Tribute to the victims of
terrorist attacks worldwide
Comments: 7385
Mariela Baeva
Mariela Baeva
Member of the European Parliament for Bulgaria
2007 - 2009
(first direct EP elections in Bulgaria);

LEED to OECD partner (Nanotech)

News of the Day

Barcelona attack: 13 confirmed dead after van hits Las Ramblas crowds – latest updates

credit: The Guardian

Alarm: “By 2030, there will be 800 million children – half the children in the world – who will not finish school with any qualifications whatsoever. That is indeed a crisis that has got to be dealt with.” – Gordon Brown, former UK PM

Alert: In Turkey, Syrian child “has to work to survive.” Thousands of youths toil in factories, not in school, to provide for families – International New York Times. Positive: On 19.01.17, big headline comes from TurkeyMore than half of Syrian refugee children now in schools in Turkey 


Charter 4 Mobile

Charter 4 mobile

Anyone interested in fundamental rights in the European Union (EU) can now have easy access to the text of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in all official languages on their mobile device: http://fra.europa.eu/en/charter4mobile



info heading

info content

Building the Future: Children and Sustainable Development Goals in Rich Countries – Innocenti Report*

Building the Future: Children and Sustainable Development Goals in Rich Countries is the latest in the Innocenti Report Card series, which analyses inequality in 41 high-income countries. It looks at how far children are falling behind in the dimensions of income, education, health and life satisfaction. Continue reading

Excerpts from PEN International Women Writers Committee Statement on Turkey

February, 2017

Since July 15, 2016, when there was an attempted coup d’état in Turkey, many aspects of freedom of expression have been limited, cut off or abolished.

News agencies, TV stations, radio stations, newspapers, magazines and publishers have been shut down. 4,464 academics have lost their jobs.

Many women journalists and academics are among those who have lost their jobs, been detained, called to court, sentenced, or fined. This includes some very high-profile women writers such as Asli Erdogan Displaying asli erdogan.jpg(no relation to the president), who spent 132 days in jail in Istanbul for being listed as a consultant to a pro-Kurdish newspaper.

Most of the journalists, academics and writers targeted have nothing to do with the coup attempt. The government doesn’t even allege that they do. They wrote something pro-Kurdish, criticized the government or just signed a declaration stating that they want peace.

Another woman writer, the sociologist Pinar Selek Displaying pinar selek.jpg, who has been acquitted by the courts many times, recently has had the government’s case against her renewed. The government continues to ask for a life sentence, claiming that she set a bomb in a market, though all expert sources say the explosion was caused by a gas leak. However, Pinar Selek is a supporter of Kurdish people.

Kurdish writers and those who work in media in the Kurdish area are in even worse shape. All schools teaching the Kurdish language have been closed. Christian churches, including Surp Giragos, the newly-restored Armenian church in Diyarbakir, have been confiscated by the government in the wave of growing Islamism. Government forces raided the offices of Kurdish PEN, destroying their equipment and files.

Many Kurdish writers have been detained. Mujgan Ekîn Displaying mujgan ekin.jpg, a journalist, editor and presenter for GUN TV in Diyarbakir, was taken away in October 2016. Though witnesses saw her abducted by the police, the government consistently denied all knowledge of her whereabouts. She was found two months later . She had been tortured and taken to Jerablus, an area of Syria under Turkish control.

PEN International, PEN Turkey and Kurdish PEN have all been working constantly to try to preserve or restore freedom of expression. This month a large international mission of PEN delegates went to Turkey to try to help. However the situation continues to worsen.

The PEN International Women Writers Committee realizes that there are freedom of expression and human rights crises going on in many other places, such as the alarming situations presently unfolding in the United States and in the Philippines. They deserve attention too. At this moment our interest is to support our Kurdish and Turkish colleagues, women writers who are trying to do their work in a dangerous and extremely challenging situation. We want to make sure that PIWWC members and supporters know about them.

 

OECD countries need to address the migration backlash*

The public is losing faith in the capacity of governments to manage migration. Opinion polls in a wide range of countries suggest that the share of the public holding extreme anti-immigration views has grown in recent years and that these extreme views are more frequently heard in public debates. In part, this is due to the perception that no end is in sight for large migration inflows and that countries have lost control over them. People are concerned about the short-term impact of large inflows of migrants, and refugees in particular, and many feel that migration is threatening their economic, social as well as personal security. Common concerns are that migration is unmanaged and borders are not secured; immigrants stretch local services, such as social housing, health and education, to the detriment of local populations; immigration benefits the rich, with the poor finding themselves competing with immigrants for jobs, and wages for low-skilled work depressed; and many migrants do not want to integrate and may even oppose the values of host societies. Continue reading

To have and have more: Wealth management and the growth of global inequality*

When it comes to global wealth inequality, we know how bad it’s getting, but what do we know about who is responsible? When Oxfam reports that 1% of the world population owns more than the other 99% put together, the question arises: who or what is making the rich so much richer, and the poor so much poorer?

It turns out we know surprisingly little about the key actors behind this momentous change. This creates a problem for policy makers who want to stop or reverse the growth of wealth inequality. The trend cannot be arrested without understanding its sources.

The research I’ve conducted over the past eight years suggests that some of the most important players have been overlooked: wealth managers. They are an elite group of lawyers, accountants, bankers and others who protect the fortunes of their high-net-worth clients from tax authorities and creditors, among others. To achieve these ends, wealth managers design complex, often multi-national structures composed of trusts, foundations and offshore corporations—the building blocks of tax avoidance, and law avoidance more generally. There are at least 20 000 wealth managers spread across 95 countries, and their control of billions in private capital flows plays a major role in the extreme concentration of wealth worldwide.

Making the rich richer  Continue reading

Update of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The human rights instrument of international dimension is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Human dignity lies in the fundament. The massive abuses of human rights during World War II provoked the drafting of the Declaration in 1948.

Several decades after, in October 2013, a Global Citizenship Commission (GCC) was convened to assess the document and provide revisions and recommendations to governments and the international community.

As a former member of the European Parliament, I could take part in an event shedding light on the general idea of the Commission at Bonn University in May 2014. After the meeting, I submitted proposals related to different aspects of the Declaration, among others: the right against poverty, and the grave violations of children’s rights affected by armed conflict; children facing disability in that respect; schools at risk of armed conflict when used as military facilities, or when being attacked. All those issues are not explicitly stipulated in the document. Remark: within some days, it will be a second year of the mass abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls and the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, and – yet – a replacement school has not been built. Education in emergencies is demanding of embracing around 80 million affected children. The big news is that the EU will provide aid to help educate more than 2.3 million children in 42 countries living in emergencies.

On April 18, 2016, the GCC report will be presented in New York, focusing on the update of the Declaration as a living document in a changing world. Continue reading

OECD and UNHCR call for scaling up integration policies in favour of refugees*

In 2015, more than 1 million people crossed the Mediterranean Sea to look for international protection in Europe, and about 1.5 million claimed asylum in OECD countries. This is an all-time record and almost twice the number recorded the year before. Asylum seekers represent about 0.1% of the total OECD population, and less than 0.3% of the population in Europe.

OECD and UNHCR have called on governments to scale up their efforts to help refugees integrate and contribute to the societies and economies of Europe, during a joint high-level Conference on the integration of beneficiaries of international protection held in Paris on 28 January 2016.

Both organisations stressed the moral imperative and the economic incentive to help the millions of refugees living in OECD countries to develop the skills they need to work productively and safely. Continue reading

Empower a Girl. Change the World.

Dear Colleagues,

Throughout the world, adolescent girls are at risk of disappearing from the international development agenda and public awareness.

Despite progress in many arenas, adolescent girls risk disappearing from lack of education. They are disappearing because of preventable diseases. They are disappearing because of child marriage. They are disappearing from lack of investment in policies, interventions and services tailored to their specific needs and concerns.

At the same time there are nearly 600 million girls aged 10 to 19 in the world today, each with limitless individual potential. Continue reading

Now more than ever, migration policy needs to be comprehensive and co-ordinated*

OECD countries are facing an unprecedented refugee crisis. In 2014, more than 800 000 asylum applications were recorded, an historical high, but the figure for 2015 is expected to be even higher.

Even if humanitarian migration is an issue of increasing concern in several parts of the world, notably in Asia, most asylum applications were made in Europe (more than 600 000 in 2014). This is clearly an emergency situation that requires a co-ordinated response at both European and global levels.

In Europe, this humanitarian crisis is taking place in the broader context of increasing challenges associated with irregular migration. The absence of controls at Libyan borders has created a unique situation and the number of irregular entries, as recorded by the European agency Frontex, is on a constant rise. In the first six months of 2015, about 137 000 people landed in Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain, corresponding to a staggering 83% increase on the 75 000 recorded for the same period of 2014. The fact that these landings include not only potential refugees but also migrants who are not always in clear need of protection adds to the pressure. Continue reading

Migration Challenge

©Rodi Said/REUTERS

“European leaders must stand before history in dealing with this humanitarian tragedy. They have the experience and the capacity to respond to this emergency and chart the path for a long-term solution,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría in a statement on a French-German refugee initiative issued Friday 4 September.

Refugees form a specific type of migration, and the current wave comes at a time when public attention has been focused on migration more broadly, including economic migration.

In general, heated debates about migration are often tainted by clichés: that immigrants steal jobs or free ride on social benefits, for instance, or that they are a cost to society. As Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Migration Peter Sutherland points out, people in most developed countries believe that there are three times as many immigrants residing in their country as there really are.

Yet, immigrants bring clear benefits to destination countries, OECD research finds. “In terms of employment, countries that are home to larger proportions of immigrants tend to have better outcomes”, OECD expert Thomas Liebig writes, arguing that immigrants represent a net benefit to their country of destination. Migrants pay taxes, invest and bring innovation, while their savings lodged in host countries total nearly €400 billion today.

The picture is not all rosy, however, particularly for the children of immigrants who suffer discrimination and poor job prospects. Some do well, such as a Syrian refugee who made headlines in France by scoring highly in the French Baccalaureate after just three years in the country. But  more widely in EU countries, one in five children of immigrants feels discriminated against, and even when they find a job, they are often more overqualified than their native peers, according to Indicators of Immigrant Integration 2015: Settling In.

 

Are migrants settling in?*

Always a hot topic, integration of immigrants is high on the policy agenda in many countries and one of the main issues of concern for public opinion. Yet, the discussion is shaped by plenty of misunderstandings and misrepresentations – a regular feature of the migration debate. Against such a backdrop, there’s never been a greater need to get to the facts – to inform public debate and to guide sensible policymaking.

A step forward in helping that to happen comes in a new report from the OECD and the European Union, Indicators of Immigrant Integration 2015: Settling In. The report offers the first broad set of international comparisons of how well migrants and their children are “settling in” across all EU and OECD countries – a key issue, and not just for immigrants. When immigrants integrate successfully, it greatly increases their potential to contribute to the economy and society of their adopted homes. And their integration is a precondition for the acceptance of further immigration by the host country society.

So what do the numbers show? Continue reading

Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved.