• HuriTALK Monthly Resource Update – January 2012


    NEWS:

    29 JANUARY 2012 / ADDIS ABEBA: UN SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES GOVERNMENTS TO CONFRONT DISCRIMINATION BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attended the 18th African Union summit which was held from 23-30 January 2012. He cited discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity as one of the injustices that has been ignored or even sanctioned by many States and called on them to confront this discrimination, stating that “we must live up to the ideals of the Universal Declaration [on Human Rights]”. He furthermore said that trade and investment are crucial for development in Africa, but Africa’s future also depends on investments in civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, and called for joint efforts between the UN and AU to improve the lot of women and youth in Africa, who account for 80 per cent of the continent’s population, and stressed the importance of women’s representation in decision-making bodies. Read more here and here.

    24 JANUARY 2012 / SHAFALLAH FORUM ON CRISIS, CONFLICT AND DISABILITY, DOHA, QATAR: The fifth International Shafallah Forum on Crisis, Conflict and Disability took place in Doha, Qatar, from 22-24 January, 2012. This high-level meeting brought together over 250 participants from over 50 countries to discuss the challenges and opportunities for strengthening inclusive approaches to humanitarian action with a specific focus on persons with disabilities. The forum called for the inclusion of disability as a part of emergency preparedness, response, and  programs, and  stressed the need for disability to be seen as a cross-cutting issue in all phases of humanitarian action. The meeting concluded with the Shafallah Declaration on Crisis, Conflict and Disabilities that includes a series of commitments to make inclusive humanitarian action a priority.

    24 JANURARY 2012 / ECONOMIC CRISIS ADVERSELY AFFECTS HUMAN RIGHTS / AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL [Contributed, with thanks, by Julia Kercher, UNDP New York]: Ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Amnesty International issued a briefing note on the relation between human rights and the economic crisis. According to the briefing note, the economic crisis has put the human rights of millions of people at risk. It specifically mentions issues such as labor exploitation, homelessness, lack of access to food, water and sanitation, and health services. The note suggests to governments to incorporate a human rights analysis into response mechanisms to the economic crisis, to adopt effective regulations in order to prevent future crises and to put in place measures to mitigate the impacts of the crisis, particularly on the most disadvantaged groups and people. Access the briefing paper here.

    18 JANUARY 2012 / Responsibility to Protect: UN SECRETARY-GENERAL urges action to make RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT ‘a living reality’: The principle of ‘responsibility to protect’ was tested as never before in 2011, resulting in tens of thousands of lives saved and vital lessons learned, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, calling for action to ensure that this tool is a “living reality” for the world’s people. “In 2011, history took a turn for the better. The Responsibility to Protect came of age; the principle was tested as never before,” Mr. Ban said in an address to the Stanley Foundation Conference on the Responsibility to Protect. Agreed at a summit of world leaders in 2005 and sometimes known as ‘R2P’, the principle of the responsibility to protect holds States responsible for shielding their own populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and related crimes against humanity and requires the international community to step in if this obligation is not met. Yet, sometimes this is not possible due to resource limitations. Read more here and access more background on R2P here.

    17 JANUARY 2012 / LANDMARK DISABILITY RIGHTS RULING BY THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS (ECtHR): The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) delivered a landmark victory for the rights of persons with psycho-social disabilities and intellectual disabilities in the case of Stanev v. Bulgaria. The Court found a violation of Article 5(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), finding that the applicant was “detained” in a social care institution, the first time that the Court has made such a finding. The Court referred to the growing emphasis that international law places on the legal autonomy of persons with disabilities, stating that it “is also obliged to note the growing importance which international instruments for the protection of people with mental disorders are now attaching to granting them as much legal autonomy as possible”, and goes on to reference the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Judgment, para. 244). “Following this judgment, States throughout Europe must end policies and practices that unnecessarily restrict the liberty of thousands of persons with psycho-social disabilities and intellectual disabilities in the provision of social care,” stated Lycette Nelson, Litigation Director of the Mental Disabilities Advocacy Center (MDAC).
    Access the judgment here, and access the Court’s press release of the judgment here.

    17 January 2012 / Joint Statement of the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children / Manila: The ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) convened a Consultative Meeting with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on Violence against Children (SRSG-VAC) and CEDAW Committee experts on violence against women in Manila, the Philippines, on 16-17 January 2012. The Consultation was supported by UN Women and UNICEF. It provided an opportunity to exchange views on a rights-based approach to initiatives designed to prevent and address all forms of violence against children (VAC) and violence against women (VAW), in the light of international human rights standards, in particular the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), both ratified by all ASEAN Member States. For more information, please click here.


    NEWS FROM THE HUMAN RIGHTS BODIES:

    3 FEBRUARY 2012 / COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD CONCLUDES 59TH SESSION: The Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) held its 59th session from 16 January-3 February. It considered reports from Azerbaijan, Cook Islands, Madagascar, Myanmar, Thailand, Togo, Niue, and Democratic Republic of Congo. In December 2011, the UN General Assembly approved a third optional protocol on a Communications Procedure, which will allow individual children to submit complaints regarding specific violations of their rights under the Convention and its first two optional protocols. The Protocol opens for signature in 2012 and will enter into force upon ratification by 10 UN Member States. Read more about the CRC’s 59th session here.

    REPORT / REPORT OF THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON ADEQUATE HOUSING AS A COMPONENT OF THE RIGHT TO AN ADEQUATE STANDARD OF LIVING: This report focuses on the question of women and their right to adequate housing – specifically at progress to date and further efforts needed – to ensure that women everywhere are able to enjoy this right in practice. The report also examines recent legal and policy advancements in the area of women‘s right to adequate housing, including issues related to inheritance, land and property, as well as strategies for overcoming persistent gaps in implementation of those laws and policies. It presents a gender-sensitive analysis of the right to adequate housing and concludes with specific recommendations to States and United Nations agencies and human rights mechanisms to improve the enjoyment of this right for women worldwide. Read more about the right to housing here and access the report here.

    REPORT / Report of the independent expert on minority issues, Rita Izsák: This report contains an update on the work of the Forum on Minority Issues following the fourth session of the Forum in November 2011, which focused on “Guaranteeing the rights of minority women and girls.” The Forum addressed the challenges and opportunities for minority women to enjoy their rights, including the rights to have access to quality education, to take part effectively in economic life, to access labour markets and to participate fully in social, cultural and political life. The report further highlights the fact that 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities. Access the report here.


    UN WORK IN FOCUS:

    UN PARTNERSHIP TO PROMOTE THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES: According to the World Report on Disability, about 15 percent of the world’s population live with some form of disability. The report found disability to disproportionately affect vulnerable populations, with a higher prevalence shown in lower income countries, people from the poorest wealth quintile, women, children and older people. Against this background, six UN entities – ILO, OHCHR, UNDESA, UNDP, UNICEF and WHO – have decided to join hands in the UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD). A Multi-Donor Trust Fund was launched to generate and manage resources in support of the work of the UNPRPD. This Fund will make funding available to countries for substantive, programmatic work on disability rights, thus contributing to fully realize and implement the vision articulated in the CRPD. Access a factsheet about the UNPRPD Fund here.

    24 JANUARY 2012 / CODE OF CONDUCT FOR LEBANON’S INTERNAL SECURITY FORCES (ISF): A newly adopted Code of Conduct for Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces (ISF) sets out professional and ethical standards of behavior to guarantee respect for human rights and protection of public freedoms in accordance with Lebanon’s Constitution and its human rights obligations. The Code, which was drafted with the technical assistance of the UN Human Rights office (OHCHR) and the support of the British Embassy in Lebanon, draws a roadmap of what is allowed and what is prohibited in line with international human rights treaties and conventions signed and ratified by Lebanon.  For more information, please click here.

    KNOWLEDGE PRODUCT / REFLECTIONS OF THE REGINAL SEMINAR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES / UNDP [contributed, with thanks, by Gerardo Berthin, UNDP Regional Center for Latin America and the Caribbean]: The Regional Seminar on Local Governments and Indigenous Peoples aimed to make better known the various initiatives in the region on issues concerning local governments and indigenous peoples. The seminar offered an opportunity to know, share and systematize lessons learned, progress made, obstacles encountered, and initiatives proposed in the region. An outcome of the seminar is a new knowledge product on Local Governance and Indigenous Peoples. The aim of this product is to systematize and analyze experiences in local governance and indigenous people in seven countries in the region (Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, México, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru) taking into account their own political contexts, actors and challenges. Access the publication in English here and in Spanish here.

    NEWSLETTER / OHCHR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND MINORITIES SECTION (IPMS): Issue 6 (August – December 2011) of the IPMS Newsletter reports on, among other topics, the first interactive dialogue between the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) with the Human Rights Council (HRC) at its 18th session in September 2011; the approval of six country projects and one regional programme by the UN Indigenous Peoples Partnership (UNIPP) Policy Board; the launch of the report, Opening the Door to Equality: Access to Justice for Dalits in Nepal, held in Kathmandu, Nepal, on 14 December 2011; the proceedings of the 4th session of  the  Forum  on  minority  issues  focusing on the topic of “guaranteeing the rights of minority women,” which took place from 29 to 30 November 2011 in Geneva. Access the newsletter here.


    AWARDS, LEARNING AND TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES:

    CALL FOR PAPERS / HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND HUMAN RIGHTS PERSPECTIVES FOR A SPECIAL ISSUE OF THE JOURNAL OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND CAPABILITIES: A special issue of the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities on the ‘New Developmental State,’ with guest editors, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, Anne Marie Goetz and Rob Jenkins, aims to open new avenues of research and contribute fresh perspectives on contemporary development policy debates.  The special issue will facilitate dialogue between scholars working in a diverse array of disciplines, including economists, political scientists, human rights theorists, sociologists, and specialists on institutional change and international law. Interested authors should send an abstract to the thematic issue editors, at: NewDevState2012@gmail.com. The deadline for abstracts is 15 March 2012. Access more information here.

    Call For Applications / South Asia Reproductive Rights Case Development Workshop / CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: This interactive workshop will bring together a select group of lawyers and international legal and human rights experts with the goal of developing strategic litigation to address barriers to safe abortion and contraception information and services in countries in South Asia. The Center will bring together lawyers from India and Nepal with those from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to discuss and develop new litigation strategies. Participants will have an invaluable opportunity to learn about international and comparative law and jurisprudence relating to reproductive rights, to exchange strategies and lessons learned with lawyers who are undertaking similar litigation in other countries, and to discuss opportunities to litigate cases and the challenges in doing so. The deadline for applications is February 29, 2012. For further information and to access the application form, please click here.

    CALL FOR APPLICATIONS / SCHOLARSHIP / INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES, HUMAN RIGHTS, GOVERNANCE AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION COURSE / INDIGENOUS INTERCULTURAL UNIVERSITY [contributed, with thanks, by Jessica Jansson, UNDP New York]:  An Indigenous Intercultural University has been established, providing good-quality higher education for indigenous people, which gives equal emphasis to the teaching of indigenous knowledge. It has launched a course directed at indigenous professionals, entitled “Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights and International Cooperation” to be held from 26 April to 29 June 2012 at the University Carlos III in Madrid, Spain. The deadline for application is 10 February 2010. For more information, please click here or write to Universidad Indígena Intercultural.

    CALL FOR APPLICATIONS / THE MINORITIES FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMME (MFP) / OHHCR: Through the MFP, the OHCHR aims to give persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities an opportunity to gain knowledge of the UN system and mechanisms dealing with international human rights in general and minority rights in particular. The MFP is intended to assist organizations and communities in protecting and promoting the rights of minorities. The Senior Minorities Fellowship Position aims at giving a better understanding and appreciation of the international human rights system and mechanisms, especially those dealing with minority issues, to a selected member of a national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minority with relevant experience and education. The deadline is 20 February 2012. To access the application form and to read further details, click here. Alternately, please contact minorityfellowships@ohchr.org.

    ONLINE TRAINING / UPR INFO TUTORIALS / UPR INFO [Contributed, with thanks, by Roland Chauville, UPR-Info, Geneva]: The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique mechanism of the United Nations which started in April 2008 and consisting of the review of the human rights practices of all States in the world, once every four years. Further to this, UPR Info offers three tutorials, focused namely on: the UPR Process, States and Civil Society (stakeholders). An offline version of the three tutorials is also available. Please send an email to tutorial@upr-info.org for higher-quality versions (for training, etc.) of the videos online. To access the tutorials, please click here.

    ONLINE TRAINING / TRAINING ON MINORITY RIGHTS ADVOCACY IN ASIA / MINORITY RIGHTS GROUP: Minority Rights Group’s online training on minority rights advocacy begins 20 February 2012 and runs for 12 weeks. The course entails a commitment of three hours a week and makes available an online tutor to assist the learning process. Participants may also receive more opportunities to attend regional trainings and other follow-up activities. Applicants must already be working on human rights in one of the following countries: Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, or Vietnam.  Potential participants who have been working or volunteering for an organization working on minority rights for at least two years are particularly encouraged to apply. For more information and to access the application form, please click here. Completed applications can be submitted to gapasia@mrgmail.org by Sunday, February 12, 2012.

    ONLINE TRAINING / JUSTICE IN MATTERS INVOLVING CHILD VICTIMS AND WITNESSES OF CRIME / UNICEF AND UNODC [contributed, with thanks, by Claudia Baroni, UNODC Vienna]: UNICEF, UNODC and the International Bureau for Children’s Rights (IBCR), with the support of the Government of Canada, have launched an on-line training portal for professionals on justice in matters involving child victims and witnesses of crime. The training portal, the first of its kind, will target geographically diverse criminal justice professionals including law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, social workers, health sector workers, lawyers, and informal justice providers. It offers 12 general modules, one specific for each profession. The training imparts knowledge and understanding of relevant standards, best practices and approaches in dealing with child victims and witnesses of crime. The content of the on-line training courses is based on already existing United Nations guidelines on justice in matters involving child victims and witnesses of crime. The guidelines, issued jointly by UNODC and UNICEF, were adopted by Member States to help countries adapt their criminal justice procedures and institutions to treat such children with respect and understanding of their particular needs and rights. For further enquiries on the on-line training portal, please contact Anna Giudice-Saget or Alexandra Martins.

     

    RESOURCES

    WEBSITES, GUIDES AND TOOLS:

    LAUNCH OF THE UPGRADED UNIVERSAL HUMAN RIGHTS INDEX DATABASE / OHCHR [Contributed, with thanks, by Catherine de Preux de Baets, OHCHR Geneva]: The upgraded Universal Human Rights Index database has been launched. This is the only electronic tool that allows for the retrieval of both individual recommendations and full documents from the treaty bodies, the special procedures and the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process for all States. It thus facilitates easy access to information and gives the possibility to align recommendations coming from the three pillars of the UN human rights system and to cluster them by thematic issues and groups of persons affected. This year’s upgrade and redesign was done as a response to the adoption by OHCHR of a comprehensive/holistic approach to promoting implementation and follow-up to all UN human rights mechanisms recommendations. With the redesign, the database is more user-friendly, more accessible and boasts several new functionalities. Access the UHRI database here.

    ESSAY CONTEST / KOREA HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION: Korea Human Rights Foundation has launched an academic essay contest as part of the program of the 2012 World Human Rights Cities Forum (WHRCF) to be held in Gwangju, South Korea from May 16th to 18th, 2012. Interested students, undergraduate and graduate, and youth under the age of 35 interested in the topic of human rights city are encouraged to apply. The Human Rights City Essay Contest was launched in order to promote the idea of a human rights city as a means to localize human rights in the context of ‘glocalization.’ Its primary goal is to promote youth participation in the building of a human rights city through the articulation of their visions, ideas and experiences. The deadline for registration to participate is 29 February and actual deadline for essay submissions is 15 March 2012. Please click here for more information or contact Ms. Soo Yon Suh.

    REPORTS, ARTICLES AND BOOKS:

    ARTICLE / WHY IS A HUMAN RIGHTS APPROACH NEEDED IN FINANCIAL REGULATION: WHY IS A HUMAN RIGHTS APPROACH NEEDED IN FINANCIAL REGULATION? / CENTER OF CONCERN [contributed, with thanks, by Julia Kercher, UNDP New York]: In the first paper in a series of briefs prepared by the initiative “A bottom up approach to righting financial regulation,” that aim to examine the links between financial regulation and human rights, the Center of Concern joins a consortium of human rights advocacy organizations in arguing that a human rights approach is needed in financial regulatory matters. The financial collapse and its aftermath represented a moment of awakening about the interdependence of financial regulatory choices and a broad set of public interests. In a resolution issued in 2009, the Human Rights Council recognized the “negative impact of the global economic and financial crises on economic and social development and on the full enjoyment of all human rights in all countries.” But, how much do human rights organizations participate in the processes of financial regulation and do they have a contribution to make? The piece argues that “[n]ow more than ever there is a need to counter-balance the often myopic views of financial experts with a broad array of social groups (consumer, labor, women, environment, indigenous people, and other “human rights-holders”) in the design of financial policy.” Access the article here.

    ARTICLE / HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE UN: PROGRESS AND CHALLENGES / UN CHRONICLE [contributed, with thanks, by Agustela Nini, UNDP New York]: Enduring structural improvements in human rights are very difficult to achieve. Global indices suggest that the world is little different today from a decade ago. This apparent intractability seems to confirm mounting evidence that foreign assistance for governance and human rights are unlikely to deliver sustainable national improvements without genuine local political leadership. Nevertheless, there has been some progress. During Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s first term, on average fewer people were arbitrarily killed and tortured by their own Government, armed conflicts were less likely to reignite, and when violence against civilians did erupt, these episodes tended to be shorter and less bloody. There has also been institutional progress, from the Secretary-General’s commitment to advancing the responsibility to protect (R2P) to the creation of UN Women. For more information on these recent hard-fought achievements, please refer to this article.

    ARTICLE AND INTERVIEW / AFRICA: ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE AS A HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE: Twenty years after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the promise of sustainable development will be revisited again at the 2012 Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development next June. Joining heads of state and other stakeholders at the conference aimed at securing a renewed political commitment for sustainable development will be Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and president of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice. Among the organizations with which she works closely is Femmes Africa Solidarité, coordinator of the Gender Is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC), a network of over 40 women’s organizations. Robinson was in Washington D.C recently to discuss issues of climate change, population and sustainability at a forum hosted by the Aspen Institute. She spoke with AllAfrica’s Bunmi Oloruntoba about climate change, how it affects the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people – especially women, in countries all over Africa – and steps being taken to make climate change a human rights issue. Access the article and interview here.

    ARTICLE / PROTOCOL TO THE AFRICAN CHARTER ON THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN: IMPLICATIONS FOR ACCESS TO ABORTION AT THE REGIONAL LEVEL / International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 110: Article 14(2)(c) of the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women enjoins States Parties to take appropriate measures “to protect the reproductive rights of women by authorising medical abortion in cases of sexual assault, rape, incest, and where continued pregnancy endangers the mental and physical health of the mother or the life of the mother or the foetus.” This paper considers the implications of Article 14 for access to safe, legal abortion. It is submitted that Article 14 has the potential to impact positively on regional abortion law, policy and practice. The article is now available on the Social Sciences Research Network. Access it here.

    BOOK / HEALTH JUSTICE: AN ARGUMENT FROM THE CAPABILITIES APPROACH: In Health Justice, Sridhar Venkatapuram tackles the problem of identifying what claims individuals have in regard to their health in modern societies and the globalized world. Recognizing the social bases of health and longevity, Venkatapuram extends the ‘Capabilities Approach’ of Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum into the domain of health and health sciences. In so doing, he formulates an inter-disciplinary argument that draws on the natural and social sciences as well as debates around social justice to argue for every human being’s moral entitlement to a capability to be healthy. Health Justice aims to provide a concrete ethical grounding for the human right to health, while advancing the field of health policy and placing health at the centre of social justice theory. Click here for more information.

    BOOK / ECONOMIC POLICY AND HUMAN RIGHTS: HOLDING GOVERNMENTS TO ACCOUNT / RADHIKA BALAKRISHNAN AND DIANE ELSON [contributed, with thanks, by Julia Kercher, UNDP New York]: Economic Policy and Human Rights presents a powerful critique of three decades of neoliberal economic policies, assessed from the perspective of human rights norms. In doing so, it brings together two areas of thought and action that have hitherto been separate: progressive economics concerned with promoting economic justice and human development; and human rights analysis and advocacy. Focussing on in-depth comparative case studies of the USA and Mexico and looking at issues such as public expenditure, taxation and international trade, the book shows that heterodox economic analysis benefits greatly from a deeper understanding of a human rights framework\k. Access the book here.

    BOOK / ERADICATING EXTREME POVERTY: DEMOCRACY, GLOBALISATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS / XAVIER GODINOT [contributed, with thanks, by Matt Davies, International Movement ATD Fourth World]: After decades of failed development policies, this book outlines a new approach to poverty reduction. Rejecting traditional ’top-down’ approaches, Xavier Godinot and his colleagues start from the experiences, capabilities and strategies of the poor themselves. They argue that the first step is a close connection with poor communities followed by a commitment to take action alongside them. Life-stories from Burkina Faso, France, Peru and the Philippines illustrate that the poor must be involved in their own liberation. Access the book here.

    REPORT / FOR THE RESPECT OF THE RIGHTS OF ALL MIGRANT WORKERS / CETIM [contributed, with thanks, by Julia Kercher, UNDP New York]: Between 2000 and 2010 the number of migrants doubled, with an excess of 200 million people on the move across the world. Women constitute nearly half of all migrants and contrary to common perception, the largest international migration occurs between countries in the global South.
Inevitably, this enormous movement of people has significant economic, political, social and cultural consequences, as much in the host country as in the countries from which migrants are leaving. This report assesses the broad opportunities and consequences of large-scale immigration, including human rights violations encountered my migrants during the process of migration. Access the report here.

    REPORT / Land, livelihoods and identities: Inter-community conflicts in East Africa / MINORITY RIGHTS GROUP INTERNATIONAL: In resource-scarce East Africa, minority groups face major challenges over the control of and access to land and natural resources. Minorities find themselves competing with other communities, with the state, and with corporate interests for control of resources upon which they depend for their livelihood, culture and future development. This report describes the situation of selected minorities and their neighbouring groups in Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan’s Jonglei State. As globalization, population explosion, and climate change converge to increase the demand for land and other resources, these communities face extreme livelihood challenges, vulnerability to conflict, and ongoing discrimination. This report documents case studies from a diverse array of communities dealing with different multiple types of conflict, from mineral extraction to cattle-rustling, to drought, to inter ethnic violence to the creation of national parks for tourism. It also outlines MRG’s key recommendations on this issue. Access the report here.

    SUPPLEMENT / health policy and planning – VOL 26, SUPPLEMENT 2 / User fee removal in the health sector in low-income countries: lessons from recent national initiatives: Edited by Bruno Meessen, Lucy Gilson and Abdelmajid Tibouti, this supplement, sponsored by UNICEF, focuses on the challenges related to the design and implementation of user fee removal policies in low-income countries. User fees have triggered impassioned discussions in international health over the last two decades. Promoted by a number of international organizations since the late 1980s as a strategy to finance struggling public health facilities in many low-income countries, recent years have seen growing criticism of the impact of fees on access to health services, particularly for the poorest groups. This supplement includes contributions from different regions and fields of expertise, including from various ‘corners’ of the user fee debate. Access the full supplement here.