestation and rejuvenation of galamsey sites, the nongovernmental organization Partners of Nature Africa initiated a project to plant rubber-tree seedlings on degraded land at a mining site at Peminanse in the Asiwa District of the Ashanti region.45 CSO Tropenbos Ghana has been helping local communities rehabilitate mined-out lands and teaching them to integrate good farming and settlement practices around the mining sites.46 The Centre for Public Interest Law provides courtroom representation and other legal services to those affected by mining operations and to those contending that the government or illegal mining operators encroached on their rights.47

Recommendations

Despite the meaningful work CSOs have been doing to curb and mitigate the effects of illegal small-scale mining, there is more to do: involve the affected communities in awareness raising, dialogue with the government and international community, create attractive alternative employment opportunities, and provide safe places for those who are physically or mentally abused. Moreover, the international community and the Ghanaian and Chinese governments should vigorously support the activities of CSOs.

Raising Awareness.One of the most important roles civil society can and should continue to play is to raise awareness regarding issues related to illegal mining. CSOs can raise awareness about environmental and security issues that may discourage local people from engaging in illegal mining. They can convene hearings and meetings for local people and government, including law enforcement officials, where all parties can raise issues and work toward resolving them. NGOs can appoint community mobilizers to talk to people, record their complaints, and present the results to government officials.

Dialogue with the Government and Local Officials. It is imperative that CSOs in Ghana engage the government in sustained dialogue on mitigating illegal mining. It is only through proper communication that people in affected communities will be able to understand the government’s perspective. While it may be difficult to prevent officials from taking bribes or becoming involved in corrupt activities, CSOs can highlight the corruption that does come to light and encourage transparency and accountability.

CSOs should increase efforts to engage local governments. Local officials are directly involved in the communities and sometimes facilitate illegal activities for profit. Engaging local government officials—and appealing for central government and law enforcement intervention where necessary—will increase accountability and transparency.

Programs to Develop Alternative Employment Opportunities. Civil societies can work with the local and central government officials to develop other opportunities for those who have lost their livelihoods due to illegal mining. Local and international NGOs working in Ghana should continue to offer skill-building training programs. It should prioritize women and men from marginalized backgrounds, female and single-headed households, people with disabilities, and others who may have a harder time coping with the loss of livelihood. These programs could help discourage criminal or extremist activity.

CSOs that advance alternative employment opportunities in Ghana’s mining regions may also be able to prevent or reduce violence. Targeting female-headed households for alternate employment programs will help reduce the burden on women who are forced to work long hours in mining while also caring for children. Accountability and transparency mechanisms and other initiatives should supplement these efforts, and CSOs are in a key position to establish them.

Safe Houses. CSOs, including religious groups, should establish safe houses for survivors of assault, rape, or other gender-based violence. These organizations must also connect survivors of violence to appropriate services such as hospitals, counseling, police, and lawyers.

Transnational Advocacy.CSOs have immense potential to build transnational and regional advocacy networks. CSOs in Ghana should ally with CSOs elsewhere to jointly pressure their respective governments to resolve problems stemming from illegal mining. Civil societies can also press countries to take the matter to the United Nations, which can encourage the international community to devise solutions.48 For example, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation have supported CSO efforts to rehabilitate mined-out lands, providing resources for rehabilitation projects in galamsey areas.49

Conclusion

This policy brief proposes peaceful means for curbing Chinese galamsey in Ghana through greater reliance on CSOs. Forceful curbing of galamsey will only lead to more violence and abrupt loss of livelihoods. Grievances will increase, aggravating the challenges communities already face.


The government’s ban on illegal mining and violent crackdowns are compounding the problem while failing to tackle it systematically. The problem of Chinese illegal mining in Ghana is both serious and complicated. It secures livelihoods for some and destroys it for others. It creates dependencies, incites violence, reduces security, and severely depletes natural resources. By bringing together all stakeholders—the local mining communities, the Ghanaian government, and international actors—we believe mobilizing CSOs will help Ghanaian communities address the problem holistically.

References

  1. Fernando Aragon and Juan Pablo Rud, “Gold Mining and Living Standards in Ghanaian Households” (International Growth Center, January 2011–March 2012).
  2. Gordon Crawford et al., “The Impact of Chinese Involvement in

Small-Scale Gold Mining in Ghana,” E-33110-GHA-1 (International

Growth Center, May 2015); Gabriel Botchwey and Gordon Crawford, “Lifting the Lid on Ghana’s Illegal Small-Scale Mining Problem,”  The Conversation (September 25, 2019).

  • Botchwey and Crawford, “Lifting the Lid”; Jeremy Luedi,  “Galamsey in Ghana and China’s Illegal Gold Rush” (Asia by Africa, January 16, 2019).
  • “Ghana: Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Formalization,”Project Information Document, Report No: PIDISDSC25363 (Washington, DC: World Bank, January 23, 2019).
  • Gavin Hilson, “Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining and Agriculture: Exploring Their Links in Rural sub-Saharan Africa,” Issue Paper (London: International Institute for Environment and Development, March 2016).
  • Government of Ghana, “Minerals and Mining Policy of Ghana—Ensuring Mining Contributes to Sustainable Development” (November 2014), https://www.extractiveshub.org/servefile/getFile/id/798.
  • Gavin Hilson and Abigail Hilson, “Entrepreneurship, Poverty and Sustainability: Critical Reflections on the Formalization of Small-Scale Mining in Ghana” (International Growth Center, April 10, 2015).
  • Gabriel Botchwey et al., “South‐South Irregular Migration: The Impacts of China’s Informal Gold Rush in Ghana,” International Migration Vol. 57, No. 4 (2019), pp. 310–28; Botchwey and Crawford, “Lifting the Lid.”
  • Luedi, “Galamsey in Ghana.”
  • Minerals and Mining Act in Ghana (2006), https:// resourcegovernance.org/sites/default/files/Minerals%20and%20 Mining%20Act%20703%20Ghana.pdf; Gordon Crawford and Gabriel

Botchwey, “Conflict, Collusion and Corruption in Small-Scale Gold Mining: Chinese Miners and the State in Ghana,” Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, Vol. 55, No. 4 (2017), pp. 444–70.

  1. “House Rent for Only Chinese,” My Joy Online (June 25, 2013).
  2. Hilson and Hilson, “Entrepreneurship, Poverty and Sustainability.”
  3. Crawford and Botchwey, “Conflict, Collusion and Corruption”; Stanley Martey, “Mud Instead of Clean Water!!! How GWCL Is Struggling Due to Galamsey Canker,” Peace FM Online News (June 8, 2019).
  4. Juliane Kippenbery, “Mercury, Ghana’s Poisonous Problem,” Graphic Online (October 10, 2014); Aboka Yaw et al., “Review of Environment and Health Impacts of Mining in Ghana,” Journal of Health and Pollution Vol. 8, No.1 (2018), pp. 43–42.
  5. Jeremy Luedi, “Chinese Galamsey and the Illegal Allure of Ghana’s Gold Rush (Part 1),” The Daily Statesman (October 2, 2019).
  6. “Chinese National Arrested for Selling Guns,” Graphic Online (November 1, 2016).
  7. Edward Burrows and Lucia Bird, “Gold, Guns, and China: Ghana’s Fight to End Galamsey,” (Geneva: Global Initiative Against Transnational Crime, May 30, 2017).
  8. “Police Storm Community as Angry Youth Burn Mining Equipment in Eastern Region,” GhanaWeb (April 12, 2020). Many policymakers and academics have argued that young unemployed people are prime recruitment targets for insurgent and terrorist groups. See Guy Lamb et al., “Rumors of Peace, Whispers of War: Assessment of the Reintegration of Ex Combatants into Civilian Life in North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo,” Working Paper (Washington,

DC: World Bank, 2012); Jairo Munive and Finn Stepputat, “Rethinking Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Programs,” Stability: International Journal of Security and Development Vol. 4, No. 1 (2015). Studies have established significant connections between unemployment amongst youths and attraction to terrorism activities in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan region. See Aniruddha Bagchi and Jomon A. Paul, “Youth Unemployment and Terrorism in the MENAP (Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan) Region,” Socio-Economic Planning Sciences Vol. 64 (2018), pp. 9–20.

  1. Report of the UN Secretary-General on Social Analysis of Ghana’s Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Sector (2016).
  2. Tara Rava Zolnikov, “Effects of the Government’s Ban in Ghana on Women in Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining,” Resources Policy Vol. 65, No. 101561 (March 2020).
  3. Sofia Christensen, “Ghana Just Scratching Surface of Illegal Gold

Mining,” VOA News (May 27, 2019); Stephanie Barrientos, “Women in

Cocoa Production: Where Is the Gender Equity?” The Guardian (March 8, 2013); Roy Maconachie and Elizabeth Fortin, “On Ghana’s Cocoa Farms, Fairtrade Is Not Yet Working for Women,” The Guardian (March 11, 2016).

  • “Illegal Mining in Ghana Will Create Risk to Social Stability,”  Mining Review Africa (May 28, 2018).
  • Jonas Nyabor, “Ghana’s ‘Galamsey Kids’: Children Left Behind by Chinese Miners,” Citi Newsroom (April 16, 2018).
  • Gordon Crawford et al., “The Impact of Chinese Involvement in Small-Scale Gold Mining in Ghana” (International Growth Center,  Dec. 1, 2013).
  • Afua Hirsch, “Ghana Deports Thousands in Crackdown on Illegal Chinese Goldminers,” The Guardian (July 15, 2013).
  • “Galamseyers Will ‘Fight to Death’—Aning,” Ghana Web (October 20, 2016); Abdulai Abdul-Gafaru, “The Galamsey Menace in Ghana: A Political Problem Requiring Political Solutions?” Policy BriefNo. 5 (University of Ghana Business School, June 2017).
  • “Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining to be Dissolved

Soon,” Modern Ghana (July 7, 2020). See also Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, “Government Outlines Measures to Lift Small-Scale Mining,” press release(Accra: GNA, August 2018).

  • Dominic Moses Awiah, “Operation Vanguard Launched to Wipe Out Galamsey,” Graphic Online (August 1, 2017).
  • Edwin Appiah, “Operation Vanguard Soldier Allegedly ‘Pockets up to GH¢45k Biweekly’ from Illegal Miners,” Ghana Report (February 1, 2020); Burrows and Bird, “Gold, Guns, and China.”
  • “Lack of Prosecution Hindering Fight against ‘Galamsey’—Operation Vanguard,” GhanaWeb (February 4, 2020).
  • “Two Groups Question Government over Seized Galamsey Excavators,” Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (January 29, 2020).
  • Sefanam Agboli, “Excavators Are Not Mobile Phones, Find Them—Ashigbe Tells Minister,” Ghana Report (January 29, 2020).
  • “Chinese Boy, 16, Killed during Crackdown on Illegal Gold Mining in Ghana,” ABC News(October 15, 2012); “Ghana Probes Death of Illegal Chinese Gold Miner,” BBC(October 15, 2012).
  • Dan Levin, “Ghana’s Crackdown on Chinese Gold Miners Hits One Rural Area Hard,” New York Times (June 29, 2013).
  • “Police Storm Community as Angry Youth Burn Mining Equipment in Eastern Region,” GhanaWeb (April 12, 2020).
  • “Chinese Galamseyers Take Over Wassa Forests,” GhanaWeb (October 20, 2016).
  • Ishaq Akmey Alhassan, “Galamsey and the Making of a Deep

State in Ghana: Implications for National Security and Development,” Research on Humanities and Sciences Vol. 4, No. 16 (2014), pp. 47–56.

  • “Lack of Prosecution Hindering Fight,” GhanaWeb; “Operation Vanguard Ordered to Withdraw from All Illegal Mining Areas,” GhanaWeb (February 27, 2020).
  • Nathan Andrews, “Digging for Survival and/or Justice? The Drivers of Illegal Mining Activities in Western Ghana,” Africa Today 62, No. 2 (2015), pp. 3–24.
  • “Galamseyers will ‘fight to death’ ” GhanaWeb.
  • Alhassan, “Galamsey and the Making of a Deep State.”
  • James Boafo, Sebastian Angzoorokuu Paalo and Senyo Dotsey,

“Illicit Chinese Small-Scale Mining in Ghana: Beyond Institutional Weakness?” Sustainability 11, No. 21 (2019).

By Clodagh Quain and Isabelle Roccia

Fifth-generation telecommunications (5G) technology promises to dramatically increase the interconnectedness and efficiency of commercial and civilian communication infrastructures. 5G will also enable other advances. On the civilian side, it will improve existing applications and give rise to others, from telemedicine to connected cars. It also presents an opportunity to enhance NATO’s capabilities, improving logistics, maintenance, and communications. For instance, 5G will speed communication and improve response time in a theater of operation.

These developments also pose challenges. 5G is part of a complex architecture. To leverage its full benefits, millions of sensors and devices will need to be deployed and connected, from smart home appliances and connected toys to fullscale factories and critical infrastructures. The number of connected devices is projected to total 41.6 billion worldwide by 2025.1 By 2030, this estimate ratchets up to 125 billion.2 Of these, mobile devices will grow from 8.8 billion in 2018 to 13.1 billion devices by 2023 – 1.4 billion of which will be 5G capable.3 Because devices are connected to one another or to a network, security risks will multiply. The Alliance faces an increased challenge in ensuring that NATO Allies’ 5G networks and the critical infrastructures that rely on them

can withstand multiple physical and cybersecurity threats. 

NATO’s main concern in this context is the risk associated with foreign ownership or management of critical infrastructure, including by private operators and foreign state actors in supply chains. That such ownership could result in collusion between the supplier and a country’s intelligence or security services is deemed particularly worrisome by many governments, critical infrastructure operators and industry alike.4 For NATO allies, supply-chain risk management is therefore a critical aspect of the strategic and operational challenges posed by 5G. 

At the NATO meeting in London in December 2019, Allies prioritized 5G security as part of its security and resilience agenda. The final declaration stated, “NATO and Allies, within their respective authority, are committed to ensuring the security of our communications, including 5G, recognizing the need to rely on secure and resilient systems.”5 Including 5G in the London Declaration formalized NATO’s work in this emerging field.

Background

5G technology is transformative on several fronts. It will challenge the design and implementation of existing infrastructure and applications. The velocity and pervasiveness of 5G technology will stimulate development of advanced applications, including smart cities and autonomous vehicles.

A diverse set of suppliers form the 5G ecosystem, which encompasses network infrastructures, spectrum, devices and software. While Ericsson (Sweden), Nokia (Finland) and Huawei (China) are the three best-known vendors, they represent only a small number of the stakeholders involved. The telecommunications industry estimates that operators will have

to invest $1.1 trillion by the end of 2025 to build 5G networks.6

In 2016, the European Commission developed a 5G Action Plan for Europe to support launching the rollout of commercial 5G services in all EU member states by the end of 2020.7 Subsequently, there will be a rapid buildup of infrastructure in urban areas and along major transport routes by 2025.8

At the Prague 5G Security Conference in May 2019, 32 EU and NATO members adopted recommendations known as the Prague Proposals.9 They propose principles that governments should apply to 5G deployment, stipulating that communication networks and services should be “designed with resilience and security in mind. They should be built and maintained using international, open, consensus-based standards and risk-informed cybersecurity best practices.” State representatives also called for the adoption of principles of fairness, transparency, risk-based policy and interoperability.

Relevance for NATO

Since 1949, NATO has centered on safeguarding the security and freedom of its members. Its mandate has evolved in political and geographic terms as the world changed. Today, emerging technology, with its many political, military and commercial implications, is driving NATO’s need to adapt.

Given its broad membership overlap with the European Union, deployment of 5G in Europe will undoubtedly affect the Alliance. The implications for NATO allies are strategic and operational in nature and affect defensive and offensive postures. At a minimum, dependence on 5G exposes critical infrastructure to more vulnerabilities, including software vulnerabilities, which NATO allies must address.10 That said, 5G can also improve capabilities such as communication security.11

At the multilateral level, NATO, like the European Union, seeks to balance collective and national interests. At the Munich Security Conference on February 15, 2020, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg referred to guidelines and basic requirements that both organizations had developed for infrastructure investment—notably in telecommunications and 5G.12

On January 29, 2020, the Network and Information Systems (NIS) Cooperation Group published an EU toolbox, with measures to mitigate risks identified in the EU coordinated risk assessment report of October 9, 2019:

  • strategic measures on regulatory powers for incident reporting, security measures, threats and assets;
  • initiatives to promote a diverse supply and value chain; 
  • technical measures to strengthen the security of networks and equipment; and
  • risk mitigation plans.13

NATO’s leadership also seeks to develop a minimum set of common practices for resilient telecommunications while avoiding encroachment on individual state approaches. At the October 2019 NATO Defense Ministerial meeting, for example, representatives agreed to update the baseline requirements for civilian telecommunications, including 5G.14 This update covered foreign ownership, foreign control and direct investment. While civilian infrastructure remains a “national responsibility,” Article 3 of NATO’s founding treaty states that resilience, intended to prevent the failure of critical infrastructure or hybrid attacks, is part of states’ commitments to the Alliance and to one another. The Secretary General reiterated NATO’s approach the following month at the NATO Industry Forum in Washington, DC, where he linked resilience of supply chains and that of nations and the Alliance.15

NATO members maintain the right to decide national policies for regulating critical infrastructure and 5G vendors. For example, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab addressed the House of Commons on January 28, 2020, outlining the government’s review of national telecommunications and its position on “high risk vendors.” The United Kingdom approved the use of equipment acquired from “high risk vendors” while restricting those vendors’ access to “safety critical networks.”16 The foreign secretary stressed that the review would not hamper his government’s ability to share sensitive data with its partners over highly secure networks. In May 2020, the UK Government decided to review the impact of the decision on national networks with the assistance of the National Cyber Security Centre.

What Is at Stake?

Foreign ownership or management of critical infrastructure is a significant risk for NATO allies. Consequently, more governments may look to adopt procurement rules that limit sourcing to trusted vendors.

Such a position creates another risk, however. Indeed, the operators of critical infrastructure may have only limited capacity to detect, prevent and recover from the cybersecurity risks they face if they cannot choose the technologies and processes they need to match security requirements stemming from their size, complexity and risk profile. These operators must remain in control of how they improve their overall security posture if they are to meet the security and resilience objectives set nationally or at NATO. Innovation with state-of-the-art technology is critical in the interconnected environment in which Allies find themselves, through cross-border infrastructure (for energy supply, for instance) or shared functions (such as airspace control). NATO’s value-added in this context is to facilitate the development and sharing of baseline requirements for supply-chain risk management among Allies. It can also be to share best practices and information on risks and threats. This coordination would ensure that all individual state efforts contribute to more secure, resilient critical infrastructures.

Recommendations

As NATO allies move forward, they should focus on four main issues: leveraging NATO and EU membership, assessing supply-chain management issues, adopting a principled approach and building international consensus.

Leveraging Membership: 5G affects strategic, political, industrial and commercial elements on both sides of the Atlantic. The integrated economies of the European Union and the United States share a common value system, with policies that traditionally align with NATO’s, despite conflicting messages from the current US administration regarding its commitment to the Alliance. Despite the inherent cross-border, integrated nature of critical infrastructure in Europe, EU member states approach supply-chain evaluation differently. As the European Union seeks a coordinated, harmonized process for 5G supply-chain assessment, it is important that NATO and the EU align their policies in this regard. The lack of such alignment might create challenges for NATO, such as overdependence on one supplier.

Supply-Chain Risk Management: NATO allies must consider the global, interconnected nature of supply chains and the threats they face as they weigh effective approaches to 5G supply-chain risk management. Their approaches should ultimately strengthen NATO’s strategic mission, inform procurement guidelines and harmonize risk-management baselines across Allies. Such risk management entails identifying likely threats, vulnerabilities and potential consequences, tailoring mitigation strategies to risks and prioritizing actions based on an assessment of the most relevant, potentially impactful risks.17

A Principled Approach: A similar or harmonized set of principles should underpin effective supply-chain risk management. These principles should do the following:

  • encourage interoperability of systems and the use of stateof-the-art technologies;
  • develop a more secure global cybersecurity ecosystem that recognizes norms for responsible behavior and prioritizes collective defense against malicious threats;
  • collaborate with key nongovernmental stakeholders, including industry, to adapt to an ever-changing environment of new technologies and new threats;
  • invest in research and development of new technological approaches to fostering supply-chain integrity; and
  • avoid prohibiting the acquisition or integration of some technologies simply because they were developed abroad.

Building International Consensus: Several international organizations and groups have begun to assess the 5G environment and its related security risks. The Prague 5G Repository produced a library of tools, frameworks and legislative measures to assist NATO member states. Multilateral organizations, such as the EU, and states have come to similar conclusions. They too underline major risks that have national security implications. Integrity, confidentiality and availability of networks and communications are also key to their security.

Conclusion

5G innovation is not just a technological choice but a strategic one. Even in a collective defense system such as NATO, states remain sovereign, making decisions based on their assessment of the geopolitical environment. A state approach driven primarily by economic opportunity may undermine collective defense and security.

To both build and manage 5G capabilities, NATO’s allies will need to leverage EU and NATO membership; balance national and collective methods for supply-chain risk management; apply a principled approach to supply-chain integrity; and coordinate at the state and international levels.

•    ensure, where possible, transparency of supply-chain risk management policies and their implementation, in part to facilitate best practices;

Former director of Carnegie Europe Tomáš Valášek referred to critical civilian networks as “the path of least resistance” for adversaries in the digital age to divide NATO from within.18 To protect this critical infrastructure, he argues, both the public and private sectors will need to invest in IT expertise. This shared challenge presents an opportunity for NATO and other multilateral organizations to fill gaps for their member states and to adapt to emerging technology beyond their traditional role. It is a novel test for NATO: to broker strategic geopolitical rivalries and national security concerns over critical infrastructure while developing its own modern capabilities and addressing the multiple fractures in global and allied security today.

References

  1. International Data Corporation (IDC), The Growth in Connected IoT Devices Is Expected to Generate 79.4ZB of Data in 2025, press release (Framingham, MA: IDC, June 18, 2019).
  2. IHS Markit, The Internet of Things: A Movement, Not a Market, presentation (London: IHS Markit, 2017), p. 2.
  3. Cisco, Annual Internet Report (2018–2023), white paper(San Jose: Cisco, 2020), p. 2.
  4. Kadri Kaska, Henrik Beckvard, and Tomáš Minárik, Huawei, 5G, and China as a Security Threat (Tallinn: NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, 2019).
  5. NATO, London Declaration: Issued by the Heads of State and Government Participating in the Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in London 3-4 December 2019, press release (Brussels: NATO, December 4, 2019).
  6. GSMA Intelligence, The Mobile Economy 2020 (London: GSM Association, 2020), p. 5.
  7. European Commission, 5G for Europe: An Action Plan, COM(2016) 588 final (Brussels: European Commission, 2016), p. 4.
  8. European Commission, Future Connectivity Systems, 5G for Europe Action Plan (Brussels: European Commission, December 19, 2019).
  9. Flexera, Vulnerability Review 2018: Global Trends (Itasca, IL: Flexara Software LLC, 2018).
  10. Karl Norrman, Prajwol Kumar Nakarmi, and Eva Fogelström, 5G Security—Enabling a Trustworthy 5G System, Ericsson White Paper (Stockholm: Ericsson, January 8, 2020).

  11. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Transcript of Opening Re-marks, Munich Security Conference, Brussels, February 15, 2020.
  12. European Commission, Cybersecurity of 5G Networks: EU Toolbox of Risk Mitigating Measures (Brussels:European Commission, January 29, 2020).
  13. NATO Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg, Press Conference Follow-ing the Meeting of NATO Defense Ministers, Brussels, October 25, 2019.
  14. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Keynote Address at the NATO Industry Forum, Washington DC, November 14, 2019.
  15. United Kingdom, Foreign Secretary’s Statement on Telecommunica-tions, London, UK Foreign Secretary Office, January 28, 2020.
  16. BSA | The Software Alliance (BSA), BSA Principles for Good Governance: Supply Chain Risk Management (Washington, DC: BSA, 2019).
  17. Tomáš Valášek et al., “NATO at 70: What Next? Politico (April 3, 2019).

9. Government of the Czech Republic, Prague 5G Security Conference Announced Series of Recommendations: The Prague Proposals,press release, May 3, 2019.

Authors

Clodagh Quain is Policy Analyst at the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), Dublin, Ireland. The views expressed here are those of the author and not of the IIEA.

Isabelle Roccia is Senior Manager, Policy – EMEA at  BSA | The Software Alliance in Brussels, Belgium.

This publication is the result of a joint WIIS DC, WIIS Brussels, WIIS France, and WIIS UK project focused on new challenges for the NATO alliance and showcasing the expertise of the Next Generation women defense experts. Through a competitive selection process six Next Generation experts were invited to participate in programs on the sidelines of the 2019 December NATO Leaders meeting. We would like to thank our six experts for their thoughtful contributions to this initiative, WIIS Global for publishing their research and the US Mission to NATO for providing the generous grant without which this project would not have been possible. With this support, we were able to turn an idea to promote greater cooperation among our affiliates and cities into a reality. We hope this project encourages more collaboration across borders and helps bolster the overall WIIS mission of supporting women in the international security field.

The NATO Consortium Team: Michelle Shevin-Coetzee, WIIS-DC; Armida van Rij, WIIS

UK; Florence Fernando and Pauline Massart, WIIS Brussels; Ottavia Ampuero and Jessica
Pennetier, WIIS France

By Kulani Abendroth-Dias and Carolin Kiefer

If World War III will be over in seconds, as one side takes control of the other’s systems, we’d better have

Data, the food of all algorithms, lie at the core of cohesive EU and NATO AI strategies. Such strategies must encompass the regulation of data in high- and low-risk technologies with

and Romania have tested and often deployed AI and ML facial recognition tools, many of which were developed in the United States and China, for predictive policing and border control.3 AI and ML systems aid in contact tracing and knowledge sharing to contain the COVID-19 virus.4 However, the civilian and military strategies that drive use of AI and ML for the collection and use of data diverge across the member states of the European Union and the North      a greater understanding of how data feed AI and ML technologies and systems, the results they produce become skewed. For example, a facial analysis and recognition system insufficiently trained to analyze and recognize women or people of color will often misidentify people in these populations, which could lead to inaccurate criminal profiling and arrests.7 Machines don’t make errors, but humans do. Policymakers need to rapidly identify parameters and systems of governance for these technologies that

maximize their efficiency while protecting civilian rights.

Growth in the development of AI-driven technologies has been exponential, but strategies to regulate their implementation have yet to catch up. The European Union and NATO need to develop coordinated, comprehensive, and forward-looking strategies based on data protection protocols to regulate AI use and deployment to counter myriad threats. Such strategies will be critically important if the transatlantic alliance is to adapt a common defense system to evolving threats in the digital age.    Beyond Definitions

AI and ML are changing the security landscape-for example, by the deployment of disinformation to undermine political participation or of unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs), which may or may not operate as lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS). The states that are party to the Group of

Governmental Experts (GGE) on Lethal Autonomous Weapons

the smarter, faster, more resilient network.       dual uses. They should guide policies governing predictive

or delivery within the European Union, Amazon    policing, border surveillance, facial analysisand countering disinformation.6     and recognition now sells facial recognition cameras for door

locks, webcams, home security systems, and office        To regulate data use effectively, policymakers need to attendance driven by artificial intelligence (AI)        better understand the technical, political, economic and

and machine learning (ML)-powerful tools with civilian 2  social risks and biases in data collection methods. Without and military purposes. Germany, France, Spain, Denmark

Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).5

(LAWS), which aligns its work with the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), have devoted considerable attention to defining autonomous weapons. Unfortunately, the group has not yet paid enough attention to the data. Prolonged focus on what constitutes LAWS rather than the data that drive them impedes the important investigation of how best to regulate the technologies’ rapid development and use for security and defense. Discussion of the types, limits, and biases of data that drive AI and ML is pertinent throughout the myriad sectors in which they find application.8

Recently, the GGE took steps to move the debate from definitions of autonomous systems to why data matter. In 2020, it decided that the 11 guiding principles that frame the development and use of LAWS needed no further expansion.9 The group agreed to give greater attention to how the principles can be unpacked. It decided to distinguish between high- and low-risk AI technologies and gain a better understanding of dual-use technologies.10 Differentiating between uses for civilian and military operations should focus on how data will be mined and drive algorithms at both levels.11 NATO and the European Union should lead in facilitating these discussions and regulations. 

Data Governance

According to the European Commission’s February 2020 white paper on artificial intelligence, “Europe’s current and future sustainable economic growth and societal well-being increasingly draws on value created by data…. AI is one of the most important applications of the data economy.”12 However, the report concludes, for AI to “work for people and be a force for good in society” it must be trustworthy.13 It highlights “trustworthy AI” 27 times in its 26 pages.

Governance of data is key to this trust.14 The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was a step in the right direction, but it needs to be expanded to cover AI and ML data collection and use in national and international security contexts. Close consultation and data coordination between the European Union and NATO is integral in this regard.

An understanding of who drives the development of AIdriven technologies for European security and how they are funded can illuminate the political, technical, and social, and legal bottlenecks confronting EU and NATO data regulation, both in the member states and at a supranational level. While the defense sector has traditionally driven technology innovation, private companies have taken the lead in recent years. 15 According to the OECD, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Intel have spent more than $50 billion a year on digital innovation.16 This sum dwarfs the €13 billion budgeted by the European Defense Fund (EDF) for 2021-27 Рfor defense spending in general, not solely for AI-driven technologies.17 NATO and the European Union should pay particular attention to these private-sector actors when developing policies for data protection and strategies to encourage US and European technological innovation. NATO and the European Union should work with the CCW GGE to determine clear operational distinctions between the commercial and military uses of data for AIdriven technologies.18 NATO and the European Union need comprehensive, legally enforceable AI strategies to regulate the use of data and the integrity of information networks to better protect their citizens while keeping the Alliance agile.

The Way Forward

In EU and NATO contexts, the development and implementation of dual-use technologies and cyberprotection policies remain fragmented. This fragmentation could undermine the ability to respond to evolving threats to European security and stability. Examples abound: Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in Britain’s Leave Campaign, radicalization via social media, the politicized use of data via hybrid-use platforms to influence behavior (from political participation to violent action), and targeted cyber-attacks and disinformation campaigns in the Visegrad Four and the Baltic states.19 Therefore, coherent EU and NATO AI strategies require the regulation of the data that drive emerging technologies. Regulation to promote network integrity and protect data access must be key tenets of EU and NATO strategies to deploy AI that can react faster and more effectively in the face of new security threats.

AI and ML systems are valuable, as demonstrated by their use in contact tracing and knowledge sharing in the search for a cure during the Covid-19 pandemic.20 For the transatlantic relationship to thrive, NATO and the EU must work together to develop coordinated AI strategies that address appropriate use and misuse of data. As the EU and NATO develop these strategies, they should focus on five activities:

Govern the use of data in dual-use technologies.

While AI strategies may sound exciting and innovative to policymakers and the general public, responsible data use sounds less so. Yet it is essential. EU and NATO strategies need to distinguish between high- and low-risk technologies, dual- and hybrid-use platforms, and the types, limits, and mediums by which data can be collected and anonymized (or at least kept confidential) for civil and military uses. These limits need to be developed and regulated in discussions with civilian and military actors who are mining data across sectors, from the traditional security and military arena to healthcare, logistics, and entertainment companies. Discussions should include how the rights of citizens and those residing in NATO and EU countries-e.g., lawful migrants, asylum seekers, refugees-will be protected.

Acknowledge bias in datasets.

There should be a comprehensive discussion on how bias in datasets influences the training of algorithms, which in turn influences security targets and undermines the integrity of a system. Policymakers, human rights actors, and technology developers should be in the room for this discussion. An awareness of these biases within security forces can help them better evaluate the outcomes the algorithms produce, interpret targets with caution, avoid errors, and generate more effective responses.

Ensure purpose-limited data collection and sharing.

Personal data collected and tracked for specific purposes (e.g., contact tracing during a pandemic) should generally not be shared and used for other purposes. Where an overlap in data collection is deemed necessary for EU-NATO security purposes, tight regulations for civilian protection should spell out where, with whom, and for how long the data can be stored, with strong legal and operational deterrents for backdoor access to data. Private-sector companies should limit how data are used to influence behavior: Should they be used in political campaigns the same way that they are used to nudge consumer behaviors on what to buy? The European Union’s GDPR sets up important rules in this regard. It can be viewed as the cornerstone of an EU-NATO strategy for the development and regulation of AI for security and defense.

Adapt traditional defense and deterrence strategies to the digital age.

The evolving nature of security threats in the digital age calls into question traditional strategies of defense and deterrence. Collaboration between NATO, the European Commission, the European Defence Agency (EDA), the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the Coordinated Annual Review on Defense (CARD) and technology developers should focus on efficiency-trimming current weapons systems and technologies used by the European Union on the battlefield and in the cyber realm while using AI and ML to inform strategy. The weaponized use of social media data must be addressed, not solely via counternarratives but by working in concert with social media companies to develop AI and ML techniques to identify and shut down fake news at the source. The integrity of networks set up by actors outside of NATO member states needs to be raised as a security concern as well, including incentives to drive the local business development of such networks.

Build trust via counter-AI agencies to protect citizen rights and detect AI-driven forgeries.

Agencies that currently promote the responsible use of AI need to work in tandem with NATO and EU agencies to develop comprehensive AI strategies. The strategies should promote digital literacy, advance critical thinking through online modules, and publicize the precautions NATO and the European Union are taking to protect citizen data in order to build public trust. Partnerships between EU, NATO, and such agencies need to go beyond traditional NGO-security agency relationships to integrate AI protection mechanisms into security policy itself. Ideally, these organizations would work with NATO partner countries to better identify targets, weaknesses, and priorities to build resilient intelligence architectures.

Map the development and use of AI-driven technologies across EU and NATO member states.

NATO security operations are in place at member state borders. However, most of the AI technologies being developed, test, or adapted are deployed within France and Germany, key EU member states. AI-driven security threats differ across states, especially disinformation. For example, the content, medium, and speaker of disinformation shared in the Czech Republic may differ considerably from disinformation shared in Germany. Adapting traditional deterrence strategies to the digital age requires an understanding of the contextbased nature of these threats. It is therefore integral to include experts across the EU and NATO member states in the development and implementation of AI strategies. A comprehensive mapping of the security threats faced-and development and use of AI-driven technologies to combat such threats across EU and NATO member states-can help better train personnel and develop more targeted solutions and localized data protection policies.

Conclusion

The digital industry is already transforming the Alliance. NATO is essential to setting up a coordinated structure to develop and regulate AI- and ML-driven technologies for NATO members’ security and defense. While sociopolitical and economic priorities in the development and regulation of AI vary across sectors and countries, awareness of the use and misuse of data in driving AI-and ML-driven technologies is a common thread that binds these debates together. The use of data fed into a system run by AI and ML technology can have vast implications for the nature of future security threats and the development of technologies to combat them. Cohesive EU and NATO strategies for AI will determine how strong and agile the Alliance will become.

References

Pedro Domingos, The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World (New York: Basic Books, 2015).

See Daniel S. Hoadley and Nathan J. Lucas, Artificial Intelligence and National Security (Washington DC.: Congressional Research Service,

2018); Greg Allen and Taniel Chan, Artificial Intelligence and National Security (Cambridge, MA: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, 2017). Artificial intelligence comprises a vast number of fields, including machine learning, natural language processing, robotics, computer vision, and knowledge representation and reasoning. In this policy brief, the authors largely refer to the use of AI- and ML- driven technologies for EU and NATO security and defense.

Steven Feldstein, The Global Expansion of AI Surveillance (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment, September 2019).

The Cybersecurity Strategy of the Visegrad Group Countries Coronavirus, Artificial Intelligence web page (April 12, 2020).

Raluca Csernatoni, An Ambitious Agenda or Big Words? Developing a

European Approach to AI, Egmont Security Policy Brief No. 117 (Brussels: Egmont Royal Institute for International Relations, November 2019).

Michael Chui et al., Notes from the AI Frontier: Insights from Hundreds of Use Cases (New York: McKinsey Global Institute, 2018).

Philipp Gr√ºll, “Germany’s Plans for Automatic Facial Recognition Meet Fierce Criticism,” EURACTIV (January 10, 2020).

Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb, Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business Press, 2018).

See the UN’s 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.

German Federal Foreign Office, Chair’s Summary: Berlin Forum for Supporting the 2020 Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (Berlin: German Federal Foreign Office, April 2020).

United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, The Human Element in Decisions About the Use of Force (Geneva: UNIDIR, March 2020).

European Commission, On Artificial Intelligence: A European

Approach to Excellence and Trust, white paper, COM (2020) 65 final (Brussels: European Commission, February 19, 2020), p. 1. See also European Commission, A European Strategy for Data, COM (2020) 66 final (Brussels: European Commission, February 19, 2020).

EC, On Artificial Intelligence, p. 25.

Ibid.

Dieter Ernst, Competing in Artificial Intelligence Chips: China’s Challenge amid Technology War, Special Report (Center for International Governance Innovation, March 26, 2020).

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Private Equity Investment in Artificial Intelligence (Paris: OECD, December 2018).

European Commission, European Defence Fund (Brussels: European Commission: March 20, 2019). Arguably, Washington would do well not to view the EDF with suspicion and skepticism but rather as a vehicle to stimulate more transatlantic discussion on “home-grown” innovation and development.

Daniele Amoroso et al., “Autonomy in Weapon Systems: The Mili-tary Application of Artificial Intelligence as a Litmus Test for Germany’s New Foreign and Security Policy,” Democracy Vol. 49 (Heinrich B√∂ll Foundation, 2018).

Marek G√≥rka, “The Cybersecurity Strategy of the Visegrad Group

Countries,” Politics in Central Europe Vol .14, No. 2 (2018), pp. 75-98. See also Alistair Knott, “Uses and Abuses of AI in Election Campaigns,” presentation, N.d.

Council of Europe, AI and Control of Covid-19.