On 6 December, UNLIREC organized a seminar entitled “International Initiatives for Prevention and Action regarding Presence of Firearms in Schools” in Trujillo, Peru. The seminar formed part of the United Nations Joint Programme for Human Security.

In the course of the past years, the different forms of violence that affect school environments in Latin America and the Caribbean have attracted the attention and concern of governments, international organizations, and the society in general. A number of studies have identified the presence of firearms in schools as a risk factor for violence, impacting negatively the physical and psychological security of both children and youth, as well as the teachers in the region.

The seminar organized by UNLIREC sought to create deeper understanding of this phenomenon and to develop solutions to address the challenge of firearms in schools, with attendance from roughly 80 participants.

The seminar outlined the series of initiatives and best practices found in Peru and in other countries in region that deal with the issue of firearms in schools. The emphasis was placed on exploring protocols, guidelines, and intervention mechanisms regarding the presence, carrying, and use of firearms in schools, drawing from the national experiences of Costa Rica, Argentina, and Mexico. Furthermore, the seminar also presented the participants with additional tools used in Peru and Guatemala, such as surveys and registers of violent incidents.

The seminar had broad participation, with representatives from the Ministries of Education, Foreign Affairs, and Interior, as well as from the regional, municipal, and district levels of the department of La Libertad. Also school directors, teachers, parents associations, youth from Trujillo were present and shared their views about combatting the challenge of firearms in schools.