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28 April 2017
CPA UK will conduct an Election Assessment Mission (EAM) of the UK General Election across eight constituencies during the period Saturday 3 June – Saturday 10 June 2017. Each of the eight constituencies will be the subject of an election assessment to consider the conduct of the electoral process, and make recommendations for improvement.READ MORE
28 April 2017
Welcome to the summary of the final day of the Modern Slavery Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop. The final day sought to look beyond legislation to implementation with interactive sessions aimed at unpacking what law on modern slavery looks like in action.
Difficulties with implementation
The opening session began with a discussion on the difficulties of implementation of modern slavery legislation. Chaired by Kathryn Bryant of the Walk Free Foundation, the session offered an opportunity for delegates to raise some of the challenges they face in their jurisdictions as well as potential alternative responses to the scourge of modern slavery.
The discussion between delegates raised whether there was an appetite in the Asia-Pacific Region to consolidate existing legislation on modern slavery offences, such as bonded labour and human trafficking, into one overarching legislation. Also discussed was the issue of ‘victim-focussed’ legislation that stands up for the sufferers of modern slavery rather than ‘perpetrator-focussed’.
27 April 2017
Welcome to the summary of Day Two of the Modern Slavery Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop, which focused on the legislative landscape across the region and the specific role of parliamentarians. The workshop remained under Chatham House Rule.
The legislative landscape
The opening session was an opportunity for each delegation to give their perspective on the development of legislation on modern slavery. The delegates from Australia, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, New Zealand and Sri Lanka highlighted some of advancements that have been made in their jurisdiction to tackle modern slavery as well as ongoing challenges.
In small-groups, delegates then explored in greater detail the legislative landscape of their countries as well as the opportunities there are to work towards combating modern slavery. Some of the issues raised included a lack of education of the risks of exploitation for vulnerable individuals; the need for developed nations to take greater responsibility of human trafficking and exploitation; and the inefficiency of implementation of existing laws that can prevent modern slavery. Some suggested solutions included creating awareness raising campaigns; establishing international networks that share best practice; and the strategic development of legislation that is regionally complimentary.
26 April 2017
Today saw the launch of CPA UK’s Modern Slavery Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop with delegates in attendance representing India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand. 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
The Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop began with an introductory session on the term ‘modern slavery’ and how it is recognised in a global context. The session sought to reach consensus on what is meant by the term while recognising the challenges it poses in individual jurisdictions. It was noted that modern slavery is a harsh label, but that this terminology was necessary to reflect the brutality of the crime. Providing some context, delegates also heard about the process Australia was currently undertaking to review modern slavery and how it is legislated against.
25 April 2017
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association at Westminster (CPA UK) welcomes parliamentarians and officials from the Asia-Pacific Region for a workshop on modern slavery, in Westminster.
As part of a two-year multilateral Modern Slavery Project, the workshop will focus specifically on the challenges and opportunities in the Asia-Pacific Region, which records the highest number of victims of modern slavery worldwide with an estimated 30.4 million people.
The workshop – which will consist of delegates from Australia, Bangladesh, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – aims to build networks to support the development of modern slavery legislation in individual jurisdictions, whilst developing groups of informed and empowered parliamentarians and officials with the confidence and ability to take the lead on legislative reform.READ MORE
04 April 2017
CPA UK, in consortium with the UK National Audit Office (NAO) and the UK Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA), will manage and implement a three year project on public financial oversight in the UK Overseas Territories. The project will be delivered through partnering with Internal Auditors, External Auditors and Public Accounts Committees in the Territories.
As part of the project, representatives from ten UKOTs were recently brought together for a Forum on Supporting the Role of Public Accounts Committees & Audit Institutions: Oversight of Public Funds. This was an opportunity for Chairs of Public Accounts Committees and Heads of Internal and External Audit from the UKOTs to share good practice and exchange ideas with regards to public financial management.READ MORE
31 March 2017
Welcome to the summary of the final day of the International Parliamentary Conference on National Security, which was given over to the issue of cybersecurity.
The first session focussed on cyber hacking and explained the different types of hacks and strategies that can be carried out and how to be prevent these from happening. The session also touched on the current challenges authorities face with accessing encrypted platforms such as WhatsApp. There was a demonstration of an ethical hack which highlighted the ease of hacking using accessible apps.
The following session explored the role of the National Cyber Security Centre, which is part of GCHQ, and its mission to make the UK the safest place. As cybercrime overtakes normal crime it was stressed that there is a need to grow by partnering with the private sector so information can be shared more easily and by capability by bringing more talent into the organisation.
31 March 2017
Welcome to the summary of the fourth day if the International Parliamentary Conference on National Security and Cybersecurity.
National Security vs Human Rights
Day 4 of the International Parliamentary Conference (IPC) began with a session looking at the balance between protecting citizens with robust national security measures; while also ensuring civil liberties are enshrined in the law. The session covered the tactics of surveillance and interception as well as international human rights standards and the special powers of courts. The session also offered parliamentarian perspective into the way in which elected representatives create legislation and scrutinise bills that effectively balance protecting citizens whilst maintaining freedom.
Countering Extremism and Community Cohesion
The following session then asked how parliamentarians can promote community cohesion and counter the narrative of violent extremism. With the recent examples of the Westminster attack and the murder of Jo Cox MP, the role for parliamentarians to be leaders that promote unity in their communities is as important as ever. The session also highlighted the use of online tools by terrorist organisations to entice individuals to various causes and the panellists emphasised the importance of educating children at a young age of the dangers online. Finally, the importance of the family was explored in countering extremism and violence. An example was cited of a rival football match in Brazil that had a history of crowd trouble until it employed mothers from the community to act as match stewards.READ MORE
31 March 2017
Day 3 of the International Parliamentary Conference (IPC) on National Security looked into intelligence, peacekeeping, trafficking and the media. The Conference remains under Chatham House Rule.
Intelligence and Peacekeeping
Day 3 of the International Parliamentary Conference (IPC) began with session 7: Scrutinising Security which explored scrutiny and the oversight of national security. The session gave delegates an insight into the work of the UK Intelligence & Security Committee in scrutinising the intelligence community. It went further and looked into the work of the Security Service (MI5) in protecting the public, the role of the Interception of Communications Commissioner in interception and collecting communications data and, the work Europol does with European authorities.
Delegates then participated in a regional themed breakout session (session 8) which allowed them to engage in the security threats faced on different continents.READ MORE
29 March 2017
Day 2 of the International Parliamentary Conference (IPC) on National Security focused on the role of Parliamentarians in tackling the threats to modern day national security. The Conference remains under Chatham House Rule.
National Security: Terrorism, the role of Parliaments and legislations
Day 2 began with the third session of the Conference, an in-depth look into terrorism in the 21st Century and the role of Parliamentarians in National Security. The session began with looking into the definitions of terrorism and how strategies must depend on the nature of the enemy as the nature of terrorism is now one in which rules don’t apply. This was followed by an examination into the role parliamentarians can play in counter-terrorism, highlighting that human rights and good governance are at the core of security and need to be embedded into legislation.READ MORE
28 March 2017
Today saw the launch of the International Parliamentary Conference (IPC) on National Security & Cybersecurity Day at Church House in Westminster. The IPC is a major event hosted each year by the UK branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA UK), which brings together parliamentarians from around the world to explore issues of particular importance.
Introducing this year’s IPC, CPA UK Chief Executive Andrew Tuggey CBE, highlighted that this was the largest to date with over 90 delegates representing 37 countries. Andrew Tuggey CBE went on to pay his respect to the victims of last week’s terrorist attack on Parliament and emphasised to delegates that parliamentary life in Westminster goes on undeterred.
Introduction to National Security
Following the introductory comments, the IPC was formally opened with an address from the Secretary of State for Defence, Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Fallon MP. Sir Michael began with reference to last week’s attack on Westminster and underlined the international nature of the victims, who included citizens from France, the U.S., Romania, South Korea and elsewhere. The Westminster attack, he stated, was not only an attack on individuals, but also an attempt to cause division. He assured delegates, however, that in spite of these efforts “we are more united than ever in defending our way of life”.
23 March 2017
The UK branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA UK) at Westminster will deliver an International Parliamentary Conference to address fundamental issues on national and cybersecurity faced by parliaments across the world.
From 27-31 March, CPA UK will bring together over 90 participants including National Security Ministers, Chairs of National Security Committees and other expert parliamentarians from 36 countries.
Following the tragic events in Westminster on Wednesday 22 March, today the UK Parliament continues business as usual, as does CPA UK. The conference will be an opportunity to explore issues such as defence expenditure, counter-terrorism, and cybersecurity.READ MORE