© GIZ/Michael Tsegaye

The state must protect its citizens and respect democracy and human rights. GIZ strengthens the state’s legitimate monopoly on the use of force.

The security situation in many partner countries for international cooperation is very tense. People in these countries live with armed conflict and the risk of frequent outbreaks of violence. Instead of protecting their citizens, states also abuse their monopoly on the use of force. In many cases, state security forces are unable or unwilling to ensure the comprehensive protection of all the citizens. The extent of the threat to individuals depends on the context and conditions in which these individuals live. People living in poverty face particularly high risks to their security, as do women, children, senior citizens and people with disabilities, as well as minorities who are marginalised in society, such as homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender people.

Risks to safety not only affect individuals but also destabilise society as a whole: if individuals cannot assert their human rights, there is an increased risk of armed conflict, and the basis for sustainable development is missing.

To improve the security situation in the partner countries affected, GIZ adopts a wide-ranging approach. It is guided by the ’human security’ concept. This expanded security concept focuses on protecting individuals and human dignity. GIZ’s approach is based on the German Government’s 2017 guidelines ‘Preventing Crises, Resolving Conflicts, Building Peace’ and on German, European and international standards and principles in the security sector. It is guided particularly by the provisions of the United Nations (UN) and the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD DAC).

GIZ supports the formation and strengthening of a legitimate state monopoly on the use of force. In this work, it involves all institutions and stakeholders that are able to equip the state to implement and monitor its monopoly on the use of force. This must also include non-state security and justice stakeholders.

By reforming the security sector, GIZ strengthens democratic oversight and develops the capacity of security and law enforcement agencies to protect the population. GIZ’s engagement in greater security directly serves the protection of individuals and creates a framework for peace, stability and development.