The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
Week ending 25 November 2017

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, consortia 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
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice

pdf version:The Sentinel_ period ending 25 November 2017

:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities
:: INGO/Consortia/Joint Initiatives Watch – Media Releases, Major Initiatives, Research
:: Foundation/Major Donor Watch -Selected Updates
:: Journal Watch – Key articles and abstracts from 100+ peer-reviewed journals

Efforts To Address Burma’s Rakhine State Crisis – Rex W. Tillerson, Secretary of State

Human Rights – Ethnic Cleansing – Accountability

Efforts To Address Burma’s Rakhine State Crisis
November 22, 2017 Press Statement
Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
[Editor’s text bolding]

I visited Naypyitaw, Burma on November 15, where I met separately with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. I reaffirmed the United States’ strong commitment to Burma’s successful democratic transition as the elected government strives to implement reforms, bring peace and reconciliation to the nation, and resolve a devastating crisis in Rakhine State. Our first priority is to relieve the intolerable suffering faced by so many. In response to the dire situation, I announced last week an additional $47 million in humanitarian assistance for those affected by the Rakhine State crisis, bringing the total amount spent in response to this crisis to more than $87 million since August of this year.

Burma’s response to this crisis is vital to determining the success of its transition to a more democratic society. As I said in Naypyitaw, the key test of any democracy is how it treats its most vulnerable and marginalized populations, such as the ethnic Rohingya and other minority populations. Burma’s government and security forces must respect the human rights of all persons within its borders, and hold accountable those who fail to do so.

I reiterate the United States’ condemnation of August 25 attacks on security forces by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA). Yet no provocation can justify the horrendous atrocities that have ensued. These abuses by some among the Burmese military, security forces, and local vigilantes have caused tremendous suffering and forced hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children to flee their homes in Burma to seek refuge in Bangladesh. After a careful and thorough analysis of available facts, it is clear that the situation in northern Rakhine state constitutes ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya.

Those responsible for these atrocities must be held accountable. The United States continues to support a credible, independent investigation to further determine all facts on the ground to aid in these processes of accountability. We have supported constructive action on the Rakhine crisis at the UN Security Council and in the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee. The United States will also pursue accountability through U.S. law, including possible targeted sanctions.

We support the Burmese government’s commitment to create the conditions necessary for all refugees and internally displaced people to return to their homes safely and voluntarily, and welcome recent exchanges between the governments of Burma and Bangladesh on repatriation. Support by Burma’s military for these government efforts is crucial. This is a difficult and complex situation. Many stakeholders must work together to ensure progress.

Despite progress, 180 million children face bleaker prospects than their parents – UNICEF

World Children’s Day – UNICEF Analysis

Despite progress, 180 million children face bleaker prospects than their parents – UNICEF
Press release
World Children’s Day activities in over 130 countries to provide platform for children to speak out about their concerns; advocate for children being left behind

NEW YORK, 20 November 2017 – Despite global progress, 1 in 12 children worldwide live in countries where their prospects today are worse than those of their parents, according to a UNICEF analysis conducted for World Children’s Day.

According to the analysis, 180 million children live in 37 countries where they are more likely to live in extreme poverty, be out of school, or be killed by violent death than children living in those countries were 20 years ago.

“While the last generation has seen vast, unprecedented gains in living standards for most of the world’s children, the fact that a forgotten minority of children have been excluded from this – through no fault of their own or those of their families – is a travesty” said Laurence Chandy, UNICEF Director of Data, Research and Policy…

“It is the hope of every parent, everywhere, to provide greater opportunities for their children than they themselves enjoyed when they were young. This World Children’s Day, we have to take stock of how many children are instead seeing opportunities narrow and their prospects diminish,” added Chandy.

Assessing children’s prospects in escaping extreme poverty, getting a basic education and avoiding violent deaths, the UNICEF analysis reveals that:
:: The share of people living on less than $1.90 a day has increased in 14 countries, including Benin, Cameroon, Madagascar, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This increase is mostly due to unrest, conflicts or poor governance.

:: Primary school enrolment has declined in 21 countries, including Syria and Tanzania, due to such factors as financial crises, rapid population growth and the impact of conflicts.

:: Violent deaths among children below the age of 19 have increased in seven countries: Central African Republic, Iraq, Libya, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen – all countries experiencing major conflicts.

:: Four countries – Central African Republic, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen – witnessed a decline across more than one of the three areas measured, while South Sudan has experienced declines across all three.

“In a time of rapid technological change leading to huge gains in living standards, it is perverse that hundreds of millions are seeing living standards actually decline, creating a sense of injustice among them and failure among those entrusted with their care,” said Chandy. “No wonder they feel their voices are unheard and their futures uncertain.”

A separate UNICEF survey of children aged 9-18 in 14 countries also released today shows that children are deeply concerned about global issues affecting their peers and them personally, including violence, terrorism, conflict, climate change, unfair treatment of refugees and migrants, and poverty…

Dai-ichi Life Invests in First Ever ADB ‘Gender Bond’ to Support Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

Development Finance – “Gender Bond”

Dai-ichi Life Invests in First Ever ADB ‘Gender Bond’ to Support Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment
Media Release
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (24 November 2017) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has issued its first “gender bond” to finance a pool of eligible projects that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in Asia and the Pacific. The NZ$130 million bond (equivalent ¥10 billion) was purchased in its entirety by Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited of Japan.

The proceeds raised through the gender bond will be used by ADB to finance projects that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment, such as ADB’s support for financial inclusion for women. One example is the Second Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Development Project in Bangladesh, which in addition to access to credit provides women with tools to increase financial literacy and training.

“Gender equality and women’s empowerment are valuable in their own right, but they are also an integral part of fostering more inclusive development outcomes in Asia,” said ADB Treasurer Pierre Van Peteghem. “Through the issuance of this bond, ADB is demonstrating that we can integrate gender considerations into our funding operations. Incorporating gender equality into ADB’s work is essential in our mission to promote sustainable and inclusive growth in Asia and the Pacific.”…

Dai-ichi Life continues to improve its investment returns through enhancement and diversification of its investment methods, while proactively expanding ESG investment [1] in an effort to contribute to creating a sustainable society as a responsible institutional investor. While they secure stable returns through investment in this bond, they support projects for gender equality and women’s empowerment in Asia and the Pacific through financing and by regularly following up on the progress of these projects.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.

[1] ESG stands for Environment, Society and Governance. Dai-ichi Life follows ESG investment principles that combine safety and profitability with social and public interest (environmental protection, social contributions, promotion of diversity and corporate governance).

President Enrique Peña Nieto Signs Revillagigedo National Park Decree – Mexico

Heritage Stewardship

President Enrique Peña Nieto Signs Revillagigedo National Park Decree
“Mexico confirms its commitment to global efforts to conserve the environment for the benefit of all people and nations”
November 24, 2017 Press Release
:: The decision was taken to turn the Revillagigedo Archipelago into a national park, the largest in North America, to ensure its conservation by providing it with the greatest possible protection.
:: During this Administration, six Natural Protected Areas and five safeguard zones have been decreed, equivalent to just over 65 million hectares, almost triple the area protected at the beginning of this government.
:: Mexico has thereby achieved a total of 182 Protected Natural Areas, which together cover approximately 91 million hectares, including nearly 70 million hectares of marine areas and 21 million of land areas.

President Enrique Peña Nieto today signed the Revillagigedo National Park Decree, whereby the Mexican government fulfills its commitment to ensuring the conservation of this exceptional archipelago, which will allow the conservation of hundreds of marine species, many of them at risk.

After noting that, “This wonderful protected natural area is an invaluable heritage of Mexico as well as an enormous responsibility,” the president declared that he made the decision to convert the Revillagigedo Archipelago into a national park, the largest in North America, to ensure its conservation by providing it with the greatest possible protection…

He explained that as a result of these actions, “In 2016, we joined the small group of countries that have complied with the marine component of the Aichi target, which establishes the commitment to protect 10 percent of the marine area, which we have already more than doubled by achieving nearly 23 percent”

President Peña Nieto recalled that barely a year has passed since the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared the Revillagigedo Archipelago a World Heritage Site, adding that, “The criteria on which its inscription in this list were based reflect the importance of this maritime paradise”:
FIRST: Possessing natural beauty and exceptional aesthetic value.
SECOND: Being a representative example of the biological and ecological processes of marine ecosystems; and
THIRD: Containing natural habitats for the in situ conservation of biological diversity, particularly of threatened species with universal value.

The president declared that the decree signed today, “Will contribute to maintaining the connectivity of Pacific Ocean ecosystems, including other protected areas in that extensive marine corridor such Clipperton Atoll, the Galapagos Islands and Coco Island, in Costa Rica”.

The core zone of the Revillagigedo Archipelago National Park includes14.8 million hectares. As of the entry into force of this decree, “Any fishing activity, extraction of any natural resource or the construction of hotel infrastructure will be prohibited in this area”. Unlike what has happened in the past, he said, “This national park came into existence with equipment, facilities and personnel, which will ensure its proper conservation”.

“To this end, the Mexican Navy, in collaboration with the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources, will carry out surveillance, equipment and training actions, which will include remote monitoring in real time, environmental education for fishermen, and sanctions against offenders. These actions will contribute to increasing the number of species and will help the recovery of marine banks that have been reduced by environmental impact and human activity,” he explained…

Women on the move: Migration, care work and health – WHO

Women on the move: Migration, care work and health
World Health Organization
2017 : 102 pages
ISBN: 978-92-4-151314-2
Women on the move: Full report
Women on the move: Policy brief

Executive Summary [Excerpt; text bolding from original]
Ageing in late industrial and middle-income economies, combined with rising demographic dependency ratios and female labour force participation, has led to emerging care deficits in many developed and developing countries. Around the world, more women are entering the labour force, thus taking them away from traditional unpaid caring roles.

This report focuses largely on one population group: women migrant care workers who provide home-based personal care. However, many of the issues, and the next steps suggested here, also apply to other migrants and refugees – particularly women and girls – as well as to other socially excluded and marginalized groups engaged in paid and unpaid care work across the world.

Without a doubt, women migrant care workers play an increasingly prominent role in securing and protecting the health status of others and are contributing both to health in the broadest sense
and to health systems. Yet relatively little is known about their own health status, the health implications to their families of their out-migration, and the extent of their important contributions to health systems. Around the world, care workers are overwhelmingly female, and many are migrants. This report documents how, despite making a large contribution to global public health, they are exposed to many health risks themselves, while enjoying few labour market and health protections. The report also underscores that paid and unpaid care work is central to the broad health and well-being of individuals, their families and communities, as well as society at large.

The care paradox: global public health and the role of migrant women care workers
Increasingly, immigrant women are being imported into receiving country economies to care, often in informal settings, and are frequently engaged by private households, without full access to social protection and labour rights. Yet this group of migrants provides essential care services and, increasingly, health-care services, thus contributing to health systems and to health and well-being worldwide.

As the leading normative agency on health, the World Health Organization (WHO) calls attention to the paradox that migrant women care workers buttress health systems in countries with shortfalls in health-care provision, while their own rights to health may be eroded and their health-care needs are unfulfilled. Migrant women care workers act as a cushion for states that lack adequate public provision for long-term care, child care and care for the sick.

Unmet needs and growing demand for care
Home-based personal care – whether for older persons, children, or those with chronic diseases or disabilities – constitutes an important component of modern health systems. This applies to both high-income countries, where formal health-care institutions and services are struggling to meet the growing demand for such care, as well as to middle- and lower-income countries and regions where home-based care relieves the demand for, and expense of, institutional care. In all societies there is a cultural preference for care “in the family” or for “ageing in place”.

One area in which the care deficit in receiving countries is particularly pronounced is long-term care for older persons. Critical shortages of long-term care workers make quality services unavailable for large parts of the global population aged 65 years and over. The extent of the unmet need varies worldwide, but in Europe alone the shortage is estimated at around 2.3 million formal long-term care workers.

The policy architecture related to care work, migration and women
The unique status of migrant women care workers as both providers and consumers of health and social care requires that both sending and receiving countries reflect on this paradox and work
urgently, and much more collaboratively, to overcome challenges, contradictions, gaps and inconsistencies in international, regional, national and subnational policies, laws and programmes across all relevant sectors. This report proposes the integration of policy actions – and of gender, equity and human rights approaches – to mediate concerns about care deficits and decent and safe work in the care sector as a crucial component of maintaining global and national public health.

Why this report?
WHO initiated this report in response to growing global political interest in population health and development, particularly noting discussions at the 42nd G7 meeting in Japan in May 2016 which called for more attention to migrants and their role in paid and unpaid care work. It is hoped that this report, and its reflection on potential next steps, will foster further debate about approaches to ensure that the global community meets its obligations to leave no one behind in securing long-term equitable and sustainable development. The analysis is also shaped by commitments to the principles of human rights, the Tanahashi Framework on health service coverage and evaluation, the United Nations Migration Governance Framework,i the Framework of priorities and guiding principles for a World Health Assembly Resolution on the health of migrants and refugees, the concept of progressive universalism towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC), and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developmentii with its overarching goal of leaving no one behind…

Featured Journal Content – PLoS Medicine

Featured Journal Content

PLoS Medicine
(Accessed 25 November 2017)
Policy Forum
Extreme exploitation in Southeast Asia waters: Challenges in progressing towards universal health coverage for migrant workers
Rapeepong Suphanchaimat, Nareerut Pudpong, Viroj Tangcharoensathien
| published 22 Nov 2017 PLOS Medicine
Summary points
:: Labour exploitation and enslavement of sea workers have caught significant political attention in many Southeast Asian countries in recent years. These human rights violations are complicated by human trafficking syndicates, economic disparities between countries in the region, weak rule of law, inadequate labour inspection and protections, poor access to healthcare, and corruption.
:: Although some Southeast Asian nations attempt to protect the health and well-being of “everyone” on their soil by introducing health insurance policies, there remain unsolved implementation challenges.
: Effectively combating extreme labour exploitation requires a collective effort from all concerned stakeholders, seamless collaboration across countries, and long-term comprehensive mechanisms to prevent further abusive treatments; this is particularly relevant with a highly mobile population like migrant seafarers.

Labour trafficking: Challenges and opportunities from an occupational health perspective
Elena Ronda-Pérez, Bente E. Moen
| published 22 Nov 2017 PLOS Medicine
Summary points
:: Labour trafficking is intrinsically related to occupational health; however, very little attention has been paid to the issue from an occupational health perspective.
:: The recognition of certain work-related health problems in workers in specific work sectors can help to identify victims of labour trafficking.
:: This essay identifies a series of opportunities for occupational health services to detect and address labour trafficking and increase health personnel awareness of the problem.

Child sex trafficking in the United States: Challenges for the healthcare provider
V. Jordan Greenbaum
| published 22 Nov 2017 PLOS Medicine
Summary points
:: Victims of child sex trafficking are at high risk of numerous physical and behavioral health problems and are likely to seek medical attention. This places healthcare providers (HCPs) in a position to identify high-risk youth and offer critical services.
:: Children are unlikely to disclose their victimization spontaneously to HCPs. To increase the likelihood that providers recognize victims and appropriately respond to their particular needs, training and resources are needed in the following 3 areas: understanding trauma and its impact on children, victim-centered and human rights–based approaches to care, and developmentally appropriate interview techniques.
:: Building trust and establishing the rapport needed to allow a child victim to disclose exploitation typically requires time. This may be difficult to allocate in busy medical settings. Screening tools, division of responsibilities among staff, and prioritization of assessment for trafficking may help to address this problem.
:: Trafficked children have a wide range of physical, mental health, educational, and social needs that are best met by multidisciplinary collaboration of HCPs, victim service providers, government agencies, and other stakeholders. Development of detailed hospital/clinic protocols will assist HCPs in accessing appropriate community and national resources.

Sexual exploitation of unaccompanied migrant and refugee boys in Greece: Approaches to prevention
Julie Freccero, Dan Biswas, Audrey Whiting, Khaled Alrabe, Kim Thuy Seelinger
| published 22 Nov 2017 PLOS Medicine
Summary points
:: The refugee and migrant crisis in Europe has drawn international attention to the issue of sexual exploitation of unaccompanied and separated refugee boys, requiring humanitarian actors and service providers to quickly develop responses in the absence of an established evidence base.
:: Although adolescent boys comprise a substantial majority of the population of unaccompanied and separated children, they are rarely the focus of policy discussions and are consistently left out of gender-based violence prevention and response efforts. Gender-specific research, policy guidance, and evidence of best practices related to interventions preventing the sexual exploitation of boys are extremely limited.
:: Three prevention approaches have been heavily debated in Greece among policy makers and practitioners: high-security shelter models, life skills education, and cash transfer programming. While lessons can be drawn from evidence of these interventions in other contexts or among other target populations, research on the impact of these approaches on vulnerability to sexual exploitation among unaccompanied refugee and migrant boys is urgently needed to inform policy and program design.
:: A combination of approaches, addressing risk factors at multiple levels, such as building individual-level knowledge and skills, providing community- or family-level protection in the absence of traditional support mechanisms, and structural interventions to address economic vulnerability, is likely needed in order to significantly reduce the vulnerability of unaccompanied and separated boys to sexual exploitation.
:: Rigorous evaluation of current pilot approaches is critical to building the gendered evidence base, guidance, and resources practitioners urgently require.

Collection Review
Human trafficking and exploitation: A global health concern
Cathy Zimmerman, Ligia Kiss
| published 22 Nov 2017 PLOS Medicine
Summary points
:: Labor migration is an economic and social mobility strategy that benefits millions of people around the world, yet human trafficking and the exploitation of low-wage workers is pervasive.
:: The negative health consequences of human trafficking—and labor exploitation more generally—are sufficiently prevalent and damaging that they comprise a public health problem of global magnitude.
:: Human trafficking and labor exploitation are substantial health determinants that need to be treated as preventable, drawing on public health intervention approaches that target the underlying drivers of exploitation before the harm occurs.
:: Exploitative practices are commonly sustained by business models that rely on disposable labor, labyrinthine supply chains, and usurious labor intermediaries alongside weakening labor governance and protections, and underpinned by deepening social and economic divisions.
:: Initiatives to address human trafficking require targeted actions to prevent the drivers of exploitation across each stage of the labor migration cycle to stop the types of harm that can lead to generational cycles of disability and disenfranchisement.