The Sentinel

Human Rights Action :: Humanitarian Response :: Health :: Education :: Heritage Stewardship ::
Sustainable Development
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Week ending 27 July 2019

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
Editor
GE2P2 Global Foundation – Governance, Evidence, Ethics, Policy, Practice
david.r.curry@ge2p2center.net

PDF-The Sentinel_ period ending 27 Jul 2019

Contents
:: 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]

Commission takes Hungary to Court for criminalising activities in support of asylum seekers and opens new infringement for non-provision of food in transit zones

Hungary – EC Action on Treatment of Asylum Seekers

Commission takes Hungary to Court for criminalising activities in support of asylum seekers and opens new infringement for non-provision of food in transit zones
Brussels, 25 July 2019
Today, the European Commission decided to refer Hungary to the Court of Justice of the EU concerning legislation that criminalises activities in support of asylum applications and further restricts the right to request asylum. The Commission has also decided tosend a letter of formal notice to Hungary concerning the non-provision of food to persons awaiting return who are detained in the Hungarian transit zones at the border with Serbia…

… Specifically, the Commission finds that Hungarian legislation is incompatible with EU law in the following respects:
:: Criminalisation of support to asylum applicants: The Hungarian legislation curtails asylum applicants’ right to communicate with and be assisted by relevant national, international and non-governmental organisations by criminalising support to asylum applications. This is in violation of the Asylum Procedures Directive and the Reception Conditions Directive.

:: Unlawful limitation of the right to asylum and introduction of new non-admissibility grounds for asylum applications: The new law and the constitutional amendment on asylum have introduced new grounds for declaring an asylum application inadmissible, restricting the right to asylum only to people arriving in Hungary directly from a place where their life or freedom are at risk. These additional inadmissibility grounds for asylum applications exclude persons who entered Hungary from a country where they were not persecuted but which does not fulfil the criteria of a safe-third-country. Therefore, these inadmissibility grounds curtail the right to asylum in a way that is not compatible with EU or international law. As such, the national rules are in violation of the EU Asylum Procedures Directive, the Asylum Qualifications Directive and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

Letter of formal notice concerning the situation of returnees in the Hungarian transit zones
The European Commission has decided today to send a letter of formal notice to Hungary concerning the situation of persons in the Hungarian transit zones at the border with Serbia, whose applications for international protection have been rejected, and who are waiting to be returned to a third country.

In the Commission’s view, their compulsory stay in the Hungarian transit zones qualifies as detention under the EU’s Return Directive. The Commission finds that the detention conditions in the Hungarian transit zones, in particular the withholding of food, do not respect the material conditions set out in the Return Directive and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

In view of the urgency of the situation, the deadline for Hungary to respond to the Commission’s concerns is set to 1 month, after which the Commission may decide to follow-up by sending a reasoned opinion.

The European Court of Human Rights has already granted interim measures in several instances, obliging Hungary to provide food to persons detained in the transit zones. In July 2018, the Commission referred Hungary to the Court of Justice in a case relating to the detention of asylum seekers in the Hungarian transit zones. The case is currently pending before the Court…

New Report: Refugee Women Could Generate up to $1.4 Trillion to Annual Global GDP – IRC

Development/Employment– Refugees

New Report: Refugee Women Could Generate up to $1.4 Trillion to Annual Global GDP
:: Refugee women could generate up to $1.4 trillion to annual global GDP if employment and earnings gender gaps were closed.
:: Refugee men and women could contribute up to $2.5 trillion to annual global GDP if gender pay gaps and barriers to work were removed.
:: Closing gender pay gaps and removing barriers to work for refugee men and women in Turkey, Uganda, Lebanon, Jordan, Germany, and the US alone could boost overall annual GDP by up to $53 billion.
:: The IRC and GIWPS call for a Global Refugee Women and Work Commission to assemble and address closing the gender-pay and decent work gaps among refugees.

New York, NY, July 25, 2019 —
In accessing paid, decent work, refugee women face restrictive labor market laws, increased threat of violence, discrimination, as well as regulatory and administrative barriers.

According to a new analysis conducted by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS), in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), refugee women could generate up to $1.4 trillion to annual global GDP if employment and wage gaps were closed.

Key takeaways from the report:
:: Refugee women’s labor market participation is as low as 6%. Highest refugee women employment rates are seen in the US (40%) and Uganda (37%), but down to as low as 6% in Germany, Jordan and Lebanon.

:: The gender pay gap is highest in Turkey, where there is a pay gap of roughly 94 cents per dollar between refugee women and host men. The gap is lower in the US, where the pay gap is roughly 29 cents per dollar earned.

:: Refugee women could generate up to $1.4 trillion to annual global GDP if employment and earnings gender gaps were closed to meet the national levels of hosting countries, per analysis done in top 30-refugee hosting countries, which host 90% of the world’s refugees.

:: Refugee women in the US alone could contribute $1.6 billion to US GDP.

:: Closing wage and employment gaps for refugee men and women, equalizing wages and employment rates between genders in these countries, could boost global GDP up to $2.5 trillion.

:: Closing pay gaps and removing barriers for refugee men and women in Turkey, Uganda, Lebanon, Jordan, Germany, and the US alone – six countries which together host almost eight million refugees, or 40% of the world’s refugee population – could boost overall GDP by $53 billion. This is five times the combined annual budget of the UN Refugee Agency and International Organization for Migration.

The report focuses on Turkey, Uganda, Lebanon, Jordan, Germany, and the US, and extrapolates findings to the top 30-refugee hosting countries, which collectively host approximately 18 million refugees.

David Miliband, IRC president and CEO, said, “Our analysis shows the extraordinary scale of economic rewards, for both refugee women and the economies they live in, if they were able to access local jobs at non-discriminatory pay rates. Understanding this economic prize is important, but getting there is the fundamental challenge, particularly in the contexts of state fragility and economic vulnerability where most refugees live. That’s why the IRC will continue to focus on employment programs, from Uganda to Lebanon, that remove gender barriers for refugees accessing jobs…

View the full report here.

The Future of Work in Africa: The Roles of Skills, Informality, and Social Protection in Unleashing the Promise of Digital Technologies for All – World Bank

Livelihood – Digital Technology

The Future of Work in Africa: The Roles of Skills, Informality, and Social Protection in Unleashing the Promise of Digital Technologies for All
HIGHLIGHTS
:: A new World Bank report says Sub-Saharan African countries could benefit from well-harnessed technological adoption
::Supportive policies and investments are needed to put lower-skilled and lower-educated workers in a position to benefit from digital technology adoption
:: The report, an in-depth regional perspective, complements the World Bank’s World Development Report 2019: The Changing Nature of Work

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2019 – As developing countries brace for technological advances and other disruptions arising from climate shocks, fragility, economic integration and population transitions that will fundamentally transform the work landscape, a new World Bank report notes that Sub-Saharan African countries may benefit from digital technology adoption in different ways than other regions.

The Future of Work in Africa: Harnessing the Potential of Digital Technologies for All, a regional companion piece to the World Bank’s World Development Report 2019: The Changing Nature of Work, says the region has an opportunity to forge a different path from the rest of the world – if digital technologies are harnessed correctly by governments and businesses by ensuring that critical policies and investments are in place….

To take advantage of these opportunities, the report offers several fundamental public policy recommendations for governments to consider, including:
:: Ensure that digital infrastructure is available and affordable to all—in rural and urban areas, and across all demographics—by developing digital infrastructure regulation that spurs competition, supports universal access, and promotes integration across countries to create bigger markets
:: Provide complementary physical infrastructure such as reliable electricity
Support the inventors and entrepreneurs that are needed to develop tools both for upskilling the stock of low-skilled workers in their current occupations and for the new tasks that the adoption of new technologies will enable
:: Develop interventions to facilitate the productivity upgrading of informal farms and firms and to upgrade the skills of their workers
:: Expand the coverage of social protection and labor systems, especially to workers, to spur greater entrepreneurial and worker risk-taking, and to facilitate worker transitions between jobs

Global Innovation Index 2019: India Makes Major Gains as Switzerland, Sweden, U.S., Netherlands, U.K. Top Ranking; Trade Protectionism Poses Risks for Future Innovation

Global Innovation/IP/Trade Restrictions

Global Innovation Index 2019: India Makes Major Gains as Switzerland, Sweden, U.S., Netherlands, U.K. Top Ranking; Trade Protectionism Poses Risks for Future Innovation
New Delhi, July 24, 2019
PR/2019/834
Released jointly by WIPO, Cornell University, INSEAD and the 2019 GII Knowledge Partners, the Confederation of Indian Industry, Dassault Systèmes – the 3DEXPERIENCE Company – and the National Confederation of Industry (CNI) – Brazil and Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae)

Switzerland is the world’s most-innovative country followed by Sweden, the United States of America (U.S.), the Netherlands and the United Kingdom (U.K.), according to the 2019 edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII), which also identifies regional leaders India, South Africa, Chile, Israel and Singapore, with China, Viet Nam and Rwanda topping their income groups.

Now in its 12th edition, the GII is a global benchmark that helps policy makers better understand how to stimulate and measure innovative activity, a main driver of economic and social development. The GII 2019 ranks 129 economies (Annex 1 ) based on 80 indicators, from traditional measurements like research and development investments and international patent and trademark applications to newer indicators including mobile-phone app creation and high-tech exports.

The GII 2019 also looks at the economic context: Despite signs of slowing economic growth, innovation continues to blossom, particularly in Asia, but pressures are looming from trade disruptions and protectionism. Sound government planning for innovation is critical for success, the report shows.

“The GII shows us that countries that prioritize innovation in their policies have seen significant increases in their rankings,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “The rise in the GII by economic powerhouses like China and India have transformed the geography of innovation and this reflects deliberate policy action to promote innovation,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.

GII 2019 Key Findings
Among notable GII key findings (Annex 2) this year:
:: The global landscape of science, innovation, and technology has undergone important shifts over the last decades. Middle-income economies, especially in Asia, are increasingly contributing to global research and development (R&D) and international patenting rates via WIPO’s International Patent System;

:: The GII 2019 shows that public R&D expenditures – particularly in some high-income economies – are growing slowly or not at all. This raises concerns given the public sector’s central role in funding basic R&D and blue-sky research, which are key to future innovations;

:: Increased protectionism poses risks. If left uncontained, it will lead to a slowdown of growth in innovation productivity and diffusion across the globe;

:: Innovation inputs and outputs are still concentrated in very few economies. Divides also persist in how effectively economies obtain return on their innovation investments. Some economies achieve more with less;

:: Most top science and technology clusters are in the U.S., China, and Germany, whlie Brazil, India, Iran, the Russian Federation, and Turkey also feature in the top 100 list. The top five clusters: Tokyo-Yokohama (Japan); Shenzhen-Hong Kong, China (China); Seoul (Republic of Korea); Beijing (China); San Jose-San Francisco (U.S.).

“While the Global Innovation Index ranks economies according to their innovation capacity and performance, it also provides valuable insights into the dynamics of global innovation: It highlights economies that excel in innovation and those that are more successful in translating investments in innovation inputs into innovation outputs. Lessons from these innovation leaders provide useful guidance on innovation policy for others,” said Soumitra Dutta, Former Dean and Professor of Management at Cornell University, a GII co-publisher.

WHO Statement on governance and oversight of human genome editing

Global Health/Innovation Governance

WHO Statement on governance and oversight of human genome editing
26 July 2019 Geneva
WHO Statement
The WHO expert advisory committee on governance and oversight of human genome editing convened on 18-19 March 2019. At this meeting the Committee in an interim recommendation to the WHO Director-general stated that “it would be irresponsible at this time for anyone to proceed with clinical applications of human germline genome editing.”

WHO supports this interim recommendation and advises regulatory or ethics authorities to refrain from issuing approvals concerning requests for clinical applications for work that involves human germline genome editing.

“Human germline genome editing poses unique and unprecedented ethical and technical challenges,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “I have accepted the interim recommendations of WHO’s Expert Advisory Committee that regulatory authorities in all countries should not allow any further work in this area until its implications have been properly considered.”

WHO’s Expert Advisory Committee continues its consideration of this matter, and will, at its forthcoming meeting in Geneva on 26-28 August 2019. evaluate, inter alia, effective governance instruments to deter and prevent irresponsible and unacceptable uses of genome edited embryos to initiate human pregnancies.

2021 declared International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour

Human Rights – Child Labour

2021 declared International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour
The UN General Assembly has urged the international community to step up efforts to eradicate forced labour and child labour, and declared 2021 as the Year for the Elimination of Child Labour.

26 July 2019 – GENEVA (ILO News) – The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has unanimously adopted a resolution declaring 2021 as the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, and has asked the International Labour Organization to take the lead in its implementation.

The resolution highlights the member States’ commitments “to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.”

The UNGA acknowledged the importance of the ILO’s Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138) and the Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour, 1999 (No. 182) – which is close to universal ratification by the ILO’s 187 member States – as well as the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

It also recognized the importance of “revitalized global partnerships to ensure the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development , including the implementation of the goals and targets related to the elimination of child labour.”…