Publication / Law and Peace

Negotiating with Criminal Groups: IFIT Guidance Note for Good-Faith Promoters

This IFIT publication offers simplified technical guidance directed to any good-faith promoter of formal negotiation with one or more violent criminal groups when the proposed endgame of the negotiation is to reduce or end the criminal violence in question. In doing so, the paper draws on key ideas developed in IFIT’s ground-breaking report, Negotiating with Violent Criminal Groups: Lessons and Guidelines from Global Practice (Freeman & Felbab-Brown, 2021), which covers the most diverse set of negotiations with criminal groups ever examined in one place.

The first part of the paper examines threshold questions a good-faith promoter would be wise to consider before outwardly exploring or proposing any negotiation involving a criminal group; the second part discusses internal and external actions a good-faith promoter ought to contemplate as part of any initial phase of formal engagement or negotiation with members of a criminal group.

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