Land disputes and marginalized youth fuel crime and violence in Côte d’Ivoire

April 28, 2016

​Youth violence and the shift of land disputes from rural communities into the slums of cities are the key drivers of violence and criminality in Côte d’Ivoire, according to new research. The IDRC-supported team of researchers from the Alassane Ouattara and Félix Houphouët Boigny universities found that recurrent conflicts and a breakdown of family and community ties are leaving children — some as young as 10 years old — to fend for themselves, pushing many of them into criminalized youth gangs knows as “microbes.”

The researchers identify poverty reduction and the creation of economic opportunities for young men and women as key interventions to reducing violence and rehabilitating young criminals in Ivorian cities. Likewise, addressing key gaps in legislation, such as the lack of a legal definition of rape, will be crucial to improving safety for women in the country’s urban centres.

Learn more about the research and its results in the brief, “Crime and violence in Côte d’Ivoire” (PDF, 5.4MB). 

Find out more about the project, “Phenomenology of criminal violence and challenges for local urban governance in Côte d’Ivoire,” and its findings.

Discover how IDRC and the UK’s Department for International Development are working to improve urban safety through our Safe and Inclusive Cities initiative.