December 3, 2009
The establishment of security and the rule of law are indispensable for effective post-conflict reconstruction. A safe and secure environment provides the space for societies to begin the difficult task of rebuilding their economies and governing institutions. Yet in far too many instances, the international community and national counterparts fall far short of this goal and, instead, allow dangerous security vacuums to be created. Power vacuums, in turn, are quickly filled by the worst elements. Intervening powers and national security forces then spend months, if not years, trying to turn back the clock to ensure that national forces have primacy.
This study focuses on one potential way to improve security and public safety in conflict environments: developing new partnerships with individual migrants, migrant associations, and organized diaspora networks. These individuals and communities have a demonstrated and keen interest in the security and development of their home societies. The report is organized in three parts. The first provides a background for the study, defines terms, and outlines the methodology used. The second reviews the ways migrants and diasporas currently maintain ties and support livelihoods back home, and it addresses the four difficulties noted above. The third—the “ideas bank”—suggests innovative ways for migrants and diasporas, along with international partners, to improve public safety by introducing no-tech through to high-tech solutions. Finally, recommendations for next steps and implementation are included.