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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world

News & Updates

> New: Institutionally blind? International organisations and human rights abuses in the former Soviet Union

Institutionally blind? International organisations and human rights abuses in the former Soviet Union examines whether some of the major international institutions covering the former Soviet Union (FSU) are currently meeting their human rights commitments. The publication shows how the independence and integrity of institutions defending human rights in the region are under attack from outside and within, sometimes buckling under the pressure.

The publication contains contributions from: Anna Chernova, formerly OSCE; Dr. Rilka Dragneva, University of Birmingham; Charles Hecker, Control Risks; Adam Hug, Foreign Policy Centre (ed.); Gubad Ibadoglu, Economic Research Center; Florian Irminger, Human Rights House; Dr. Hrant Kostanyan, CEPS; Kate Levine, EHRAC; Libby McVeigh, Fair Trials International; Dr. Beata Martin-Rozumilowicz, formerly OSCE/ODIHR; Tinatin Tsertsvadze, International Partnership for Human Rights; Rebecca Vincent, Sport for Rights.


> New: Enterprising Africa: What role can financial inclusion play in driving employment-led growth?

'Enterprising Africa: What role can financial inclusion play in driving employment-led growth?' is a new FPC report which explores how improving the access and distribution of financial services influences employment creation across Africa.

With a foreword provided by the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Dr Carlos Lopes, the FPC publication focuses on how responsible financial sector development might be linked to employment creation objectives and targets across the real economy, including productive sectors such as agriculture, food production and rural manufacturing. The FPC report argues that such developments would be timely given today's global population rise which is driving a global surge in the demand for food.


> Traditional religion and political power: Examining the role of the church in Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine and Moldova

Traditional religion

The FPC new publication Traditional religion and political power: Examining the role of the church in Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine and Moldova examines the political and social role of the Orthodox Churches in Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova and of the Armenian Apostolic Church. It explores the ways in which the churches have contributed to the development of national identities since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the role they play in civil society. The publication looks at the nature of the relationship between church and state; how the churches influence, support and challenge the secular authorities in their hold on power and their response to 'traditional values' issues such as LGBTI and minority faith rights. The publication also looks at the ways in which the Russian Orthodox Church and Russian Government have been looking to influence this debate in these countries.

The publication contains contributions from: Professor Yulia Antonyan, Yerevan State University; Eka Chitanava, Tolerance and Diversity Institute; Stepan Danielyan, Collaboration for Democracy Centre; Adam Hug (ed.), Foreign Policy Centre; Myroslav Marynovych, Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv; Victor Munteanu, Soros Foundation Moldova; Rev. Fr. Dr Daniel Payne; Professor Oleksandr Sagan, Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy and Irakli Vacharadze, Executive Director, Identoba. Kindly supported by the Open Society Foundations.


> FPC Briefing: The EU on human rights- Turning words into action

In this new FPC Briefing by Senior Research Associate Jacqueline Hale examines the EU's record on promoting human rights, democracy, the rule of law and international justice through its external actions following the launch of its global human rights policy in 2012. Following the failures of the Arab Spring, a troubled neighbourhood policy, deepening tensions with Russia, a 'migration crisis', rising xenophobia and efforts to undermine human rights by member states' governments ranging from Hungary to the UK Hale explores the more challenging context into which the EU's human rights policy has been revised in 2015. She argues that despite its roots as a peace project and community of rules and norms, in practice the EU has consistently underperformed on human rights, and its own values project is frequently undermined amid growing internal and external challenges. The briefing examines whether the EU will be able to learn the lessons of past failures, and address the growing gap between rousing words on paper and lack of political will to act on the rhetoric. It examines the 2015-19 human rights action plan in light of the EU's mixed record so far and argues that this time round, the EU has every interest in producing a human rights policy with teeth.


> FPC Briefing: Extradition- Time to remove the nationality bar

In this FPC Briefing Research Associate Andrew Southam examines the nationality protection used by a number of countries to prohibit the extradition of alleged criminals to face trial. This contrasts with the practice of a number of countries including the US and UK that do not refuse to return their own citizens to face trial, provided due process has been followed and proper safeguards are in place. This briefing sets out the situation and calls for steps towards removing the nationality bar from extradition practices. Southam argues that such a bar is against the modern trend to streamline extradition procedures, is an unnecessary protection given other safeguards, and is contrary to wider international initiatives to combat crime. The briefing makes suggestions about how this can be achieved and explores the benefits and disadvantages of alternatives, including local prosecutions.