Governance, Risk and Compliance
Think Tank Programme
Why should we protect animals in disasters and what can the EU do?
© FOUR PAWS | Maksym Havrylov Valentyna Vozna, Ukraine TaskForce Coordinator, Eurogroup for Animals Russia’s war in Ukraine brought unprecedented consequences not only to the people of Ukraine and food security systems in Europe and worldwide, but also to animals and the environment. Once the war hit the European continent, a lot of actors were willing to help animals and had the resources at their disposal, but their actions were limited mainly because of the lack of information about the current needs of animals in Ukraine, logistical issues and a lack of partners on the ground. This often resulted in fragmented and uncoordinated aid provision and rescue efforts with duplicated efforts, while hampering aid in reaching those most in need (1). Acknowledging the efforts of the EU and its Member States to help Ukrainian animals, Russia’s war showcased EU’s lack of preparedness to protect animals during a disaster. Various actions could be implemented by the EU to better address the plight of animals during disasters. The immediate solution lies in the legal inclusion of animals in EU disaster law with the aim of involving animal welfare actors in the development of disaster management plans and in a coordinated disaster response mechanism in the EU. In our opinion, the lack of consideration of animals in an official disaster response mechanism substantially undermines any capacity to provide timely and effective aid to animals. The imperative of protecting animals in disasters is broad and encompasses both animals and humans for several reasons. First, the human-animal bond is a major factor affecting animal owners in disasters (2). People may refuse to evacuate because they do not want to abandon their animals. As a result, public safety may be compromised due to risky human behaviour during evacuation. Second, people’s mental health can be affected by the additional stress provoked by separation from their companion animals. Animals provide emotional support to people regardless of their age during and after disasters (3). This issue becomes especially acute when refugees escape the disaster with their companion animals just to find out that their animals are not allowed in refugee camps or social housing in a safer place. Indeed, unnecessary exposure of people to animals should be avoided, but it is equally important not to cause more pain to already traumatised people. Third, there are economic reasons for protecting animals in disasters. For example, livestock animals play an essential role in the recovery capabilities of the region. Rescuing them is vital to the resilience of the local communities after a disaster and is also cost-effective. Namely, a loss of livestock for a farmer means loss of food security, lost wages of workers and reduced productivity among workers due to psychological trauma (4). Moreover, disasters may lead to increasing populations of free-roaming animals due to abandonment and the inability to evacuate them, possibly posing a public health risk of rabies and other zoonoses. Furthermore, once a disaster has ended animals left without adequate food and water resources also may experience
What Happens to Animals When the World is on Fire? – Framing Animals as Individuals in Climate Communications
Harley McDonald-Eckersall As the current and future impacts of the climate crisis become more apparent, the existential threat it poses to all life is increasingly unignorable. Communicators who seek to capture both animal and climate justice face an ongoing challenge: how do we represent animals other than humans as individuals with value within a discourse that often frames them as part of the problem? The challenge lies both in countering the heavily entrenched dominant narratives of human supremacy and exceptionalism, and in representing animals as more than either a ‘problem’ and contributor to the climate crisis (in the case of farmed animals) or as passive victims (in the case of wild animals). In this post, I will explore the ways we unintentionally reinforce dominant narratives of animals as lesser than humans, and provide advice for recentring and reemerging other species in climate communications. While the words that we use can seem irrelevant or unimportant in the face of the very real physical danger we face as a result of anthropogenic climate change, it is important to remember that our world is constructed through implicit and explicit stories (ACF 2016, p. 26). What we believe shapes what choices we make and what actions we take. Communication has the power to shape how we see the world. By understanding the implicit assumptions in our messaging, we can begin to deconstruct them and build new narratives grounded in common values (ibid). In the case of animals, how we communicate influences whether we are entrenching their status as fundamentally less worthy of life and freedom than humans, or whether we are challenging that at its core and redefining what it means to fight for true climate justice for all. How Climate Communication Can Erase the Animal While animals are undeniably equally impacted by the climate crisis than humans, narratives around resilience, adaptation and mitigation all too often focus on the latter while ignoring the former. Although there are many segments of society where this erasure takes place, one that is often unexplored is how the language used in climate communications reinforces a hierarchy of value that places humans at the top and all other forms of life below. The most common ways that this dominant narrative is maintained is through the normalisation of framing that de-individualises animals, the use of language which reinforces the notion of animals as existing for humans and relying on stories that feature animals as the ‘problem’ or cause of a problem. De-individualising A key way that we can reinforce a frame of animals as existing for human gain is through the use of language which erases the animal subject in preference for a homogenous species or subtype. One particularly entrenched feature of communications is the use of ‘mass nouns’ (Stibbe 2012) to refer to animals, for instance referring to a population of cows destined for slaughter as cows or referring to animals killed for food using the umbrella term, ‘meat.’ Similarly, the use of industry terms such as ‘livestock,’
Let’s help wild animals affected by the Kaziranga floods
Aditya S.K, Animal Ethics Impact of increased flooding due to climate change The annual floods in 2022 have been devastating to the inhabitants of the state of Assam, with over 30 districts and 45 lakh people affected by flood water inundation due to the monsoon rains and overflowing of the rivers running across the state. Animals (including both domesticated and wild) have also suffered substantially during and after floods, as many of them drowned in the flood water, got displaced, or were injured by both natural factors and anthropogenic conflict. Especially in the regions of Kaziranga National Park, animals face serious harm every year when most of the park area becomes inundated with water. The number of floods in India rose to 90 in the 10-year period from 2006 to 2015, up from 67 in the 10 years between 1996 to 2005, according to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. . Even worse, an increase of the flood risk in the Indian subcontinent is expected, where the multi-day flood events are projected to increase at a faster rate in the future than the single day events. The strong implication this has on the wellbeing of humans is well known. But there is less discussion of its impact on the wellbeing of nonhuman animals . The plight of wild animals during floods While attention has been given to the effect of floods from the standpoint of damage to the ecosystem, there is much less information available about the effect of floods on the welfare of individual wild animals during and after the event. A flood is a stressful event for animals that triggers physiological, endocrine, and behavioral responses as a result of an evolutionary adaptation for survival. Apart from the physiological harm, floods involve discomfort, fear, and distress in animals.  Animals living in the wild suffer harm due to different factors during floods. While some of them are human-caused harms such as poaching, injuries, or deaths from vehicular accidents along NH-37 highway, where many wild animals migrating across the natural highlands of the Karbi Anglong hills to escape the flood waters can be hit by vehicles, this situation is worsened by the commercial establishments and mining activities across the nine corridors meant to facilitate movement of the animals to the hills. It is also important to note how the animals suffer due to natural causes that result from floods, for instance, the grazing animals in the Kaziranga National Park reportedly suffered severely from shortage of fodder during flood situation as all the grasslands are submerged under water. At times, the submerging of undergrowth of the forested areas during high floods and the deposition of excess silt results in shortage of beels (marshy water bodies) and short grass, and a corresponding increase in long grass. As a result, grazing animals suffer from malnutrition and a shortage of food. Moreover, while escaping the flood waters, animals in the wild are also at increased risk of getting infected by diseases such as
Animals and the Ethics of War: A Call for an Inclusive Just War Theory
Ukrainian refugees with their companion animals on the Ukraine-Poland border. Photo copyright Milos Bicanski – We Animals Media. Used with permission. Josh Milburn (Loughborough University) and Sara Van Goozen (University of York) Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, heartrending images of Ukrainian refugees and their companion animals fleeing Russian forces circulated among Western media, and the press covered stories of organisations and individuals traveling into Ukraine to feed or rescue the animals left behind. The impact of war on animals became an issue difficult to ignore. Companion animals are not the only ones impacted by war. Disturbing stories about harm to Ukraine’s farmed animals appeared, while Ukraine’s zookeepers faced difficult choices about whether to evacuate animals. The war’s impact on wild animals is, currently, unknown. War has always affected animals. Soldiers have always used animals as transport, guards, and mascots. Armies have always staged battles in places where animals live. And domesticated animals have always felt the brunt when hostilities kill or displace their caregivers. Collectively, though, we’ve overlooked these issues. In the fog of war, we lose sight of animals. Given the impact that war has on animals, it is surprising that we lack the language to meaningfully discuss the ethical questions that animals in war raise. This is because just war theory – the dominant approach to the ethics of war in the western philosophical tradition – is resolutely anthropocentric. At least, it has been until now. “In the fog of war, we lose sight of animals.” Just War Just war theory is a set of tools for assessing when it is right to go to war (typically known by the Latin phrase jus ad bellum), how it is appropriate to behave in war (jus in bello), and related questions. Just war theorists tend to concede that states will wage war and that violence can be legitimate, but aim to reduce the occurrence of unjust wars and unjust behaviour in war. In the words of Michael Walzer, war may be hell, but even ‘in hell, it is possible to be more or less humane, to fight with or without restraint’ – just war theorists address ‘how this can be so’. It is fundamentally a philosophical theory, but one recognised as deeply important by international humanitarian lawyers (as it is the foundation of the international laws of war, such as the Hague Conventions, the Geneva Conventions, and the UN Charter) and militaries themselves (who use it to assess their activities). International humanitarian lawyers have started to explore how existing laws protect animals. Just last month, Cambridge University Press published Anne Peters, Jérôme de Hemptinne, and Robert Kolb’s pathbreaking Animals in the International Law of Armed Conflict. And, for a variety of reasons, militaries themselves grapple with questions about the treatment of animals. Many navies, for example, have policies to limit the impact of sonar on whales and dolphins. But just war theory lags behind. An inclusive theory? What would a more inclusive, more humane, just war
The Italian Constitution now explicitly recognises the need to protect animals
In February 2022, the Italian Parliament approved an amendment to the Constitution, with respect to the protection of the environment and animals. Article 9 of the Charter now features a new paragraph, which solemnly declares that «(The State) Protects the environment, biodiversity and ecosystems, also in the interest of future generations. State law regulates the methods and forms of animal protection». This result marks a major success for environmental and animal rights groups that had been petitioning for decades for an advancement of the legal protection of the environment and animals, considering that the first 12 articles of the Charter, containing the “fundamental principles”, had been left untouched since 1948. However, it must be noted that animal protection is separated from the other rights and configured as regulated by the law, instead of being considered as a direct object of protection. This different approach is the result of a political compromise that made possible the approval of the amendment with the inclusion of animals, despite the strong opposition of some political groups representing the interests of hunters and farmers. In the end, even though an historical goal was reached, the final formulation of the Charter with respect to animal protection was somehow disappointing, not only because it lacked the same extent of the recognition as the protection of the environment, but also because it failed to include animals as sentient beings as specifically requested by animal rights advocates. The objective of including animal sentience remains meaningful, and NGOs have now shifted to campaigning for the inclusion of the wider legal principle of sentience in the civil code, that in adherence to traditional legal categories still treats animals merely as goods, without further consideration of their needs as living, sentient beings.  In fact, were the Parliament to approve this request, this could be considered as the first application of the constitutional principle of State law regulating “the methods and forms of animal protection”. Alessandro Ricciuti President ALI – Animal Law Italia ETS References  Senato della Repubblica La Costituzione, ‘La Costituzione – Principi fondamentali, Articolo 9’ <https://www.senato.it/istituzione/la-costituzione/principi-fondamentali/articolo-9> accessed 15 October 2022  ilPost, ‘La Lega fa ostruzionismo sulla tutela di ambiente e animali in Costituzione’ <https://www.ilpost.it/2021/04/23/riforma-costituzione-ambiente-diritti-animali-lega-ostruzionismo/ > accessed 15 October 2022  Paparella, A.., ‘Associazioni animaliste e ambientaliste: “Bene l’inserimento dello sviluppo sostenibile in Costituzione, è importante cogliere questa occasione storica per includere anche gli animali.”’ <https://www.ali.ong/comunicati-stampa/animali-in-costituzione-le-associazioni-scrivono-al-nuovo-governo/> accessed 15 October 2022  Portoghese, P., ‘Animali nel codice civile: verso una nuova definizione legale?’ <https://www.ali.ong/aggiornamenti/animali-nel-codice-civile-verso-nuova-definizione-legale/> accessed 15 October 2022 Author Alessandro Ricciuti
Do non-human animals benefit from economic growth?
Different economists have theorized how economic growth affects human wellbeing. Academics usually analyze, for instance, whether an increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is related to higher education levels or lower poverty rates. Although this debate is not new, few have analyzed whether non-human animals can benefit from a blossoming economy. In the case of human animals, Kuznets (1955)  was the first to suggest a relationship between GDP per capita and inequality. He made the case that these two indicators have an inverse U shape relationship, implying that inequality in a country will increase until a tipping point where industrialization would help redistribute the income. This relationship was later named the Kuznets Curve, and despite the criticisms it has received, economists have used this approach to study how economic growth affects other problems, such as environmental degradation  and biodiversity conservation . In the case of non-human animals (NHA), Frank (2008)  has argued that the Kuznets relationship also applies to animal welfare. He claims that the harm suffered by NHA will first increase due to economic growth, as more of them are demanded for meat or entertainment, but will eventually decrease after a tipping point, due to better treatment through the adoption of animal welfare legislation and thanks to public concern. He has called this relationship the Animal Welfare Kuznets Curve (AWKC), and since the publication of his article, various authors have tested its existence using different methods. So far, the findings are mixed; while some argue that the AWKC exists by analyzing simple correlations, others using more rigorous methods argue that the AWKC is present only in certain sectors (i.e., leisure, experimentation) or regions.  The existence of the AWKC could prove particularly important for chickens, pigs and cows as they represent the biggest population of farmed land animals (88% in 2018).  Their global population has increased by 79% in average between 1990 and 2018, about twice the rate of human population over the same period (43%). If the AWKC exists, these three species could experience higher levels of welfare after the economy reaches a certain point. Analyzing the AWKC could also help to provide suggestions regarding all NHA used in the food sector. The main difficulty now to test the AWKC hypothesis for NHA used in the food sector seems to be the lack of standard measurements for animal welfare around the world. For this reason, most studies use the global number of NHA slaughtered annually to determine if the AWKC exists.  Additionally, there is no study to date considering the suffering of NHA used in milk or egg production, although dairy cows and laying hens are exploited for longer periods of time than cows and chickens used for meat production. Cows are slaughtered for meat production when they are 2.5 to 3.5 years old, while dairy cows are used for an average of 5 years to “produce” milk before being slaughtered. In the case of chickens, those transformed into meat are slaughtered
The Future of Payments with New Financial Technologies (with Spanish Translation)
Over the past few years, new financial technologies (FinTech) have evolved rapidly around the world. Digital innovation has brought major improvements in connectivity and reduced transaction costs. It is transforming financial services as a whole. Innovations such as mobile money, peer-to-peer (P2P) or marketplace lending, Robo-advice, insurance technology, and crypto-assets have emerged. In the last decade, fintech has already driven greater access to, and convenience of, financial services for retail users. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud services, and distributed ledger technology (DLT) are transforming wholesale markets in areas as diverse as financial market trading and regulatory and supervisory technology (RegTech and SupTech). The diversification of the financial sector has increased in both developed and emerging markets. Nowadays there are many different types and sizes of fintech and big tech, offering a wide range of financial services. Some remain focused on a single product or service, while others have leveraged their initial successes to broaden their service offerings such as PayPal. Some FinTech are converting to banks, while others have become service providers to, or value chain partners with banks. Depending on licensing approaches in different jurisdictions, a range of digital-only or digital-mainly neo-banks have emerged. Payments, loans, and deposit-taking services may be provided by specialized payment service providers (fintech), e-commerce platforms (big techs), and other non-banks. In this context, it is important that regulators develop approaches to ensure a level playing field and provide clear requirements for licensing. While FinTech can add efficiency to the delivery of banking services, if banking is to become entirely virtual, there will be significant impacts on underprivileged sectors of society. Moreover, FinTech can enable better management of financial risks but it cannot essentially change the nature or extent of financial risks. And while FinTech can improve the delivery of financial products, they cannot be left to create the regulatory and risk management frameworks to match. Fintech has the potential to facilitate lower-cost, faster, convenient, secure, and multi-channel accessibility to payments. It can also extend financial services to unbanked populations; to lower SME funding gaps; to reduce costs and delays in cross-border remittance markets, and to improve efficiencies and transparency in government operations that help reduce corruption. The technologies can help improve collateral management, fraud detection, credit risk management, and regulatory compliance. Through these channels, fintech has the potential to reduce income disparities and enhance financial inclusion as well as promote inclusive growth and financial stability. For digital transformation to benefit everyone and help tackle financial exclusion, stakeholders need to come together. Governments need to keep expanding internet access and help support initiatives in financial and digital education. Close attention must be paid – and funding made available – to overcome barriers to digital financial inclusion, including not only access to resources such as smartphones and the internet, but also digital and financial literacy, and potential biases amplified by new data sources and analytics. Financial institutions, new and established, need to seize this chance to innovate while national and international organisations need to coordinate to
The Conventional Marriage between Tech and Finance
The financial sector has always been one of the quickest to adopt new technologies. From using phones to provide banking services to the new FinTech sector, the relationship between the two sectors has always been positive.
Role of Tech Companies in Combatting Digital Poverty
With all the benefits that technology has presented us with during the pandemic lockdowns around the world, we have had a glimpse into what the future may hold in terms of digital finance.
Relationship between Going Cashless and Social Marginalisation
As we are becoming more reliant on technology, particularly following the COVID19 pandemic, our societies have moved ever closer to becoming cashless. Those who are struck by poverty, without disposable funds, or who live in rural areas are often affected, having limited access to credit, smart devices and secure internet connections.
Can Digital Payments Replace Cash Payments?
Technology has revolutionized the way people shop, sell, and save, and people are increasingly moving away from using cash. Even though, the rise of these digital payment systems and electronic banking has led to debates among economists, business experts, and the public about the future of cash. Recent studies states show cashless transaction volumes will increase by over 80% to 1.9 trillion by 2025 and that digital payments per person will triple by 2030.
The Move to Cashless Societies
The evolution of money as a payment method goes back to 5th century B.C. where what we know as coins today were first used. This transition from the old form of payment through bartering to the use of a universal payment method was industrialised in the ancient European continent in a region called Lydia where coinage manufacturing (minting) first took place.
Corporate Governance Digitization Strategy
Good governance encompasses the processes, practices, and policies that form the cornerstone of companies enabling leaders to responsibly manage their companies. Consequently, technology is mission-critical and crucial to the survival of a business.
The Role of Technology in Enhancing Corporate Governance
With technology playing an important role in almost every aspect in the corporate life, one may question how it could help in enhancing corporate governance.
20 years on: 9/11, Lone Wolves, and the threat of “New Threat-ism”
The attacks of 9/11 ‘changed everything’ for terrorism research – or, so at least the story goes. Brian Jenkins of the RAND corporation famously captured the field’s zeitgeist with a rephrase of an earlier version of his work, stating the ‘new type of terrorists’ “want a lot of people watching, and a lot of people dead” (own emphasis).
Can technology play a bigger role in enhancing CSR?
Information technology (IT) is an effective enabler for all sorts of business strategies, so it comes as no surprise that IT is useful for implementing a firm’s CSR initiative. There are many technological practices available that are targeted at improving the impact of CSR. Technology remains the basic driver of societal development, but growing social expectations place new demands on technology developers of responsible and sustainable technologies that could adequately support the solution of social issues in modern society. Technology can help businesses to adopt a more coherent and integrated reporting framework. Through technology, companies are better placed to include detailed data on their supply chains and regional operations, providing a more comprehensive picture of their corporate sustainability and compliance. Consequently, technology allows businesses to explore and benefit from the interconnections between organizational strategy, governance, and economic performance. For example, Google is using its technology to tackle education inequality worldwide. The company has supported the creation of an open-source platform that translates books into local languages spoken in smaller communities around the world (Rico). Therefore, investors want to be associated with companies that have a long-term strategy to sustainably operate and maintain harmonious relationships with their stakeholders. There is a huge potential for technology in strategizing, planning, managing, and reporting CSR programs. It has the potential to impose great impact. For companies looking to break away from the traditional way of doing and managing CSR, technology is regarded as a game-changer in the long run. These plans and strategies have the rationale for choosing the causes to support, beneficiaries, and locations to focus on and modalities of monitoring and reporting based on their previous learning and data analytics. Technology could play a bigger role in enhancing CSR since tech platforms can bring greater transparency by bringing all the relevant stakeholders on one plane. Technology can help in prioritizing CSR expenditure by aligning them with the needs on the ground and helping choose the right partners at the planning stage. Additionally, CSR strong planning is a very important step that can be done by introducing various tech platforms. Tech based monitoring of CSR programs provides eyes on the ground and direct access to beneficiaries which paper-based monitoring cannot. CSR and Innovation are the foundation of business competencies. These two elements help companies to create value and new ways of operations that may be more efficient in resource utilization and will benefit the company in the long term. References: John Riccio, How big tech is giving back to society, https://www.pwc.com.au/digitalpulse/tech-philanthropy-industry-giving-back-society.html. María I. González-Ramos* , Mario J. Donate , Fátima Guadamillas, “Technological Posture And Corporate Social Responsibility: Effects On Innovation Performance”, http://www.eemj.icpm.tuiasi.ro/pdfs/vol13/no10/Full/9_665_Gonzalez-Ramos_14.pdf. Goodera, “Technology as a game-changer for CSR”, https://goodera.com/blog/csr/technology-as-a-game-changer-for-csr/. Author Fabara, Carolina
How Technology is Helping ESG Rating
With the help of software developed by a number of tech companies like INTELEX, Greenstone, Accuvio and Navex, companies can now easily manage their compliance with different ESG frameworks. These play a crucial role particularly since there are more than 400 ESG metric.
Role of Tech Companies in Managing Corporate Social Responsibility
One of the positive roles Tech companies can play in enhancing Corporate Social Responsibility is through providing different tech solutions to help business, companies and multinationals measure CSR related metrics. Tech companies developed software to help manage both, internal and external, Environmental, Social and Governance reporting.
Tech Companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility: a Voluntary Practice or a Legal Obligation
Traditionally, Corporate Social Responsibility has taken the form of self-regulation expressed in initiatives or strategies undertaken by the organization depending on its goals. For instance, technology companies have proven that they are the ones that connect those in unserved and underserved populations across the globe.
Book Review: Corporate Social Responsibility and Law in Africa
The book titled Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Law in Africa, is a timely contribution to literature in this era, with regards to the role of corporate law towards promoting sustainability in Africa. The book is a rich source of knowledge in understanding how CSR can be embedded in the governance of firms and provides a framework to achieve this.
Looking at Individual Interests Beyond Species Conservation in Zoos
Nénette, a fifty-two-year-old orangutan, sits passively in her enclosure at the Ménagerie of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris, France, observing the many visitors who stare back at her through the exhibit window. Born in 1969 in the rainforests of Borneo, she entered a life of captivity at three years old. One of the last orangutans in European zoos to have come directly from the wild, she has attracted popularity over the years as one of the Ménagerie’s biggest animal stars (Bourgeois, 2020).
CSR in Tech Companies
As companies are increasingly fighting to gain portions of the markets they compete in, they actively seek ways to attract more customers. One of the ways companies opted for to attract more customers is through giving back to the communities in which they operate, becoming more culturally sensitive of the cultures they are working with and supporting the environment and small businesses in the markets they operate in.
Board Diversity: The Way Forward
A number of Tech companies are increasingly appointing diverse board members, however, this practice needs to continue and spread among other companies.
Board Diversity & Tech: Example and Benefits
Given the importance of board diversity and the increased social and corporate impact it has, it may not come as a surprise to see the increased inclusion of ethnically and gender diverse directors in big companies. It has been something that many corporations had taken pride of. However, examining how board diversity affected the tech sector is something that requires probing.
Why should we have more inclusive boards of directors?
Diverse board members would bring different insights and crucial technical skills that could further improve the board’s functions.
Board Diversity and Inclusion: A Focus on Current Practices in the Tech Sector
As recent studies show a link between board diversity and corporate social responsibility (Feng et al; 2020), board diversity and inclusion is drawing more attention than ever. In addition to ensuring equality and representation, board diversity comes with a host of benefits for shareholders and stakeholders alike
Technology and Whistleblowing
One of the main ways technology has improved reporting of illicit activities and corporate malpractice is through increasing whistle-blowers’ anonymity.
The Role of Whistleblower in Combatting Financial Crime
Financial crime is one of the most common risks for many companies. Even though the causes of corruption can be diverse, one of the tools used to combat crime is through “whistleblowers”.
‘Ideas in Progress’ Seminar Series
The Think Tank Programme on Human Rights, Family & Gender successfully organized its first ‘Ideas in Progress’ Seminar Series on May 28, 2021. You can now watch the recorded live stream anytime and anywhere on the Global Research Network’s YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIa4zxjvhCM Authors Anand, Amit Lolaksha Nagaveni, Preethi
Evolution of Financial Crime
With the evolution of technology, a new reality has set in for its users as technology enabled economic crime. Cybercriminals began exploring new tech-centered avenues to engage with different forms of financial crime like fraud, money laundering, and corruption.
Why take the emotional labour of other animals seriously?
A guide dog skillfully leads their visually human partner through a city of intriguing distractions and stressors, while a police horse stands firm against a passionate crowd. For both species, these are common occurrences during their work-lives.
Animal Labour: A Social Justice Issue for the 21st Century
What do a cat in the UK Prime Minister’s Cabinet, honeybees who forage, horses who drive a carriage, beavers who build a dam and dogs who detect explosives have in common? At first glance, not much, if you judge by their species. But take a closer look and you will see that they work, whether for the well-being and subsistence of their own communities or towards the health, wealth and welfare of the multispecies society through the production of goods or the provision of services.
Aquatic Animal Welfare
Although several pieces of research have concluded that aquatic animals are sentient beings, many of them are still being confined, cultivated, and executed by aquaculture companies to satisfy human needs. This reality, comparable to that experienced by land animals that are victims of the farming industry, differs from the latter in the absence of clearly defined welfare standards.
Oral Statement to The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
On the occasion of its 24th session, which was held in virtually from 8 to 26 March 2021, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities held a general discussion on the right of persons with disabilities to work and employment. The general discussion was organized by OHCHR. The purpose of the general discussion was to prepare the elaboration by the Committee of a General Comment on the right of persons with disabilities to work and employment. The aim of the general comment is to provide guidance to States parties to the Convention on the measures they should adopt to ensure full compliance with their obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of persons with disabilities with regard to article 27 of the Convention. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities invited States parties to the CRPD Convention, United Nations entities and specialized agencies, other United Nations human rights mechanisms, non-governmental organizations, organizations of persons with disabilities, and other interested stakeholders to participate in the general discussion. Myself and Preethi Lolaksha Nagaveni are very pleased to share that our joint oral statement on Day 1 Monday, 22 March 2021 to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as part of the general discussion on the right of persons with disabilities to work and employment is now published on the United Nations Human Rights website. Our oral statement can be accessed via https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/GeneralDiscussions.aspx Authors Anand, Amit Lolaksha Nagaveni, Preethi
Addressing animals’ disaster vulnerability: a vital task for law
On the morning of 1 November 1755, a sequence of earthquakes struck Lisbon, Portugal, claiming the lives of approximately 70,000 people. Befalling the city during the European Enlightenment, the catastrophe stimulated a rich dialogue about its underlying cause between two preeminent philosophers of the day: Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
As a refugee in Calais, Coronavirus is the least of my concerns’ – Refugee Camps during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Coronavirus or ‘COVID-19’ amongst other labels, has been referred to as ‘the virus that doesn’t discriminate.’ In reality, certain vulnerable groups in society, particularly refugees, have become more isolated during the pandemic due to a lack of ‘pre-existing conditions such as medical, economic, social, political and racial (Ironstone, 2020; Solnit, 2020).
Interview with Phil Miller
Phil is an investigative journalist and author of Keenie Meenie: The British Mercenaries Who Got Away With War Crimes (Pluto Press, 2020).
Looking back, looking forward
At the end of a year full of grief, lockdowns and home-working, it is time for us to review some of the activities that our newly launched Think Tank-programme on Animals & Biodiversity of the Global Research Network has been involved in over the last few months. In these dark and isolated times, the Think Tank programme sought to bring some light in the form of a vibrant virtual network between animal studies scholars around the world, connecting us in our effort to fight for a more-than-human world of multispecies justice.
Animals v. biodiversity: from tensions to fruitful relations
Things are going well for the Giant Panda. Arguably partly due to its undeniable charisma, the efforts directed at saving this wonderful species from extinction have been particularly elaborate and successful, and its status was recently upgraded from ‘endangered’ to ‘vulnerable’ on the official list of the IUCN. In the many giant panda nature reserves in Eastern Asia, pandas now live in what we could describe as a heaven on earth, having even a panda-version of the dating app Tinder at their disposal, created with the aim to match them with their most suitable panda-partner.
3 billion animals were in the bushfires’ path. Here’s what the royal commission said (and should’ve said) about them
The Black Summer bushfires were devastating for wildlife, with an estimated three billion wild animals killed, injured or displaced. This staggering figure does not include the tens of thousands of farm animals who also perished.
Deconfining Domestic Animals Coexisting with Wild and Liminal Animals in Decolonized Territories
Animals bred for production and experimentation live a hell on earth, of which we may well have a very, very sweetened foretaste. Whereas the year 2019 concluded with the bushfires in Australia, the world awakened in 2020 to a general confinement of the human population due to the spread of a virus made possible by the capture of wild animals for the consumption of their flesh.
Hathras gang-rape case
Brief background of the Hathras rape case: The death of a 19 year-old dalit girl in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, India has once again highlighted the issue of violence against women, particularly dalit women in the country. The young girl succumbed to her injuries on September 29, after she was allegedly gang raped by a group of upper caste men. She belonged to the dalit community which is at the bottom of the India’s rigid caste hierarchy. She sustained serious injuries to her spinal cord because she was also brutally assaulted by the alleged perpetrators. What was even more shocking in this case was how the local administration handled the matter when this incident came to light. On the night of her death, the local police returned to the girl’s village with her body, but instead of handing her over to her mourning family, it is said that her family was pressurised to cremate her body there and then. When the family refused, the police locked the family in their home, and burned her body in a nearby field without the family’s presence citing law and order problem. Preethi Lolaksha Nagaveni, Junior Fellow, writes how caste remains to be the root cause with untouchability being the ugliest form of casteism in India and makes a case for prosecuting the local administration for breach of law in the Hathras case. Source: https://www.firstpost.com/india/hathras-gang-rape-case-law-allows-district-collector-police-officials-to-be-booked-for-destruction-of-evidence-insulting-dead-bodyhathras-gang-rape-case-law-allows-district-collector-police-offic-8873121.html Author Lolaksha Nagaveni, Preethi
Welcome To App World
With almost everything imaginable turned into a mobile application accessible by smartphone users, it’s no surprise that tech companies are constantly innovating and introducing new products and services that cater to the growing demand for life online.
The swarm that we already are: Artificially Intelligent (AI) swarming ‘insect drones’, targeting and international humanitarian law in a posthuman ecology
Over the last fifty-odd years the US Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) has launched programs aiming at emulating and incorporating insect technologies in military technology. The US Army Unmanned Aircrafts Systems Roadmap 2010–2035 has specified insect swarming as a field of development for Unmanned Aviation Systems. While legal scholarship has paid substantial attention to drones, autonomous weapons systems and artificial intelligence (AI), developments based on insect swarming technologies have been largely ignored. This article takes emerging AI swarming technologies in military warfare systems as its starting point and asks about the significance of the swarming insect in and through contemporary International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and warfare. Taking up Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s notions of ‘the swarm’ and the ‘war machine’, and drawing on critical environmental legal scholarship, the article argues that rather than dispersing the human from its central position in the ‘targeting loop’, the increased interest in insects for commercial and warfare purposes is an intensification of transhumanist desires and an acceleration of late capitalism. As a counter-move, and as a contribution to a posthumanist turn in IHL, the article calls for becoming-insect, swarm and minoritarian as an epistemological practice and ontological shift in IHL and its critical scholarship, resulting in a posthumanitarian legal ordering of becoming. Author Arvidsson, Matilda
‘The Suitability of International Arbitration to Private Commercial Space Tourism & Mining’ by Pranav Menon
If we look to the night sky, we can see the vast emptiness of space and parts of the universe that only a few understand. However, for a few private entities space presents something far more important; opportunity.
‘In Terms of Meaning’ by Roswitha Gerlitz (an opera director and writer), on her experience of COVID-19 isolation
End of March 2020. While I settled into the isolation phase, I noticed that the quantity of my underwear, my slips, had shrunk alarmingly during a fortnight. I negated the conundrum, for the phenomenon of things and objects disappearing is a familiar one to everyone, which is the very reason I procrastinated and postponed action.
Talking About Domestic Violence During COVID-19: The Need of the Hour for India
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the lives of everyone in India, but some sections of the society face more risks than others. While the poor and underprivileged are more disproportionately afflicted by the crisis, there is hardly any mention of the pandemic’s negative impact on the lives of women. Following the implementation of a nation-wide lockdown on March 25th, women who are forced to remain inside their homes are at a higher risk of facing domestic violence.
COVID-19’s Dirty Little Secret
As the current health pandemic continues to affect our daily lives as consumers, employees, businesses and investors, one may wonder what its impact has been on financial crime. Has COVID-19 contributed to the increase in financial crime (particularly in the digital sphere)?
Lockdown? Locked Out!
The pandemic we are experiencing now is having an immense effect on how we go about living our daily lives. For us mere mortals, it is something we are learning to adapt to, which is proving difficult at times.
Adopting Change, Adapting to Change
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic we have had to adapt to new ways of living and have been forced to adopt new means of productivity. These means are mainly centered around utilizing technology that has not yet been properly incorporated into work.
The Emergence of AI in Healthcare: Risks, Benefits and Implications
Artificial intelligence (AI) has brought a paradigm shift to healthcare, thanks to the increasing availability of healthcare data and the rapid progress of analytics. Whether it is being used to provide early warning for Coronaviruses, diagnose breast cancer, perform robotic surgeries, or re-innovate drugs, the healthcare ecosystem is experiencing an AI revolution. With the several ways that AI is getting better than humans in detection, diagnosis, prediction and even prognosis evaluation, health insurance companies may soon offer their clients the option of either being treated by a human physician, or AI.
How Technologies Help China to Fight Against the COVID-19
The outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020 has been a major disaster for the world. As demonstrated by measures taken in China, technologies can play an unparalleled role in the management of pandemics, and for the most part, for the better.
Notes on: Louise Glück (1992) The Wild Iris (The Ecco Press).
Louise Glück’s poetry collection “The Wild Iris” arrived to me from a used books shop, dedicated “To Ruthy, with love from Mom, on your 43rd birthday”. When I order used books the traces of their prior lives are often as interesting as are their original texts.
Notes on: Barbara Johnson (2014) “My Monster/My Self” in B. Johnson A Life with Mary Shelley (Stanford University Press)
By Matilda Arvidsson In “My Monster/My Self” Barbara Johnson brings forth some fundamental insights into what it means to be a writing subject: a “self” who authors and authorises a text/being in her own image: this is the monster whose existence is irreversible reminding of its author as well as the impossibility of conflation with the author. While researching the ways in which international law as well as international legal scholarship emerges I’ve found Johnson’s “My Monster/My Self” helpful for mapping questions of authority, authorship, subjectivity and ways in which the “self” is embedded in the laws we study and scholarships we pursue. Author Editorial Team
Notes on: Judith Butler (2005) Giving an Account of Oneself (Fordham University Press)
Judith Butler’s theory of the emergence of the subject as interrelated with its others has been formative to my thinking about what legal subjectivity is and how it comes about.
Anna Grear (2015) “Deconstructing Anthropos: A Critical Legal Reflection on ‘Anthropocentric’ Law and Anthropocene ‘Humanity'” Law & Critique, (26) 225-249
Anna Grear’s article became instrumental in my move to thinking about how critical environmental legal scholarship could infuse new directions for international humanitarian law in the posthuman condition.
Notes on: Anne Orford (2003) Reading Humanitarian Intervention:Human Rights and the Use of Force in International Law (Cambridge University Press)
Anne Orford’s book was the first academic book I read which moved me to tears. While keeping her analysis of the laws and practices of humanitarian intervention, the use of force, and international law more broadly razor sharp, she managed at the same time to tell the story of one of love, motherhood and responsibility-for-the-other
The Controversial Figure of the Whistle-Blower in the Business Sector: the Role of Legal Science
The whistle-blower is a controversial figure who is regarded as either a hero or a traitor. In recent years, the public perception of the whistle-blower has changed and he or she is a more accepted figure. This is the result of the enactment of key legislation as well as the role of the whistle-blowers in uncovering global scandals such as the Panama Papers or Luxleaks.
The Need For Reform Of The 1990 Nigerian Companies Act On Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Practice In Nigeria
In an era of financial crises, widening income disparities, and environmental problems linked to companies operating in developing countries like Nigeria, calls for greater corporate social responsibility (‘CSR’) are increasing rapidly around the world.
COVID-19 through the Lens of International Environmental Law
Over the last few days, numerous assumptions and statements have been made concerning the relation between the coronavirus corvid19, and the Earth cleaning itself. Images have been circulating on social media of an earth that is healing as a result of the shutdown of factories and quarantine.
Conflict in the Middle East
The world is in crisis. The political, social and cultural cohesion of communities around the world are at risk, as global problems such as climate change and overpopulation are accelerating, much less being managed by domestic and international governance regimes. However, the ongoing crisis that stands out is the crisis in the Middle East, especially the US-Iran relationships.
‘Women’s Rights in South Asia’ by Mohammed Subhan Hussain Sheikh
My current research and my work at the moment as a caseworker, centres on women’s rights in South Asia, looking how judicial decision making can improve through viewing cases of human rights abuse from a glocal to global lens.
Financial Technology in the time of COVID-19
In recent history we have experienced multiple health outbreaks (Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-Cov) and Swine Flu (H1N1) that have resulted in devastating loss of lives and livelihoods.