The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health ::
Holistic Development :: Sustainable Resilience
Week ending 21February 2015

This weekly digest is intended to aggregate and distill key content from a broad spectrum of practice domains and organization types including key agencies/IGOs, NGOs, governments, academic and research institutions, consortiums and collaborations, foundations, and commercial organizations. We also monitor a spectrum of peer-reviewed journals and general media channels. The Sentinel’s geographic scope is global/regional but selected country-level content is included. We recognize that this spectrum/scope yields an indicative and not an exhaustive product. Comments and suggestions should be directed to:

David R. Curry
Editor &
Founding Managing Director
GE2P2 – Center for Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice

pdf verion: The Sentinel_ week ending 21 February 2015

blog edition: comprised of the 35+ entries to be posted below on 22 February 2015

Poland agrees to pay 2 victims of CIA rendition

Poland agrees to pay 2 victims of CIA rendition
Henry Foy, Central Europe Correspondent
Financial Times, Last updated: February 18, 2015 6:23 pm

Poland will be the first country to pay damages for participating in the US Central Intelligence Agency’s secret rendition programme after its was found to have hosted a facility used for illegal rendition and interrogation.

The country will pay €230,000 in compensation to two terror suspects held at a CIA site in Poland between 2002 and 2003, the first state-level fine in relation to the programme set up by the US to increase counter-terrorism activity after the September 11 attacks.

Politicians in Poland, an important US ally, have admitted that the country did host a CIA “black site”, but a six-year long domestic investigation into the facility has so far failed to provide any judgments.

Grzegorz Schetyna, foreign minister, said on Wednesday that Poland would accept the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights ordering it to pay the former detainees.
“We will abide by this ruling because we are a law-abiding country,” Mr Schetyna told local radio. “It is a question of the coming weeks, a month.”

Last July, the European court ruled Poland had violated the rights of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah in permitting the CIA to imprison them in the country.
After the two men subsequently sued the country, the court also ordered Poland to pay compensation. That ruling was appealed but upheld this week.

Both men are currently being held at the US military detention centre in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, raising potential issues with how they will be paid.

“There is a question with how the money will be spent, whether we will pay them directly,” said Mr Schetyna.

The court ordered Poland to pay €130,000 to Mr Zubaydah and €100,000 to al-Nashiri, who has been charged with organising the 2000 attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 American seamen.

Other European countries such as Italy, Lithuania, Macedonia and Romania have either admitted their role or been found to have participated in elements of the CIA programme.
Poland’s own investigation into the detention centre has rumbled on since 2008 with little visible progress….


European Court of Human Rights : Information Note on the Court’s case-law
No. 176 July 2014
Extraordinary rendition to CIA of suspected terrorist facing capital charges: violation
Al Nashiri v. Poland – 28761/11
Judgment 24.7.2014 [Section IV
[See pdf below, Article 3, page 13 for overview of the facts of the case, decision inventory and rationales.]

Leaders from around the world are “All In” to end the AIDS epidemic among adolescents

Leaders from around the world are “All In” to end the AIDS epidemic among adolescents
UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, PEPFAR, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and youth movements represented by PACT and Y+ join President Uhuru Kenyatta to launch All In, a new platform for action against the adolescent AIDS epidemic.

NAIROBI, 17 February 2015—While major advances have been made in almost every area of the response to HIV, progress for adolescents is falling behind, said leaders in the global response to end the AIDS epidemic.

AIDS has become the leading cause of death for adolescents in Africa and the second leading cause of death among adolescents globally. Just one in four children and adolescents under the age of 15 have access to life-saving antiretroviral treatment. Deaths are declining in all age groups, except among 10–19 year olds.

New HIV infections among adolescents are not declining as quickly as among other age groups. Adolescent girls, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, are most affected. In South Africa in 2013, more than 860 girls became infected with HIV every week, compared to 170 boys.

To address this inequity, UNAIDS, UNICEF and partners have launched All In, a new platform for action to drive better results for adolescents by encouraging strategic changes in policy and engaging more young people in the effort.

Leaders from around the world met today in Nairobi, Kenya, where President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the new platform, which will help address one of the most pressing gaps in the AIDS response.

“By including adolescents in decision-making processes that have a direct effect on their lives, this initiative will be a catalyst for change,” said President Kenyatta. “Kenya is proud to support this new initiative.”

All In focuses on four key action areas: engaging, mobilizing and empowering adolescents as leaders and actors of social change; improving data collection to better inform programming; encouraging innovative approaches to reach adolescents with essential HIV services adapted to their needs; and placing adolescent HIV firmly on political agendas to spur concrete action and mobilize resources….

WHO supports global “All In” initiative for adolescents living with HIV
February 2015 — WHO joined global agencies and leaders to launch the “All In” initiative that aims to prioritize and scale up HIV services for adolescents. There are over 2 million adolescents living with HIV/AIDS, which is a leading cause of death among this population group.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder vows ILO leadership in fight against forced labour on World Day of Social Justice.

World Day of Social Justice 2015
“There is no inevitability, no excuse: Forced labour can be stopped”
ILO Director-General Guy Ryder vows ILO leadership in fight against forced labour on World Day of Social Justice.
International Labour Organization

Statement | 20 February 2015
World Day of Social Justice should galvanize action against poverty and social exclusion. Work done in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity – decent work – is a key to inclusion and it is a conduit of social justice. Yet the global situation gives cause for grave concern.

The economic gap continues to widen, with the richest 10 per cent earning 30 to 40 per cent of total income while the poorest 10 per cent earn between 2 and 7 per cent.
In 2013, 939 million workers – 26.7 per cent of total employment, were still coping on US$2 a day or less. Millions of young people facing a future of unemployment or working poverty are losing hope in promises of economic and social progress.

The situation is aggravated by the widespread absence of basic social protection. Millions of people are subjected to unacceptable conditions of work and the denial of fundamental rights.

This year, the UN is putting the spotlight on human trafficking and modern slavery – a fundamental right and freedom denied.

Today, about 21 million women, men and children are forced to work under inhuman conditions on farms, in sweatshops, on board fishing vessels, in the sex industry or in private homes. Their sweat generates US$ 150 billion in illegal profits annually.

Women and children are particularly at risk of being abducted and sold into slavery in times of violent conflict. In some instances, forced labour keeps entire families and communities in abject poverty for generations.

There is growing recognition that the situation must change and good experience in documenting and tackling forced labour is accumulating.

Ending forced labour calls for integrated approaches. Governments, employers and their organizations, trade unions and civil society organizations, each have a role to play in protecting, defending and empowering those who are vulnerable, as well as creating opportunities for decent work for all.

The 2014 Protocol to the ILO Forced Labour Convention (No. 29) sets out preventive measures that can be taken and also calls on governments to ensure that victims of forced labour have access to effective remedies, such as compensation.

There is no inevitability, no excuse: with commitment and the right policies and institutions, forced labour can be stopped. Let us forge alliances to make this a reality
Today the ILO recommits to working for social justice through the world of work.

:: ILO topic portal on forced labour

IMO Secretary-General reiterates need to address unsafe migration by sea

IMO Secretary-General reiterates need to address unsafe migration by sea
International Maritime Organization
Secretary-General Sekimizu calls for action to address criminals who organize illegal and unregulated sea passage by migrants, putting thousands of lives at risk.
Following the events of recent days in which more than 2000 migrants were rescued from the Mediterranean Sea and several hundred lost their lives, International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu today (Monday 16 February) called for more concerted action to address the issue of criminals who organize illegal and unregulated sea passage by migrants, putting thousands of lives at risk.

“We do not seek to prevent migration. People have the human right to migrate. But it is time to stop illegal, unregulated passage arranged by people smugglers. Not only do they put the lives of the migrants in danger, they also endanger the rescue services and merchant shipping which take part in the rescue operations. Something needs to be done against the smugglers or the situation will not improve. It is placing an intolerable strain on rescue services and on merchant vessels,” Mr. Sekimizu said….

…“This is a serious issue for IMO and a humanitarian tragedy. There is a strong tradition of search and rescue at sea and this will continue but the search and rescue services provided by a number of countries are overstretched. Even with the contribution of the Italian Navy and Italian Coast Guard, more than 600 merchant ships were diverted last year to go to the support of persons in distress at sea. This is beyond acceptable limits and without the Italian efforts many more would have died. The efforts of Italian rescuers – and others – are greatly appreciated but we have reached the point where we need to focus more effort on the prevention side.”

IMO will host an inter-agency meeting on the Travelling of Migrants by Sea on 4 March 2015, with the expected participation of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Interpol and other organizations and members of the Global Migration Group as well as interested Member States and shipping industry bodies. The high-level inter-agency meeting will develop potential ways forward both by individual agencies and through the Global Migration Group.

Youth & Consequences: Unemployment, Injustice and Violence – Afghanistan, Colombia, Somalia

Youth & Consequences: Unemployment, Injustice and Violence – Afghanistan, Colombia, Somalia
Mercy Corps
February 2015 :: 60 pages

Our new report…tackles some of the most persistent assumptions driving youth programming in fragile states. Drawing on interviews and surveys with youth in Afghanistan, Colombia and Somalia, we find the principal drivers of political violence are rooted not in poverty, but in experiences of injustice: discrimination, corruption and abuse by security forces.

In light of these findings, many familiar approaches — vocational training programs, for instance, and civic engagement — are unlikely, in isolation, to have much effect on stability. We need a new approach, one that tackles the sources of instability, not just the symptoms.

In addition to documenting our findings, and the risks of getting youth development wrong, this report provides recommendations for getting youth-focused programming right, including:
:: End siloed, single-sector programming, and support multi-sectoral, multi-year programs that create systems within which youth can thrive;
:: Target the most vulnerable youth – and be vigilant about ensuring programs don’t just reach privileged youth in urban centers;
:: Shape future “countering violent extremism” (CVE) strategies through rigorous, iterative analyses of the political, social and economic factors that drive youth to support political violence; and
:: Increase investments in two-track governance programs that connect youth “voices” with meaningful reforms on issues of corruption, predatory justice systems and exclusive governance structures.

[Excerpt from press release]
…With more than half the world’s population under 30 and 300,000 child soldiers fighting in conflicts around the globe, Mercy Corps urges the international community to reevaluate its collective approach to deterring youth from engaging in political violence….

“With youth forming the backbone of many paramilitary and terrorist organizations, efforts by the Obama Administration and others to counter violent extremism must recognize the critical importance of addressing the underlying grievances driving young people to join these groups,” says Neal Keny-Guyer, Chief Executive Officer of Mercy Corps. “The Administration’s renewed focus on approaches to preventing violence presents a golden opportunity for the U.S. to invest wisely and appropriately in adolescents living in fragile states.”

Research: A Call to End Violence against Children in Alternative Care

From a Whisper to a Shout: A Call to End Violence against Children in Alternative Care
SOS Children’s Villages International, University of Bedfordshire
2014 :: 72 pages
[From Executive Summary]
…This report draws on evidence from an extensive global literature review, and assessments of the implementation of the Guidelines (UN-endorsed Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children) in 21 countries around the world. It makes bold claims about high levels of vulnerability and risk of violence facing children in alternative care, but concludes that violence is not inevitable, and with an emphasis on providing quality care it is possible to mitigate the risks of harm for all children.

:: Effective implementation of the Guidelines and quality care reduce children’s vulnerability to violence.
:: Competent oversights and independent complaints mechanisms reduce the risk of violence against children.
:: Systematic collection and analysis of data is critical to designing and implementing effective systems to protect children.

Preventing and responding to violence against children in alternative care is a shared responsibility. While states bear the primary responsibility to implement protective measures to prevent violence, all stakeholders – international and regional organisations, donors, NGOs, care providers, civil society, the private sector, communities, families, and children and young people – must be empowered to work together to hold states accountable and to do everything possible to protect children.

1. States should strengthen national legislation and policy to ensure that there are specific provisions against violence in all forms of alternative care.
Legislation should address all forms of abuse and neglect; harmful institutional practice that
could include abusive forms of discipline or control; and peer violence.
2. States should ensure that removal of a child from the care of the family is viewed “as a measure of last resort … and for the shortest possible duration” (§14).
States should invest in preventive services, including family strengthening and capacity building to assist parents to care for and protect their children. In situations of violence and abuse, sanctions should be directed at the perpetrators rather than automatically removing children for protective purposes.
3. States should improve their ability and the capacity of their competent authorities to monitor the quality of alternative care provision.
This includes providing sufficient standards and guidelines to ensure that any monitoring is based on valid criteria; adequate resources to ensure authorities have the practical tools to fulfil
their responsibilities, including the capacity to elicit the views of children; and the necessary
follow-up mechanisms with the power to impose sanctions on alternative care provision that fails to meet standards.
4. States should assume their primary role as the coordinator of alternative care provision with all other stakeholders.
States have a primary role as coordinators or alternative care provision to ensure that alternative care providers within the care system provide a range of suitable alternative care options, fulfil their obligations to provide independent reporting mechanisms, and ensure
meaningful child participation (see below).

1. Alternative care providers should ensure that specialist services are available for families and
children that experience violence, and that their services constitute quality care.
These services should be both preventive – to avoid removing the child from the family environment – and rehabilitative – to ensure that children and their families that have experienced violence are provided with the support to heal.
2. Alternative care providers should ensure that they develop adequate, independent and confidential mechanisms for children and others to report violence in alternative care.
Reporting mechanisms are essential to ensure that children do not suffer in silence and that
violence is not perpetrated with impunity. Children should be provided with confidential support in order to report violence (or any other complaints) and adequate mechanisms to follow up on reports and protect children should be in place.
3. Alternative care providers should take measures to ensure that all children and where appropriate their families are able to meaningfully participate in any decisions relating to alternative care placements.
Children should be empowered to participate according to their capacity in all decisions
affecting their alternative care provision. Parents and other family members should be kept
informed of decisions and where appropriate provided with the opportunity to participate in
decision-making processes.

1. All stakeholders should collaborate in collecting comprehensive data and expanding contributions to research on violence against children.
In particular, it is important to have information on the child population in alternative care, to ensure appropriate policies are in place and adequate resources are provided for their quality care. This also involves ensuring that children’s voices are heard in research into their
experiences of violence, and are provided with opportunities to offer their own understandings
and solutions.
2. All stakeholders should contribute towards coordinated efforts to raise awareness and educate society on violence against children in alternative care.
This includes ensuring that children are informed that violence is not a necessary or legitimate element of alternative care: either as a form of discipline or control. It also means challenging levels of tolerance in society that allow violence against children to continue with impunity.

This report stands as a testament to the violence suffered by children in alternative care. It finds that to the best of our knowledge, children in alternative care are vulnerable to violence, and that the systems in place to care for them put them at further risk of harm.
This report also stands witness to the great resilience of children; who with strength and dignity prevail in the most difficult circumstances, even without the necessary care and protection.
But it is also a call for change. With knowledge, political will and resources it is possible to change the experiences of children in alternative care, so that they receive the quality care they deserve. In doing so we meet our obligations to respect and protect their rights, but we also demonstrate our true measure, as societies that care for our most vulnerable.