Wednesday, April 19, 2017

HHH Prof. Friedemann-Sánchez & MPA alum Grieve research on violance against women in Colombia

reprinted from Humphrey School:
Humphrey School Researchers Take on Human Rights Challenge: Ending Violence Against Women in Colombia
April 14, 2017

After an internal conflict that has lasted nearly 60 years and been characterized by gross human rights violations, Colombia is at last moving toward peace. Leaders there signed an historic peace agreement with the FARC rebels in December, and are negotiating with another armed group, the ELN.

Ending the conflict in Colombia is a tremendous accomplishment. But peace is no closer to reality for many women in that country, an astounding number of whom are victims of intimate partner violence.

Violence against women in their own homes, from their own partners, and the failure to address it effectively, represent one of Colombia’s most persistent and serious violations of the fundamental human right to physical security—a violation that has been overshadowed by the internal conflict.

This issue clearly resonates with Greta Friedemann-Sánchez (at left in photo above, with research partner Margaret Grieve), associate professor of international development at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a native of Colombia. As an applied anthropologist, she has done extensive research on women's empowerment and gender equity, including the prevalence of intimate partner violence in Colombia.

“Violence against women in the context of the conflict, particularly sexual violence against women as a tactic of war, justifiably has received widespread international attention. But, every year more Colombian women are victims of sexual violence in their own homes than women who become victims through the conflict. And the number of women who experience nonsexual violence is even higher,” said Friedemann-Sánchez.

“Using violence to resolve disagreements in Colombian homes is common. Regrettably, signing the peace accord will not change this reality,” she said.
Strong laws, applied inconsistently

Unlike many other developing countries, Colombia has robust laws on the books criminalizing intimate partner violence and providing protection for victims. But, implementation and enforcement of the laws is irregular throughout the country.

Colombia’s rates of intimate partner violence are among the highest in the world: In 2010, 65 percent of partnered women had experienced emotional violence, and 37 percent had experienced physical violence, at some point during their lives.

This disconnect between strong laws and persistent high levels of intimate partner violence was the impetus for Friedemann-Sánchez and researcher Margaret Grieve (MPA '16), an attorney, to launch their project more than two years ago.

Through their research, they're determining the obstacles to successfully enforcing these laws. They’re examining the question from the perspective of family commissioners, who have the primary responsibility of issuing orders of protection for victims of intimate partner violence.

Colombian officials describe family commissioners as “the front line” in combatting violence against women. But they’re also required to handle other family conflicts related to issues such as divorce, child custody and support, and child abuse, and are assigned a host of other diverse responsibilities under national laws.

Friedemann-Sánchez and Grieve have interviewed some 130 people in the cities of Bogotá and Medellín as well as 35 small communities, including family commissioners, judges, prosecutors, police, and municipal officials. They also spoke with victims, as well as lawyers and nongovernmental organizations who advocate for victims, to assess the situation.
Family commissioners face 'brutal' job stress

Their initial analysis finds that for the most part, family commissioners in the large cities have adequate resources to perform their duties. But the story is quite different for the vast majority of family commissioners who serve in small cities and towns.

In smaller communities, commissioners aren’t provided with adequate equipment such as computers, printers, and Internet connections, or the support personnel mandated by law. They also have to juggle additional responsibilities that mayors and city councils dictate, such as drafting and supervising school lunch contracts and developing public policies on matters like child labor, substance abuse, or gender equality.

“Because the city officials—who also supervise the commissioners and control their budgets—assign these responsibilities, this work takes precedence over domestic violence cases,” said Friedemann-Sánchez.

Commissioners deal with difficult populations, including people who are very poor, who were displaced by the war, ex-combatants, and drug micro-traffickers. Substance use and mental health issues often complicate their cases. A few family commissioners have been physically threatened by alleged abusers.

In general, family commissioners are held in low esteem in Colombia, and in small cities and towns they’re not paid well. “The level of stress for the family commissioners is brutal,” said Friedemann-Sánchez. “Day in, day out, they hear difficult cases and are faced with a relentless volume. Depression and burnout among these officials is a real concern.”
Goal: Peace within the home

Friedemann-Sánchez said the Colombian Ministry of Justice, the cities of Bogotá and Medellín, and NGOs welcome the study, which is known by the acronym COLPAZ. They hope its conclusions will help them improve the response to intimate partner violence, allow women to enjoy their human right to live free of such violence, and further a peaceful society.

One family commissioner interviewed by the research team put it this way: “Colombia will not find political peace, stability, and prosperity until it achieves peace within the home.”

Another aim of the study, according to Friedemann-Sánchez, is to create a methodological process that other countries around the world can use to evaluate the implementation of laws to address intimate partner violence.

The project’s public policy report is expected to be published this fall. Friedemann-Sánchez received funding for this research project from the University of Minnesota’s Human Rights Initiative Fund.

MHR Faculty James Ron profiled for global human rights work

Driven to Discover: Protecting human rights with James Ron

Human rights organizations worldwide must get public support to end abuses and advance reforms. James Ron brings new strength to this global endeavor by pioneering the use of public polling and field experiments to advance human rights. Learn more about Ron's work >

International Alumni and Friends Survey

The University of Minnesota Alumni Association and the University of Minnesota Foundation are conducting a survey of our alumni and friends who are living outside of the U.S. We value your opinion. Your response to this survey will help guide the planning for upcoming opportunities to connect with our alumni and friends abroad.

Please take the survey today. Thank you!

Apr 24 Quantifying Global International Migration Flows

Quantifying Global International Migration Flows
Monday, April 24: 12:15–1:15 p.m.
MPC Seminar Room, 50 Willey Hall

April 25: The Time Has Come for a Reset in U.S.-China Relations: What Will That Look Like?

University of Minnesota Driven to Discover


James McGregor, author and Greater China Chairman for APCO Worldwide, will give the 2017 lecture on April 25.

James McGregor_final
James McGregor recently wrote an 'The Art of a China Deal' for ChinaFile.
  Read more about his thoughts on Trump's Pacific Partnership.

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The Time Has Come for a Reset in U.S.-China Relations: What Will That Look Like?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 
McNamara Alumni Center, Memorial Hall
200 Oak Street SE, Minneapolis (map)

3:30 p.m. - Social Hour 
4:30 p.m. - Lecture and Q&A 

About the Speaker
James McGregor is Greater China Chairman for APCO Worldwide and author of two highly regarded books: "No Ancient Wisdom, No Followers: The Challenges of Chinese Authoritarian Capitalism" and "One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China." He is a former China bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal and former CEO of Dow Jones China. In his nearly three decades in China, he has also been a venture capital investor, entrepreneur who founded a research company for hedge funds, and an advisor to many companies. He currently splits his time between Shanghai, Beijing, and Duluth.

  trump_chinaThe Art of a China Deal
February 2, 2017

By his own admission, President Donald J. Trump is a brilliant businessman, a master negotiator, an exceptional deal maker, somebody who always wins. When it comes to China, he is prepared to do just that-win. "I've read hundreds of books about China over the decades," Trump wrote in his 1987 bestseller The Art of the Deal. 

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested. For assistance, contact the China Center at 612-624-1002 or

Global Health in a Local Context Course

CGHSR, in partnership with SocMed, is pleased to again offer Global Health in a Local Context: An Experiential Course on the Social Determinants, Community Engagement, and Social Action in Minnesota. This fall semester course immerses students in the study of health equity, the social determinants of health, global health in a local setting, and community-based healthcare. The course utilizes a highly experiential, interdisciplinary, and interprofessional study model. Academic credit and non-credit options are available. Applications currently being accepted from both graduate and professional students as well as community members. Learn more and apply

Call for Proposal: Lien International Conference on Good Governance 2017

The 4th biennial Lien International Conference on Good Governance is hosted by the Nanyang Centre for Public Administration (NCPA) of the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and cordially organized with the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS).

Date: 27th to 28th October 2017
Venue: Shangri La Hotel Singapore, Singapore

Partnering Academic Journals:

Chinese Public Administration Review
Public Performance & Management Review
Journal of Chinese Overseas

Sponsor: Lien Foundation

Organizing Committee:

Professor Liu Hong, Tan Kah Kee Endowed Professor of Asian Studies, Chair of School of Social Sciences and Director of Nanyang Centre for Public Administration, Nanyang Technological University
Professor Chew Soon Beng, Deputy Director, Nanyang Centre for Public Administration, Nanyang Technological University

Dr Yu Wenxuan, Assistant Professor, School of Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University

Dr Celia Lee, Research Fellow, Nanyang Centre for Public Administration, Nanyang Technological University

Dr Wang Tingyan, Postdoctoral Fellow, Nanyang Centre for Public Administration, Nanyang Technological University

Dr Guanie Lim, Postdoctoral Fellow, Nanyang Centre for Public Administration, Nanyang Technological University

About the Conference:

The Lien Conference on Good Governance is a Biennial event jointly organized by the Nanyang Centre for Public Administration (NCPA) from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS). Generously supported by the Lien Foundation, the Conference gathers local and international academics, practitioners and researchers to examine major issues in governance, public service delivery and evaluation, especially from cross-country comparative.

2017 Theme: Forging Towards an Inclusive and Sustainable Globalization

We live in an era of globalization, the global flow of trade has more than doubled since the 1990s with more open economies that lower the cost of goods and services. Since the end of the Cold War, the productive global labor force has grown vastly, contributing to new manufacturing and services throughout the developing and the developed worlds, boosting demand for energy and increasing consumptions. In the meantime, the intensity and scale of flows of capital, talents, skills, technologies, information, and ideas have been on the rapid rise over the past two decades.

Despite the vision of globalization to raise all boats in poor and rich countries alike, many countries remain on the fringes and some are even falling further behind. Their exclusions are due to many reasons, including, among other things, competing interests, poor governance, discrimination, diseases, absence of infrastructure, weakening economies, and environmental challenges. The stark numbers on unemployment, underemployment, working poverty and income inequality translate into major setbacks for the aspirations of hundreds of millions of women and men and their families and communities. The disconnection between the preoccupations of people and global political elites is deepening, with many damaging consequences for democracy, the rule of law, social cohesion and human development.

Globalization offers incredible opportunities and potentials, however, achieving an inclusive globalization that can combine economic dynamism with social justice in a sustainable way for the people of the developed and the developing world alike is a key public policy challenge facing governments today. Against the backdrop of new opportunities, unprecedented challenges and shifting paradigms with the rise of populism, anti-immigration, and anti-globalization sentiments, the theme of this year’s conference aims to discuss in-depth good governance in the context of achieving an inclusive and sustainable globalization.

Theoretical, empirical and comparative studies in different countries and region are welcomed for the following sub-themes:
Governance and Anti-Corruption Strategies
Migration and Social Integration
Economic and Financial Management
Foreign Direct Investments
Infrastructure and Developments
Knowledge Transfer and Management
Brain circulation and Global Talent Strategies
Innovation and Economics Restructuring
“One Belt One Road” Initiative
Philanthropy & Social Innovation

Proposals for panel and paper should be submitted by 15 June 2017 and participants will be notified of acceptance within one month. Instructions for submission as follow:

Call for Paper
Each individual proposal must indicate the sub-theme in which the applicant would prefer to be considered.
Each individual proposal must include an abstract of the paper to be presented (word limit: 500) and a short bio of the author (word limit: 250)

Call for Panel
Each panel should not consist of more than 5 members. This could include 3 or 4 paper presenters, 1 chairperson, and 1 discussant.
Paper presenters could also serve as chairperson and/or discussant within the same panel.
The panel proposal must indicate which sub-theme the panel is proposed to be considered in.

All proposals must be submitted using the application forms downloadable at and submit to before the deadline. Full papers shall be submitted by 30/9/2017. Papers shall have a maximum length of 8,000 words and follow AJPA reference style. Further enquiries should be directed to All papers presented at the conference may be eligible for review and considered for a special issue of a partner journal.

Registration for the conference will commence in July 2017. For registration process and more information on the conference, please go to:

Contact Info:

Dr Celia Lee, Research Fellow, Nanyang Centre for Public Administration, Nanyang Technological University
Dr Wang Tingyan, Postdoctoral Fellow, Nanyang Centre for Public Administration, Nanyang Technological University
Dr Guanie Lim, Postdoctoral Fellow, Nanyang Centre for Public Administration, Nanyang Technological University

Contact Email:
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