2008 Policy Journal

2008 Editorial Board
Anastasiya Chumova
Brennan Emerson
Heidi Kinsella
Ruth Ridgeway
Katherine St. Germain
Kevin Shipe

2008 Faculty and Staff Advisors
Daniel Jacoby
Kim Sharp

Articles included in the 2008 Policy Journal (issue #12):

Case Study: Dislocation of Roma and Irish Travellers for the 2012 London Olympic Games

Barbara A. Thomas

The land development for the 2012 London Olympic Park has dislocated hundreds of Roma and Irish Travellers. This study analyzes the positive and negative effects of previous Olympic Games, as well as the historical abuse that the Roma and Irish Travellers have suffered. Under article 25.1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adequate housing is considered a human right. If London’s rhetoric about changing the paradigm of Olympic Games human rights standards is to hold any value, it must first reevaluate its own actions regarding the management of relocating its citizens for the sake of the Olympics.

Plight of the Lao Hmong

Nicole Rose 

The United States government must change current U.S. foreign policy to allow 8,000 Lao Hmong to find refuge in the United States. The Lao- Hmong are be ing threatened with forced repatriation by Thailand, the country where they fled seeking asylum. In early 2007 the Thai government threatened to send the Hmong back to Laos by the end of the year. The Hmong have made claims of the persecution and violence at the hands of the Laotian communist government, where fellow Hmong are still undergoing persecution. They have been denied refuge status in the United States because of new immigration laws written into the USA Patriot Act and the Real ID Act which bar any person having provided material support to a terrorist organization from seeking asylum in the United States. In the 1960s and 70s, during the Vietnam conflict, the Hmong were employed by the Central Intelligence Agency to fight in a secret war, unknown to American citizens and most of the world, against the advancement of communism in Laos. Since the United States pulled out in 1973, the Hmong have been persecuted, hunted and killed in Laos. For many years United States borders were opened to the Hmong, but since the new immigration provisions were made, the Hmong have been excluded. With the end of the year vastly approaching the United States government needs to act quickly to fix the laws barring the Hmong and re-open the borders to a people who once fought alongside the United States military.

Poor Access to Healthcare or Lack Thereof: A Global Issue in a Local Setting

Ebou M A Cham

There are numerous global health issues around the world. The intent of this paper is to explore and analyze a specific global health issue in the form of poor access to healthcare services and its costs in Kiang West, a provincial district in The Gambia. In developing the analyses, important course concepts such as Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs), gender and culture, poverty, illiteracy, and the environment are incorporated as key health seeking and health access determinants. A brief overview of The Gambia is included to set the stage for the discussion of the nature of health access in Kiang West. Two intervention programs to help increase health access and boost health seeking behaviors are also discussed. The first is to eradicate SAPs in order to redefine annual national spending in favor of major development sectors such as health, transportation, and education. The second is to continue an already existing poverty reduction program called Fight Against Social and economic Exclusion (FASE) in all of rural Gambia.

Speak Truth to Power: Diversity in Media Ownership

Jacob Galfano

In December 2007, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed a proposal to remove a 35-year-old ban on cross-ownership, which allows a single corporation to own more media in the same market. But, are owners of media representative of the audiences they serve? Why is diverse media ownership important? A sustainable policy action is needed to increase and oversee diversity in currently inequitable ownership rates. I recommend a public/peer component of current media policy legislation to strengthen access to media ownership.

Afghanistan: Restoring Girls’ Right to Education

Yvonne Dingman

Since the mid-1990s, the Taliban regime that controlled Afghanistan violated girls’ human rights by restricting them from receiving an education. In 2001, Afghan girls’ rights to education were restored after the United States’ military led action that removed the Taliban from power. The new Afghan government reestablished girls’ right to education, but it has been impeded by attacks on teachers, students and schools. These attacks are being perpetrated by Taliban forces, regional warlords and local criminals. Since power inequities are reinforced through politics, religion, culture and economics, an interdisciplinary approach to intervention is necessary since the dynamics of the Afghanistan situation are not solely one-dimensional. It is recommended that the United States provide political, economic, and military support to the Afghan government to ensure that Afghan girls retain their human rights to education.

Race, Gender and Culture: My Personal Nursing Experience

Ebou M A Cham

This paper explores how race, class and gender intersect with ongoing practices of domination and oppression in the nursing profession, as highlighted by the author’s professional experience as an immigrant male nurse of color. Recommendations are also offered on how these issues could be constructively and openly handled to foster a socially, racially, and culturally harmonious health care environment.

Impact of Statelessness in Thailand: Universal Human Rights Violations in Relation to U.S. Foreign Policy

Charlotte Becker

Human trafficking is a global phenomenon that affects hundreds of thousands of people each year. The reality is that poverty stricken women and children bear the brunt of this severe human rights violation due to the lack of resources acting as safeguards for their protection. Focusing on one of the most disenfranchised populations in Thailand, the Hill Tribe community is even further subjected to harm as a vast majority are not formally recognized as Thai citizens. Based on the United States platform of spreading democracy, U.S. foreign policymakers are being asked to aid the Hill Tribe people in their acquirement of statehood. The ability to successfully combine a strategy of implementing rightful citizenship along with enforcement of international trafficking laws, remains reliant on global efforts from all countries that deem the eradication of human trafficking as an important policy issue.

Child Soldiers in Chad: A Policy Window for Change

Mary Jonasen

The post-Cold War period has experienced a rise in the use of child soldiers fighting in conflicts worldwide to numbers exceeding a quarter of a million. This research focuses on child soldiers in Chad, and how the worsening regional instability in Central and Western Africa forces more children into both Internally Displaced Persons camps and refugee camps, creating a vicious cycle of violence in which children are vulnerable to being used as soldiers. Although most of the countries perpetuating this practice have signed and ratified the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, children continue to be caught up in soldiering while protection of their human rights remains largely unenforceable. The current debate involving the age of accountability and appropriate punitive measures draws attention away from potential solutions. The policy proposals made in this paper support incentives to create compliance within the Chadian government, but the most significant proposal favors a long-term solution of regional grass roots peace building and human rights education.

Implementation of the Clean Development Mechanism in India

Laura Fricke

This paper examines the implementation of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in India, a developing country that is also one of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases. India has been one of the top participants in the CDM, attracting investments with its potential for large and cheap emissions reductions, good institutional capacity and general investment climate. The CDM has been criticized for relying too heavily on projects which reduce greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide, although this situation appears to be improving in India. Additional challenges, costs and policy implications are discussed briefly.

Cluster Bombs, Civil Society and the Necessity of Collective Actions

Kathy Hashbarger

During the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict between July 12 and August 14, 2006, Israeli forces dropped thousands of cluster munitions into Lebanon. This paper investigates the humanitarian crisis from the perspective of a particular cluster bomb victim and asks the following questions: Was Israel’s launching of cluster bombs into Lebanon an illegal action that violated both the laws of war and international humanitarian law? And, did that bombing violate the human rights of Hassan Abadi by causing him physical suffering, loss of freedom, and erosion of dignity? This paper also explores the important role of civil society in creating new policy on cluster munitions at national and international levels.

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