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  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: Recent years have seen a significant expansion of HIV testing and counselling, a necessary pre-condition for achieving the goal of universal access to comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care, and support. However, HIV testing and counselling is not implemented fully and correctly unless human rights approaches are integrated into all aspects of its delivery. This includes not only respect for the "three C's" of pre-test information or counselling and post-test counselling, informed and voluntary consent to testing, and confidentiality of test results, but also ensuring an enabling environment that protects people from discrimination, violence, abandonment, ostracism, and other potential negative consequences of a positive test result. On October 12-13, the Open Society Public Health Program, the Secretariat of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS Secretariat), and the World Health Organization cosponsored the meeting, “The Role of Human Rights in Ensuring Universal Access to HIV Testing and Counselling." The purpose of the meeting was to bridge the gap between international guidance on HIV testing and counselling and the implementation of this guidance. The meeting participants represented a wide variety of constituencies, including people living with and affected by HIV, implementers of HIV testing programs, donors and representatives of multilateral agencies, researchers, and human rights advocates. They sought to reach a consensus on concrete strategies and specific activities to overcome two types of barriers to ensuring human rights in the practice of HIV testing and counselling: political/systemic barriers and technical barriers.
  • Topic: HIV/AIDS, Health, Human Rights, Health Care Policy, Multilateralism, Advocacy, Public Health
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: Sex workers are subjected to widespread human rights abuses, including police violence and unequal access to health care, in Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. Despite enormous challenges, sex workers are organizing to protect their rights and demand an end to violence and discrimination. Published by the Open Society Institute, Rights Not Rescue is based on a series of interviews and focus groups with sex workers and advocates throughout the three countries.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Health Care Policy, Violence, Police, Advocacy, Sexual Health
  • Political Geography: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: A decade after governments worldwide pledged to achieve a "drug-free world," there is little evidence that the supply or demand of illicit drugs has been reduced. Instead, aggressive drug control policies have led to increased incarceration for minor offenses, human rights violations, and disease. This book examines the descent of the global war on drugs into a war on people who use drugs. From Puerto Rico to Phnom Penh, Manipur to Moscow, the scars of this war are carried on the bodies and minds of drug users, their families, and the health and service providers who work with them.
  • Topic: Health, War on Drugs, Drugs
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Albright, Andrea Scheel
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Science and International Security
  • Abstract: Large civil plutonium stocks are set to accumulate for the first time in the wider Middle East over the next two decades. Countries in this conflict-prone region are planning the construction of at least 12 to 13 new nuclear power reactors (Table 1). Using a simple calculation to determine the expected plutonium discharge annually from these reactors, ISIS estimates that regional civil plutonium production could total more than 13,000 kilograms, or 13 tonnes by 2020, and nearly 45 tonnes by 2030 (Table 2). Given that just 8 kg of plutonium is enough to fabricate a nuclear weapon, this figure is significant. These quantities indicate that by 2020 the region may possess enough plutonium for almost 1,700 nuclear weapons. To be usable in a nuclear weapon, this plutonium must first be separated from the irradiated fuel in reprocessing plants. Middle Eastern countries may seek to purchase civil reprocessing plants from suppliers or build them using their domestic capabilities and equipment purchased from abroad. To reduce the risk of proliferation in the Middle East and help lay the basis for a regionwide nuclear weapon free zone (NWFZ), the United States must ensure that plutonium is not separated from irradiated reactor fuel, insist on adequate international inspections of these countries, including the adoption of the Additional Protocol, and develop mechanisms to remove spent fuel from the region. Absent such conditions, the incoming administration should discourage the development of nuclear power.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, Nonproliferation
  • Political Geography: Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: David Albright, Paul Brannan, Jacqueline Shire
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Science and International Security
  • Abstract: On December 27, Japan’s Tokyo Shimbun newspaper quoted U.S. and North Korean officials saying that North Korea had declared a plutonium stockpile of about 30 kilograms. The report was subsequently picked up by several wires, including AFP and UPI. Based on discussions with a knowledgeable official, this roughly 30 kilograms of plutonium apparently refers to a stock of plutonium that North Korea separated from irradiated fuel produced in the five megawatt-electric reactor at Yongbyon. The separation of the plutonium occurred at the Radiochemical Laboroatory at Yongbyon. If this quantity refers to separated plutonium (and not the total quantity of plutonium produced in the spent fuel of several reactor cores), it does fall inside the lower bound of the range of the amount of separated plutonium that ISIS has assessed North Korea could now possess.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nuclear Weapons, Nonproliferation, Plutonium
  • Political Geography: Asia, North Korea
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: Widespread human rights abuses and lack of legal services is fueling Uganda's HIV epidemic, according to a report from the Open Society Initiative for East Africa (OSIEA) and OSI's Law and Health Initiative (LAHI). HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, and Legal Services in Uganda documents common abuses faced by people living with AIDS or at high risk of HIV, including: barriers to employment or education; discrimination in gaining access to medical care; violations of the right to medical privacy; forced HIV testing; and eviction from housing. According to the report, while the government of Uganda has addressed the medical effects of the HIV epidemic, it has paid little attention to the epidemic’s legal and human rights implications. This is especially true for marginalized populations who are most vulnerable to HIV-related human rights abuses: women (especially young women, widows, and women living in fishing communities); sex workers; orphans and vulnerable children; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals; and internally displaced persons. The report recommends stronger enforcement of policies and legislation that offer clear protection against HIV-related stigma and discrimination. It calls for greater support to community-based groups that have sought to integrate legal support into HIV prevention and care programs. It also recommends strengthening legal mechanisms to help people living with HIV access justice. Local Council Courts appear to be the most utilized dispute resolution mechanism by communities, but these courts are not being used to address HIV-related infringement of rights.
  • Topic: HIV/AIDS, Health, Human Rights, Health Care Policy, Discrimination, Legal Sector, Epidemic
  • Political Geography: Uganda, East Africa
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: In 2007, the Open Society Institute Education Support Program launched the Education for Migrants, Minorities and Marginalized children in Europe (EMMME) project to investigate the impact of education on social inclusion and issues of injustice in education for migrant children in Europe. EMMME research and mapping suggests considerable and growing disparities in access to quality education and increasing segregation in European schools. During the course of the EMMME project, two separate but interlinked documents were produced: Education for Migrant, Minority and Marginalized Children in Europe and Making the Mark? An Overview of Current Challenges in the Education for Migrant, Minority, and Marginalized Children in Europe. Education for Migrant, Minority and Marginalized Children in Europe collates up-to-date evidence on the educational realities that confront migrants, minorities, and marginalized groups in the European Union. The report identifies policy responses, legislative frameworks and local initiatives that seek to improve the educational position of children from migrant and minority groups. The reviewed literature emanates primarily from four countries in which groups with a migrant background make up a significant proportion of the national and school-going populations: France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
  • Topic: Education, Health, Minorities, Children, Marginalization, Migrant Workers
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: For the second consecutive year, the Open Society Foundation for Albania and a group of independent experts took the initiative of monitoring Albania's progress in the Stabilization and Association Agreement during the period October 1, 2007, to October 15, 2008. This report focuses on priority issues of EU-Albania relations, such as democracy and the rule of law, fundamental human rights and freedoms, and home affairs, as well as the institutional framework of administrative capacities on management of the European integration process. The report provides recommendations to the government of Albania and central institutions in fulfilling European integration priorities. Monitoring and assessment was concentrated in tangible outcomes. This report succeeded an interim report (October 2007-March 2008) that was submitted to the European Commission in preparation of its Albania Progress Report 2008. The full report from the European Commission is also available in PDF format.
  • Topic: Human Rights, European Union, Rule of Law, Regional Integration, Management, Freedom
  • Political Geography: Albania
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: Sanctions are a powerful expression of the collective voice and the collective will of the international community. As such, their symbolic impact is undeniable. Their practical impact has been demonstrated in several cases where sanctions have helped to prod conflicting parties towards compromise.
  • Topic: United Nations, Sanctions, Conflict, International Community, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: The Public Health Program’s Sexual Health and Rights Project (SHARP), in partnership with OSI foundations and initiatives in Africa, is exploring ways to expand support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) health and rights efforts in Eastern and Southern Africa. SHARP gathered information about community needs, funding opportunities, and challenges by developing contacts with local advocates and groups and other donors, and by reviewing existing data and reports. While there is a tremendous amount of information available, it appears that those supporting the work sometimes have limited awareness of the full range of efforts being undertaken. In order for donors to work more effectively, it is important for this information gap to be bridged. The information in this report is organized into five topics: Challenges to the LBGT movement; LGBT groups operating in East Africa; reports and convenings focusing on LGBT issues in Africa; potential opportunities for future advocacy on LGBT issues; and recommended next steps for funders. We hope this analysis will help donors develop strategies and collaborations for supporting LGBT health and rights in the region.
  • Topic: Human Rights, LGBT+, Advocacy, Community, Transgender
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 02-2007
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: In this report on the International Narcotics Control Board—a secretive UN-funded body responsible for monitoring compliance with the UN drug conventions—Daniel Wolfe, OSI International Harm Reduction Development Deputy Director, and Joanne Csete, Executive Director of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, detail the ways in which the Board rejects scientific evidence and expert legal analyses, praises governments that violate human rights, and stresses drug control at the expense of public health, blocking evidence-based efforts to address the epidemic of HIV among injecting drug users. Closed to Reason offers recommendations to increase the Board's accountability and transparency and to make it an effective part of the international response to HIV/AIDS.
  • Topic: HIV/AIDS, Health, United Nations, Narcotics Trafficking, Legal Sector
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: David Albright, Corey Hinderstein
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Science and International Security
  • Abstract: Verified dismantlement of the nuclear weapons program of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) can be accomplished successfully. Although difficulties abound in reaching an agreement with the DPRK to achieve this goal, the methods and steps involved in the dismantlement process are well understood. Because this goal remains vital to U.S. and international security, the United States has joined with China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea in working toward verified denuclearization of the Korean peninsula with the cooperation of the DPRK. These six nations have launched a series of negotiations, called the Six-Party Talks, aimed at resolving the crisis over the DPRK’s nuclear program. These nations are also attempting to create a plan to dismantle the DPRK’s program in a manner with which all the nations can feel secure.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, International Security, Disarmament
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China, Asia, South Korea, North Korea, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: The Burma Project/Southeast Initiative has published Opportunities and Pitfalls: Preparing for Burma's Economic Transition, a report by Yuki Akimoto. This report emerged from the 2004 conference "Managing Economic Transitions: The Role of Global Institutions and Lessons for Burma/Myanmar," which was inspired by a prior conference regarding the role of international assistance in the economic reconstruction of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The 2004 conference featured Nobel economics prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, who provided insights about the role that international financial institutions (IFIs) play in national development, and other speakers who discussed the experiences of economic transition in countries including Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and East Timor. Opportunities and Pitfalls covers key topics addressed at the conference regarding Burma's prospective economic transition and the role of IFIs. The report contains case studies of other countries that have dealt with IFIs and their prescriptions for development, highlighting issues and circumstances that Burma shares with those countries. Forward-looking and accessible, this report promises to stir practical debate about how Burma should manage the challenges of working with IFIs when these institutions become fully engaged there. Stiglitz describes Opportunities and Pitfalls as "a vital addition to the important discussion taking place today about Burma's future." The report is designed to be a useful guide for civil society activists, policymakers, academics, and journalists, including members of the Burmese diaspora democracy movement. Yuki Akimoto is an attorney who works on human rights and environmental issues concerning development aid to Burma, with a particular focus on IFIs. She has written articles for BurmaDebate, The Irrawaddy, and other publications. While the 2004 conference was co-hosted by the Open Society Institute, Bank Information Center, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, OSI funded the production of the report.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Burma
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: Sponsored by OSI's Sexual Health and Rights Project, Sexual Health and Rights: Sex Workers, Transgender People & Men Who Have Sex with Men-Thailand aims to provide an understanding of the health and rights of sex workers, men who have sex with men, and transgender people in Thailand, with a specific focus on HIV concerns. Conducted between January and March 2006 in Thailand, the study gathered information through document review and interviews. This material was collated and analyzed in workshops and interviews with men who have sex with men, transgender people (specifically male-to-female), and sex workers. Their experiences, priorities, and recommendations were collected and written up to form the basis of the document.
  • Topic: LGBT+, Sexuality, Public Health, Sex Education, Transgender
  • Political Geography: Thailand
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: Currently Serbia is a diverse community with no social consensus on the majority of war crimes-related issues, as well as racism, homophobia, and gender equality. The conflict in values, ideologies, and goals is intense and persistent. At the same time, poverty, social exclusion, and violence are predominant characteristics, a way of life for marginalized groups, including women. One of the rare issues where consensus has emerged is a strong sense of affiliation and orientation towards the European Union (EU). To date, the EU has played an important if not crucial role in political and public rhetoric, although there remains an ostensible rift between the values it espouses and those that currently obtain in Serbia. Serbia’s parliament has enacted some important legislation vis-à-vis the state’s responsibility to protect political, social, and other human rights. Some gender-equality mechanisms have been introduced, but randomly funded. New institutions generally lack the requisite authority to stop and prevent discriminatory practices by those who violate other's rights or abuse their own power. This report is one of a seven-part series, "On the Road to the EU," prepared as part of the OSI Network Women’s Program's “Bringing the EU Home” Project. This three-year project aims to promote awareness, advocacy, and enforcement of equal opportunity legislation at the national level and to build the capacity of national actors in civil society to use EU-level gender equality mechanisms effectively. The project further aims to help increase the importance of equal opportunities on the European agenda. An assessment of the status of equal opportunities between women and men, de jure and de facto, was carried out in seven South Eastern European entities: Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. The reports were prepared in cooperation with the International Gender Policy Network.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, European Union, Women, Sexuality, Men, Equality
  • Political Geography: Serbia
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: Bosnia and Herzegovina is currently undergoing integration into the international legal order, in compliance with international and European requirements to establish a general nondiscriminatory framework and adopt gender-specific legislation and measures. This is a positive step toward possible implementation of equal opportunities for women and men, but its impact is extremely limited in everyday practices. Although the government has made significant efforts with regard to "gender mainstreaming," there is a wide gap between de jure and de facto treatment. Although most of the relevant laws have incorporated the principle of equal opportunities for women and men, in practice women usually cannot realize those opportunities in either the private or public sectors. A truly gender-sensitive policy and practice has almost completely failed to materialize in the fields of economy, employment, education, social security, health care, and women's participation in decision-making bodies in public and political life. This report is one of a seven-part series, "On the Road to the EU," prepared as part of the OSI Network Women’s Program's "Bringing the EU Home" Project. This three-year project aims to promote awareness, advocacy, and enforcement of equal opportunity legislation at the national level and to build the capacity of national actors in civil society to use EU-level gender equality mechanisms effectively. The project further aims to help increase the importance of equal opportunities on the European agenda. An assessment of the status of equal opportunities between women and men, de jure and de facto, was carried out in seven South Eastern European entities: Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. The reports were prepared in cooperation with the International Gender Policy Network.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Women, Legislation, Sexuality, Men, Equality
  • Political Geography: Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: Albania is preparing for eventual EU membership and is in the midst of bringing its legal framework in compliance with the requirements of EU directives and guidelines. In regard to gender equality, Albanian legislation has generally met priorities established in the Stabilization and Association Process (SAP) with the European Union. However, as the following report details, implementation of these laws faces major hurdles. In recent years, significant progress has been made in developing national legislation to promote the protection of women’s rights as basic human rights, and foster equality between women and men in the economy and in public life. The Albanian government has endorsed this equality by enacting the appropriate legislation, giving women equal rights and obligations with men. However, the absence of political mechanisms to effectively enforce the new laws has actually increased gender inequality, which directly impairs the process of economic development, democratization, and political stability. Without effective enforcement, gender stereotypes and traditional mentalities preserve the structural inequalities between women and men and unequal power relations between them. This report is one of a seven-part series, "On the Road to the EU," prepared as part of the OSI Network Women’s Program's “Bringing the EU Home” Project. This three-year project aims to promote awareness, advocacy, and enforcement of equal opportunity legislation at the national level and to build the capacity of national actors in civil society to use EU-level gender equality mechanisms effectively. The project further aims to help increase the importance of equal opportunities on the European agenda. An assessment of the status of equal opportunities between women and men, de jure and de facto, was carried out in seven South Eastern European entities: Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. The reports were prepared in cooperation with the International Gender Policy Network.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Women, Legislation, Sexuality, Men, Equality
  • Political Geography: Albania
  • Publication Date: 12-2006
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Open Society Foundations
  • Abstract: Women in South Eastern Europe have yet to attain full gender equality and are at severe disadvantage compared to their counterparts in the EU, according to On the Road to the EU: Monitoring Equal Opportunities for Women and Men in South Eastern Europe, a report sponsored by the Open Society Network Women's Program. Published as some of the countries in South Eastern Europe are set to join the EU or begin accession negotiations, the report provides a much-needed assessment of how the region is complying with EU standards on gender equality. Although many countries in South Eastern Europe have made progress over the past three years in bringing national laws on gender equality into line with the EU, much remains to be done. Among other findings, the report shows that more than half the women in the region are without jobs, with the highest rate of unemployment—70 percent—in Kosovo. In Croatia, which is expected to join the EU in 2010, the number of employed women has fallen by about 6.5 percent since 2000. The statistics on gender pay gaps are equally troubling. On average, women in South Eastern Europe make 25 percent less than men, with the difference rising to 80 percent in Kosovo. Other affronts to women’s rights in the workplace persist. In Macedonia, for example, the law does not prevent employers from discriminating against pregnant women and mothers. And throughout much of South Eastern Europe, women who return from maternity leave have no guarantee in resuming their previous position. Gender and age discrimination in advertisements remains widespread in Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Montenegro. In Albania, for example, most advertisements for private-sector secretarial, assistant, or sales positions list a preference for women under 25, while those for managerial positions ask for men to apply. A seven-part series, On the Road to the EU was prepared as part of the Open Society Network Women’s Program's “Bringing the EU Home” Project. This three-year project aims to promote awareness, advocacy, and enforcement of equal opportunity legislation at the national level and to build the capacity of national actors in civil society to use EU-level gender equality mechanisms effectively. The project further aims to help increase the importance of equal opportunities on the European agenda. An assessment of the status of equal opportunities between women and men, de jure and de facto, was carried out in seven South Eastern European entities: Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. The reports were prepared in cooperation with the International Gender Policy Network.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Women, Legislation, Sexuality, Men, Equality
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Southern Europe
  • Author: Alistair Millar, Jason Ipe, George A. Lopez, Tona Boyd, Linda Gerber, David Cortright
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Fourth Freedom Forum
  • Abstract: The effectiveness of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) depends on its ability to keep pace with transformations in the global security environment. When the CTC was established in the wake of the September 2001 terrorist attacks, the primary target was understood to be Al Qaeda and its international network of related terrorist groups. In order to secure its central role and relevance among multilateral counter-terrorism efforts, the CTC must find more creative ways to collect, assess, and disseminate information about current counter-terrorism capacities and to facilitate the provision of needed technical assistance by potential donors in a timely and sustainable manner.
  • Topic: Security, United Nations, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Plamen Pantev
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institute for Security and International Studies (ISIS)
  • Abstract: Perception1 of security threats is a dynamic process determined by the outside world and the perceiver’s culture, attitudes, expectations, needs, experience and other attributes. Each interpreter, depending on her or his respective analytic point of view, subjectively defines the facts in the security realm. Values, beliefs and cognitions constitute the bulk of any perception, including about security issues. A value is a preference for one state of reality over another. A belief is a conviction that a description of reality is true, proven or known. And cognition is information derived from the environment that can be substantiated through physical evidence or perceptual observation. Cognitions are key elements in establishing perceptual systems and in changing those systems. The threat perceptual systems of the Western Black Sea countries – Bulgaria and Romania, are strongly influenced by their values, beliefs and cognitions as sovereign nations with specific geopolitical positions and interests. They are also shaped in the context of their membership in NATO, as future EU members and as US allies on whose territories would be stationed American military bases.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Geopolitics, Risk
  • Political Geography: Europe, Eurasia, South Caucasus, Black Sea