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NTS Bulletin

NTS Bulletin August 2011 (Issue 2)

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The Genocide Trials in Cambodia

On 30 June 2011, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) concluded the initial hearings for Case 002, in which the four surviving principal members of the ruling elite of the Khmer Rouge regime were indicted. These hearings, together with the trials of Case 001, represent the efforts of Cambodia and the international community to seek justice for the 1.7 million Cambodians who died of extrajudicial executions, starvation and overwork as a result of the social engineering policies under the Khmer Rouge.

The ECCC is a hybrid tribunal established by Cambodia and the UN to prosecute the senior Khmer Rouge officials most responsible for and/or directly involved in the mass atrocity crimes between 1975 and 1979. It is staffed by both Cambodian and international personnel, with the Cambodians being in the majority. The mixed nature of the ECCC was the most acceptable option for both sides as the Cambodian government insisted on full respect for its sovereignty during the negotiations.

In July 2010, the ECCC finished the proceedings of Case 001 and sentenced the defendant – Kang Kek Lew, alias Duch – to 30 years in prison. Duch was the commander of Security Prison 21 where around 16,000 people were killed. With regard to the ongoing Case 002, there is an expectation that the trial process will disclose the reasons underlying such cruel policies, given that the defendants are key members of the ruling class. In addition to Cases 001 and 002, there are two more cases pending final decision on whether to proceed to prosecution. The difficulties in deciding the fate of these latter two cases have sparked criticisms of political interference by the Cambodian government in the trial process. This is especially since Prime Minister Hun Sen has repeatedly stated that, for the sake of peace and reconciliation in Cambodia, there will not be additional prosecutions.

Although the trials have been delayed more than 30 years, it nevertheless ends impunity, which is crucial for the prevention of future mass atrocities. In addition, the publication of the trial process serves as a means to educate the younger generation about that period of Cambodian history.

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HUMAN TRAFFICKING

News & Commentaries

Selected Publications

This report presents a study evaluating the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) anti-human trafficking projects. The study seeks to assess the design, implementation, outputs and institutional learning processes of the IOM’s counter-trafficking projects in selected countries. The report describes the key findings of that study and offers recommendations.

The ILO recently adopted the Convention concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers and its accompanying Recommendation. The Convention details a set of international standards to improve the working conditions of domestic workers worldwide. The Convention and its accompanying Recommendation was adopted by the tripartite International Labour Conference comprising government officials, employers and workers. The Convention will come into force after it is ratified by two countries.

Events & Announcements

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INTERNAL AND CROSS-BORDER CONFLICT

News & Commentaries

Selected Publications

The paper provides a brief review of the World Bank’s community-driven development (CDD) projects in the post-conflict and conflict-affected areas of the Asia-Pacific region. It identifies the challenges, aims and causal mechanisms, and assesses the impacts of CDD projects.

The report highlights the important role of civil society in advancing the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) at the national, regional and international level. It categorises non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society groups into eight groups according to their work focus and reviews their respective activities in regard to the promotion of the RtoP.

Events & Announcements

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MIGRATION

News & Commentaries

Selected Publications

Arguing against accounts that deny that a securitisation of mobility regimes and migration has occurred post-9/11, this article suggests that the application of biometrics in the area of border control, along with a widespread reliance on risk management, speaks precisely to a broadening of the securitisation (and criminalisation) of migration. This approach opens up space for comprehending the ethical, political and normative implications of such securitisation.

This review of Scott D. Watson’s The Securitization of Humanitarian Migration considers the securitisation of migration and its consequences for policy. The reviewer questions the tendency of securitisation studies and theories to take their object of study at face value in terms of the dominance it really holds in public discourse, failing to consider their own complicity in actually justifying and reproducing securitising apparatuses at a discursive level.

Events & Announcements

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TRANSNATIONAL CRIME

News & Commentaries

Selected Publications

According to this report, illicit financial outflows increased from USD1.06 trillion in 2006 to approximately USD1.26 trillion in 2008, with average annual illicit outflows from developing countries averaging USD725 billion to USD810 billion per year over the 2000–2008 period. The report observed that Asia accounted for the largest portion of the illicit financial flows from the developing world, that is, 44.4 per cent. This was followed by the Middle East and North Africa (17.9 per cent), developing Europe (17.8 per cent), the Western Hemisphere (15.4 per cent) and Africa (4.5 per cent).

This report analyses the scale, flow, profit distribution and impact of 12 different types of illicit trade. The primary findings of the report are: the global illicit flow of goods, guns, people and natural resources is estimated at approximately USD650 billion; profits from illicit markets are funnelled mainly to transnational crime syndicates; and criminal networks, which function most easily where there is a certain level of underdevelopment and state weakness, have very little incentive to bolster the legitimate economies of the countries in which they operate.

According to a new report by the UNODC, Afghanistan continues to remain the largest source of the global illicit trade in opium and heroin, generating USD68 billion in 2009. Transnational organised crime groups profited most from this trade; Afghan farmers earned a relatively small share, that is, USD440 million. The report concludes that the criminal and insurgent groups who benefit from the trade pose serious challenges to governance, security, stability and development, not just in Afghanistan but also beyond.

Events & Announcements

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WATER SECURITY

News & Commentaries

Selected Publications

This is a survey of existing scientific knowledge on the anticipated consequences of climate change for water use in agriculture. The impacts discussed include rising sea levels, and reductions in river run-off and aquifer recharges. One key area requiring attention, according to the report, is the improvement of the ability of countries to implement effective systems to measure water supplies, transfers and transactions, in order to inform decisions about how water resources can be managed and used under increasing variability.

The damming of rivers could have significant repercussions for habitats, farms, fisheries and other natural services. This issue of the World Rivers Review focuses on how to maintain healthy flows in rivers. The following measures are recommended: (1) protecting the remaining free-flowing rivers; (2) insisting on minimum flows to support the basic ecosystem functions of dammed rivers; and (3) dismantling poorly planned dams to restore flows.

While there have been major advancements in sea-water desalination technology, it is still more energy intensive compared to conventional technologies for the treatment of fresh water. The potential environmental impacts of large-scale sea-water desalination plants are also of concern. In light of these, the authors caution that desalination should only be considered a last resort, and they suggest that there is a need for long-term research on the impact of sea-water desalination on the aquatic environment.

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You are free to publish this material in its entirety or only in part in your newspapers, wire services, internet-based information networks and newsletters and you may use the information in your radio-TV discussions or as a basis for discussion in different fora, provided full credit is given to the author(s) and the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS). Kindly inform the publisher (NTS_Centre@ntu.edu.sg) and provide details of when and where the publication was used.

About the Centre:

The Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies was inaugurated by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretary-General Dr Surin Pitsuwan in May 2008. The Centre maintains research in the fields of Food Security, Climate Change, Energy Security, Health Security as well as Internal and Cross-Border Conflict. It produces policy-relevant analyses aimed at furthering awareness and building capacity to address NTS issues and challenges in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. The Centre also provides a platform for scholars and policymakers within and outside Asia to discuss and analyse NTS issues in the region.

In 2009, the Centre was chosen by the MacArthur Foundation as a lead institution for the MacArthur Asia Security Initiative, to develop policy research capacity and recommend policies on the critical security challenges facing the Asia-Pacific.

The Centre is also a founding member and the Secretariat for the Consortium of Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies in Asia (NTS-Asia). More information on the Centre can be found at www.rsis.edu.sg/nts.


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