BANGLADESH AND COLOMBIA: STRUCTURES FOR GREATER SECURITY
People may feel insecure in many different situations, for example because their workplace is dangerous or they live in a conflict zone. Regardless of the circumstances, clear objectives and strong structures are always required in order to avert danger and establish greater security.
PREVENTING THE REPEAT OF DISASTERS LIKE THE ONE IN BANGLADESH
Images of Rana Plaza were seen all around the world: in 2013, this eight-storey building in Savar near Dhaka collapsed, sending more than 1,100 people to their deaths. Five garment factories were housed in the building, which simply fell in on itself under the weight of people and machinery. To prevent such fatal accidents from happening again and to improve working conditions in less developed countries, the Vision Zero Fund was launched in 2015 under the German G7 Presidency.
It brings state and private actors together and places the emphasis on prevention, with the aim of raising the standard of workplace safety, improving fire protection and avoiding occupational illnesses. The International Labour Organization (ILO) administers the fund, and GIZ supports the ILO on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the EU. It supplements the ILO’s fund monitoring work and offers advice – effectively operating as a ‘second pair of eyes’. In this way, GIZ helps to manage the fund effectively and efficiently while simultaneously driving its development.
SECURING THE PEACE IN COLOMBIA
Colombia struggled for decades with a bloody civil war, fought between guerrilla groups, the country’s army and paramilitary units. Fresh hope emerged in 2016, when the government signed a peace agreement with the largest of the guerrilla groups, the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP). Since then, Colombia has been trying to put this deal into practice. The regions and local authorities have a key role to play in this because they have to secure the peace from below.
To reinforce this process, the EU and the German Development Ministry commissioned GIZ to implement the ForPaz programme. It encompasses a range of measures aimed at tackling the sources of conflict directly at the root. Development and regional plans are drawn up in consultation with the population in order to de-escalate disputes over land use or water rights. The rights of women also receive a boost – crucial steps for Colombia on its path towards achieving a lasting peace.
DANIELA CARAVALI ARARÁ OF THE ASSOCIATION OF MUNICIPAL COUNCILS OF BUENOS AIRES, CAUCA
‘We are working together to implement the peace agreement, especially in our communities. The regional development plans are a vital part of this; they set the future path for us here in the north of Cauca, which was very badly affected by the conflict.’