THE HAGUE, Netherlands – 2 June 2016 – To coincide with the opening of the Chicago Forum on Global Cities, the Conflict Prevention team of The Hague Institute for Global Justice launches its report Conflict Prevention in The Hague and the Metropolitan Area. This study takes stock of the growing role and responsibilities of cities in preventing violent conflict and offers innovative recommendations and actionable measures for policy and practice. The findings are based on a series of consultations over 12 months with 100 representatives from the police, municipality, health sector, schools, private sector, civil society, and academia in The Hague.
“The Hague is a stable, peaceful and functioning environment but it faces underlying challenges that affect, in different ways, most cities. It remains susceptible to a range of pressures and tensions that include access to employment and housing, migration, use of public space, and policing. These tensions can drive violent conflict,” says Dr. David Connolly, Head of the Conflict Prevention program at The Hague Institute. “This report proposes concrete initiatives to help ensure the city remains proactive in preventing violence. We hope that the report’s lessons and its model for dialogue will serve as inspiration for other cities in Europe, including Paris and Brussels, and beyond.”
The report presents three main findings. First, cities must improve communication and promote the use of constructive language among institutions and local leaders. Second, it is at the neighborhood level where violent conflict typically arises and where effective responses need to be designed. Cities must therefore empower neighborhood communities and tailor initiatives for conflict prevention to local capacities and needs. Third, institutions and individuals are interconnected. They must recognize that they contribute to the causes of violence but also to finding solutions, which can be created through social networks and communities of practice. In order to implement these recommendations, the report also proposes initiatives to stimulate debate and interaction in schools, build bridges between police and youth, and promote more active involvement of businesses at the community level.
For further information, please email Ms. Marie-Laure Poiré or call +31 (0)70 – 30 28 133 / +31 (0)6 28 89 31 70.
The City of The Hague in Conflict Prevention within the Metropolitan Area is a pilot project by the Conflict Prevention team of The Hague Institute for Global Justice. It is part of an international research project that aims to understand how municipal forms of governance can prevent and mitigate violent conflict, and also how to address the challenges they face in doing so.