Citizens on Watch: Public Participation and Localization of the Security Sector Reform

Public Policy Research Centre is going to conduct a project "Citizens on Watch: Public Participation and Localization of the Security Sector Reform" from June to November 2017. The aim of the project is to investigate a possibility of localization of campaigns for the SALW legalization and seizure of firearms in Serbia. CENTER intends to explore viable possibilities of local communities to participate in legalization campaigns and improve security in local communities. The project relies on the long-standing CENTER's work in the field of researching the impact of small arms and light weapons on human security.

Use of weapons in family conflicts, including gender-based violence, illicit trafficking in firearms in conjunction with the post-conflict situation and an insufficiently regulated legal framework are just some of the threats to human security that were partly addressed by the adoption of the Law on Arms and Ammunition, the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence and the Law on Private Security, as well as the adoption of a new National Action Plan for the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 - Women, Peace, Security - in Serbia (2017-2020).

New Stretegy for SALW Control in the Republic of Serbia and the accompanying Action Plan, whose preparations are under way, should set a strategic framework for further activities to combat the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

By implementing this project, CENTER aims to contribute to the improvement of the implementation of existing laws, to the design of the forthcoming SALW strategy, and to the democratic control of the security sector.

The project will be carried out in three communities - Zemun, Mladenovac and Nis - where fieldwork will be organized. In cooperation with representatives of local self-governments, hunting associations, local councils for security, gender equality bodies, non-governmental sector and other actors, CENTER will explore opportunities for local communities to engage in campaigns to legalize weapons and to enhance security in local communities. Key findings of the research and recommendations will be presented in the form of three policy briefs for each location and final policy brief that will include findings from all the three locations.

The project and research team consists of Tanja Jakobi, Maja Kovac, Jelena SapicFilip Stojanovic and Filip Ejdus as an external and independent expert.

This project was supported by the Democratization Department of the OSCE Mission to Serbia.