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  1. Border Wars II thumbnail

    Border Wars II

    • Mark Akkerman
    19 December 2016
    Policy briefing

    This briefing updates the July 2016 report ‘Border Wars: the arms dealers profiting from Europe’s refugee tragedy’ . It shows that the European policy response to the refugee tragedy continues to provide a booming border security market for Europe’s arms and security firms, some of whom are involved in selling arms to the Middle East and North Africa and all of whom encourage European policies focused on keeping refugees out. It’s a win-win for the security corporations, but the cost is a deadly toll for migrants forced into ever more dangerous routes as they flee wars, conflict and oppression.

  2. Land grabbing and land concentration in Europe

    • Sylvia Kay
    04 December 2016
    Policy briefing

    Europe’s young and aspiring farmers will face increasing barriers to entry as land is rapidly concentrated in relatively few big farms. Land is even more unevenly distributed than wealth. A steep decline in Europe’s small farms is underway with damaging consequences for food security, employment, and development.

  3. ‘Found in the Dark’

    • Ernestien Jensema, Nang Pann Ei Kham
    11 October 2016
    Policy briefing

    To address its serious drug use problems, Myanmar should change its drug policy towards a harm reduction approach. Instead of a repressive approach, voluntary and evidence-based treatment and public health services, including harm reduction, should be made available and become generally accepted by enforcement officials and by the community at large.

  4. Paraguay: The cannabis breadbasket of the Southern Cone

    • Guillermo Garat
    03 October 2016
    Policy briefing

    Paraguay is the principal producer of cannabis in South America. Despite its importance as a supplier of cannabis in South America, there has been a surprising absence of serious studies of its impact on its own society, and on the play of offer and demand in neighbouring countries.

  5. The China-Myanmar border at Muse-Ruili/ TNI

    China’s Engagement in Myanmar: From Malacca Dilemma to Transition Dilemma

    18 July 2016
    Policy briefing

    Myanmar’s political transition, which began in 2011, has brought China’s relationship with the country into question. China has made important steps to recognise this, but fundamental difficulties remain, including ongoing ethnic conflict and conflicting visions of development. Given their proximity and troubled histories, it is essential that good relations are developed between the two countries on the basis of equality and mutual respect. This briefing outlines the key histories, developments and strategies in recent Myanmar-China relations.

  6. UNGASS 2016: A Broken or B-r-o-a-d Consensus?

    • David Bewley-Taylor, Martin Jelsma
    05 July 2016
    Policy briefing

    A special session of the General Assembly took place in April revealing a growing divergence in the global drug policy landscape. Difficult negotiations resulted in a disappointing outcome document, perpetuating a siloed approach to drugs at the UN level. There is a clear need to realign international drug policies with the overarching 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, embedding the drugs issue comprehensively within the UN’s three pillars: development, human rights, and peace and security. The UNGASS process has helped to set the stage for more substantial changes in the near future, towards the next UN review in 2019.

  7. Cannabis Regulation and the UN Treaties

    18 April 2016
    Policy briefing

    As jurisdictions enact reforms creating legal access to cannabis for purposes other than exclusively “medical and scientific,” tensions surrounding the existing UN drug treaties and evolving law and practice in Member States continue to grow. How might governments and the UN system address these growing tensions in ways that acknowledge the policy shifts underway and help to modernize the drug treaty regime itself, and thereby reinforce the UN pillars of human rights, development, peace and security, and the rule of law?

  8. Photo credit: Sativa Nusantara Foundation, Indonesia

    Cannabis in Indonesia

    • Dania Putri, Tom Blickman
    15 January 2016
    Policy briefing

    Cannabis use has never posed major problems in Indonesia, yet prohibitionist policies prevail. Despite the high prevalence of cannabis use, local or national discussions on cannabis policies are nearly non-existent, exacerbated by strong anti-drug views and public institutions' failure to design and implement comprehensive policies based on evidence.

  9. No Women, No Peace: Gender Equality, Conflict and Peace in Myanmar

    13 January 2016
    Policy briefing

    There has long been a need for a deeper understanding of the intersections of gender, ethnicity and other identities in peace-building and democratisation. Progress on the rights of women and the participation by women’s organisations in conflict resolution and national reform are vital if sustainable peace and democracy are to be built within the country.

  10. Ayahuasca

    Ayahuasca: From the Amazon to the Global Village

    • Constanza Sánchez, Carlos Bouso
    18 December 2015
    Policy briefing

    Globalisation has facilitated cultural exchange between indigenous traditions and Western practices, which has led to a growing interest in the ritual, religious and therapeutic use of ayahuasca.

  11. Ethnic Politics and the 2015 Elections in Myanmar

    08 September 2015
    Policy briefing

    Myanmar is heading to the polls in November 2015, with an expected shift in power from the old elite to the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD). However it remains unclear whether the new political space created by the transition away from military rule will bring significant legislative power to ethnic nationality-based parties.

  12. Military Confrontation or Political Dialogue

    17 July 2015
    Policy briefing

    At a time of critical political transition in Myanmar, failure to address the root causes of armed conflict and to create an inclusive political process to solve nationality grievances is only likely to have a very detrimental impact on the prospects for peace, democracy and development

  13. Prospects for Treaty Reform and UN Coherence on Drug Policy

    • Martin Jelsma
    01 May 2015
    Policy briefing

    Can UNGASS 2016 realistically initiate a process of modernizing the global drug control system and breathe oxygen into a system risking asphyxiation?

  14. Lawyers subverting the public interest

    • Cecilia Olivet, Pietje Vervest, Pia Eberhardt, Fabian Flues
    15 April 2015
    Policy briefing

    In response to growing public criticism of international investment law, a new lobby group has emerged, EFILA, seeking to influence European officials. This briefing exposes how EFILA represents an attempt by the arbitration industry to fend off much-needed reforms in order to protect a highly lucrative business.

  15. Political Reform and Ethnic Peace in Burma/Myanmar

    08 April 2015
    Policy briefing

    For many citizens a countdown begins to a crucial general election later this year, with warnings of a halt in reform momentum and a more troubling reality behind many of the socio-political changes in the country.

  16. Political brief on the Principles on Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Foodsystems

    • Sylvia Kay
    11 March 2015
    Policy briefing

    The RAI principles do not move further in navigating the slippery terrain of defining ‘responsible’ versus ‘irresponsible’ investment - possibly resulting in them doing more harm than good. It is essential to push back against a regressive use of the principles and monitor what other actors are doing in the name of the principles.

  17. The International Drug Control Regime and Access to Controlled Medicines

    • Christopher Hallam
    28 December 2014
    Policy briefing

    In poor and developing nations pain remains largely uncontrolled. Africa is the least well served continent for access to analgesia.

  18. Cannabis policy reform in Europe

    • Tom Blickman
    21 December 2014
    Policy briefing

    While in the Americas cannabis policy reform is taking off, Europe seems to be lagging behind. At the level of national governments denial of the changing policy landscape and inertia to act upon calls for change reigns. At the local level, however, disenchantment with the current cannabis regime gives rise to new idea.

  19. Time for a Wake-up Call: An historical and ethnographic approach to the Regulation of Plant-based Stimulants

    • Pien Metaal, Anthony Henman
    20 December 2014
    Policy briefing

    The chemically-based frame of reference adopted by the UN Single Convention is mistaken in the culturally loaded and falsely “scientific” manner in which it was applied to different plants.

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