We then received two pieces written on the theme of digital technologies and the pandemic by our Associate Matthew Taylor, who was Director of Operations and Member Services at the UK Parliament for many years. He was also Head of ICT and a board member before he took up the role of Director of Resources within the Digital service until his retirement in 2016.
In his first blog, he examines the role played by new technologies and telecommunications in the functioning of Parliaments.
In a second part, he considers the future and applicability of virtual parliaments. We encourage our readers to contribute to this interactive blog!
Finally, GPG’s Project Coordination Assistant Mia Marty recalls her impressions of a project she recently contributed to: our training course on building male allyship to support Women’s representation in politics.
GPG Iraq Team to launch a Guide for Parliaments on Youth Parliamentary Engagement
GPG’s Iraq team continues its engagement with local beneficiaries who are ready to resume work and meetings with us across all the Project’s work strands. We are in the process of moving ahead with linking departments with the Council of Representatives Offices. The Health and Environment Committee’s Water Pollution report was included in the agenda of the CoR’s 34th plenary session to be discussed among other draft laws and is yet to be discussed in the coming sessions. Additionally, GPG will meet with the Women Committee to discuss next steps and reach out to women MPs who are interested in attending a Media Skills Development Session. GPG has been working with the Research Department on coming up with a list of potential laws to undergo Post Legislative Scrutiny (PLS). In this context, GPG held the third PLS session with the Research Department staff where they started working on “Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law”. The Training and Development department worked on their own strategic planning and GPG has been requested to provide advice and feedback on the strategic development.
Finally, we are finalising the Guide to Parliaments on Youth Parliamentary Engagement, scheduled to be published by the end of January. Keep an eye out for it!
The team has started the new year following up on the successful November 2020 visit to Khartoum. After the holidays break, together with the National Committee for Combating Human Trafficking (NCCT), the team is planning for the next few months before the end of the financial year, when this project will end. The main goal is to focus on doing as many sessions as technology, time and capacity will allow, with a particular focus from the NCCT on reporting requirements and how to convey the national and state efforts from the country in the upcoming Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report from the US State Department and supporting their efforts to develop awareness raising campaigns on the dangers of trafficking. This will be heavily affected by recent developments concerning Sudan and the world; from the impact of Covid19 to potential victims of trafficking, the Tigray conflict or the removal of Sudan from the U.S. State Sponsors of Terrorism list.
The conflict in Tigray, Ethiopia, is having a severe impact in the border with Sudan. Over 50,000 refugees have fled Tigray region, a big number of them having crossed over to Sudan which creates a concerning human rights situation, as well as an escalation of tension between Ethiopia and Sudan. This is only an indication of how dire the situation is, which is causing people to become vulnerable of human rights offenses, including potential threat of becoming involved in trafficking rings. Together with the pandemic, this puts the country of Sudan in an impossible situation to manage the risks and needs of those coming in, where international humanitarian relief is also struggling to reach.