01. Global Campus Policy Briefs

The Global Campus Policy Observatory is a 'virtual hub' which comprehends a team of seven researches from the regional programmes to produce, publish and publicly present seven different policy analyses in form of policy briefs, with the aim of making of each regional programme a solid focal point for policy expert advisory in human rights issues.

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 34
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    Living with Fear and Fragility in Times of Pandemic: Contested Lives of Migrant Workers and Challenges of National and Regional Business and Human Rights Frameworks for Labour Migration in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
    (Global Campus of Human Rights, 2022) Yutthaworakool, Saittawut
    The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a hub of migrant workers from within the region and outside. Specifically, migrant workers have become strong workforces in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand and contributed to significant national revenues. However, the spread of COVID-19 has revealed that migrant workers in these countries are left unattended. In Thailand, migrant workers faced temporary unemployment or delayed salary payments due to the lockdown, while undocumented workers lost their jobs during the pandemic’s peak. In addition, the government ordered the lockdown of construction sites with shortages of food and medicine. Meanwhile, in Malaysia and Singapore, the housing conditions were cramped, overcrowded and unsanitary. More than 20 men were forced to live in one non-air-conditional bedroom. In some dormitories, those who tested positive and negative still shared facilities. In Singapore, 60% of the total COVID-19 cases were low-skilled migrant workers. Many lived in unhygienic dormitories they identified as a ‘living prison’. According to the United Nations Office of High Commissioners for Human Rights, none of these countries have ratified the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families Moreover, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore have shown little interest in ratifying International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions relating to migrant workers, particularly ILO Conventions 97 and 143. Among the three countries, Thailand has led over the former two countries since it became the first in Asia to adopt the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP) in 2019. Malaysia is looking forward to implementing its first NAP in 2023. Only in Singapore, NAP has not been properly discussed. Furthermore, the ASEAN regional infrastructure has failed to protect migrant workers from human rights violations. This policy paper advocates that willingness from governments and business corporations is key to addressing the rights of migrant workers through legislative and administrative practices at the state level. At the same time, bilateral and multilateral agreements between both sending and receiving countries should be strengthened through the existing ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. More importantly, it is advised that these countries should take the COVID-19 pandemic as their lesson learned throughout multidisciplinary approaches to sustainable solutions.
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    Anti-Corruption to Fight Human Trafficking Labour Exploitation in the Spanish Agricultural Sector
    (Global Campus of Human Rights, 2022) Serrano Puig, Clàudia
    While human trafficking for labour exploitation represents one of the major challenges currently faced by Europe, it appears that corruption issues are still the central cause at the origins of this violation of human rights. Spain represents a concrete example of this scheme: considering its complex legal framework in the matter and the levels of perceived corruption, labour exploitation in the country, and particularly in the agricultural sector, demonstrates the interconnection between labour exploitation, human trafficking and corruption. It is true that, because of the ‘transnational culture of corruption’ (IOM 2017: 1), as well as of the complexity of the systems of global supply chain, impunity prevails and finding legal or political tools to fight it remains particularly complex. Yet, there is an ongoing interest and discussion from businesses and civil society related to mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence (especially with the recent proposal of the European Union Commission for adopting a Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence). Increased attention to corporate’s responsibility in this crime, but also to corruption issues as such, was given. However, more efforts need to be done as responsibilities remain solely on states, business sectors also must be held to account. And more importantly, the corruption prism must be taken into account in the fight against human trafficking for labour exploitation. By analysing the case of Spain, this paper aims at stressing the interrelatedness between human trafficking and corruption, in revealing the extent to which adopting an anti-corruption perspective by states and private companies can be a critical factor to prevent and fight labour exploitation. This research finally proposes recommendations to improve the overall domestic system and make the fight into human trafficking more efficient.
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    Economic Growth in Developing Countries and its Impact on Human Rights of Indigenous Communities
    (Global Campus of Human Rights, 2022) Gagliardone, Natalia
    Latin American economies are almost exclusively based on extractivism of natural resources. The overexploitation of these resources and the lack of enforcement of the law by the state may compromise vulnerable groups of people, especially indigenous communities. This situation affects the tenure of their lands and territories, the continuity of their cultural heritage and, very often, their very own survival. Paraguay, whose economy is mainly based on agriculture and livestock, was recently sanctioned by the United Nations Human Rights Committee stating that it violated the rights of an indigenous community to their lands and their concept of domicile, due to the lack of enforcement of the law regarding activities performed by agricultural companies. This situation is just one of many in which human rights of indigenous communities are being infringed by companies and the state in pursuit of economic growth, which is why it is a necessity to enforce and apply human rights principles within the framework of a sustainable development. The purpose of this paper is to be able to demonstrate that companies and state bodies if not willing to abide, comply and enforce human rights regulations are able to cause serious human rights violations, affecting indigenous communities to the extent of risking their very existence. Indigenous people’s mere existence is closely linked to the conservation and protection of the environment; therefore protection of both is not only needed but a matter of extreme and urgent necessity.
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    Child Labour among Refugee Youth in Lebanon: A Way Forward
    (Global Campus of Human Rights, 2022) Diab, Jasmin Lilian
    Lebanon ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on 14 May 1991. Since this date, the country has shown its commitment towards bettering the situation of children within its territory, as well as the protection of their health and wellbeing. While this commitment is enshrined in a number of governmental initiatives, socio-economic disparities are increasingly evident amid the country’s ongoing political deadlock, escalating economic crisis and following the impacts of both COVID-19 and the 2020 Beirut blast. The unemployment rate in Lebanon reached 6.7% by the end of 2021 and is projected to double according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts’ expectations. Drivers of child labour at the national level are intersectional, complex and specific to the social, cultural, political and economic contexts in which the children in question reside. For refugees and host communities alike, lack of law enforcement, poverty and food insecurity remain consistent themes. Despite the fact that the percentages of children engaged in child labour did witness sporadic declines due to general nationwide quarantine/lockdown realities, refugee families living on the outskirts of poverty remain at risk of falling even further below the poverty line in the long-term. Most likely, this reality will lead to an increase in child labour (including the ‘worst forms’ of child labour) in the medium- to-long term.
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    A Step Closer or a Step Further from Corporate Social Responsibility: Building Hydropower Plants in Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina
    (Global Campus of Human Rights, 2022) Bellaadem, Imane
    The policy paper examines how can corporate social responsibility be applied within the landscape of Western Balkans, having a focus on Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). This paper analyses the environmental aspect of corporate social responsibility in these two respective countries, more specifically, it will evaluate existing regulations and practices in building hydropower plants and small hydropower plants in local communities. It will tackle the effects of developing hydropower plants on the right to life, right to clean and healthy environment, water rights and what role can companies play in respecting these rights. The sustainable development perspective will also be included in the policy analyses. It will particularly address disputed cases of building and developing hydropower plants in Albania and BiH and provide an overview of protective mechanisms in similar cases. The paper will end with policy recommendations towards both the states and companies.