On the 25th and the 26th October, 20 young people participating in the Youth Volunteerism for Peacebuilding and Disarmament: Youth Measuring Community Security Through Participatory Indicators project conducted 1146 surveys to learn about the Trujillo citizens’ perception of insecurity. They, therefore, sought information on the topics proposed in the indicators under the main concepts of human security and armed violence.
The purpose of this exercise was to collect information from primary sources and to train young volunteers to use research tools, such as multiple-choice surveys. In addition, they learnt about the experiences and testimonies of the local population. For these surveys, four locations were chosen. On the first day, the Universidad Nacional de Trujillo (UNT) and the Universidad Privada Antenor Orrego (UPAO) were selected. Both schools have a significant representative young population originating from the targeted communes of the Joint United Nations Human Security Programme where the project has been implemented in Peru. These districts are La Esperanza, Florencia de Mora and El Porvenir. On the second day, the volunteers went to the Mercado Modelo in La Esperanza and the historic centre of Trujillo. There, the volunteers got a clearer picture of the perspectives in the population in relation to the indicators they had developed over the course of the project.
The most common profiles of the respondents, were young people between the ages of 18 and 29, out of which a 53% were students and women. The main findings of the surveys revealed that at least 491 persons felt fairly unsafe while 331 felt very unsafe in their community. In addition, a third of the respondents had been victims of crime in the last 12 months, while the majority believed that a high probability existed of their becoming victims of extortion in the coming months. Another interesting revelation was that 218 people had been victims, or knew someone close to them who had been a victim, of stray bullets. According to 60% of people, a person who is engaged in economic activity in Trujillo is highly likely to become a victim of extortion.
In terms of gender-based violence, 94% of respondents said that it was very likely (587) or likely (491) that a woman would be sexually assaulted, citing the high rates of cases in public, at work and home. This was consistent with the creation of indicators related to this phenomenon, such as cyber-sexual harassment. On the other hand, when asked whether they knew the points of sale for illegal weapons, 236 respondents mentioned knowing about the existence of a point of sale in their area. The results were categorized according to age group, sex, district and occupation and were compared with the indicators proposed by the young volunteers.
The United Nations Regional Center for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) and the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme have been hosting the regional project and this is one of the last activities of the project in Peru.