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08 November 2017
10 UK MPs and Peers will visit Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh on 8 November as part of a visit to strengthen ties with Bangladesh and explore the relief efforts from the international community as it searches for a resolution to the issue.
The visit follows a call for urgent action by Commonwealth Parliamentarians to the international community on 7 November and a briefing by the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Dhaka. UK Parliamentarians will explore the response and coordination from the international community and the valuable contributions from DfID, as part of Parliament's responsibility to scrutinise effectively.
The visit, which has been welcomed by UNHCR and the International Rescue Committee in Bangladesh, will better inform the cross-party delegation of MPs and Peers about the crisis and the humanitarian response to help the 600,000 refugees that have fled from Myanmar.
The visit has been arranged by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK) with the UK Parliament. Both are committed to contributing to sustainable development and supporting good governance and human rights in Bangladesh.READ MORE
25 October 2017
A group of newly elected Members of the Tynwald will visit the UK Parliament for a 3-day Westminster familiarisation programme this week to develop working relationships with their Westminster counterparts.
The programme will cover a wide variety of topics including the current political landscape in Westminster, the role of Select Committees, the daily procedure in the House of Commons and the work of the UK Public Accounts Committee.
Organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK), the 9 Tynwald Members will be given the opportunity to familiarise themselves with UK parliamentary procedures from 25 to 27 October.READ MORE
24 October 2017
Would you like to be one of a small group of people given the opportunity to put forward your views on 21st Century international affairs in UK Parliament's House of LordsChamber?
As part of its outreach programme, the House of Lords opens the Chamber once a year to non-members for a debate. This year it will take place on Friday 1 December 2017.READ MORE
24 October 2017
CPA UK hosted the report launch following a study visit by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. The study visit to the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the United Nations from 18-20 July 2017 was funded by CPA UK’s Fellowship Scheme.
The report includes 3 recommendations to UK Government and Parliament on reporting progress on implementation of the goals, stakeholder engagement and scrutinising implementation.READ MORE
17 October 2017
Commonwealth Parliamentarians meet to Reinvigorate the Commonwealth
150 members of parliament from across the Commonwealth will convene in London to engage in a new Forum specifically for Parliamentarians ahead of the UK-hosted Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018, more commonly known as CHOGM.
The Commonwealth Parliamentarians’ Forum organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK) will take place from 26 February-1 March 2018. Parliamentarians will examine the CHOGM theme – ‘Towards a Common Future’ – and the four main goals:
They will then return to their capitals better able to inform and influence their governments ahead of CHOGM itself, taking place in London from 16-18 April 2018.READ MORE
12 October 2017
Later this year, Commonwealth lawmakers will take part in a Legislative Drafting Seminar which will provide them with practical advice and support to replicate the Modern Slavery Act.
The Seminar, along with this new and engaging animation, is part of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK’s) Modern Slavery Project which links up parliamentarians from the Commonwealth to explore how best to combat modern slavery, human trafficking and forced labour.
The Project was established last year with funding from the Home Office. It has already organised regional workshops for the Africa and Asia-Pacific Regions.READ MORE
19 July 2017
A series of workshops on modern slavery, which brought together around 70 parliamentarians from 13 countries, has seen a significant increase in understanding and a greater commitment to combating human trafficking and exploitation from legislators.
Organised by CPA UK, the Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop and the Africa Regional Workshop highlighted some of the causes and consequences of modern slavery, which claims an estimated 45.8 million victims worldwide.READ MORE
18 July 2017
Based on its direct observations and within the scope of the assessment of its Observers, the EAM concludes that the 8 June 2017 General Election process largely respected national laws and procedures. However, the Observers recognised that in order for the UK to maintain its international and regional obligations and commitments regarding genuine elections certain vulnerabilities, as highlighted in this report, should be addressed. The EAM recognises that the electoral process in the UK is substantially based on broad trust and confidence in the integrity of the process and the impartiality of the electoral administration. Moreover, the EAM would recommend a review of certain guidelines and provisions with a view to establish greater consistency and equality regarding how the process is carried out throughout the country but also to consider, or anticipate, the potential need to add new procedural safeguards to limit the consequences of any erosions of trust in different parts of the process.
The full Final Report on CPA UK's Election Assessment Mission of the UK 8 June 2017 General Election can be viewed here.READ MORE
11 July 2017
Recommendations to review election laws and further comply with international obligations have been made by the Election Observation Mission (EOM) of 6 Observers, led by Hon. Steve Rodan MLC, President of Tynwald (Isle of Man) in their Final Report on the May 2017 General Election.
The EOM which was arranged by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association British Isles and Mediterranean Region (CPA BIMR) found that the elections met the international standards for democratic, genuine and transparent elections but offered recommendations notably regarding voter and candidate’s eligibility criteria, constituency boundaries and the participation of women.
10 July 2017
Welcome to the summary of the final day of the Modern Slavery Africa Regional Workshop. Day Three was an opportunity to look at the practicalities of implementing modern slavery legislation as well as the challenges and also to look forward to how, as parliamentarians, the delegates would put into practices some of the themes from the workshop.
UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner
The opening session on the final day began with a contribution from the UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland OBE. Set up as a result of the Modern Slavery Act, the Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s role is to promote best practice and drive crucial improvement across the anti-slavery response, both in the UK and internationally.
Kevin Hyland highlighted the strategic goals of his role, which are to provide care for victims; enforce the law; promote partnerships; and encourage international collaboration. He went on to urge parliamentarians to act on issues of modern slavery as they are one of the few actors in society with the access and influence to free people from slavery. He also highlighted initiatives and resources such as the 8.7 Alliance and the ILO Protocol Ratification that can assist parliamentarians in these efforts.
05 July 2017
Welcome to the summary of Day Two of the Modern Slavery Africa Regional Workshop. The second day of the workshops allowed delegates to explore the legislative landscape of the region as well as how, as parliamentarians, they could have an impact. The workshop remained under Chatham House Rule.
Mapping the legislative landscape
The opening session laid out the current modern slavery-related legislation in the jurisdictions represented at the workshop. Recent changes to legislation, as well as ongoing work to combat modern slavery was highlighted. Evident themes across the region, drawing on evidence from the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, included growing issues related to child trafficking and a lack of training and enforcement.
Following on from this, delegates split into small groups to discuss in greater detail the developments and challenges with regards to addressing modern slavery issues in their countries. The discussions brought up concerns around funding and resources, as well as porous borders, corrupt officials and party divisions.
04 July 2017
Today saw the launch of CPA UK’s Modern Slavery Africa Regional Workshop in Entebbe, with delegates in attendance representing Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and the United Kingdom. The workshop aims to build networks, support the development of modern slavery legislation and inform and empower parliamentarians and officials to take the lead on combating exploitation and upholding human rights.
The workshop is under Chatham House Rules and - as a result - the following summary is an overview of the themes and discussions on Day 1.
Defining modern slavery
Recognising that the term ‘modern slavery’ can mean different things to different people, the opening session sought to reach a consensus on what issues the three-day workshop would address.
The session covered the UK definition of modern slavery and how it has come about, looking in particular at key legal cases. The session also introduced the UK Modern Slavery Act, which, in 2015, took a myriad of existing laws and consolidated it into one act.
The discussion that followed continued to emphasise that modern slavery is a complex issue that effects not only men and women differently but also developing and developed countries differently. As a result, in efforts to combat trafficking and exploitation, a stance of cultural sensitivity must be adopted.