openDemocracy https://www.opendemocracy.net/ en Job: oDR lead editor https://www.opendemocracy.net/opendemocracy/job-odr-lead-editor <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>openDemocracy is seeking a dynamic editor to lead openDemocracy Russia (oDR) at this pivotal moment for the post-Soviet world.&nbsp;<a style="line-height: 1.5;" href="https://opendemocracy.net/opendemocracy/%D0%B2%D0%B0%D0%BA%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%81%D0%B8%D1%8F-%D0%B3%D0%BB%D0%B0%D0%B2%D0%BD%D1%8B%D0%B9-%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%B4%D0%B0%D0%BA%D1%82%D0%BE%D1%80-%D1%81%D0%B0%D0%B9%D1%82%D0%B0-opendemocracyrussia">на русском языке</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/XYUYMsJnxCkgpxh5j9bmE84_SSlDcKvivZGdQ0e6uBE/mtime:1439371463/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/6930252877_f9c23ae22c_z.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="308" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Moscow. Max Avdeev / Flickr. Some rights reserved.</span></span></span></p><p><strong>We are seeking an ambitious and dynamic Lead Editor to manage a small and talented editorial team based in London, Russia and Eastern Europe, and tap into a wide network of contributors across the region.</strong></p><p><span>The post-Soviet world has changed considerably in the past five years. By mid-2014, the 'Russian Winter' of 2011-2012 had given way to the 'Russian Spring'. Military conflict in eastern Ukraine has been followed by economic crisis across the region, revealing structural instabilities at the heart of these newly-forged states.</span></p><p>The transition paradigm is debunking itself in front of our eyes, and the Eurasian media landscape itself is transforming rapidly—internationalising and polarising at the same stroke. The need for balanced and critical coverage of the region has never been clearer, and so is the need for reasoned dialogue and debate.</p><p>openDemocracy is a fiercely independent not-for-profit global website which has been publishing challenging, in-depth analysis of human rights issues across the world for 15 years. We had nine million unique visits in the past year, with an audience made up of journalists, activists, academics, policymakers, a range of other civil society actors and the general public.</p><p>Founded in 2008, openDemocracy Russia (oDR) is committed to providing a range of views in the region’s increasingly polarised environment, as well as giving voice to people left behind by economic and political developments on the ground.</p><p>oDR works with journalists, activists and academics to cover political and social issues across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, focusing on human rights, civil society and the media, as well as providing strategic insights into problems facing the region. Our ambition is to expand our work in reporting and analysis, growing our network of contributors into a fully-fledged forum for discussion, debate and dialogue in both English and Russian.</p><p><span><strong>Responsibilities</strong></span><span>:</span></p><p>- Editorial strategy and direction. Working with the team to commission, edit and publicise oDR content in order to grow readership and impact</p><p>- Build and maintain strategic partnerships with organisations across the region to achieve the same</p><p>- Lead on fundraising: working with the oDR team and the wider oD network to secure the funds needed not only to secure oDR’s continuation but to ensure it grows</p><p><strong>Skill requirements:</strong></p><p>- In-depth knowledge of region; an understanding of how state and independent media operate in Eastern Europe and Central Asia</p><p>- Languages: fluent Russian and English (desirable)</p><p>- Track-record in developing projects, as well as working effectively with partner organisations</p><p>- Experience in writing, editing and translation</p><p>- Experience in online publishing, particularly growing online readership and stimulating interest in key debates</p><p>- Fundraising experience (desirable)</p><p><strong>Pay:</strong> Competitive, commensurate with experience</p><p><strong>Contract type:</strong> Freelance, hours negotiable but this would be your primary job</p><p><strong>Location: </strong>Europe, including Russia&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Application deadline:</strong>&nbsp;15 September 2015<span>&nbsp;</span></p><p><strong>How to apply:</strong> Please send your CV/resume with a cover letter to recruitment@opendemocracy.net. In your cover letter, we<span>&nbsp;</span><span>want to hear about h</span><span>ow would you grow oDR's audience and impact, what tools and techniques could be used to attract audiences, h</span><span>ow you would foster genuine cross-border dialogue, and what do you see as the issues most likely to bring audiences in eastern and western Europe together.&nbsp;</span></p><div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> oD Russia Opportunities at openDemocracy openDemocracy Tue, 11 Aug 2015 19:08:52 +0000 openDemocracy 95184 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Why 'no-fly zones' or 'IS-free zones' are not a solution in Syria https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/hrair-balian/why-no-fly-zones-or-is-free-zones-are-not-solution-in-syria <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>An external military intervention to establish these zones, even with the best intentions, is likely to make things worse; the international community should instead work on building consensus. A <a href="http://www.peacebuilding.no/">NOREF</a> policy brief.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/GEMuXbRsqGKHYFAL7-XzGuBwVst4YBWvn_TZRy_UM0E/mtime:1440628787/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/553378/7117342.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/4pJyEa8pmgv3S6UhT7SbOYr0xNB0u2CyO8qXcZjYalw/mtime:1440628760/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/553378/7117342.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="307" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span><span class="image-caption">See Li/Demotix. All rights reserved.</span></p> <p><span>There is a renewed push in Washington for the US military and its allies to establish no-fly zones in Syria to protect civilians. With well over 200,000 people killed, half the population displaced and no end in sight to the war, the need to safeguard civilians is indeed urgent. However, an external military intervention, even with such a good intention, is likely to precipitate more chaotic fighting, ensure the partition of the country into ungovernable fiefdoms and further harm civilians.</span></p> <p><span>Rather than leading another military intervention in the Middle East, the US should assume the more productive role of working to build a minimum consensus among the “Friends of Syria”, and with Russia and Iran. This consensus must accommodate the interests and concerns of Syria’s external stakeholders, and reconcile the existential fears of various communities and regime supporters in Syria with the aspirations of the country’s majority Sunni population. Once these fundamental issues are addressed, a political solution to the Syrian crisis would become possible.</span></p> <p><span>Politically, the regime’s internal and external support base is eroding, with the business elite, the Alawite community, Russia and Iran questioning the regime’s inability to explore a political compromise to end the war. Militarily, the regime is having difficulty recruiting the foot soldiers needed to pursue the war on all fronts (a fact President Assad admitted in his latest address to the nation), and army commanders are resenting the role that external forces have assumed in the conflict. Economically, the country has depleted its foreign currency reserves, its national currency is falling in value and credit lines from abroad are drying up. At the same time, various opposition forces in Syria are on the offensive. Regional powers have tenuously agreed to a common strategy whereby support is channelled to Islamist opposition forces.</span></p> <p><span>The strategy has resulted in recent opposition advances against regime positions throughout the country, but has brought the Syrian people no closer to a resolution of the conflict. Independently, the Islamic State (IS) continues to make inroads throughout opposition-held areas. The Turkish government’s announcement of the creation of an IS-free zone along Turkey’s southern border is unlikely either to protect civilians in major Syrian cities or stop the IS advances elsewhere.</span></p> <p><span>Under these circumstances, external military intervention to impose protected zones or no-fly zones has the potential of inducing further opposition advances, leading to ground wars in major cities between and among various opposition and pro-regime forces, causing more casualties and the additional massive displacement of civilians. IS is likely to fill the vacuum when the regime is further weakened. Moreover, a western-led military intervention in Syria will stiffen internal and external support for the regime, fuelling further militarisation and violence. Military action in the present environment to protect civilians will thus backfire—and it will largely be civilians who will pay the price. Pursuing such military action in lieu of political strategy will indefinitely delay—if not altogether destroy—any possibility of developing a sustainable political solution to the Syrian conflict.</span></p> <p><span>The U.S. and all other international supporters of various sides in the conflict have common interests in Syria, namely ending the catastrophic levels of violence, preventing state collapse and extremist takeover of the country, and creating an orderly transition to a new government. If external stakeholders are able to coalesce around these common interests they will have a far higher chance of success in negotiating an end to the Syrian conflict. The latest consultations between the US, Russia and the Gulf Cooperation Council in Doha, and other current discussions taking place in Riyadh, Tehran and elsewhere on Syria are encouraging new developments in the direction of a political solution to end the war.</span></p> <p><span>The proposed external military intervention to secure no-fly or protected zones is yet another band-aid solution to the conflict, just like the formation of an international coalition to fight IS, the creation of a small IS-free zone, the air strikes against al-Qaeda operatives, the training and equipping of a “moderate” armed opposition, and so on. These measures are politically expedient, but completely ignore the root cause giving rise to the problems that these policies seek to address—the continuing war in Syria. These lazy solutions ignore the elephant in the room, which is that the Syrian war will endure until the powerful backers of Syria’s many antagonists roll up their sleeves and hammer out a compromise between themselves and their Syrian counterparts. Then, and only then, will an international use of force—specifically in defence of an agreement and under a UN Security Council mandate—be justified, productive and legal.</span></p> <p><em>Originally <a href="http://www.peacebuilding.no/Regions/Middle-East-and-North-Africa/Syria/Publications/Why-no-fly-zones-or-IS-free-zones-are-not-a-solution-in-Syria">published</a> by <a href="http://www.peacebuilding.no/">NOREF</a> on 19 August 2015.</em></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/arab-awakening/bassma-kodmani/solution-for-syria-part-1">A solution for Syria (part 1)</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/arab-awakening/bassma-kodmani/solution-for-syria-part-2">A solution for Syria (part 2)</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/arab-awakening/leila-hilal/united-nations-and-peace-process-strategy-for-syria">The United Nations and a peace process strategy for Syria</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/arab-awakening/josepha-ivanka-wessels/utter-failure-of-international-community-to-protect-civilians-">The utter failure of the international community to protect civilians in Syria</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Syria </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> Arab Awakening Arab Awakening Syria middle east no-fly zone Islamic State consensus NOREF policy briefs NOREF Geopolitics Violent transitions Hrair Balian Fri, 28 Aug 2015 22:01:18 +0000 Hrair Balian 95528 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The BBC charter renewal, seen through a Nordic lens https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourbeeb/christian-nissen/bbc-charter-renewal-seen-through-nordic-lens <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The ex-Director General of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation compares the British and Nordic debates about the future of public service media.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/qg38AfF5BupAYWzb88XG4IMjGVTiWDRkrP6Y1ZCP1gE/mtime:1440766040/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/537086/11220133384_37691b5a39_k_0.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/wDxGNjFYvTX4KlL-WEbW6ebnu5D9CVpbsVX_KIsdFRU/mtime:1440766028/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/537086/11220133384_37691b5a39_k_0.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="227" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Image: Flickr/ Johnny Micheletto</span></span></span></p><p>The BBC is unique. It is the oldest and largest Public Service Media (PSM) organisation. No other media company has radio and television programmes with a comparable global reach. The British approach to handling the paradox of a publicly-owned and state-regulated media institution, while allowing a relatively high degree of editorial independence from parliament and government intervention, is the envy of many less fortunate societies.&nbsp;</p> <p>In spite of being so unique the BBC enjoys a general, yet questionable, reputation as ‘the mother of Public Service Media’. It is a source of inspiration, not only regarding its programming and management but also in terms of its governance and the way public, political control is exercised. For this reason, observers in many countries - both those in favour of radical change and those who fear it - are following the current British charter renewal process with bated breath. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>There can be few other places in the world where the British charter renewal process attracts greater interest than the five Nordic countries, where observers resemble the fans of competing teams at a premier league football match. Some have high hopes for a new BBC charter that will pave the way for a revised – albeit significantly diminished – remit for public media. Other fans are concerned that a radical overhaul of the BBC will legitimize similar reforms back home. The reason for looking west across the North Sea is not so much a search for inspiration from the substance of the renewal process itself than for potential support of an ideological, cultural or political nature.&nbsp;</p> <p>Opponents in the debate on the future of public media in the Nordic countries are divided along lines very similar to the UK. Commercial media and the printed press expect to benefit from a reduced PSM role. Incidentally, they also tend to follow a PSM-critical line in their journalistic news coverage. They join forces with centre-right political parties working to attenuate the role of the public sector to give the market more breathing space. The other side consists primarily of centre left-wing political parties that historically played a leading role in building the Nordic welfare societies. They have few allies, and most of these are to be found among media academics.&nbsp;</p> <p>Parallels to the British charter renewal process can also be found in commissions and public hearings in the Nordic region. Four Nordic countries are either conducting or contemplating some kind of PSM/media policy review. The topics are very similar to those tabled by the Tory government, although the agendas are somewhat more open. The only significant difference from the UK charter debate is the question of PSM governance and regulation, which is seldom raised in the Nordic region. The turmoil surrounding the BBC Board and Trust is viewed from afar with some astonishment.&nbsp;</p> <p>The opinion of those in favour of radical reform can be grouped under the following three main headings:</p><ol><li>The whole <em>raison d'être</em> of PSM, especially its size and remit, should be reconsidered in the light of the increasing diversity of media market – both on the supply and demand side.&nbsp; </li><li>The traditional universality in PSM programming harks back to the days of national media monopolies. PSM should focus on content areas not catered for by the ‘free market”. </li><li>Flat rate – and compulsory – licence fee funding has become an anachronism in a media market characterized by individual, on-demand use. The licence fee should be replaced by some form of subscription, perhaps in combination with revenue from taxation.&nbsp;</li></ol><p>Although these elements of reform have been debated for years, they are now being presented with renewed strength as unavoidable consequences of the evolving digital, multi-media environment. This gives their supporters – both in the UK and in the Nordic countries - the advantage of a proactive image. By contrast, the supporters of PSM institutions lack the rhetorical strength of being on the offensive. They might be right in arguing that the societal role of PSM in a digital environment is more important than ever, and that the speed of change in media habits and user behaviour is somewhat exaggerated. From a communicative point of view, however, such a defensive stance is not hugely convincing at a time when everybody seems to be experiencing the winds of change.&nbsp;</p> <p>While there are numerous similarities between the British and the Nordic debate on PSM, then, there are also significant differences. The most obvious relates to population - market size and the role of PSM in promoting or defending cultural identities. Compared with the UK, the Nordic countries are small, with populations of between 5 and 8 million each (in the case of Iceland only 300,000). The role ascribed to the BBC of ‘Bringing the UK to the world’ is reversed in the mission of the Nordic PSMs. One of their main tasks is to sustain national cultural identities and languages at home in the face of competition from a very open international media market. Nordic viewers are “exposed” to a great deal of international content, both on a limited number of channels from domestic broadcasters and from numerous non-domestic channels and platforms. Furthermore, most major independent production companies in each of the Nordic countries are affiliates of global players. For this reason, national PSM companies are widely regarded as an indispensable part of a national, cultural ‘defence’ system with roots in a special Nordic tradition of adult education.&nbsp;</p> <p>This defence of cultural identity goes a long way to explaining why the political climate vis a vis Nordic PSM institutions is more favourable than in the UK. Most PSM agreements with Nordic governments (similar to the BBC charter) build on broad alliances extending beyond the governing coalition in power. Furthermore, the political cultures in the Nordic region with their multi-party systems and a tradition of coalition governments have certain corporatist traits. During election campaigns, political parties may choose to differentiate themselves in their media policy by suggesting radical interventions. Nevertheless, even they want to be part of a broad political consensus. Parties in opposition are usually willing to make the necessary compromises to influence solutions that may outlive the next change of government.</p> <p>On balance, it is fair to say that there are more similarities than differences between the UK and the Nordic countries when it comes to PSM models and the reform debate - more so than just about any other region in the world. The initial scepticism, expressed above concerning the BBC being “the mother of all public broadcasters” is based on the fact that very few countries outside north-western Europe have PSM institutions and a culture of PSM governance that are similar to the BBC. The letter of the law and the regulatory mechanisms might be inspired by – or even copied from - the British system. The underlying reality, however, is usually very different. Put very simply, PSM systems outside north-western Europe are generally characterised by at least one or more of the following four traits: low market share /reach; a program schedule that focuses more on entertainment than on information and education; lack of trust in news coverage because of tight government control and chronic political intervention; insufficient funding.&nbsp;</p> <p>What accounts for this regional difference in PSM systems? Why is the North Western region of Europe so special? Geographical proximity does not provide the answer. Neither do similarities in economic and market conditions in the media sector. We have to understand media systems and the way PSM is handled in a broad societal context rather than that of a media market. The most plausible explanation for the similarities between PSM in North Western Europe is that Public Service Broadcasting here was developed as an integral part of the collectively financed welfare societies of the industrial era. Until recently, it has been synonymous with ‘mass-media’, delivering the same content at exactly the same time to all citizens, funded collectively by the licence fee.&nbsp;</p> <p>This postulated link between media and its societal foundations doesn’t just explain the strength of PSMs in North Western Europe thus far. In coming years it will also become a formidable challenge to Public Service Media. We are currently witnessing a gradual shift from the collective mass culture of industrial society towards a more individualized knowledge society. There is a concomitant shift from ‘citizens in a society’ to ‘individual consumers in a market’. This runs parallel to a shift in the way media content is distributed; from mainstream broadcasting to multi-platform, on-demand delivery catering to individual interests and needs.</p> <p>Some will welcome this shift and see it as liberation from the hegemony of a century of collective state-controlled media. Others will see PSM as one of the few bulwarks capable of sustaining national culture and enhancing social and cultural cohesion in a globalized, trans-national world.</p> <p>On the face of it, the British charter renewal process and its close parallels in the Nordic countries are merely dealing with questions of the future of Public Service Media seen as part of a media market. Further down the road, matters will not be that simple. Answers cannot be found within the usual framework of PSM and its media environment. The scope is far broader, requiring reflection on the core values of our cultures and the kind of societies we want our grandchildren to be part of.</p><p><strong><em><span>If you want to keep OurBeeb debating the BBC, </span><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/donate"><span>please chip in</span></a><span> what you can afford.</span></em></strong></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ourbeeb/nick-fraser/bbc-and-its-poetry">The BBC and its poetry</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/ourbeeb/alex-connock/britain%E2%80%99s-creative-kickstarter-bbc">Britain’s creative kickstarter: the BBC</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ourbeeb/david-elstein/red-alert-for-bbc-response-to-enders-analysis">Red alert for the BBC: a response to Enders Analysis</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> OurBeeb OurBeeb OurKingdom Christian Nissen Fri, 28 Aug 2015 13:27:58 +0000 Christian Nissen 95566 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The stench of hypocrisy: a migrant's story https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/valeriu-nicolae/stench-of-hypocrisy-migrants-story <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>I have been a migrant. I have lived, legally and illegally, in nine different countries. In 1993, I first tried to escape Romania.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/jBLS7b_EPuVtQQuKLv_rexZ4zjh-CKe3w41QCYlGYiE/mtime:1440768111/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/548777/crai.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/05R86h2pzqJD2r1w8ov-qxaGd7SQuL24aTQNB4n4PHs/mtime:1440767933/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/548777/crai.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="262" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Craiova, Romania. Flickr/Marcel Ionescu. All rights reserved.</span></span></span><span>I have been a migrant. I have lived, legally and illegally, in nine different countries. In 1993 I was trying to escape Romania. I was studying engineering at that time in Craiova. Being a Roma in Romania in 1993 was not easy: we faced pogroms and strident anti-Gypsyism. But that was just one of the reasons. I was also trying to escape from the huge rats I saw every evening, the garbage and dirt of the city, the political instability, my violent and alcoholic father, and the uncertainty of the future.</span></p> <p>I had a visa for Germany. Germany being notorious for its “love” of Roma (at that time neo-Nazis in Germany were attacking migrant camps with molotov cocktails), the UK seemed a better option. Because my father worked for the Romanian railways, I could get a free return ticket each year to any place in Europe. I decided to try to cross to the UK from Oostende, in Belgium. I had heard that some Romanians managed to do that.</p> <p>I reached Oostende late in the evening. Compared to Romania, Belgium looked like a fairy-tale. Even the railway station was amazing. Clean and beautiful buildings, people dressed up elegantly, expensive cars and luxurious restaurants. I waited in the railway station for night to come. A barbed wire fence separated the station from the ferry dock. I planned to jump over during the night and to climb into one of the many trucks that were lined up for the ferry to the UK.</p> <p>I watched the railway station cleaners with envy. They were dressed in clean name-brand sport clothes. They seemed happy and their job looked easy. They fed me – I must have looked completely destitute. That was the first time I ate falafel. Two Moroccans, one Tunisian, and one Libyan. When they left, they bought me a can of Fanta and tried to give me some money, but I refused. </p> <p>I did not manage to cross that night. Cold, dogs and nasty truck drivers were too big obstacles for me. I returned to Romania. Over the next year, the friendship of a group of Palestinian students in Romania helped me to survive. I tutored them. One of them, Suheil, was always there for me. He often bought food for me and he shared whatever he received from home with me. He eventually married a really nice Romanian girl. Many people treated her as a whore for loving a Palestinian - one of the kindest people I knew. I used to joke with her that she would have been treated better if she was Roma. </p> <p>Eventually I succeeded in leaving Romania and spent many years abroad. But I moved back to Romania and have been back for many years now. During the last decade, I often worked with refugees and migrants. I spent time in refugee camps. Not just visited them, but actually spent time there. There is a specific smell to a refugee camp. When it’s hot, the smell is a mix of rotten garbage and sweat; when it’s cold and humid, it smells of smoke and dirty damp clothes. Smells I also grew up with. </p> <p>I’ve seen hundreds of thousands of people living in refugee camps, slums, shacks. Syrians in Lebanon; Serbs and Roma from Kosovo in Macedonia and Montenegro; Africans, Bangladeshis, Bosnians and Roma in Italy; Iraqis, Syrians and Kurds in Turkey; Rohingyas in Thailand. Slums in India, Cambodia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and ghettoes in Eastern and Western Europe. </p> <p>Since this year started, 137,000 people have already crossed the Mediterranean Sea. It is very probable that more than 4,000 have died trying to cross. A good part of those are children. Desperate people trying to run away from conflicts and abject poverty.</p> <p>In June this year I took part in a high-level discussion at the Romanian Presidency that touched on the “refugee crisis”. The President’s Councillor was adamant that Romania should refuse any quota for refugees as they would be a “danger for Romanian society”.</p> <p>Political elites across Europe voice similar positions. It stinks thousands of times worse than the most awful and crowded camps. It stinks of indifference, cowardice and hypocrisy. </p> <p>The majority of the refugees are children: children who had the bad luck to be born outside of the walls of Fortress Europe. At the moment, these children get more help from those radical groups we (rightly) despise than from us: the kind, generous, civilized Europeans. We simply build bigger and better walls, while lamenting about the “criminals” that bring these children to our borders.</p> <p>We seem to forget that it was us, the Europeans, who created the migrant-sending states on the principle of Divide and Rule, throwing together people with a history of hatred for each other in the same nations. We supported insane despots, played the role of masters in a disgusting Game of Thrones, sold weapons, including chemical ones, and did whatever we could to maintain the flow of cheap oil and whatever other goods we needed to be comfortable. We had no regard for the consequences of these decisions in the countries we created.</p> <p>Conferences and speeches at luxurious receptions will not solve much. The European approach seems to consist of talking about courage and preaching about what others should do. This is not courage – it is sociopathy. </p> <p>There are tens of millions of Europeans who could easily host and help a family of refugees in their homes. I am ready to host a family. I am not rich, but I will not become poor by doing this.</p> <p>More than 3.4 million Europeans have savings of over 1,000,000 EUR. There are also tens of thousands, if not more, businesses that could adopt a family. Tens of thousands of NGOs, charities and churches.&nbsp; Thousands of intergovernmental organisation bureaucrats who make a good living out of nice words and reports could finally gain some legitimacy by enacting the generous agendas of their institutions. </p> <p>We can help. We can help enough to solve most of the problems. We could show that we are indeed a moral Europe, that we care and that our words about human rights and the value of democratic societies are empty. At the same time, we would repair our broken relations with the Arab world and get back into the driving seat for making this world a better one. </p> <p>It will require courage. It will not be simple. Politicians will need to make it easier for us to “adopt” these families. They will need to become serious about solving the root causes of the conflicts in these countries. But it would be worth it. Surely, if nothing else, it would ease the stench of hypocrisy that follows the speeches of most European political elites.</p><p><em>If you enjoyed this article then please consider liking <em><strong>Can Europe Make it?</strong></em> on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/caneuropemakeit">Facebook</a> and following us on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/oD_Europe">@oD_Europe</a></em></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/beyondslavery/will-guy/why-roma-migrate">Why Roma migrate</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/can-europe-make-it/valeriu-nicolae/no-accountability-%E2%80%93-case-of-roma-social-inclusion-in-europe">No accountability – the case of the Roma social inclusion in Europe</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Romania </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> Can Europe make it? Can Europe make it? Romania Valeriu Nicolae Fri, 28 Aug 2015 13:20:29 +0000 Valeriu Nicolae 95568 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Brazil´s Worker´s Party narrative: lost in the neoliberal labyrinth https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/bernardo-guti%C3%A9rrez-gonz%C3%A1lez/brazil%C2%B4s-worker%C2%B4s-party-narrative-lost-in-neoliberal-l <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <P class=Body>Since 2014, Dilma Roussef’s government has adopted a strategy of polarisation between “left” and “right”. Nevertheless, there is a huge gap between the administration’s “progressive” rhetoric and its neoliberal policies. <STRONG><EM><A href="Towards the end of 2008, the up market Galería Oeste in São Paulo was selling plush teddies of Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for US$20,000. The presidential effigy had become a fashionable lucky mascot. You could love it or hate it. You could mistreat it with feigned contempt but never lose respect for it. Artist Raul Mourão’s “Lula Teddy” project highlighted the president’s main achievement, namely to unify emotionally one of the world’s most unequal countries. Before Lula, the only unifying factor among Brazilians, at any rate according to the sardonic wisdom of bar chat, was the singer Chico Buarque. A few years after the PT (Worker's Party) landed in government, unanimity had become Lula: the homespun president who managed to please and compensate both rich and poor alike. Despite corruption cases such as the vote-buying Mensalão scandal, only 11% of Brazilians thought, back in 2008, that the president’s administration was bad. Lula was an icon, an almost untouchable myth. &quot;He was a perfect product of mass marketing&quot;, Raul Mourão said at the time. Seven years later, the Lula Teddy has transmuted into a huge inflatable doll in prison garb paraded in demonstrations calling for Dilma Roussef ’s impeachment. On August 16, an enormous doll bearing the number 13-171 presided over a demonstration in Brasilia: 13 being the PT’s number in the electronic voting system and 171 the article of the penal code dealing with racketeering. The latter number is also slang for someone who is not to be trusted. From a lucky mascot to a satirical dummy. Lula, who a few months ago was in the running as a candidate in the 2018 presidential election, is not unaffected by the PT’s collapse in support. He too is in the spotlight for his suspected activities as an international lobbyist on behalf of the construction giant Odebrecht which is currently mired in a corruption scandal. According to a recent opinion poll, Lula would lose the election against any of three possible candidates of the conservative PSDB (Brazilian Social Democratic Party) - Aécio Neves, Geraldo Alckmin and José Serra. Dilma Roussef’s situation is unprecedented: her approval rating is barely 8%. How are we to explain the collapse of the PT which, in alliance with the PMDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party), won the elections in October 2014? The economic crisis and the Petrobras and Oderbrecht corruption cases (both involving the PT and the government) partly explain Dilma’s unpopularity. Large-scale events - the World Cup and the Olympics - whose legacy is doubtful and that favour the establishment at the expense of the public – partly account for the decline. But there is more, much more. Congress, chaired by evangelist Eduardo Cunha (PMDB), has become almost ungovernable. Cunha has gone from being a faithful ally of the PT to a declared enemy manoeuvring on behalf of conservative causes. Although he has just been denounced for corruption and may fall soon, Cunha has Congress in his pocket. Some member parties of the PT alliance have broken away. The Marxist Left (which founded the PT) has also separated. Traditional peoples’ movements are now criticising Dilma, although they continue to side with her in demonstrations. The disaffected groups who took to the streets in June are hardly involved in the protests either for or against that are currently taking place. Meanwhile, the conservative, neoliberal roller-coaster rumbles on in Congress. And Dilma is embracing the neoliberal Agenda Brasil, which is examining partial charging for public health care and the idea of redefining native reserves as “productive land”. An anti-terrorist law has been passed that can lead to protesters and “netizens” being imprisoned. Labour rights have been cut in the name of austerity. LGBT programs have been halted. How has the self-proclaimed &quot;country of the future” come to this pass? How has a party like the PT handed the political agenda to the right? A consensual dichotomy Some analysts are talking about the “venezuelization” of Brazil as a way of describing the current political polarisation. At first sight, the narrative of powerful media, conservative opposition and the PT itself reinforces the polarization thesis. On the one hand, people wrapped in Brazilian flags take to the streets shouting #VemPraRua and demanding Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment; on the other hand, unions, the social movements and leftwing citizens demonstrate against the impeachment, as they did on August 20. Nevertheless, the reality is infinitely more complex yet simpler. Polarisation is a skilfully crafted narrative construction. The great consensual dichotomy, the return to left-right antagonism, to the people-elite, is the PT’s last shot. It is a useful political fiction fed by both the right and the PT. Despite Dilma’s conservative drift, the right keeps on broadcasting the story that the PT is planning to stage “a Communist coup”. The PT identifies as “putschist” or “neoliberal” anyone opposing its government, and describes everyone taking to the streets against Dilma as &quot;coxinha&quot;" target=_blank>Español</a>. <A href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/bernardo-guti%C3%A9rrez-gonz%C3%A1lez/brasil-o-relato-do-pt-no-labirinto-neoliberal" target=_blank>Português</a></em></strong>. </p> </div> </div> </div> <P><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/OAxfNOdE6fDLZt28uxUxqlVoC0AbJYxvKxq6sJWEcRU/mtime:1440753446/files/imagecache/article_large/wysiwyg_imageupload/557099/Protests%20in%20Sao%20Paulo%20Brazil%20Flickr%2015%203%20SOme%20rights.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_large" style="" width="460" height="270" /> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Protests in Sao Paulo, Brazil, March 2015. Flickr. Some rights reserved.</span></span></span></p> <P class="Body">Towards the end of 2008, the up market Galería Oeste in São Paulo was selling plush teddies of Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for US$20,000. The presidential effigy had become a fashionable lucky mascot. You could love it or hate it. You could mistreat it with feigned contempt but never lose respect for it. Artist Raul Mourão’s <A href="http://www.raulmourao.com/luladepelucia-texto/">“Lula Teddy” project</a> highlighted the president’s main achievement, namely to unify emotionally one of the world’s most unequal countries. Before Lula, the only unifying factor among Brazilians, at any rate according to the sardonic wisdom of bar chat, was the singer Chico Buarque. A few years after the PT (Worker's Party) landed in government, unanimity had become Lula: the homespun president who managed to please and compensate both rich and poor alike. Despite corruption cases such as the vote-buying Mensalão scandal, only 11% of Brazilians thought, back in 2008, that the president’s administration was bad. Lula was an icon, an almost untouchable myth. "He was a perfect product of mass marketing", <A href="http://www.publico.es/internacional/lula-objeto-culto.html">Raul Mourão said</a> at the time.</p> <P>Seven years later, the Lula Teddy has transmuted into a huge inflatable doll in prison garb paraded in demonstrations calling for Dilma Roussef ’s impeachment. On August 16, <A href="https://twitter.com/rjsbahia/status/633505650744655876">an enormous doll</a> bearing the number 13-171 presided over a demonstration in Brasilia: 13 being the PT’s number in the electronic voting system and 171 the article of the penal code dealing with racketeering. The latter number is also slang for someone who is not to be trusted. From a lucky mascot to a satirical dummy. </p> <P class="Body">Lula, who a few months ago was in the running as a candidate in the 2018 presidential election, is not unaffected by the PT’s collapse in support. He too is in the spotlight for his suspected activities as an international lobbyist on behalf of the construction giant Odebrecht which is currently mired in a corruption scandal. According to a recent opinion poll, Lula would lose the election against any of three possible candidates of the conservative PSDB (Brazilian Social Democratic Party) -<A href="http://www.infomoney.com.br/mercados/politica/noticia/4171197/cnt-mda-mostra-que-lula-perderia-turno-para-aecio-serra"> Aécio Neves, Geraldo Alckmin and José Serra</a>. Dilma Roussef’s situation is unprecedented: her approval rating is barely 8%. How are we to explain the collapse of the PT which, in alliance with the PMDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement Party), won the elections in October 2014? </p> <P class="Body">The economic crisis and the Petrobras and Oderbrecht corruption cases (both involving the PT and the government) partly explain Dilma’s unpopularity. Large-scale events - the World Cup and the Olympics - whose legacy is doubtful and that favour the establishment at the expense of the public – partly account for the decline. But there is more, much more. Congress, chaired by evangelist Eduardo Cunha (PMDB), has become almost ungovernable. Cunha has gone from being a faithful ally of the PT to a declared enemy manoeuvring on behalf of conservative causes. Although he has just been denounced for corruption and may fall soon, Cunha has Congress in his pocket.&nbsp; Some member parties of the PT alliance have broken away. The Marxist Left (which founded the PT) has also separated. Traditional peoples’ movements are now criticising Dilma, although they continue to side with her in demonstrations. The disaffected groups who took to the streets in June are hardly involved in the protests either for or against that are currently taking place. Meanwhile, the conservative, neoliberal roller-coaster rumbles on in Congress. </p> <P class="Body">And Dilma is embracing the neoliberal <EM><A href="http://www.cartacapital.com.br/blogs/parlatorio/agenda-brasil-de-renan-quer-regular-terceirizacoes-e-cobrar-pelo-sus-2622.htm">Agenda Brasil</a></em>, which is examining partial charging for public health care and the idea of redefining native reserves as “productive land”. An anti-terrorist law has been passed that can lead to protesters and “netizens” being imprisoned. Labour rights have been cut in the name of austerity. LGBT programs have been halted. </p> <P class="Body">How has the self-proclaimed "country of the future” come to this pass? How has a party like the PT handed the political agenda to the right? </p> <P class="Body"><STRONG></strong><STRONG>A consensual dichotomy</strong> </p> <P class="Body">Some analysts are talking about the “venezuelization” of Brazil as a way of describing the current political polarisation. At first sight, the narrative of powerful media, conservative opposition and the PT itself reinforces the polarization thesis. On the one hand, people wrapped in Brazilian flags take to the streets shouting #VemPraRua and demanding Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment; on the other hand, unions, the social movements and leftwing citizens demonstrate against the impeachment, as they did on August 20. Nevertheless, the reality is infinitely more complex yet simpler. </p> <P class="Body">Polarisation is a skilfully crafted narrative construction. The great consensual dichotomy, the return to left-right antagonism, to the people-elite, is the PT’s last shot. It is a useful political fiction fed by both the right and the PT. Despite Dilma’s conservative drift, the right keeps on broadcasting the story that the PT is planning to stage “a Communist coup”. The PT identifies as “putschist” or “neoliberal” anyone opposing its government, and describes everyone taking to the streets against Dilma as "coxinha" (slang for "posh"), "undemocratic" or “fascist. </p> <P class="Body">As the two sides of the same coin clash, the system survives. And while the consensual dichotomy, ironically termed fla-flu (referring to a soccer match between Flamengo and Fluminense), is exacerbated, any hint of a third way dies before birth (much as Marina Silva’s odds at the last elections). The word that best defines the PT in its 2015 version is <EM>governismo </em>(governism). Anthropologist Salvador Schavelzon defines governism as "a kind of cynical reasoning that fails to recognise nuances and acknowledge criticism or dissent and tends to associate any kind of dissent with the right and with neoliberalism. Governism diluted the outraged masses that took to the streets in 2013 for many different reasons, and constructed polarised masses with concrete guidelines and centralised organisations. Governism has replaced the ideology that built the PT from below and to the left. Governism fuels the consensual dichotomy that divides the people of Brazil and paralyses its politics. </p> <P class="Body">And here we come to the first great paradox: the PT is now voicing the same aggressive narrative that brought Lula electoral defeat up to 2002. Both Lula and Dilma won the presidency by softening their leftist image. The marketing wizard Duda Mendonça transformed a trade-unionist into a tie-wearing conciliator who smiled to the tune of <EM>Lulinha, paz e amor</em>. Dilma won the elections in 2010 with the <EM>cosmeticized</em> image of the Granma <EM>Who Is No Longer A Guerrilla</em>, and appealing to God in her campaign. Marketing disguised the reality and altered it at the same time. And now, when Dilma y Lula have been transformed into the decaffeinated, capitalist-friendly image that marketing designed, the PT falls back on the leftist narrative of its prehistoric past. The problem is that, like the marketing that produced <EM>Lulinha, paz e amor</em>, this progressive narrative which invokes the class struggle and the periphery, is partly false. The PT narrative, in Dilma’s neoliberal labyrinth, is quite plainly fake. Dilma’s politics are almost diametrically opposed to the left. Giuseppe Cocco, sociology professor at the Universidad Federal de Río de Janeiro (UFRJ), states bluntly that the PT is the worst kind of right, “neocolonial and corrupt”. The austerity measures imposed by Economy Minister Joaquim Levy are no different to the prescriptions of the Troika. </p> <P class="Body">Meanwhile, governism strives to find rightist elements in the pro-impeachment protests: pictures of demonstrators asking for a military coup or the death of Dilma. And in so doing it stigmatises as undemocratic <EM>coxinhas</em> the hundreds of thousands who flocked to the streets against Dilma. At the same time, it embellishes its own narrative. One of the slogans chanted at the August 20 demonstration organised by popular movements against Dilma’s impeachment, was <EM>N</em><EM>ã</em><EM>o Vai Ter Golpe (</em>There Will Not Be A Coup). <EM>N</em><EM>ã</em><EM>o Vai Ter Golpe, N</em><EM>ã</em><EM>o passar</em><EM>ã</em><EM>o</em> (They Shall Not Pass), and <EM>Am</em><EM>é</em><EM>rica Latina antiimperialista</em> (Anti-imperialist Latin America). At the same time, without any guilt complex, Dilma unfolds the red carpet in Brasilia for Angela Merkel and German capitalism. </p> <P class="Body">Reality is more complex and simpler at the same time. A<A href="http://brasil.elpais.com/brasil/2015/08/18/opinion/1439933844_328207.html"> study</a> by researchers Pablo Ortellado, Esther Solano and Lucia Nader on the August 16 demonstration in São Paulo has had a powerful impact. Based on street interviews, the study reveals that the demonstrations calling for the impeachment of Dilma, which were organised by conservative groups like the Movement Free Brazil (Movimento Brasil Livre - MPL), Revolted Online (Revoltados Online) and ComeToTheStreet (VemPraRua) was in fact more anti-systemic than anti-PT. The protests were not specifically right-wing. Politicians and conservative parties, such as the PSDB, were not spared. And here is the big surprise: a large majority of the demonstrators were in favour of public education (98%) and universal health care (97%), as opposed to the organisers. "They call for some policies that are to the left of Dilma," says Paul Ortellado. </p> <P class="Body">Despite a certain amount of schizophrenia and political confusion – demonstrators also wanted harsher punishment for crimes, it is fair to say that a part of the June 2013 unrest was the work of conservative groups, and was aimed at Dilma. Governism has placed street protest in the hands of the right. And the mass media are making hay with it. A large portion of the left, as anthropologist Rosana Pinheiro-Machado maintains, is still taken by the emotional blackmail that defines criticism of the PT is “a gift to the right”. And governism keeps on flaunting the spectre of a coup. “What are the odds of a coup occurring – asks social scientist Marcelo Castañeda –&nbsp; if the government enjoys the support of the PMDB, of media monopolist Rede Globo and the main private companies in the country? If there has been a coup, it was the PT’s, especially from June 2013, when it killed off the possibility of building leftwing alternatives by instigating repression instead of dialogue”.&nbsp; </p> <P class="Body"><STRONG>The June vacuum </strong></p> <P class="Body">According to philosopher Marcos Nobre, the events of June 2013 signified a revolt against what he calls<A href="https://opendemocracy.net/node/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/Content.IE5/YSFFL71O/(http:/epoca.globo.com/tempo/noticia/2015/02/bmarcos-nobreb-o-pt-nao-lidera-mais-o-governo.html"> <EM>pemedebismo</em></a>. It is precisely the alliance between the PT and the PMDB, concealed for public consumption by PT marketing, that define the limits of Lulism, of June 2013, and of any possibility of change. Lula governed by embracing a <EM>vale tudo</em> (everything goes) attitude, signing territorial agreements with colonels, landed elites, multinational soya producers, and heirs of the dictatorship. And especially with the PMDB. It is no coincidence that Katia Abreu, a soya entrepreneur, is Dilma’s Agriculture Minister. </p> <P class="Body">Elsewhere, in 2008, Lula strengthened his alliance with Sérgio Cabral (then governor of Río de Janeiro State) and Eduardo Pães (mayor of Río de Janeiro), both of the PMDB, and both defenders of <EM>milicianos</em> (paramilitaries). The pemedebismo block handed over the Río Olympics to Oderbrecht and other major corporations. And it reinforced governism as the sole modus operandi in Brasilia. This PT-PMDB alliance, in Giuseppe Cocco’s words, “destroys the struggle of the street sweepers in Río, generates slave labour in the Olympic construction sites, and cares more about the interests of multinational telecommunications and automotive companies than about workers’ rights”. Journalist <A href="https://opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/raúl-zibechi/lula-de-mágico-francoatirador">Raúl Zibechi</a> also denounces the Brazilian government's inability to understand the demands of June 2013, "the need to go beyond inclusion through consumption, to the obtainment of full rights." The PT, which is now <A href="http://brasil.elpais.com/brasil/2015/08/15/politica/1439603254_047841.html">Brazil’s most despised party</a>, prefers to fabricate an antagonistic fable in which Eduardo Cunha, who a few months ago was pictured shaking hands with Dilma, appears as the conservative devil, and "the conservative wave", which mostly coincides with the policies of the PT, is to blame for all the problems. </p> <P class="Body">At the 2014 elections, when the consensual dichotomy between Dilma Rousseff and Aécio Neves was given its final touches, a meme began circulating of a sole candidate, Dilma Aécio, with a face melded from both candidates. Some activists ironically referred to the PTSDB as the great unity party. It is no coincidence that some members of the PT are now demanding a great non partisan agreement and that the president of <A href="http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/mercado/2015/08/1672332-nao-ha-motivos-para-tirar-dilma-do-cargo-diz-presidente-do-itau-unibanco.shtml?cmpid=twfolha">Itau Bank should support Dilma</a>. The first months of Dilma’s government prove that there would be hardly any difference between a PT and a PSDB government. There would just be a few symbolic variances, but no radically different narrative. Salvador Schavelzon, in <EM><A href="https://www.diagonalperiodico.net/global/27148-fin-del-relato-progresista-america-latina.html">El fin del relato progresista</a> </em>(The end of the progressive narrative), opens fire against the governments of the “Latin American left”, that espouse "the ideology of consumption, consensus development, exploitation of natural resources, and the political agenda of the religious sectors…”. If we add corruption to this withered narrative of progressive politics, a feature that the right has managed to turn into a legacy of the left, the symbolic downfall will be complete, thus opening the possibility of a new neocon cycle in the region. </p> <P class="Body">This is why the Brazilian left, which criticises the government while abandoning the streets and calling for demonstrations against impeachment, faces a dual challenge. On the one hand, it needs to organise a popular front, with and without the PT, which will appeal to grassroots movements but also to the <EM>indignados</em> who support progressive policies while participating in demonstrations organised by the right, a front capable of building a viable alternative paradigm of government without governism. On the other hand, the left must generate a counter-narrative to Dilma’s (admittedly unlikely) fall, or to the PT’s (very likely) defeat at the 2018 elections. The opposition will explain that defeat by associating the left with corruption and the disaster of <EM>Lulism</em>. It does not matter that Dilma has been practicing the most rampant variety of neoliberalism. Never mind that the PT has not dealt in the last 12 years with issues such as abortion or land reform. Opponents will sell the PT’s fall as proof of the impracticality of “utopias”, of progressive politics and of the idea of social equality. </p> <P class="Body">In 2015 there is no room for coveted presidential teddies. Nor is there room for the #TodosConChicoBuarque (#AllWithChicoBuarque) block. Many will cease listening to his music, on the grounds that he is a Communist. The only national consensus will be the artificial one of government without the people, so as to ensure that the system survives and that nothing changes. This is why the left and/or disaffected progressive citizens should confront Dilma’s political demise by constructing an alternative narrative: that of yet another Latin American president who fell or lost because she sold out to neoliberalism and to multinational corporations. Dilma would then be to Brazil what Fernando de la Rúa was to Argentina or Lucio Gutiérrez to Ecuador: a president who betrayed her principles. In this way, the downfall of the PT would at least serve as a means of safeguarding the ideals on which it was founded.</p><div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Brazil </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Equality </div> <div class="field-item even"> Ideas </div> <div class="field-item odd"> International politics </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> DemocraciaAbierta Brazil Civil society Democracy and government Equality Ideas International politics Bernardo Gutiérrez González Fri, 28 Aug 2015 09:19:09 +0000 Bernardo Gutiérrez González 95562 at https://www.opendemocracy.net No right to despair https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/deborah-padfield/no-right-to-despair <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>As we enter into five years of Conservative rule, those of us who are relatively privileged need to be reminded of a vital principle: we have no right to despair. We won't pay the highest price.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none caption-xlarge'><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/LWVpDloPK8CQkoJ6HfYssaettpqmpZdROQ2Fzmzu9wM/mtime:1440583232/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555395/18993988515_56a327dba2_z.jpg" alt="Anti-austerity protest in London" title="Anti-austerity march" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" width="460" /> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>We can't forget the less 'newsworthy' struggles. Flickr/Michael Candelori. Some rights reserved.</span></span></span></p><p>Protest depends on hope. Naming wrongs, painting a picture of their effects, analysing their causes, exploring the alternatives: all of these depend upon the presence of hearing minds whose response can have an impact. </p> <p>Just three months into a five-year stretch of elective dictatorship, its bars now being strengthened by the creation of new Conservative Lords, it is hard to hold on to such hope.</p> <p>Yet the other principle of protest is no less clear: the relatively privileged – of whom I am one – have no right to despair. It is not we who will pay the highest price.</p> <p>Last week I encountered two women, in two different contexts, with very different backgrounds. Both, though, are in their late 50s, un-partnered and have either no or no effective family supports. Neither has a private pension entitlement. Both have worked or looked for work their entire adult lives. One is a care worker, doing long, physically and emotionally hard hours on the minimum wage. The other has three zero-hour jobs, low-paid though relatively skilled, all of which deliver highly erratic bunches of work; all too often deserts of no-work alternate with tsunamis of too much, so that she risks failing (and hence losing) one or other employer. </p> <p>One is also without neighbourly and almost without friendly companionship. She has moved multiple times in her life; her current housing is short term. Unless she can find full-time and better-paid work, she will be unable to remain in the area because of high rentals. She will have to move again, start yet again.</p> <p>Both are tired. The care worker is deeply so. She is gazing ahead at eight more years' work before she reaches state pension age. Perhaps by then, the retirement age will have receded still further. Is it like the horizon: one never reaches it? For many middle-aged women, it has begun to seem so. Knowing my benefit expertise she talked to me because she just hoped, desperately, quietly, that there might be some source of money that would enable her to reduce her working hours – some easing of the relentlessly stony path ahead of her. From where she's standing, the only likely change she can see is the ever-present risk of losing even what she has: neither job nor house is secure. </p> <p>I could suggest nothing. There are no benefits to help her beyond what she already has. To cut her hours would be to risk debt. She smiled at me and went quietly away. </p> <p>Neither of these women is newsworthy. Their situation is a common one. Neither comes near breaches of human rights. They are not absolutely poor. They (currently) have food, a roof and warmth. It is simply that their lives are narrowed, greyed out, by their relative poverty. Their intelligence is under-used; their power to give their rich emotional strengths is abused and sapped, or disregarded. </p> <p>No one notices. They carry on as best they can, in this land of plenty. The restaurants and cafes, clothes shops and designer kitchen outlets overflow with custom in the rich city where I live. In the jobs they do, these women service that wealth; they are members of the massive workforce which makes it possible. They pass quietly by its outlets. </p> <p>Two other people will not leave my memory. Youngsters, partners, 19 and 20. They're not care leavers. Not (so far as I know) victims of abuse. Nothing newsworthy. Simply, their family homes have fallen apart. Nor do they want to return: they're not wanted 'at home' and there's no room for them. They want to set up together, work and make a future. At the moment, they're sofa-surfing, each with a different friend. </p> <p>Only, how can they do it? Both have jobs, part time, minimum wage and insecure of course, but jobs. Unfortunately, even with housing benefit they can't afford the rents anywhere in reach of those jobs. Nor can they afford a car – not without increasing the debt that's already starting to burden them. Where in this wide world of England are they to go, where they can achieve their modest goal? Who will advise them? Who will be on their side when they run into the difficulties that pounce and snap and bite at every corner of our complex, unforgiving 'society'? </p> <p>And when/if Cameron and Osborne remove the housing benefit that is their sole external support (as under-25s without a child, already they don't get working tax credit), what will they do then? </p> <p>I have no right to despair. There are indeed glimmers of hope. Is the support for Jeremy Corbyn a sign that people are starting to say NO, as people in Scotland started to say NO until sufficient numbers were trapped by English fear-peddling politics and the empty last-minute promises destined – all-too-inevitably – to be watered down to suit the convenience of the status quo? </p> <p>It isn't really NO we need to say. It's YES, to a life-giving society not structured around the fathomless appetite of bulk shareholders, property investors and their friends. A society perhaps less globally powerful, less absolutely rich, more equitably so. </p> <p>We need to bring together people of skill, experience, pragmatism, on the side of this YES. It has to work. Greece shows all too clearly that saying Yes from a position of weakness does not work. Even where IMF says the debt is unsustainable, the relentless grasp of creditor-nations does not ease; the relentless claim that there is only one perspective from which economic realism can be seen pounds nightmarishly on. </p> <p>No right to despair. I just wish there were some way of speaking to those relaxed, laughing crowds in their bright clothes who throng into restaurants in Cambridge. I wish they could, however momentarily, feel the presence of those quiet women and those desperate youngsters. I wish they could become aware that their stiletto sandals walk upon those unseen lives; that nothing but chance gives them the good things and those women and youngsters none of them; that there has to be another way.&nbsp; </p> <p>I wish my own awareness of privilege could be more fruitful.&nbsp;</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ourkingdom/shaun-lawson/how-to-stop-boris-labour-liberal-democrats-and-what-left-must-now-do">How to stop Boris? Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and what the left must now do</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/ourkingdom/sarah-perrigo/postelection-analysis-and-what-needs-to-be-done">A post-election analysis and what needs to be done</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/ourkingdom/vickie-cooper/austerity-as-bureaucratized-and-organized-violence">Austerity as bureaucratized and organized violence</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Civil society </div> <div class="field-item even"> Culture </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> OurKingdom OurKingdom Civil society Culture Democracy and government Deborah Padfield Fri, 28 Aug 2015 08:20:07 +0000 Deborah Padfield 95497 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Oleg Sentsov and Aleksandr Kolchenko: prisoners of conscience https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/editors-of-opendemocracy-russia/oleg-sentsov-and-aleksandr-kolchenko-prisoners-of-conscien <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm;"><span style="color: #000000;"><span>Statement on the sentencing of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and co-defendant Aleksandr Kolchenko.</span></span></p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none caption-large'><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/uD_kpYX8Th9FSYl1EB2bVHm9tNTT7y8fK9oq2wx5lXY/mtime:1440719431/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/553429/RIAN_02684638.LR_.ru_.jpg" alt="Oleg Sentsov and Aleksandr Kolchenko in court" title="" width="460" height="312" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-large imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Oleg Sentsov and Aleksandr Kolchenko in court. (c) Sergei Pivovarov, VisualRIAN</span></span></span><br />In the aftermath of Russia’s military occupation of Crimea in February 2014, Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, was busy. Maidan, as Sentsov stated in a Rostov military court on 6 August, had been ‘the main act of his life’. Later, back in his hometown of Simferopol, Sentsov set to work.</span></p><p>Helping journalists covering the fast-moving events on the ground, Sentsov assisted Ukrainian troops under blockade, driving them across Crimea to mainland Ukraine. He also searched for activists who had gone missing during the occupation. Some of them were never found.</p><p>However, it soon became clear that demonstrations and organising by local residents against the Russian occupation were not going to change the situation. Protest leaders were abducted ahead of the referendum on 16 March announced by the self-proclaimed government; a Crimean Tatar, Reshat Ametov, had been found dead the day before. Ten days prior, Ametov had held a solitary picket in the centre of Simferopol.&nbsp;</p><p><span>On 9 May, a man known to Sentsov as ‘Tundra’ informed him that Gennady Afanasyev, who had travelled with Sentsov to the Kyiv Maidan, had been arrested by the security services. ‘Tundra’, as it turned out, was Aleksandr Kolchenko, a local student and anarchist.</span></p><p>Later that day, Afanasyev rang Sentsov to arrange a meeting. The latter immediately turned off his mobile, and tried to find out what had become of Afanasyev. As Senstov described: Afanasyev’s voice sounded as if he’d been sentenced to death.</p><p>On 10 May, Sentsov was detained outside his home in Simferopol. A bag was&nbsp;<span>placed over his head, and he was bundled into a waiting bus, which delivered him to the old SBU (Ukrainian Security Services) headquarters.</span></p><p>Here, under the eye of the Russian FSB, investigators demanded Sentsov give&nbsp;<span>evidence on his alleged plans to blow up the city’s Lenin monument. They kicked and&nbsp;</span><span>punched Sentsov, beat him with truncheons, and then began to suffocate him&nbsp;</span><span>with plastic bags.</span></p><p>Sentsov was then undressed and threatened with rape by truncheon, before being told&nbsp;<span>he would be executed and buried in a forest. This was only the start of Sentsov’s&nbsp;</span><span>trial.</span></p><h2>‘I am a citizen of Ukraine’</h2><p>The ‘official’ investigation into Sentsov began in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison, where he and Aleksandr Kolchenko, together with Gennady Afanasyev and Aleksei Chirnyi, were implicated as members of a Crimean group that had planned a series of&nbsp;<span>‘</span><span>terrorist acts</span><span>’</span><span>&nbsp;</span><span>.</span></p><p>On orders from unknown persons in Kyiv, this group, including four other people as yet still at large, planned to ‘destabilise’ the situation in Crimea.</p><p>According to the investigation, Sentsov was the leader of this group, a local branch of Right Sector, a radical Ukrainian nationalist organisation that rose to the fore during Maidan last year. Certain elements of the Russian press and politicians have come to use Right Sector as a catch-all scare-symbol of violent nationalist revolution (t<span>he Russian authorities consider it a terrorist organisation)</span><span>, particularly in the early stages of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.&nbsp;</span></p><p>Indeed, the primary charges include setting alight the doors of a Russian community organisation building in Simferopol, as well as the windows of the local branch of United Russia. Though Kolchenko refused to give testimony, he does not deny participating in the arson attack against the United Russia office.</p><p>According to the investigation, this group also planned not only to blow up the Lenin monument, but also a monument to the Soviet war dead, the city’s ‘eternal flame’.</p><h2>Ordinary fascism</h2><p>The evidence against these men, however, is <a href="https://medium.com/@Hromadske/putin-s-hostages-sentsov-kolchenko-aeec0163bc19">farcical</a>. The bulk of the evidence of this group’s activities is based on the testimony of Aleksei Chirnyi, a history lecturer, and Gennady Afanasyev, a lawyer. Both of these men, who took part in Maidan activities, were arrested in May 2014, and have provided the only evidence of terrorist plans.</p><p>This evidence was gained under severe pressure and, <a href="http://khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1438821860">according to the men themselves</a>, torture. Both Afanasyev and Chirnyi were sentenced to prison on terrorism charges in December 2014. Afanasyev has since recanted his testimony, staying it was given under pressure. Chirnyi, a more eccentric character, seems to have planned a solo attack on the Lenin monument, only for an acquaintance to inform on him, and then set him up. The evidence of Chirnyi's plans, videos of his conversations with this acquaintance, does not feature Oleg Sentsov once.</p><p class="mag-quote-right">The evidence against these men is farcical. It was gained under severe pressure and, according to Sentsov, torture.</p><p>Meanwhile, the investigation’s evidence of Sentsov’s supposedly radical beliefs include copies of Mikhail Romm’s classic documentary<em> Ordinary Fascism</em> (1965), and <em>The Third Reich in Colour</em> (1998) found at his apartment. If you’ve ever seen these films, and Senstov’s 2011 <em>Gamer</em>, you’d find the idea that Sentsov is an extremist hard to believe.&nbsp;</p><p>Regardless of the highly dubious evidence, there are numerous procedural violations involved in this case, which have not been addressed. Though both men are Ukrainian citizens, the Russian courts and investigative agencies have treated Kolchenko and Sentsov as citizens of the Russian Federation and denied them access to consultation with their consulate’s representatives.</p><p>Moreover, under international law, citizens of occupied territory cannot be removed or deported by an occupying force. There is evidence of pressure and torture against Sentsov, as well as the need for investigation in the case of other members of this group.&nbsp;<span>In another grim legal twist, the bruises on Sentsov's body were declared evidence of his 'sado-masochistic' inclinations by a Russian prosecutor.&nbsp;</span></p><h2>‘Ukraine has still not died’</h2><p>Despite efforts by rights activists, filmmakers, and many others over the past year, on 25 August, Oleg Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years in prison, Aleksandr Kolchenko – 10.</p><p>As the men were sentenced, standing in the ‘fish tank’ (cage for defendants in Russian courts), they sang Ukraine’s national anthem: ‘Ukraine has still not died’.</p><p>The Sentsov-Kolchenko case is yet another tragic instance of the Russian state’s legal nihilism and tendency towards intimidation and repression as a system of social management. That is painfully true for the citizens of Crimea. In the past year, searches, arrests, and criminal investigations have swept the peninsula, as local authorities search for the slightest reason to strap ‘undesirable’ Crimean residents up on criminal charges.</p><p>Akhtem Chiygoz, deputy head of the Crimean Tatar Meijlis, i<a href="http://en.krymedia.ru/security/3369349-Deputy-Head-of-Mejlis-Akhtem-Chiygoz-Arrested">s currently on trial for organising a riot following the 26 February 2014 demonstration</a>. Three other Crimean Tatars, Eskender Kantemirov, Eskender Emirvaliev and Tyalyat Yunusov, are under investigation. If found guilty, Chiygoz could face up to ten years.</p><p>Aleksandr Kostenko, a former policeman turned Maidan activist, was <a href="http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/russia-jails-crimea-activist-alexander-kostenko-for-4-years-over-kiev-protest-allegations-763392">sentenced to four years of prison</a> on 15 May for allegedly injuring a Berkut officer during the Kyiv Maidan and illegally storing a firearm. Kostenko claims he was tortured during the investigation.</p><p>Nuri Primov, 38, used to work as a builder near Sevastopol. Together with Rustem Vaitov and Ruslan Zeitullayev, Primov was arrested in January. He is<span>&nbsp;accused of belonging to Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamic political organisation banned since 2003 in Russia, but not Ukraine. </span><a href="http://www.khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1434198488">These men are now being investigated on suspected charges of terrorism</a>, and are yet to gain access to legal counsel.&nbsp;</p><p>More than a year into a bloody conflict in the east and the occupation of Crimea, the strong-arm tactics of the Russian security establishment continue.</p><h2>'Why bring up a new generation of slaves?'</h2><p>The sentencing of Sentsov and Kolchenko comes at a time of heightened tension and <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/od-russia/vyacheslav-kozlov/will-patriotic-stop-list-kill-russia%E2%80%99s-ngos">an unprecedented crackdown on civil society in Russia</a>. </p><p>Russian media were quick to draw parallels to the release of Yevgenia Vasilyeva by a court in Vladimir, on the same day as Sentsov and Kolchenko's sentencing. Vasilyeva, a former Defence Ministry bureaucrat, was found guilty of embezzling some three billion roubles (£38 million) in an intricate scheme involving the selling off of ministry property.</p><p> The case attracted a great deal of attention given Vasilieva's alleged relationship with former Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. Her early release has dismayed both United Russia members and opposition activists, for whom it is a clear illustration of a corrupt and cynical political establishment. A Levada Center poll in May revealed that 61 percent of Russians thought that Vasilievna's five-year sentence was too lenient, while more <a href="http://www.interfax.ru/russia/462887" target="_blank">recent polling</a> on 27 August found that 70 percent of Russians disapproved of her parole.</p><p>International attention continues to be drawn to the case of Sentsov and Kolchenko, along with those of other Ukrainian citizens behind bars in Russia such as pilot Nadiya Savchenko. On 26 August, the Ukrainian government submitted its fourth complaint against Russia to the European Court of Human Rights, concerning Russia's violations of Ukrainian citizens' rights in the Sentsov and Kolchenko hearing. Renowned Russian film-makers Alexander Sokurov and Alexey Zvyagintsev, director of the recent and acclaimed Leviathan, have voiced support for their jailed Ukrainian colleague.</p><p>Sentsov's final words at the trial, 'why bring up a new generation of slaves?' have become something of a slogan for his cause. The sentiment has been echoed by Russian daily <em>Vedomosti</em>, which <a href="http://www.vedomosti.ru/opinion/articles/2015/08/26/606230-izdevatelskoe-poslanie-obschestvu">writes</a> that the sentence aimed to intimidate the populace as to the omnipotence of the country's security services. The editorial concluded that the trial set out to make a mockery of the powerful message of civil society. 'We will do as we like, and you will like it'.</p><p>Journalist Oleg Kashin <a href="http://kashin.guru/2015/08/25/pust-za-rossijskuyu-federatsiyu-budet-sty-dno-rossijskoj-federatsii/" target="_blank">forbids</a> Russian citizens the shame which will come to many too easily. 'Shame', Kashin writes, 'is a form of solidarity. Are you so sure that the Russian government deserves your solidarity?'</p><p>Bearing in mind the events of 25 August, we find it a compelling question.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/od-russia/alexandr-litoy/crimean-%E2%80%98terrorists%E2%80%99">The Crimean ‘terrorists’</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/od-russia/sergei-markedonov/crimean-%E2%80%98question%E2%80%99">The Crimean ‘question’</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Russia </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> oD Russia oD Russia Russia Editors of OpenDemocracy Russia Ukraine Russia Justice Human rights Fri, 28 Aug 2015 08:16:15 +0000 Editors of OpenDemocracy Russia 95557 at https://www.opendemocracy.net UK ‘Fairtrade’ Universities miss the point: Of both fair trade alternatives and the real function of universities https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/alastair-m-smith/uk-%E2%80%98fairtrade%E2%80%99-universities-miss-point-of-both-fair-trade-alternatives-a <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Fairtrade Universities focus too much on consumption and not enough on what universities are for: ideas.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/_-q__u1n65cHdlcMjm4M9iCLXa2Y65xBGnyDes4podI/mtime:1440596226/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/553846/Fairtrade-Schools-identity_RGB_POS-300x224.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/sx6Q7TfkOzAvjLhV44jHgFrAll9lRkMFMLThHoukk8k/mtime:1440596190/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/553846/Fairtrade-Schools-identity_RGB_POS-300x224.jpg" alt="" title="" width="300" height="224" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span></p><p dir="ltr">Following the success of <a href="http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/get-involved/in-your-community/towns">Fairtrade Towns</a> in the UK (where communities can be accredited for supporting consumption of Fairtrade goods), the Fairtrade Foundation launched certification <a href="http://schools.fairtrade.org.uk/">schemes for schools</a>, and <a href="http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/get-involved/in-your-community/universities/becoming-a-fairtrade-university">colleges and universities</a>. This initiative has been hugely successful: there are over 4,000 schools and well over 160 universities and colleges registered. Moreover, Wales and Scotland have gone further to work for independent recognition as <a href="http://fairtradewales.com/fair-trade-nation">Fair Trade Nations</a> on the back of these various social certifications, and the phenomena has spread internationally <a href="http://www.fairtradetowns.org/">to Europe and beyond</a>. </p><p dir="ltr">There is no doubt that these certification programs have done important work to draw attention to the continuing issues of international trade justice: which, while previously marginalised as a concern of the developing world, has recently been highlighted in the fallout over proposals for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – TTIP. However, there are now important questions to be asked in UK Further and Higher Education, as well as by members of the fair trade movement, about the focus of the Fairtrade Colleges and Universities programme. Two key questions in particular are: how should we define what we accept as fair trade activity, and on what basis should an institution concerned with research and/or teaching be acknowledged as making a notable contribution to the fair trade movement?</p><p dir="ltr">The History of the Fairtrade Foundation and Fairtrade Schools/Universities</p><p dir="ltr">The UK’s <a href="http://www.fairtrade.net/history-of-fairtrade.html">Fairtrade Foundation emerged</a> as a radical organisation offering independent certification for products originating with marginalised developing world farmers. In contrast to the distorted nature of international commodity trading, the Fairtrade Mark guaranteed UK consumers that goods were commercialised under conditions aimed to return as much benefit to the least advantaged in the supply chain. However, soon after its creation, the Fairtrade Foundation merged with similar certifiers in other countries in Europe, North America, and currently functions as the UK’s licencing body of an international network of certification: now known as <a href="http://www.fairtrade.net/history-of-fairtrade.html">Fairtrade International</a>. In its current form, the Fairtrade Foundation is primarily responsible for 1) awarding licences to retailers and other stakeholders to apply the certification mark on their products, and 2) growing the market for Fairtrade certified products. </p><p dir="ltr">In the process of its transformation, many trade justice advocates have argued that the requirements set for Fairtrade certification have been weakened: as in order to encourage participation by large commercial plays, such as the supermarkets, less has been required of these actors to support certified producers. Despite this however, Fairtrade remains a positive option for consumers who wish to consider justice in their purchasing, and has been <a href="http://orca.cf.ac.uk/48431/">shown to be of significant benefit when deployed in the right situations</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">As part of its marketing strategy, the Fairtrade Foundation adopted a proposition of Bruce Crowther (a vet and passionate trade justice advocate from Garstang, Lancashire) to develop recognition for fair trade towns: where the community undertakes particularly notable activities to promote international trade justice. However, given the function of the Fairtrade Foundation, <a href="http://orca.cf.ac.uk/10706/1/2011SmithAMPhD.pdf">the recognition became strongly focused around the promotion of goods with the Fairtrade mark</a>; and the scheme for Fairtrade Schools and Universities has adopted the same. </p><p dir="ltr">Examining the requirements of Fairtrade Universities, these are largely focused on the consumption of Fairtrade goods. <a href="http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/get-involved/in-your-community/universities/becoming-a-fairtrade-university">Goals require that the University</a> or College: 1) passes a Fairtrade policy statement, incorporating the five goals and which is reviewed annually to improve and develop engagement; 2) stocks Fairtrade products including food and cotton sale in all campus shops/cafés/restaurants/bars on campus; 3) uses Fairtrade products at all meetings/events hosted by the university/college and the Student Union (or equivalent), including internal management meetings; 4) organises Fairtrade Campaigns to “increase the understanding of Fairtrade and consumption of Fairtrade products”, although there should also be “student events, campaigns and raising awareness of trade justice as well as integrating Fairtrade into subject teaching where appropriate”, and; 5) sets up a Fairtrade Steering Group to coordinate activities and certification renewal. </p><p dir="ltr">In many ways, the Fairtrade certification in the UK arguably fits the <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/collections/liberalism-in-neoliberal-world/liberalism-and-education">neoliberalisation of the university</a>: where a focus on service, business and consumption, subordinates critical approaches to the management of knowledge generation and learning beneath the imperatives of market competition. However, for those who believe the Higher and Further Education must be much more, there are alternative roles for which institutions should celebrate their active participation in international trade justice.</p><p dir="ltr">Alternative Fair Trade perspectives: Fair trade universities and knowledge in Latin America</p><p dir="ltr">Fairtrade certification emerged from a much longer history of informal fair trade activities (uncertified but based on trust, information and critical engagement). For this reason, the wider movement for fair trade (expressed as two words, as opposed to the unified and trademarked name owned by Fairtrade International) recognises the importance of a <a href="http://wfto.com/fair-trade/charter-fair-trade-principles">wide range of practices to promote trade justice</a>. For example, the <a href="http://wfto.com">World Fair Trade Organisation</a> is as old as the Fairtrade system, but focuses on lower volume crafts rather than bulk commodities – and has been less successful in having it certification recognised by the public, largely due to adopting a less business focused approach. </p><p dir="ltr">Moreover, in Latin America, the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Fair Trade Small Producers (CLAC), also campaigns for the promotion of fair trade, and is <a href="http://orca.cf.ac.uk/10706/1/2011SmithAMPhD.pdf">arguable the original home of what subsequently became the Fairtrade certification system</a>. However, for a long time, many of the members have been vocally dissatisfied with how Fairtrade International has developed the concept of fair trade: particularly in the transition from exclusive support for small producers to certify agricultural plantations (some argue to satisfy the demands of supermarkets), and the shift from dedicated, socially embedded supportive relationships (an emphasis on the quality of fair trade relationships), to institutionalised certification and marketing (to an emphasis on the quantity of fair trade products sold). </p><p dir="ltr">Setting aside the deep and complex differences of perspectives on supply chain organisation, CLAC and WFTO-Latin America developed their own “<a href="http://ciudades-comerciojusto.org/">Latin American Fair Trade Towns and Villages</a> programme”: presented recently during the last <a href="http://www.bristolfairtrade.org.uk/">Fair Trade Towns International Conference in Bristol</a>. According to CLAC representative, Marco Coscione, producers and artisans should be more visible in fair trade processes, and public authorities must recognize and work with them, to develop local fair trade strategies.</p><p dir="ltr">As a result of this difference of approach, CLAC also launched the “<a href="http://www.clac-comerciojusto.org/ulcj">Latin American Universities for Fair Trade</a>” campaign in August 2014. Here the focus of the criteria is reversed and widened to include different fair trade approaches at the local, national and international levels. Instead of prioritising the consumption of goods, the criteria focus on the creation of knowledge for trade justice by colleges and universities. Therefore, there must be at least one research project or publication per year focused on Fair Trade, the Solidarity Economy or Responsible Consumption (and so not necessarily about fair trade) and at least, one course per academic year in which these issues are addressed. Naturally, the university should also adopt a policy of ethical procurement and supply. However, in place of focusing on the consumption of one fair trade label (e.g. Fairtrade), institutions can buy directly from organizations of small producers of fair trade, or purchase goods accredited by the WFTO, Fundeppo&nbsp;(<a href="http://home.spp.coop/SPP/index.php?lang=en">Small Producers’ Symbol</a>) or any other democratically organized small producers’ organization of the local or national solidarity economy sector. </p><p dir="ltr">What the UK Universities can learn from the Global Fair Trade Movement</p><p dir="ltr">The growth of fair trade in the UK is a unique story. The Fairtrade Foundation has undoubtedly strengthened and widened the public recognition of trade justice issues through Fairtrade certification of towns, schools, colleges and universities. Having said this, where other countries have taken on the ideas and tools, many alternative models have emerged. <a href="http://orca.cf.ac.uk/69199/">As I have analysed elsewhere</a>, in Australia and New Zealand for example, ‘place based fair trade certification’ is administered by an independent organisation that recognises not just Fairtrade International but other certification marks. Moreover, as noted above, the CLAC producer network has placed the emphasis on acknowledging universities that participate in the creation and teaching of knowledge for trade justice, and a more socially and environmentally embedded economy in general. Therefore, for me, this approach is much better aligned with the primary function of a university, to create knowledge for social good; and therefore, helps to resist the slow reduction of UK educational institutions to little more than buyers and sellers of goods and services. </p><p dir="ltr">Given recent news about the institutionalisation of trade governance under the TTIP – which many <a href="https://www.tni.org/en/briefing/ttip-why-rest-world-should-beware">independent analysts</a> see as little more than the further promotion of corporate interests ahead of those of &nbsp;sovereign governments and their citizens – it is imperative that the UK population engages with the issues of trade justice. The only way this can be achieved, is if those with the privilege of a university education are involved in active and critical knowledge generation around the related issues. </p><p dir="ltr">Now is the time to rethink what it means for a university to claim an active and notable role in the global fair trade movement: buying certified coffee is no longer anywhere near good enough, and the independent and critical analysis of both mainstream and alternative economic governance is now essential.</p><div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> OurKingdom OurKingdom Alastair M Smith Fri, 28 Aug 2015 08:15:25 +0000 Alastair M Smith 95510 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Air war vs Islamic State: myth and reality https://www.opendemocracy.net/paul-rogers/air-war-vs-islamic-state-myth-and-reality <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The intense United States-led bombardment in Syria-Iraq is escalating. But how effective is it?</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>During the last decade's Iraq war, the Pentagon practised “embedding” media personnel with United States armed forces in order to give the American public something approaching a frontline picture of their efforts. The great majority of the journalists involved came to identify with the troops they were living with, and in the main the Pentagon’s media managers were pleased with the <a href="http://www.journalism.org/2006/10/26/the-vanishing-embedded-reporter-in-iraq/">result</a>. After all, if a reporter filed what the Pentagon considered to be an unflattering view, then it would take steps not to repeat that particular “embedding” experience, perhaps <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/30/AR2010043001100.html">making</a> it near impossible for the professional concerned to work in the field without official access.</p><p>A few journalists were independent from the start, <a href="http://www.versobooks.com/authors/198-patrick-cockburn">Patrick Cockburn</a> being a noted example. Their reports often turned out to have given a much truer picture of the war, and how it was going wrong. In other cases, good reporting by embedded correspondents produced results that seemed reasonable to the Pentagon, but which in hindsight took on a different cast. One example was when <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/pamela-constable">Pamela Constable</a>, a highly experienced correspondent for the <em>Washington Post</em>, reported on a US marines' <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/conflict/fallujah_2691.jsp">operation</a> in the city of Fallujah in April 2004.</p><p>A convoy taking supplies to a forward base in the city was ambushed and came under severe assault, only getting out when a powerful force of marines moved in and fought for hours against the attackers. There were injuries but no deaths among the marines, but the level of opposition was a huge shock, The commander subsequently called in AC-130 gunships that devastated several blocks of the city in what Constable <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2004/04/21/hopeful-refugees-return-to-fallujah/09352469-23fc-4002-964e-a90414a33db5/">reported</a> was a reprisal raid.</p><p>At the time, the insurgents were widely considered to be terrorists, supporters of the Saddam Hussein <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/globalization/article_1673.jsp">regime</a> and therefore somehow linked to the 9/11 attacks. Reprisals against terrorists were clearly deemed fair, with little understanding of what killing civilians on a large scale might imply. At least, though, that action did come to light through Constable’s careful reporting. (see "<a href="https://opendemocracy.net/conflict/article_1858.jsp">Between Fallujah and Palestine</a>", 22 April 2004)</p><p><strong>An intense campaign</strong></p><p>In the new air war against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the media environment is very different world. There is virtually no reporting in the western press of what is actually happening on the ground. Information is sometimes forthcoming, though, in some of the military journals, and here a couple of interesting recent indications of the impact of the air-war can be found.&nbsp; </p><p>The first is a report in <em>Air Force Times</em> where members of B-1 bomber crews of the 9th bomb squadron were interviewed (see "<a href="http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/military/2015/08/23/inside-b-1-crew-pounded-isis-1800-bombs/31166125/">Inside the B-1 crew that pounded ISIS with 1,800 bombs</a>", <em>Air Force Times</em>, 23 August 2015). Its context is the battle for the Kurdish town of <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2015/0202/After-defeating-Islamic-State-in-Kobane-what-next-for-Syria-s-Kurds-video">Kobane</a> in northern Syria in late 2014. This was not central to the war against IS, but was more widely reported when the Kurds finally forced IS to withdraw. A few TV reports of the aftermath were broadcast, with some evidence that the town had been seriously damaged in the attacks. <em>Air Force Times </em>fills in the details, not least that a third of all the bombs dropped in Iraq and Syria in the first five months of the war (August 2014-January 2015) were <a href="http://uk.businessinsider.com/afp-in-battle-for-kobane-us-crews-recount-heavy-bombing-2015-2?r=US&amp;IR=T">dropped</a> on Kobane by the B-1 bombers, killing 1,000 people.</p><p>An airforce major says: “To be part of something, to go out and stomp those guys out, it was completely overwhelming and exciting”. An Islamic State source quoted by CNN comments: “They targeted everything. They even attacked motorcycles; they have not left a building standing, but God willing we will return and we will have our revenge multiplied.”&nbsp; The battle for Kobani may have been won by the coalition, but there seems to be little left of the town.</p><p>It seems to be common practice to destroy a truck or even a single motorcycle with a 200-kilogram bomb dropped from altitude. This intense air war is now escalating, with the large airbase at Incirlik in southern Turkey - only 20 minutes flight-time from the war zone - now available to the US airforce (USAF). F-16 strike aircraft <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/09/us-mideast-crisis-incirlik-idUSKCN0QE0RV20150809">moved</a> to Incirlik from their base at Aviano, Italy on 9 August and flew their first attack-raids three days later.&nbsp; </p><p>Again, <em>Air Force Times</em> says it with <a href="http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/military/2015/08/24/hammering-islamic-state-group-24-hours-day/31914677/">effect</a>: “Hammering the Islamic State group 24 hours a day." Brigadier-General Kevin Killea, one of the coalition commanders, commends Turkey for providing a “fantastic strategic location to fly from”. He continues: “The longer time on station, the ability for turnaround times - back to Incirlik and then back into the theatre of operations - is an obvious advantage, not the least of which we have armed RPA [drones] out of Incirlik now, so that brings another punch to the fight.”&nbsp;&nbsp; </p><p>In the year of air-war to 21 August 2015, coalition aircraft and drones had released 22,863 weapons. The availability of Incirlik makes the intensity likely to increase further. Even so, <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/paul-rogers/blowback-iraq-war-to-islamic-state">Islamic State</a> appears successfully to have replaced its losses with new recruits, and even the airforce acknowledges that the war will last for years.</p><p><strong>A sober reality</strong></p><p>An extra dimension is now being added to this picture. The Pentagon’s inspector-general is <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/pentagon-probing-alleged-distorting-war-intelligence-161906005--politics.html">investigating</a> claims that US defence-department officials have been skewing intelligence outputs to present an over-optimistic picture of the progress of the air-war, in contrast to some intelligence agencies. The <em>New York Times</em>, for example, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/26/world/middleeast/pentagon-investigates-allegations-of-skewed-intelligence-reports-on-isis.html?_r=0">reports</a>:</p><p>“[Recent] intelligence assessments, including some by Defense Intelligence Agency, paint a sober picture about how little the Islamic State has been weakened over the past year, according to officials with access to the classified assessments. They said the documents conclude that the yearlong campaign has done little to diminish the ranks of the Islamic State’s committed fighters, and that the group over the last year has expanded its reach into North Africa and Central Asia.”&nbsp; </p><p>Whatever the reality on the ground, what is clear is that the air-war has been furious and concentrated, and is going to expand further. In the case of Kobane at least, Islamic State fighters can be repulsed. But the damage, there and elsewhere, is appalling. Once again, the phrase of the Caledonian chieftain Calgacus, as recorded by the Roman historian Tacitus, comes to mind: “They make a desert and call it peace.”</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="http://www.brad.ac.uk/peace/index.php"><span><span>Department of peace studies, Bradford University</span></span></a></p><p><a href="http://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/" target="_blank"><span><span>Oxford Research Group</span></span></a></p><p>Patrick Cockburn, <em><a href="http://www.versobooks.com/books/1830-the-rise-of-islamic-state">The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution</a></em> (Verso, 2015)</p><p><a href="http://www.remotecontrolproject.org/"><span><span>Remote Control Project</span></span></a></p><p>Paul Rogers, <em><a href="http://www.plutobooks.com/display.asp?K=9780745329376&amp;" target="_blank"><span><span>Losing Control: Global Security in the 21st Century</span></span></a></em> (Pluto, 3rd edition, 2010)</p><p>Michael Weiss &amp; Hassan Hassan, <a href="http://books.simonandschuster.co.uk/ISIS/Michael-Weiss/9781941393574"><em>ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror</em></a> (Simon &amp; Schuster, 2015)</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/paul-rogers/blowback-iraq-war-to-islamic-state">Blowback: Iraq war to Islamic State</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/paul-rogers/remote-control-light-on-new-war">Remote control: light on new war </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/paul-rogers/islamic-state-why-so-resilient">Islamic State: why so resilient?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/paul-rogers/thirtyyear-war-renewed">The thirty-year war, renewed</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/paul-rogers/islamic-state-longterm-prospect">Islamic State, a long-term prospect</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/paul-rogers/islamic-state-vs-its-far-enemy">Islamic State vs its far enemy</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> global security Paul Rogers Fri, 28 Aug 2015 04:11:39 +0000 Paul Rogers 95558 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Who’s responsible for violence against migrant women? https://www.opendemocracy.net/beyondslavery/jane-freedman/who%E2%80%99s-responsible-for-violence-against-migrant-women <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Migrant women are vulnerable to violence at all stages of their journey due to gendered inequalities and relations of domination. Current EU policies restricting migration exacerbate their vulnerability.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none caption-xlarge'><a href="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/MnfRqoe7B3msxMLPP9DL3jOso6YeAxhnRfQbnTIvLrE/mtime:1440754235/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/555228/7529530.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="https://dy1m18dp41gup.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/twjqm0ikK07yLdqGBnZg_V8klymuEeLvQ-f09CHyuiw/mtime:1440754221/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555228/7529530.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="307" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>One of hundreds of migrants arriving in Salerno in May, 2015. Michele Amoruso/Demotix. All Rights Reserved.</span></span></span></p><p>EU leaders have been quick to blame the current migrant “crisis” in the Mediterranean on smugglers/traffickers, and plans have been put in place to try and break up smuggling/trafficking networks that supposedly threaten migrants’ security. However, when we examine migrants’ experiences more closely it becomes apparent that the EU’s increasingly restrictive policies of migration control constitute one of their main sources of insecurity. These cut down on legal avenues for migration, thereby forcing migrants to increasingly employ smugglers and to attempt evermore circuitous routes to reach Europe. These insecurities can be particularly severe for women migrants, as gendered relations of power create different forms of violence and vulnerability for women. These gendered relations of power often play out in various forms of violence, the perpetrators of which include fellow migrants (in some cases members of a woman’s close family or travelling companions), traffickers/smugglers, or police and state agents. These multiple forms of violence are the result of gendered inequalities of power that may already exist, but which are magnified and reinforced through migration. Policies that attempt to restrict migration do little or nothing to control this violence, and in many instances directly contribute to or intensify it.</p> <p>Research on many different regions of the world have highlighted the interconnections between gender, migration, violence, and insecurity. Different push and pull factors, migration control regimes, as well as the social and economic conditions found in the countries of origin, transit and destination create varying types of insecurity and violence for men and women. This variation depends greatly on the social and economic positions of the different actors and the relations of power that exist between them. The sexual division of labour in both the origin and destination countries, the presence or absence of spatial restrictions to public space and mobility for women, and the effects of a restructured and globalised capitalist economy are all factors that help explain gendered variations in migration. On top of these location-specific issues, gendered inequalities in the sexual distribution of wealth is a global factor that pushes many women to migrate in order to ensure survival for themselves and their families.</p> <p>Economic insecurity is often coupled with other forms of insecurity, including gendered forms of violence. Some women migrate to escape the threat of forced marriage or female genital mutilation, while others are victims of domestic violence, sexual violence or rape, or persecution on the grounds of their sexual orientation. The prevalence of sexual violence against women is all too evident in the various conflicts taking place around the world today, giving women another reason to try and leave their countries of residence. All of these factors, as well as many others, influence a woman’s decision when she contemplates whether or not to leave her country and for the relative safety of Europe.</p> <p>Gendered forms of persecution, such as the threat of forced marriage or female genital mutilation, or sexual violence during war, have now been recognised by the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) as falling within the scope of the 1951 Refugee Convention. Women fleeing such forms of persecution should therefore be eligible for refugee protection, but although EU states have seen an increase in asylum-claims based on gender-related forms of persecution, many women migrants just arriving are still unaware of the possibility of making an asylum claim. This can be attributed to a more general non-recognition of gender-related violence, which is often normalised as part of a patriarchal regimes and internalised by its victims. Political authorities and international organisations present within countries of transit and destination also fail to provide adequate information to these women on their rights to claim asylum. Furthermore, even those women who do manage to make an asylum claim based on gender-related persecution face major obstacles when proving the credibility of their claim. </p> <p>Violence is a feature of women’s journeys as much as it is a cause of migration, as the decision of a woman to enter public space in order to migrate is often times read by others as an ‘invitation’ for sexual relations. The frequency with which such (mis)understandings occur has, in many ways, ‘normalised’ the sexual violence that occurs against migrant women—for many it has become just a “part of the journey”. Attempting to guard against this by travelling with a male partner doesn’t necessarily guarantee security because he himself might a source of violence or exploitation. When this turns out to be the case, many women feel compelled to stay with him for fear of attracting a worse alternative by travelling alone.</p> <p>‘Paying’ smugglers with sex has also become normalised. Sometimes this is consensual, such as when women with little financial capital choose to exchange sexual relations for help in reaching Europe, however at other times sexual relationships between women migrants and smugglers are forced. Many women seem to accept the possibility that they may be forced to engage in sexual relationships with smugglers, fellow migrants, or border guards in order to survive and to reach their destination as <a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/03/23/293449153/the-rarely-told-stories-of-sexual-assault-against-female-migrants">an almost inevitable part of their journey</a>s. Police violence against women migrants has been reported in states like Libya or <a href="https://beatingborders.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/moroccan-police-routinely-rape-female-bodied-sub-saharan-migrants/">Morocco</a>, as well as in the detention centres in EU member states. The criminalisation of migrants and the EU’s current emphasis on preventing migrants from reaching Europe have both serve to legitimate such violence both in transit countries and the EU. </p> <p>The causes of women’s migration are complex and involve factors relating to economic, physical, and social insecurities. These causes of migration are unlikely to disappear in the near future. Describing these gendered insecurities of migration does not in any way imply that the women involved are mere ‘victims’, as they have clearly developed many strategies for dealing with the insecurities they face. However, these survival strategies should not be seen as alternatives to state and international protection of these women’s rights. In the long-term, the only way to improve these women’s security is through a genuine commitment to providing safe and legal routes for migration and/or claiming asylum. </p><div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> BeyondSlavery BeyondSlavery Jane Freedman Gender Fri, 28 Aug 2015 04:00:00 +0000 Jane Freedman 95539 at https://www.opendemocracy.net