Security policies

Non-police security, made by and for the neighbors

We spoke to Irene Moulas, coordinator of the good practice guide in Human Security

On Friday 24 February 2023, the good practice guide in Human Security, produced by the Working Group on Human Security and Community Building, was launched in Barcelona. To get a closer look at this guide, we are going to interview its coordinator, Irene Moulas.

RISE – Thank you very much for accepting this invitation. First of all, could you please introduce yourself?

I: I am Irene Moulas, a member of the cooperative Etcèteres. I am a social and community psychologist. I accompanied this process of making the human security guide from a project of the city council of Barcelona called Energías Comunitarias (Community Energies). I also write for the magazine NEXES of the Federation of Worker Cooperatives of Catalonia. I am a neighborhood person and activist.

RISE – What is the purpose of this guide?

I: This guide is a bid to systematize a work process done by a group on the concept of human security made from the neighborhoods. It was born from the Community Energies project through the impulse of Josep María Navarro from the cooperative La Fàbrica.

The publication highlights all the learning and reflections of the group. The views have been very diverse and this has allowed us to build the concept of human security from a non-police point of view but from the community construction. We found that many technical figures working directly in the neighborhoods did not have an answer to certain problems. We have had different projects to approach how to respond to situations and conflicts that respond to a more structural and global framework. It happens everywhere. Each one with its own specialty.

RISE- What do we find inside the guide?

I: There is a part of the introduction and presentation of the group, who is part of it, its objectives, and a little bit of its history. We want to explain where the idea of working on this topic comes from in order to understand the conclusions we reached. It is not intended to be replicable. It is a guide with the intention of evaluating the joint reflections that have been made and the different community responses that have been detected.

We explain the projects we have approached to see the casuistry of each neighborhood. We also described the concept of human security and then the common elements that we can extract. In closing we made some reflections on the concept in the current moment of post-pandèmia.

The projects with which we have entered into a relationship are Mothers against Drugs in Madrid, School Paths, the peace process in Colombia, the mediation project against Islamophobia, the protocol against male aggressions of Poblesec, the Gregal kitchen and anti-fascist prevention, Acción Raval, Transforma, Fem Baró, Asociación Coordinadora de la Trinitat Vella, (sota, caballo y rey), La Fábrica. Mesas de convivencia de Baró de Viver y Bon Pastor, el Rec es mou! and Asociación de vecinas Besòs – Sant Adrià.

RISE – What is meant by human security?

I: It is that Security built by and for the neighbors of the neighborhood, built in a communitarian way. Not at the police level. It is built with participation, accessibility, horizontality, and diversity.  It focuses on promotion and prevention. It is not about mediation. It is about making a multifactorial analysis of the problems to address the most structural ones. It works for a common identity, and social cohesion, and covers the basic needs of the neighbors. In this sense, the police should be one more actor that accompanies the processes. It does not determine its work on the basis of power relations based on corporately established criteria. The role of the police is a topic that remains open in the guide. It is a line for further research.

RISE – How was the collaborative work to develop the guide?

I: The guide is made by many people. In the framework of Community Energies, different sessions were done. We were looking for a practical experience and we explored its link with the concept. After the first sessions, a working group was formed, which started to work autonomously. There were several professionals interested in the subject. They had very diverse profiles.  From here the group made its own path, workshops, etc., the document 2020 was published with the publishing house Neret and the group was presented at a Fair of Social and Solidarity Economy.

I would like to give the names of the people who have jointly promoted the proposal: Antonio Alcántara, Lito Barea, Youssef Bouajaj Hadiq, Houda Dahbi, Fatima Hassoun, Alejandra López, Carlota López, Inés Martínez, Josep Maria Navarro, Fàtima Taleb, and Mercè Zegrí.

RISE – Right now we really want to read it, how can we get it?

I: The guide can be downloaded for free (it will soon be available in Spanish). We have also posted the presentation on Instagram. I hope this guide will help to inspire processes and actions around the concept of human security.

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