Humanitarian Considerations in Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR)
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This rapid literature review finds that disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) raises a number of humanitarian considerations, centred on the treatment of participants and the unintended consequences of the programmes. In particular, DDR undertaken during conflicts is linked to several protection risks and is difficult to implement in a neutral, equitable and humanitarian manner. By humanitarian concerns, this report means: • Some of the functions undertaken in DDR, • Humanitarian risks to individuals in DDR programmes, • Indirect risks of conflict arising from DDR programmes; DDR is a broad and multi-faceted process involving security, humanitarian and development aspects and actors, with wide-ranging impacts. Humanitarian actors do not undertake DDR, but they may support some DDR processes, and maybe affected by DDR or its effects. According to UN guidance and the academic literature, successful DDR will consider socio-economic conditions in the community, as well as for the ex-combatants. It should be attuned to the range of needs of participants and should abide by relevant international law. The political dynamics of a conflict or post-conflict situation shape the success of DDR. It was first used in post-conflict situations, but the increasing use of DDR in ongoing conflicts creates new difficulties. The failure or partial implementation creates many humanitarian problems. This may arise from a lack of resources; competing authorities (and particularly the co-option of DDR for war aims); ongoing conflict and instability; mistakes in implementation; and socio-economic conditions unconducive to successful reintegration. Unsuccessful DDR may see partially demobilised actors remain dangerous, or may fuel new grievances around the perceived unfairness of granting support to former combatants. There is a large body of evidence on the successes and failures of DDR programmes, how they vary over time and across contexts, and guidance on how to implement DDR. Relatively little refers explicitly to humanitarian concerns, but many of the issues covered can be characterised as humanitarian. DDR has been employed in many situations since the 1980s, meaning that it is not possible to comprehensively survey the guidance or case study evidence. Instead, this review focuses on the main areas where DDR can be said to raise humanitarian concerns, with a particular focus on the problems raised by DDR in ongoing conflicts.
CitationKelly, L. (2022). Humanitarian Considerations in Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR). K4D Helpdesk Report. Institute of Development Studies. DOI: 10.19088/K4D.2022.106
Is part of seriesK4D Helpdesk Report;1179
Rights holder© Crown copyright 2022
SponsorForeign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)
- K4D