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NTS Bulletin

NTS Bulletin July 2011 (Issue 2)

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MAIN HIGHLIGHT

US Annual Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Report Released

The new Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report by the US Department of State was published in late June. The report is an effort to comprehensively measure the human trafficking situation across the globe. In addition to an analysis of the problem in various parts of the world, it also offers a classification system that places countries in specific tiers according to how well they have adopted the recommendations provided by the US administration.

While Singapore has been taken off the watch list, it remains classified as a 2nd tier country. According to the authors of the report, the country still needs to improve its anti-trafficking measures and continue to comply with US suggestions. While Singaporean officials welcomed the upgrading of their country’s status, they have also expressed concerns that the report is ‘riddled with inaccuracies in the section on Singapore’.

The report has received attention from politicians, media and activists from across the globe. It is currently debated in both academic and non-academic circles as concerns have arisen over its accuracy and neutrality.

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HUMAN TRAFFICKING

News & Commentaries

Selected Publications

The authors identify three levels of narrative constructions of human trafficking. Using the 2006 UK immigration crisis (known commonly as the ‘Foreign Prisoners’ Scandal’) as a reference, the article examines how, why and when these narrative constructions came into being and what influenced them. They argue that the interaction within and among the three levels led to adaptation of organisational roles and prompted changes in response to human trafficking in the UK.

The US Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report has come to represent the leading international enforcement mechanism for human trafficking. The monitoring standards are, however, based on the US’ domestic approach to tackling the issue. According to this article, that approach is predominantly founded on constructing victims of trafficking based on race, gender and class, which is why the trafficking discourse has been unable to embrace a more nuanced understanding of the issue, one that recognises other forms of trafficking, such as forced labour.

Events & Announcements

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INTERNAL AND CROSS-BORDER CONFLICT

News & Commentaries

Selected Publications

This policy brief uses Papua as a case study to highlight the internal challenges that could potentially compromise Indonesia’s position as a champion of democracy and human rights in the region. It suggests that shifting the lens from traditional security to human security may be conducive to both identifying and addressing the key challenges facing Papua.

This report argues that existing methods of peacebuilding evaluation are systemically problematic, hindering the effective evaluation and formulation of response strategies. It identifies four problems associated with peacebuilding evaluation and puts forward three categories of solutions for improvement.

Events & Announcements

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MIGRATION

News & Commentaries

Selected Publications

This article aims to shed light on the physical and mental health implications of various migration interception strategies – which encompasses immigration detention as well as pre-emptive strategies – being used to halt the movement of irregular migrants, including asylum seekers. The authors argue that health professionals have to become more engaged in discussions on migration in order to identify a global response to irregular migration that promotes, or at least mitigates, threats to good health.

Based on fieldwork conducted in the UK, this article explores the complex relationship between asylum seekers and various support organisations. It suggests that service providers often operate from a stereotypical image of asylum seekers as vulnerable and dependent, to which the individuals often conform in order to attract assistance, thus ultimately perpetuating their social and political exclusion. To encourage proper integration and participation, the author advocates an active, two-way dialogue between service providers and asylum seekers.

Events & Announcements

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TRANSNATIONAL CRIME

News & Commentaries

Selected Publications

This interview with Mark Haller, conducted in August 2010, discusses Haller’s career and his research on organised crime. His study focuses on crime in Chicago and Philadelphia, in particular the business activities of Al Capone and Angelo Bruno and their respective associates. He concludes that illegal businesses must be distinguished analytically and empirically from fraternal criminal organisations.

This paper discusses criminal water pollution. The author explores the fundamental challenges faced in fighting such crimes effectively. While there may exist a relatively consistent, content-neutral enforcement system at the federal level, this is not the case at the state level. The authors argue that, at the state level, there is a tendency for the law, and its enforcement, to lean towards protecting the interests of venture capitalists.

Events & Announcements

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WATER SECURITY

News & Commentaries

Selected Publications

This report summarises current knowledge on the anticipated impacts of climate change on water availability for agriculture, and examines the implications for food security. It makes the case for the immediate implementation of strategies that will result in both positive development outcomes and greater resilience of agricultural systems. The report could help policymakers incorporate the water variable (as it applies to agriculture and other competing uses) into their adaptation responses.

This study examines the national legal frameworks of six European countries to determine whether, and to what extent, they provide effective governance of water services provision. It identifies a knowledge deficit regarding practices that constitute good governance in this field and proposes that the functioning of different governance mechanisms in diverse regulatory settings could be evaluated by focusing on the principles of transparency, public participation and access to justice.

This issue features think pieces on various facets of urban water sustainability. The articles deal with: (1) the significant water issues of today, including water quality, water governance, climate change and the water-energy nexus, and the challenges associated with dealing with them; and (2) possible solutions or mechanisms for mitigating these challenges.

This report demonstrates how effective water resource management can support sustainable economic development in sectors such as tourism, health, agriculture and industry while at the same time restoring ecosystem services. It outlines specific steps to be taken by the Kaliningrad Oblast both internally and in partnership with its neighbours in order to achieve concrete benefits from better management of water resources.

Events & Announcements

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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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