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Witness Protection Programs in Selected Countries

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Witness Protection Programs in Selected Countries (PDF)
Source: Public Safety Canada

Effective witness protection is a cornerstone of the criminal justice system in the fight against organized crime. Traditional witness protection focuses on the safety of the witness. Experience shows, however, that individuals are not willing unless they have confidence that the State will protect their rights and safety as well as those of their immediate family.

Witness protection programs serve many purposes. They provide opportunities for victims and witnesses to participate in a criminal process with the expectation that they and their families will not be put in danger. They offer the hope of accountability and give threatened witnesses a way to seek shelter from the scene of victimization. Witness protection provides a space in which individual traumas may be treated and enables a victim/witness to regain more control over their life. It can also lead to a serious disruption of the lifestyle of the witness and any persons accompanying them into the program. It may even have implications for third parties. For these reasons, witness protection programs must have a good foundation in legislation or policy.

This paper reviews the practices and outcomes of witness protection programs using open source literature on the legislation and practices followed in Australia, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) and compares them with both federal and provincial programs in Canada.

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UK — Gestation-specific Infant Mortality, 2012

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Gestation-specific Infant Mortality, 2012
Source: Office for National Statistics

Key Findings

  • Babies born in 2012 had an infant mortality rate of 3.9 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to 4.4 deaths per 1,000 live births for babies born in 2008.
  • For babies born at term (between 37 and 41 weeks gestation), the infant mortality rate was 1.4 deaths per 1,000 live births.
  • The infant mortality rate for babies born pre-term (between 24 and 36 weeks) in 2012 was 23.6 deaths per 1,000 live births. This was almost 16% lower than the rate for pre-term babies born in 2008 (27.6 deaths per 1,000 live births).
  • The infant mortality rate for babies born to mothers aged 40 years and over was 4.8 deaths per 1,000 live births.
  • For babies born to mothers aged less than 20 years, the infant mortality rate was 5.7 deaths per 1,000 live births.
  • The infant mortality rate for babies born pre-term was higher for single births than for multiple births (24.8 and 19.9 deaths per 1,000 live births respectively).\
  • Infant mortality rates by ethnic group were highest for babies in the Bangladeshi and Black Caribbean groups (6.9 deaths per 1,000 live births).

Employment: report shows worker mobility key to tackle EU demographic and skills challenges

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Employment: report shows worker mobility key to tackle EU demographic and skills challenges
Source: European Commission/OECD

To address the effects of population ageing, the EU will need to close the gender gap and increase the participation of young and older workers in the labour market, but mobility and migration also have a key role to play. This is the main finding of the joint Commission-OECD report on Matching Economic Migration with Labour Market Needs published today.

Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion László Andor commented “This joint report with the OECD offers valuable guidance on the serious demographic challenges ahead. Ensuring fair labour mobility within the EU, improving training to close skills gaps, ensuring decent working conditions to workers and better integration of non-EU workers can be part of the solution to population ageing and future skill shortages in the European labour market”.

UK — Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014

October 16, 2014 Comments off

Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014
Source: Ofcom

This report examines children’s media literacy. It provides detailed evidence on media use, attitudes and understanding among children and young people aged 5-15, as well as detailed information about the media access and use of young children aged 3-4.

The report also includes findings relating to parents’ views about their children’s media use, and the ways that parents seek – or decide not – to monitor or limit use of different types of media.

The report is a reference for industry, stakeholders and consumers. It also provides context to the work Ofcom undertakes in furthering the interests of consumers and citizens in the markets we regulate.

ECB report details structural changes in the euro area banking sector

October 16, 2014 Comments off

ECB report details structural changes in the euro area banking sector
Source: European Central Bank

The European Central Bank has today published the Banking Structures Report 2014, which reviews the main structural developments in the euro area banking sector to the end of 2013. The report makes use of a number of publicly available data sources, notably aggregate annual banking sector statistics which are published by the ECB.

The report shows that the on-going consolidation of the euro area banking system continued in 2013. The rationalisation process suggests that overall efficiency of the system continues to be enhanced. The total number of credit institutions decreased further to 5,948 in 2013, down from 6,100 in 2012 and 6,690 in 2008.

Total assets of the euro area banking sector declined to €26.8 trillion, down from €29.6 trillion in 2012 and from €33.5 trillion in 2008, largely driven by developments regarding large banks, with the reduction in derivative positions accounting for around half the total balance sheet shrinkage. This is largely reflective of the on-going balance sheet repair and related deleveraging of non-core assets. The banking sectors of those euro area countries most strongly affected by the financial crisis generally also experienced the most pronounced structural changes.

+ Full Report (PDF)

UK — Social Investment by Charities: The Law Commission’s Recommendations

October 15, 2014 Comments off

Social Investment by Charities: The Law Commission’s Recommendations (PDF)
Source: Law Commission

We are pleased to announce the publication of our recommendations on social investment by charities as part of our ongoing project on selected issues in charity law.

Social investment provides financial returns while at the same time generating social benefits. It is an important and developing area for charities that helps them meet their charitable objectives by combining investment and spending.

We have been told that some charity trustees lack the confidence to make social investments because they are unsure whether their legal powers and duties permit them to do so. To clarify and simplify the law, we are recommending that charity trustees be given a specific statutory power to make social investments.

Law Commissioner Professor Elizabeth Cooke said: “Social investment represents a significant opportunity for charities, but the existing law is unclear. Our recommended reforms will clarify the law for trustees as to their powers and duties. They will make social investment more straightforward in law and give trustees the confidence to make the best of the opportunities it offers.”

Erasmus Impact Study confirms EU student exchange scheme boosts employability and job mobility

October 15, 2014 Comments off

Erasmus Impact Study confirms EU student exchange scheme boosts employability and job mobility
Source: European Commission

Young people who study or train abroad not only gain knowledge in specific disciplines, but also strengthen key transversal skills which are highly valued by employers. A new study on the impact of the European Union’s Erasmus student exchange programme shows that graduates with international experience fare much better on the job market. They are half as likely to experience long-term unemployment compared with those who have not studied or trained abroad and, five years after graduation, their unemployment rate is 23% lower. The study, compiled by independent experts, is the largest of its kind and received feedback from nearly 80 000 respondents including students and businesses.

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