This grant will enable Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS) to promote the implementation of comprehensive public security policies in Argentina based on democratic principles. In a victimization survey conducted last October by Torcuato Di Tella University's Research Laboratory on Crime, Institutions and Politics (a past Tinker Foundation grantee), 36 percent of respondents reported that someone in their household was the victim of at least one crime in the past 12 months. Last year, CELS developed the Agreement for Democratic Citizen Security (ASD), which outlines a set of principles for establishing effective and rights-respecting public security policies.
The agreement was drafted in collaboration with a team of academic and government experts and stresses the need for security policies based on sound diagnoses of local conditions, external oversight of law enforcement institutions, deactivation of criminal networks to reduce social violence, non-violent law enforcement in the public domain, greater cooperation between the police and the judiciary, and better prison conditions. It has over 200 signatories, including legislators from most national political parties, non-governmental organizations, social movements, universities, opinion makers and experts in the field. The new grant from the Foundation will allow CELS to support adoption of the policies outlined in the agreement by organizing meetings, workshops and a national seminar for legislators and candidates in the upcoming elections, produce working papers describing best practices, and track ongoing progress.