MAG established a programme in the Caribbean in 2022, partnering with the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (CARICOM IMPACS). We launched a joint campaign to reduce armed violence and disrupt illicit firearms trafficking.
This work builds on our existing efforts in Latin America to tackle the challenges around arms and ammunition management and improve community safety.
Why we work in the Caribbean
The Caribbean region experiences some of the world's highest levels of violence. Violent deaths are at almost three times the global average, and firearms are used in more than half of all homicides. Although most homicide victims in the Caribbean are men, rates of violent deaths among women are also high.
Illicit firearms continue to circulate unchecked in the region, and the proliferation of arms and ammunition is a major contributor to insecurity, crime and armed violence. Firearm-related violence puts further strain on public health services and the economy, as well as breeding fear in communities.
Ill-equipped and overcrowded stores of weapons and ammunition, as well as a lack of training on weapons handling, means that arms storage facilities are at an increased risk of theft or unplanned explosions, adding to the problem.
How we help
Working with CARICOM IMPACS, we have carried out technical assessments of weapons and ammunition management in six countries in the Caribbean region: the Bahamas, Belize, Guyana, St Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. This has enabled us to identify gaps and priorities for support.
We have also delivered training among security forces in Trinidad and Tobago on weapons storekeeping and ammunition management and have supported the destruction of illicit weapons.
Alongside CARICOM IMPACS we plan to roll out assessment and training in other CARICOM member states this year and provide technical assistance in weapons destruction and management.
The joint strategy of CARICOM IMPACS is to grow and embed arms management expertise in the region’s states to ensure they have sustainable capacity to manage the issue in the long-term.