The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
Week ending 24 November 2018

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: The Sentinel_ period ending 24 Nov 2018

:: Week in Review  [See selected posts just below]
:: Key Agency/IGO/Governments Watch – Selected Updates from 30+ entities   [see PDF]
:: 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  [see PDF]

Statement by UN Child Rights Experts on Universal Children’s Day

Human Rights – Children

Statement by UN Child Rights Experts on Universal Children’s Day
Tuesday, 20 November 2018
New York/Geneva – Today, as we celebrate Universal Children’s Day and the 29th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, UN child rights experts* urge Governments around the world to be united in ensuring priority attention to the realization of the rights of the child and to accelerating efforts for implementation of the Convention, the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history.

“While ratification of the Convention is nearly universal, commitments must be renewed and translated into concrete action to promote their effective enjoyment by every child. Every policy decision has an impact on children entitled to care, support and protection from neglect, abuse and exploitation, and to develop capacities and talents to reach their full potential. The best way to leave no child behind is to put children first to ensure that no child grows up in a world of fear, violence and hopelessness,” said the experts.

The Convention was adopted on 20 November 1989 and much progress has been made in the protection of children’s rights through investment in children, the enactment and enforcement of legislation and public policies, and the establishment of institutions to safeguard children’s rights. The Convention has been reinforced by three Optional Protocols: to prevent and address the involvement of children in armed conflict; to prevent and address the sale of children and their exploitation in prostitution and pornography; and, to enable children to challenge violations of their rights through a communications procedure before the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

“However, more and better work needs to be done in a changing world which presents major challenges compromising the universal realization of children’s rights,” said the experts. “Today, millions of vulnerable children continue to be left behind, including child victims of violence, conflict and sexual exploitation, migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking children, children living in poverty, children with disabilities, and children belonging to indigenous and minority groups.”

“Today, the principles and provisions of the Convention are as relevant as ever and they are a crucial reference for the effective implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals,” said the experts. “For millions of children affected by discrimination, poverty, violence, conflict, sexual exploitation and abuse – for all children left behind – we must transform the continuum of violence, deprivation and discrimination that shapes their lives into a continuum of protection of their fundamental rights.”

“Children are key agents of change and their voices must be heard and their participation ensured to help address the pressing issues that they face,” said the experts. “Efforts by Governments, by non-state actors, by civil society organizations and by individuals must be urgently reinforced to always put children above politics, to safeguard their rights and to create a better world for all.”

“Today, as we head into 2019 and the 30th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, we remind all Governments of their obligations under the Convention,” said the experts. “Inaction or measures that do not respect the rights and best interests of the child have a negative, long-term impact – not only for the child’s development and well-being – but also on society as a whole.”

“We call upon all states which have not yet done so, to put children first and above politics, by ratifying and effectively implementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its three Optional Protocols,” the experts urged. “The world’s children deserve nothing less.”


Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child
:: The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict is now in force in 168 countries. States parties have committed to ban the compulsory recruitment of children under 18 in armed forces and to ensure that those under the age of 18 do not take part in hostilities.

:: The Optional Protocol on the sale children, child prostitution and child pornography provides detailed guidance to States for the prevention, prohibition and criminalization of the sale and all forms of sexual exploitation of children, as well as to fight impunity for those offences within and across borders, ensuring accountability of perpetrators and redress for child victims. The Protocol is in force in 175 States and nearing universal ratification.

:: The Optional Protocol on a Communications Procedure foresees a system of individual and State’s complaints before the Committee on the Rights of the Child to address the violations of children’s rights, as well as a mechanism of inquiry that the Committee can initiate to investigate grave and systematic violations of the rights of child. This protocol has been ratified by 41 states and signed by 51.

*UN Child Rights Experts
:: Renate Winter, Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child
:: Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Violence against Children
:: Virginia Gamba, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict
:: Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, including child prostitution, child pornography and other child sexual abuse material

More on the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Committee on the Rights of the Child:

Educating Girls and Ending Child marriage : A Priority for Africa — World Bank


Educating Girls and Ending Child marriage : A Priority for Africa
(English) 2018/11/19 :: 70 pages
World Bank Group
Working Paper
Despite progress over the last two decades, girls still have on average lower levels of educational attainment than boys in many African countries, especially at the secondary and tertiary levels. Girls dropping out of school are more likely to marry or have children early, before they may be physically and emotionally ready to become wives and mothers. This may affect their own health. It may also affect that of their children since children of mothers younger than 18 face higher risks of dying by age five and being malnourished. They may also do poorly in school. Other risks for girls and women associated with a lack of education as well as child marriage include intimate partner violence and a lack of decision-making ability in the household. Through lower expected earnings in adulthood and higher fertility over their lifetime, a lack of education for girls as well as child marriage lead to higher rates of poverty for households. This is due to both losses in incomes and higher basic needs from larger household sizes. Low educational attainment for girls may also weaken solidarity in communities and reduce women’s participation in society. Lack of education is associated with a lower proclivity to altruistic behaviors, and it curtails women’s voice and agency in the household, at work and in institutions. This report documents the negative impacts of low educational attainment for girls, child marriage, and early childbearing for girls in Africa and some of their associated economic costs. The message is clear: educating girls is not only the right thing to do. It also makes economic and strategic sense for countries to fulfill their development potential.

Africa Loses Billions of Dollars Due to Child Marriage, Says New World Bank Report
ACCRA, Ghana, November 20, 2018—Child marriage will cost African countries tens of billions of dollars in lost earnings and human capital, says a new World Bank report launched ahead of the African Union Commission’s second African Girls Summit on Ending Child Marriage taking place in Ghana this week.

According to Educating Girls and Ending Child Marriage: A Priority for Africa report, more than three million (or one third of) girls in Sub-Saharan Africa marry before their 18th birthday each year. Today, the region has the highest prevalence of child marriage in the world. Child brides are much more likely to drop out of school and complete fewer years of education than their peers who marry later. They are also more likely to have children at a young age, which affects their health as well as the education and health of their children.

While many African countries have achieved gender parity in primary education, the report notes that girls lag behind boys at the secondary level. In Sub-Saharan Africa, seven out of 10 girls complete primary education, but only four out of 10 complete lower secondary school.

On average, women who have a secondary education are more likely to work and they earn twice as much as those with no education. Estimates for 12 countries—which account for half of the African continent’s population—suggest that through its impact on girls’ education, child marriage is costing these countries $63 billion in lost earnings and human capital wealth.

“Primary education for girls is simply not sufficient. Girls reap the biggest benefits of education when they are able to complete secondary school, but we know that girls very often don’t stay in school if they marry early,” said Quentin Wodon, Lead Economist at the World Bank and principal author of the report.

Child marriage also leads to high fertility rates and population growth, the report notes. If child marriage were ended today, lower population growth would lead to higher standards of living, especially for the poorest.

The report confirms that keeping girls in school is one of the best ways to avoid child marriage. Each year of secondary education reduces the likelihood of marrying as a child before the age of 18 by five percentage points or more.

The report also documents the impact of child marriage and girls’ education on more than three dozen other development outcomes. For example, child marriage leads to higher risk of intimate partner violence, and lower decision-making in the household. Child marriage also affects the well-being of the children of young mothers, including higher risks of mortality and stunting (malnutrition) for children below the age of five.

Educating girls and promoting gender equality is part of a holistic effort at the World Bank, which includes financing and analytical work to keep girls in school, prevent child marriage, improve access to reproductive health services, and strengthen skills and job opportunities for adolescent girls and young women.

The report was published with support from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and the Global Partnership for Education.

Access to Medicines Index 2018

Access to Medicines Index 2018
Access to Medicine Foundation. November 2018 :: 258 pages
Funders: UK Department for International Development; The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Executive Summary
Globally, two billion people cannot access the medicines they need, with millions in low- and middle-income countries dying each year from diseases because the vaccines, medicines and diagnostic tests that they need are either unavailable or unaffordable. Pharmaceutical companies control products that can greatly alleviate disease burdens; they also have the expertise to meet the need for new and adapted innovative products; the power to address the affordability of those products through more refined access strategies; and the ability to strengthen supply chains and support healthcare infrastructures. Considering their size, resources, pipelines, portfolios and global reach, these companies have a critical role to play in improving access to medicine.

For more than a decade, the Access to Medicine Foundation has worked to stimulate change within pharmaceutical companies. Every two years, it publishes its Access to Medicine Index, which analyses the top 20 research-based pharmaceutical companies and ranks them according to their efforts to improve access to medicine in developing countries. A total of 69 indicators make up a framework within which company performances relating to 77 diseases, conditions and pathogens in 106 low- and middle-income countries can be compared.

The Index analysis brings out best practices and examples, highlights areas where progress has been made and areas where critical action is required. The Index also acts as a benchmark where companies can compare their own contributions to improving access to medicine with their peers. While companies are held to a single standard, they are different in the way they operate and in their portfolio of investigational and marketed products. The Index is a relative ranking: scores cannot be directly compared between Indices.

The methodology is updated every two years in line with developments in access to medicine
following a wide-ranging multi-stakeholder dialogue. For the first time this year, the Index examines company efforts to increase access to cancer products. Also for the first time, the Index zeroes in on 53 products on the market that it considers particularly critical candidates for company access initiatives and evaluates what companies are doing to facilitate their affordability and supply. These are products that are on patent, first-line therapies and on the World Health Organization Model List of Essential Medicines (EML).

This report outlines the key findings and overall ranking analysis of the 2018 Access to Medicine
Index before presenting a detailed analysis of company performances and rankings in each of the seven areas of corporate activity it focuses on. The report concludes with detailed, tailored company report cards that explain each company’ performance, highlight industry-leading practices and company-specific opportunities to improve access to medicine.

:: Most priority R&D projects are being conducted by five companies: GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Merck KGaA, Novartis and Sanofi. Such concentration is also seen in the industry’s overwhelming focus on five of the 45 priority diseases – malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis– targeting that reflects international donor priorities.

:: Access initiatives for cancer focus on pricing but have limited reach, mainly for small population groups and fewer than five key countries on average. Meanwhile, access planning for cancer products in the pipeline lags far behind that for communicable disease candidate products and plans are less comprehensive.

:: The majority of the 53 key on-patent products have an access initiative attached to them, but these are limited in scope, with pricing schemes being applied in fewer than five countries where greater affordability is a priority. Many of these key products with access initiatives are for diseases prioritised by global health donors or international procurers.

Least Developed Countries Report 2018 – UNCTAD

Development – “Least Developed Countries”

Least Developed Countries Report 2018
Entrepreneurship for structural transformation: Beyond business as usual
UNCTAD 2018 :: 190 pages
Nowhere else in the world is radical economic transformation more urgent than in the least developed countries, which have the challenge of accumulating productive capacities at an unprecedented speed, in the face of the rapid reorientation of global production and digital transformation, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

At the centre of radical economic change is transformational entrepreneurship. The Least Developed Countries Report 2018: Entrepreneurship for Structural Transformation – Beyond Business as Usual demonstrates how transformational entrepreneurship generates many of the social and economic innovations that underpin sustainable development. Transformational entrepreneurs create new products and business models; they offer dignified employment; their success leads to broader improvements in the quality of life and even bolsters fiscal sustainability. Dynamic entrepreneurs also make a greater contribution to wealth accumulation and distribution.

In the least developed countries, however, underdevelopment and unfavourable forms of participation in global trade constrain the emergence of the dynamic, opportunity-seeking entrepreneurs needed for structural transformation. The dearth of dynamic local entrepreneurship endangers structural transformation and ultimately weakens national ownership and the potential impact of attaining the Sustainable Development Goals in the least developed countries.

The weakness of dynamic entrepreneurship has important implications in the least developed countries, where entrepreneurship policy is often mobilized as an alternative to unemployment and a remedy for structural inequalities. This type of policy is often an imperfect way of fostering high-impact and dynamic entrepreneurship, which requires a distinct and strategic approach and deliberate long-term nurturing that entail coordinated and coherent action and smart policies across a range of relevant policy areas.

The Least Developed Countries Report 2018 presents a compelling case for a structural transformation-centred approach to entrepreneurship policy in the least developed countries. The report underscores entrepreneurship policy based on a fundamental recognition of disparities in the contribution of different types of entrepreneurship to structural transformation and wealth creation. It establishes a more active and proactive stance for the State in steering the emergence of dynamic and transformational local entrepreneurship. Importantly, it calls upon the least developed countries not to overlook the pivotal and complementary role played by large enterprises, alongside medium-sized and smaller enterprises, with a view to the least developed countries formulating deliberate strategies to nurture entrepreneurship that has impact. By encouraging least developed country policymakers to
avoid policies that might undervalue the benefits of entrepreneurship, this report makes an invaluable contribution to least developed country efforts to add value to their implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Mukhisa Kituyi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD

What are the Least Developed Countries?
Geneva, Switzerland, (20 November 2018)
There are 47 countries currently designated by the United Nations as Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to which UNCTAD devotes its annual Least Developed Countries Report published today. They are:
Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, the Sudan, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zambia.

This list is reviewed every three years by the Committee for Development Policy, a group of independent experts that reports to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). In reporting to ECOSOC, the committee may recommend countries for addition to, or exclusion from (so-called “graduation” from), the list of LDCs.

The committee used per-capita income, human assets, and economic vulnerability criteria in its most recent review in March 2018 (see box below). For all three criteria, the committee uses different thresholds to identify countries to be added to the category and for countries which will graduate.

A country will qualify to be added if it meets the addition thresholds on all three criteria and does not have a population greater than 75 million. Qualification for addition to the list will effectively lead to LDC status only if the relevant country accepts this status.

A country will typically qualify for graduation from LDC status if it has met graduation thresholds under at least two of the three criteria in at least two consecutive triennial reviews of the list.

However, if the three-year average per-capita gross national income of a least developed country has risen to a level at least double the graduation threshold (i.e., $2,460), and if this performance is considered sustainable, the country will be deemed eligible for graduation regardless of its score under the other two criteria.

The overall graduation landscape following the March 2018 review comprises:
:: Five cases of graduation: Angola, Bhutan, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, of which two have a known graduation date: Vanuatu (December 2020) and Angola (February 2021);
:: Two hypothetical graduation cases, subject to a decision by member States: Kiribati and Tuvalu
:: Two cases in which the Committee for Development Policy deferred consideration of the question of graduation: Nepal and Timor-Leste
:: Three cases of pre-eligibility for graduation (and likely full eligibility in 2021): Bangladesh, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Myanmar

This means that as of 2018 there were 12 countries eligible or pre-eligible for graduation from LDCs. Adding these 12 qualifying cases to the two countries that have graduated since 2011 (Samoa and Equatorial Guinea) – and considering the addition of South Sudan in 2012 – the overall graduation performance by 2018 amounts to a 29% qualification ratio…

2017 Illicit Trade Report – World Customs Organization (WCO)

2017 Illicit Trade Report
World Customs Organization (WCO)
November 2018 :: 205 pages
Since its inception in 2012, the World Customs Organization’s (WCO) annual Illicit Trade Report
has aimed to contribute to the study of the phenomenon of illicit trade through in-depth analysis of seizure data and case studies voluntarily submitted by Member Customs administrations from around the globe. By quantifying and mapping the situation in six key areas of Customs enforcement (cultural heritage, drugs, environment, intellectual property rights/health and safety, revenue assurance and
security), it is hoped that this Report will provide a better understanding of current cross-border
criminal activities and contribute to information currently available on illicit trade.

The Report is composed of six sections relating to key areas of risks in the context of Customs enforcement:
– Illicit trafficking of stolen or looted cultural objects that include both archaeological objects and works of art;
– Drug trafficking, including cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of substances subject to drug prohibition laws;
– Environmental risks relating to trafficking of endangered species, hazardous and toxic waste, ozone-depleting substances, and trading of indigenous or protected timber, etc.;
– Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), and health and safety risks relating to trade in counterfeit or illicit goods, particularly products which pose a serious threat to health and safety, such as
pharmaceuticals (including veterinary medicines), foodstuffs, toys and sub-standard items (such as electrical components and spare parts);
– Revenue risks, including leakage, through the smuggling of highly taxed goods such as tobacco, alcohol and motor spirits, plus commercial fraud activities such as under-valuation, misuse of origin and preferential duties, misclassification and drawback fraud;
– Security risks, including terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, trafficking of small arms and explosives, and diversion of dual-use goods

Ebola – Democratic Republic of the Congo

Ebola – Democratic Republic of the Congo

WHO statement on latest attacks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
17 November 2018, Geneva
Following deadly attacks on Friday in the town of Beni, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ebola response activities are continuing.

While all WHO, Ministry of Health and partner staff are safe and accounted for, 16 WHO staff were evacuated to Goma for psychological care after their residence was hit by a shell which did not explode.

Ebola response operations were on-going but limited in Beni on Saturday.

Vaccination was suspended and the operations centre was closed, but teams still went out into the communities to follow up on some alerts of potential cases, to meet contacts and ensure they are still well, and to bring sick people to treatment centres. The treatment centers, which are run by partners, remained operational.

The response was not affected in areas outside Beni. On Sunday, all activities have re-launched, including vaccination.

“WHO will continue to work side-by-side with the ministry and our partners to bring this Ebola outbreak to an end,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “We honour the memory of those who have died battling this outbreak, and deplore the continuing threats on the security of those still working to end it.”


16: Situation report on the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu
21 November 2018
Implementation of ring vaccination protocol
:: Vaccination activities were paused in Beni after the security incidents on 16 November 2018, but continued in Katwa, Butembo, Vuhovi and Kalunguta.
:: As of 19 November 2018, 518 new contacts were vaccinated in 13 rings in affected health zones, bringing the cumulative number of people vaccinated to 32 626. The current stock of vaccine in Beni is 5920 doses.

DONs Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo
22 November 2018
WHO risk assessment
…As the risk of national and regional spread is very high, it is important for neighbouring provinces and countries to enhance surveillance and preparedness activities. The International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) Emergency Committee has advised that failing to intensify these preparedness and surveillance activities would lead to worsening conditions and further spread. WHO will continue to work with neighbouring countries and partners to ensure that health authorities are alerted and are operationally prepared to respond.


DONs Ebola virus disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo
22 November 2018
WHO risk assessment
…As the risk of national and regional spread is very high, it is important for neighbouring provinces and countries to enhance surveillance and preparedness activities. The International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) Emergency Committee has advised that failing to intensify these preparedness and surveillance activities would lead to worsening conditions and further spread. WHO will continue to work with neighbouring countries and partners to ensure that health authorities are alerted and are operationally prepared to respond.