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From Refugee to Migrant? Labor Mobility’s Protection Potential

May 21, 2015 Comments off

From Refugee to Migrant? Labor Mobility’s Protection Potential
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Refugee protection—both asylum in the country of first refuge and resettlement to a third country—is a humanitarian endeavor, distinct from economic or labor migration. As victims of persecution, under international law refugees are entitled to specific protections, above all from forcible return, and the humanitarian nature of refugee protection is fundamental. However, what is less clear is the degree to which the right to move freely both within and beyond a country of first asylum can or should be encompassed within the international community’s understanding of what refugee protection involves.

Over the years, there has been growing international recognition that continued movement and migration often play an important role in shaping refugees’ lives after their initial flight, even without the formal legal channels to do so. The economic restrictions placed on refugees in many countries—including prohibitions on the right to work and limitations on movement away from camps—lead many individuals to pursue irregular secondary migration after being granted refugee status, in search of economic opportunity and sometimes even basic physical security. In light of this reality, pursuing labor mobility policies for refugees may make sense for both political and humanitarian reasons, offering the chance to enhance refugee protection while reducing the many costs associated with long-term refugee crises.

This report considers the extent to which labor migration is being used—or could be used in the future—to strengthen the international refugee protection regime and facilitate durable solutions for more refugees. The report also outlines two possible ways that policymakers could facilitate refugees’ freedom of movement: initiatives that take advantage of existing migration pathways and regional freedom-of-movement protocols, and development of temporary and permanent refugee-focused labor migration programs.

EU — Cybersecurity: Jihadism and the internet

May 21, 2015 Comments off

Cybersecurity: Jihadism and the internet
Source: European Parliament Think Tank

Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria in March 2011, the numbers of European citizens supporting or joining the ranks of ISIL/Da’esh have been growing steadily, and may now be as high as 4 000 individuals. At the same time, the possible avenues for radicalisation are multiplying and the risks of domestic terrorism increasing. The proliferation of global jihadi messaging online and their reliance on social networks suggest that the internet is increasingly a tool for promoting jihadist ideology, collecting funds and mobilising their ranks.

CRS — Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion (1/15/15)

May 20, 2015 Comments off

Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Cornell University ILR School)

Addressing tax evasion and avoidance through use of tax havens has been the subject of a number of proposals in Congress and by the President. Actions by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the G-20 industrialized nations also have addressed this issue. In the 111th Congress, the HIRE Act (P.L. 111-147) included several anti-evasion provisions, and P.L. 111-226 included foreign tax credit provisions directed at perceived abuses by U.S. multinationals. Numerous legislative proposals to address both individual tax evasion and corporate tax avoidance have been advanced.

Multinational firms can artificially shift profits from high-tax to low-tax jurisdictions using a variety of techniques, such as shifting debt to high-tax jurisdictions. Because tax on the income of foreign subsidiaries (except for certain passive income) is deferred until income is repatriated (paid to the U.S. parent as a dividend), this income can avoid current U.S. taxes, perhaps indefinitely.

EU — New forms of employment

May 20, 2015 Comments off

New forms of employment
Source: Eurofound

Across Europe, new forms of employment are emerging that are different from traditional standard or non-standard employment in a number of ways. Some transform the relationship between employer and employee, some change work organisation and work patterns, and some do both. This report identifies nine forms of employment that are new or have become increasingly important in Europe since the year 2000. While there is wide diversity in terms of their characteristics and employment relationship, all the forms aim to increase flexibility for employers and/or employees. Although some have the potential to benefit employers and employees equally, in a few cases concerns have been raised about their impact on working conditions and the labour market. The report concludes with recommendations about the need to raise awareness of the potential problems and establish safety nets for workers. An executive summary and case studies are also available.

Country Analysis Brief: China

May 19, 2015 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: China
Source: Energy Information Administration

China is the world’s most populous country with a fast-growing economy that has led it to be the largest energy consumer and producer in the world. Rapidly increasing energy demand, especially for petroleum and other liquids, has made China influential in world energy markets.

Legal Status at the Federal Level of Assisted Human Reproduction in Canada

May 19, 2015 Comments off

Legal Status at the Federal Level of Assisted Human Reproduction in Canada
Source: Library of Parliament

The world’s first “test-tube baby,” the result of fertilizing a human ovum in vitro and transferring the resulting embryo to a woman’s uterus, was born in England in 1978. This achievement followed decades of clinical and laboratory research. It also catalyzed interest in a new area of medical ethics as multiple technological advances, along with their implications for genetics, posed new ethical questions and responsibilities.

This paper provides an overview of the many steps that the Canadian federal government has taken to establish a legislative and regulatory framework for reproductive technologies and related research. This background includes a description of the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies, early attempts at legislation and a discussion of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act, in force since 2004, including its list of prohibited activities. The constitutional challenge to the legislation that was brought by the Attorney General of Quebec and ultimately heard by the Supreme Court of Canada is reviewed. Finally, the federal government’s response to the Supreme Court decision in the form of amendments to the Act is summarized. This paper does not examine how activities related to assisted human reproduction may be regulated by the provinces.

Treatment of Foreign Fighters in Selected Jurisdictions

May 19, 2015 Comments off

Treatment of Foreign Fighters in Selected Jurisdictions
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report contains information on provisions in place or under consideration by the United Nations (UN), the European Union, and 73 countries on the treatment of individuals who join and fight for terrorist organizations in foreign countries. A number of countries are currently considering action following the September 2014 adoption of a UN Security Council resolution expressing concern about the threat of foreign terrorist fighters. Many nations, as illustrated below, already have punishments applicable to such fighters, including imprisonment and/or loss of citizenship. In a number of jurisdictions, penalties for joining terrorist organizations increase when the individual recruits others or undergoes military training with those organizations. A unique approach is being taken in one city in Denmark, where instead of facing punishment, returning fighters are being given study or employment opportunities. In addition to the report on these jurisdictions, two maps have been included to illustrate the findings.

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