Human trafficking is a lucrative crime with instant results, an offence of grave circumvention of human existentialism and a slap on the global security wall. While confronting human trafficking still remains an unfulfilled obligation of the international community as it is a global problem. However, SAARC has also committed to stamping it out while realizing its causes such as rampant poverty, inaccessible healthcare, gender discrimination, class conflicts, and minority injustices. South Asia is a region that is encountered with challenges of human rights such as prevention of human trafficking in women and children for prostitution, devising legal protection for children and evolving mechanism for combating terrorism. In South Asia, human rights discourse has become more intense in the wake of external castigation of its human rights record. Indeed, many Western governments and human rights watchdog institutions perceive South Asia as a reservoir of multi-dimensional discrimination in every walk of life. SAARC governments are mired in human rights transgressions contrary to their constitutional vision, mandate, and the rule of law, democracy, and good governance. South Asian consciousness against corruption, respect for governance institutions, human dignity, and probity in public and private life have been depleting at a pace that has not been experienced before.
Norberto Bobbio—an Italian philosopher—rightly expressed that the supremacy of human rights in present political and legal discourse as a revolutionary upsetting of the primordial practices in ruminating the primary task of moral philosophy to evolve in the designing of a compendium of duties instead of rights. From Two Tablets of Moses to Cicero’ De officiis including Immanuel Kant’s Sittenlehre which was construed as an edifice of duties raising the question in Kant’s second Critique is not “What are my rights?” but it posed “What should I do?” Therefore, the human rights situations of SAARC region cannot be assessed in total disregard of its historical and regional circumstances, nor can it be analyzed as per the preconceived model, tradition or standard of another region. Therefore, people of South Asia derived their viewpoints on human rights issues from their historical circumstances and practical experiences and formulated relevant policies and laws. However, Article 3 of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (2000):
“Trafficking in Persons’ shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring and receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”
In this context, it is everyday human rights issues that determine the directions in which people are capable of living their lives in South Asia and elsewhere, they are of tremendous significance not only to all of us as individuals but also to us as members of South Asian society. Therefore, everyday human rights issues should be central to our collective social memory and practice just like certain international and domestic human rights events, victories, abuses and personages. The challenge, however, lies in trying to make these everyday issues attractive and newsworthy enough to capture people’s attention. What role can media play in illuminating these everyday human rights issues? Let’s try critically to analyze the questions arising out of the “SAARC Convention on Combating and Prevention of Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution”, the strengthening and enforcing of SAARC Convention on Promotion of the Child Welfare in South Asia and SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism in the light of on-going conceptual deliberations.
Human trafficking comes with a modern visage that derives its contours from antiquity and known as modern day slavery. Human trafficking is resorted by employing fraud, force, and coercion for prostitution, debt bondage, forced labour. Age and gender barriers are irrelevant in human trafficking as it is evident from the trafficked women of all ages, men, young children and teenagers. However, human trafficking is a global issue that has been affecting Global North and Global South countries alike and attained the proportions of organized crime. Human trafficking in women and children for prostitution has become a global trend and an offense that has been mushrooming and affecting almost every nook and corner of the world both as sources of passage or destination country. As per the UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes), victims from at least 127 countries have been recognized, and it is projected that a criminal is exploiting more than 2.4 million people at any given time. The ILO expects that there are 2.4 billion people in the world at any given time involved in forced labour and subjected to exploitation due to human trafficking. Around 800,000 women and children are trafficked every year across international borders out of which 80% are ending in forced prostitution. This projection does not include those trafficked within their own countries or missing children. Human trafficking in women and children for prostitution is a grave violation of human rights and has been regarded as a modern form of slavery. The United Nations projects that the trafficking of women and children for forced prostitution in Asia has victimized more than 30 million people. According to the OECD Reports, the human trafficking industry ranks among the top three highest grossing illegal criminal industries along with illicit drugs and arms. The study shows that over 160 countries across the world are known to be affected by human trafficking. It means that human trafficking is a terrible global reality and statistics adumbrated above would bleed the heart of every right-thinking person.
Thus, human trafficking poses an extreme threat to human rights and human dignity of considerable people in various parts of the world. It stays one of the least understood forms of transnational crime, with significant gaps existing in both the data on the incidence as well as differences in the ability of lawmakers to appropriately address the problem in their respective countries. Human trafficking is a life-threatening violation of human rights because of the involuntary manner in which trafficked victims are entrapped, transported, recruited and subsequently subjected to abuses and exploitation. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Regional Office for South Asia, (UNODC-ROSA) and the UN Women, South Asia signed a Memorandum of Understanding under which they committed to strengthening the present levels of cooperation in dealing with the organized crime of human trafficking in the eight SAARC countries. According to Article 1 of the SAARC Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution, 2002 “trafficking” denotes that the:
“moving, selling or buying women and children for prostitution within and outside a country for monetary or other considerations with or without the consent of the person subjected to trafficking.”
Unfortunately, there is no universal definition of trafficking, and the SAARC domestic laws even now lack a shared understanding of trafficking. Although India has a specific law on trafficking, but it does not define trafficking; it represents “prostitution” to have the usual attributes of trafficking for sexual exploitation. However, to determine the efficacy of criminal justice systems in South Asia and their effectiveness in addressing trafficking, it is essential to compare the standards in South Asia to the UNTOC standards as embodied in the Trafficking Protocol. The Protocol is reasonably comprehensive regarding looking at a variety of strategies to combat cross-border trafficking. Therefore, these gaps have raised several questions which have to be attended such as:
How to identify the administrative weaknesses in the enforcement system of anti-trafficking mechanism on a comparatively footing in South Asia?
Why there is a low number of arrest, prosecutions, and convictions for human trafficking in SAARC jurisdictions?
What are the reasons for insignificant legal integration of human rights, gender and child rights in domestic anti-trafficking laws and policies in SAARC countries?
What is the threshold of repressive state protection, prevention efforts in trafficking prone areas in SAARC jurisdictions?
Human trafficking encompasses recruitment, transfer, transportation, harbouring of persons through the use of duress, force, fraud, or coercion for exploitation. Economic inequalities, social disparities, and politico-cultural conflicts have led to the human mobility within all SAARC jurisdictions and across the borders in South Asia. Globalization has encouraged free movement of capital, technology transfer, expert exchanges, and sex service tours. Socioeconomic dependency, gender disparity, Illiteracy, cultural stereotypes, violence, social stigmatization, and endemic poverty inter-aliasociological deprivation of women and children in power-sharing, non-negotiable situations that have pandered to the emergence and mushrooming of the commodious problem of women trafficking in the entire SAARC region. This alarming spread of sex trafficking has fuelled the spread of HIV infection in South Asia, posing a unique and severe threat to community health, poverty alleviation and other crucial aspects of human development. Although the SAARC Convention on Trafficking in Women and Children has been a significant breakthrough, most of the SAARC countries do not have anti-trafficking legislation or means to protect the victims. Therefore, SAARC countries must make a concerted effort to treat women trafficking victims as “victims” of human rights transgressions in all their anti-trafficking policies and practices.
Abolition of women trafficking is inescapably a long-term process that involves a catena of causes like poverty, education, gender inequality, minority rights, and healthcare along with dismantling the actions of criminal syndicates. By its very nature, women trafficking for prostitution are a surreptitious crime for which adequate and comparable statistical data is rarely available. As of January 2017, 170 nation-states have ratified the Additional Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime which was adopted in 2000 (also known as Palermo Protocol) and India has even ratified it. The Palermo Protocol was the first international legally binding instrument with an agreed definition of human trafficking. However, there is an urgent necessity for greater collaboration between security agencies of South Asian countries to protect the victims. The key challenges to human trafficking in South Asia are porous borders, growing trade links, incoherent approach, lingual hurdles and time-consuming process of identification, verification, coordination, and implementation. Thus, it highlights the need for greater collaboration and assistance to rehabilitate and rescue victims of trafficking. At the same time, the UNODC South Asia must assist SAARC countries to develop comprehensive and sustainable responses to trafficking in persons. Such interventions include the prosecution of perpetrators, protection, and assistance of victims and, most importantly, prevention measures. SAARC jurisdictions countries have to have a unified and integrated action against human trafficking in the spirit of shared responsibility.
Debunking the Sovereignty: From Foucault to Agamben
“Citing the end of Volume I of The History of Sexuality, Agamben notes that for Foucault, the “threshold of modernity” is reached when politics becomes bio-politics—when power exercises control not simply over the bodies of living beings, but, in fact, regulates, monitors, and manufactures the life and life processes of those living beings.” For Agamben, the term politics in the western context is effectively a politics of Sovereignty and consequently, for Agamben, Sovereignty itself is inherently bio-political.
In the latter context, the term bio-politics is not modern rather it is ancient. Here, Agamben comes in disagreement with Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault. Perhaps, this is why, Agamben dedicated his widely cited work “Homo Sacer” to reconcile the bio-political theory of Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault to grasp the decisive moment of the Modernity. In order to reconcile the bio-political theory of Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault, Agamben uses the concept of “Bare Life” or “Sacred Life“.
According to Agamben, Michel Foucault has overlooked the writings of Hannah Arendt, and hence, the gap should be filled. To illustrates his understanding of the modern bio-politics, Agamben imagines the “the concentration camp and the structure of the great totalitarian state of the twentieth century. For Agamben, in the modern times every political space has become a camp that is why he has used the term concentration camp instead of the city state.
Hence, for Agamben, the camp is a place where law is nothing and the existence of beings is reduced to a bare life. Moreover, a camp is place where the sovereign decision acts without any consequence and thus the existence of every man is reduced to a bare life. Thus in his famous work, Agamben aspires the return of the sovereign by rejecting the Foucaultian Methodology. Although both Foucault and Agamben are against the concept of totalitarianism but the only divergence exists in their methodology. But according to several scholars, on one side Agamben is against the concept of totalitarianism but on the other hand he attempts to resurrect it by nullifying his initial argument.
In the latter context, there is a huge difference between Agamben and Foucault when it comes to the question of bio-politics, law, sovereignty, life and law. Hence, the divergence can be understood from the context of ontology, epistemology, metaphysics, politics, methodology and normativity. For instance, unlike Foucault, in his famous work “Homo Sacer” Agamben defines the concept of sovereignty from the Schmittian Standpoint, that is a sovereign means;” he who decides on the exception”. This is why, various experts deemed Agamben as the radical, who is trying to resurrect politics as opposed to Sovereignty.
On the contrary, just like Foucault, Agamben consider the concept of the bare life as the nucleus of the sovereign power. However, on the other hand, Agamben embraces the argument of Carl Schmitt that the concept of “Exception” lies at the heart of the Sovereign Power or Sovereignty.
Hence, when it comes to the Sovereignty and Bare life, it is the inclusion of zoe within the bios only by the means of Zoe’s exclusion. Here Zoe means (Bare Life) while Bios means (Political Life). Moreover, in Agamben’s definition of ‘Sovereignty’ does surrounds institutions rather it defines the abstract and exceptional relationship between the Zoe and Bios. Hence, basically, it is through this particular exceptional and abstract relationship, Agamben attempts to define the context and prevailing dynamics of the Western Politics. In contrast, Agamben defines the context of Sovereignty within the standpoint of the exception, perhaps, here the “exception” resembles the return of “The Sacred” in the Roman law. No doubt, it is a clear fact that “the sacred” in the Roman law serves as a kind of bridge between Aristotle and Modernity.
In the latter Context, it can be said that for Agameben the term sovereignty is not just a social or political phenomenon rather a trans-historical Phenomenon. On the contrary, for Michel Foucault, the term sovereignty is a recent phenomenon, whose origin can be traced to the power of the feudal monarchy during the middle Ages. Nonetheless, the fact should be kept in mind that whether it was in the ancient times or modern day, Sovereignty has played a key role in underlying the Social Contract.
According to the Foucaultian definition, the theory of Sovereignty relies on the subject, whose sole power is to establish the unity of power. More precisely, in the Foucaultian context, the theory of the Sovereignty assumes three ancient elements: First, a subject who must be subjectified, the unity of power must be established, and the legitimacy, that must be respected by all (Subject, unitary power, and the law).
Basically, the latter three elements clearly explains the dynamics of the feudal power during the Middle Ages. Moreover, from the Foucaultian standpoint the concept of discipline and bio-power are essential concepts surrounding term “Sovereignty”.
Another difference between Foucault and Agamben was that Agamben equates the concept of Sovereignty with the state, whereas, Agamben laments the erosion of the modern day State-Sovereignty equivalence. Nonetheless, the fact cannot be denied that Foucault failed to use the historical Schema in order to understand the meaning of sovereignty first from the standpoint of discipline up to the level of the security and the bio-power. For Foucault, discipline within the context of sovereignty only exists in the ancient world, however, in the modern times, it has been replaced by the concept of bio-power and the security. Hence, for Foucault, in the ancient times, the Penopticon can be seen as a great dream of the Sovereignty.
On the other hand, the fact cannot be denied that in the modern times, the concept of sovereignty has entered into the innate symbiosis with various professions ranges from jurists, doctors, scientists, scholars and even priests. It was the famous German Jurist Carl Schmitt, who first grasped the definition of sovereign exception, which is nothing less than the limit concept of the doctrine of the state and the law. Hence, the fact cannot be denied that here the concept of state and sovereignty resembles each other.
Hence, if we put the Agamben’s and Foucaultian definition of sovereignty into context then it becomes clear that the concept of sovereignty in Agamben’s perspective is not united rather it is more historical and continuous. More precisely, in Agamben’s perspective the concept of sovereignty is historical, which can be stretched from the time of Aristotle to the Modern day.
Similarly, for Agamben, the subject of the sovereign power, which is the result of the division of Zoe/bios, have been polluted or corrupted over the course of the centuries. Moreover, during this particular course, the domain of the Zoe was extended to a significant level, whereas, the domain of the bios was diminished by unfolding its actual perspective. As a matter of fact, throughout his writings, Agamben subscribes to the juridico-discursive concept of power, which for Foucault was insufficient for understanding the very concept of the modern bio-politics. In contrast to the above, the fact cannot be denied that through his major contributions, Michel Foucault attempted to project the “entire western reflection on Power“.
The End of the West in Self-annihilation (Intentionality, Directionality and Outcome)
A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.-Definition of Health, Preamble of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Constitution, 1948
For months, many argue that our Covid (C-19) response is a planetary fiasco, whose size is yet to surface with its mounting disproportionate and enduring secondary effects, causing tremendous socio-economic, demographic and cross-generational, political and psychosomatic contractions and convulsions. However, worse than our response is our silence about it.
It is an established fact that the quintessence of Nazism was not Hitler and the circle of darkness around him. It was rather a commonly shared ‘banality of crime’ atmosphere: Benevolent acceptance of ordinary village people living next to Auschwitz, Mauthausen, Dachau that the nation must be ‘purified’ …
The day when questioning stops and silent acceptance (especially among the well informed, well mobilised and educated ones) becomes a ‘new normal’ is a day when fascism walks in a big time. Of course, today we have a diagnosis for it: manufacturing consent through choice architecture. It is done via fear-imprisoned and media infantilised (returned to the pre-Oedipal phase) psychology of the de-socialised and alienated, an atomised one.
There is no political or economic crisis. There is neither energy crisis, nor health, nor environmental crisis. Every crisis is just a deficit of cognitive mind that comes to the same; a moral crisis.
Ecological Globalistan, Political Terroristan, the author
Did we really forget basic teaching of our history: Every time when the power was unchecked, it degenerated into the obscure brutality; ritualising its force with a stamp on or under our skin to visualise and immortalise the twilight of reason?
So, our C-19 response and its widespread synchronicity (of measures and its timing) illustrates – the argument goes – nothing else but a social pathology of hostage crisis: the non-transparent concentration of power, and our overall democracy recession – further bolstering the management of apathy via surveillance and social control systems. All that as lasting consequences of cutbacks, environmental holocaust, deintellectualisation, liberticide, privatisation (or PPP-ization) of key intergovernmental and vital national institutions, ill-aimed globalisation as well as of the fixation on overly allopathic, mandated (not a repurposed, but usually novel expensive and inadequately tested) drugs-centred healthcare, and lack of public data commons. Public health or private wealth? Pandemic or plundermic …
Urban communities of developed countries are especially hit hard. Within these groups, the vulnerable categories like pre- and early- school children, and elderly suffer the most. People there wonder if they are (aggressively) coerced to participate in something they fear from the beginning is a lie. No wonder that the trust in and support to governmental and intergovernmental institutions is rapidly deteriorating.
Ever larger number of citizens do not see the mainstream media (or pop culture celebrities) at service for the population, but as a cartel that follows a special interest. Dialogue and opinion is discouraged and silenced, if not, even sanctioned. Our western, ‘modern’ medicine still falls short of consensus on a fundamental question: Is illness contracted (from outside) or created (conditions within our body). Hence, the faith in western medicine is in a free fall. Compromised generational contract and thinning social consensus are challenging our fabrics like never before in recorded history.
The first real stress-test since the end of the WWII, the United Nations (UN) clearly did not pass. Many feel deeply disappointed with and disfranchised by the universal organisation and its global Agencies for their steady self-marginalisation (and reduction onto self-seeking entities). Is our cohesion irreversibly destroyed?
Early lockdowns, mid-March 2020, were justified by a need to flatten the curve of the ‘sudden’ virus (harmfulness, mortality and transmissibility) impact, since there were not enough hospital beds. In the meantime, the lockdowns were extended and widened, curves not arguably altered. Still, for the past 12 months, there is hardly any new hospital built in the EU although the non-essential medical services, at most cases, were suspended. Neither there was nor is any massive investment into general health prevention. The only visible infrastructure growth is in 5/6G network expansion.
Following a simple ratio that the one’s state of health is genetic expression of life-style choices made, it is no surprise that there are also growing speculations if the lockdown – as the most notorious expression of monofocal perspective and rejection to any scientifically contested, debate-based integrated judgment – is invasion or protection:
- And, if is there any back-to-normal exit from the crisis, or this disaster ‘turned into planetary terror, through global coup d’état’ will be exploited to further something already pre-designed (with a fear, not as a side-effect, but rather as a tool manufactured to gain control). Simply, is all that more related to the biotronics and demographics (IoT and Internet of Bodies) – ‘epsteinisation en masse’, than to health and economics or any common social purpose?
Undeniably, nature of politics also changed: Political parties – main agents of political life of any society – have amorphized from giant membership organisation to fundraising machines. Thus, Le Monde Diplomatique – while examining the possible merger between tech/pharma oligopoly and political monopoly – claimed from a very beginning of this crisis that: “Political decisions have been central in shaping this tragedy — from the destruction of animal habitats, to the asymmetric funding of medical research, to the management of the crisis itself. They will also determine the world into which we emerge into after the worst is over.”
Over the past 30 years, every critical juncture had a similar epilogue: pardon and enhancement for the capital, a burden and suppression for the labour. The C-19 is no exception to it: Ever since early lockdowns of March 2020, the capital flows unhindered while the labour, ideas and humans are under the house arrest. The XXI century frontline is the right to health (incl. body integrity and informed consent) and labour, privacy and other fundamental human rights and liberties. (LMD, IV20)
Is the political, economic or moral triumph of the West still possible past this crisis?
Every crisis since Westphalia until the so-called financial crisis of 2008-09, political West exited in (what was seen as) moral triumph. What is in front of us? If the world is flat, will it become one big pharma Banana Republic – as many fear?
Earth provides enough to satisfy everyone’s needs, but not for a single man’s greed
The rate of profit does not, like rent and wages, rise with the prosperity, and fall with the declension, of the society. On the contrary, it is naturally low in rich, and high in poor countries, and it is always highest in the countries which are going fastest to ruin.
The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith
Still to be precise, the WHO- decreed virus pandemic brought nothing truly new to the already overheated conduct of, and increasingly binarized, world affairs. It only amplified and accelerated what was present for quite some time – a rift between alienated power centres, each on its side of Pacific, and the rest. No wonder that the work on and dispatch of the C-19 -related injection (vaccine) is more an arms race than it is a collaborative humanity plan. Look at its geography and conditionalities.
Would all this be – in its epilogue – about the expansion of (the 4th industrial revolution caused) techno-totalitarian model of government as an alternative to liberal democracy (from one-party democracy to one-party autocracy)? Devolutionary singularisation into techno-feudalism as the highest stage of capitalism? Is now a time to return to the nation-state, a great moment for all dictators-in-waiting to finally build a cult of personality? Hence, will our democracy be electro-magnetised and vaccinated for a greater good (or greedier ‘god’)? Is the decolonisation (and deprivatisation) of global health a failed attempt? Will we (ever) be allowed to exit the year of 2020?
Turning human body into an (purposely unoptimized) operative system that needs constant updates and antivirus programs is a dangerous thought. The entire scientific community considers the attempt to mandate the experimental biological agent of unchecked reproductive toxicity and other side effects (while calling it the C-19 vaccine) as very troubling. Having these calls chiefly advocated and aggressively promoted by the handful of self-interest driven private companies – all accompanied with a contradictory and confusing governmental stance which is siding up with the industry it was supposed to regulate – is highly disturbing. No surprise that ever-larger societal segments perceive it as liberticidal warfare, not an enhancing welfare. The world that for over a century portrayed itself as Kantian is rapidly turning into a dark Hobbesian (immuno-apartheid) place. Is now anarchy just one step away?
One is certain, confronting the long-term interests of stakeholders with the short-term interests of shareholders, the private sector from both sides of Atlantic exercises disproportionate power in the technological share (infrastructure and data). It also largely benefits from the massive public research funds – especially in the fields such as bioinformatics, AI, nanorobotics, or geophysics engineering – while in return paying dismal, negotiable tax if any at all.
Far too often it comes with the nondisclosure agreements, liability outsourcing/ protections and other unilaterally beneficial legal instruments as well as with the close ties between the private sector, intelligence agencies and media.
The same applies to a big Pharma which – through pornography of (decontextualized) numbers over the widening fields of misery – increasingly dictates a non-preventive, monofocal approach to medicine and research, and controls reporting about it – not always in the name of our public health.
Therefore, the above represents the largest underreported (or ignored) threat to our democracy and future societal conduct.
Conclusively, bioinformatics (including the synthetic biology and data-to-genes sequestration for data storage or data mining purpose) – as much as the geoengineering itself – is a dual-use technology. Past its formative age (with a digital infrastructure near completion), it has today a huge weaponization potential for at home and abroad, be it for state or non-state actors.
Consequently and urgently, this necessitates a comprehensive legislation which builds up on the Universal Charter of Human Rights and Nuremberg Code, and rests on its effective enforcement (with the monitoring of compliance mechanisms as set for the IAEA, OPCW, RC-BTWC and the Nagoya protocol), nationally and internationality, and for all actors.
All state authority is derived from the people (XX 2) … All Germans shall have the right to resist any person seeking to abolish this constitutional order, if no other remedy is available. (XX 4)
Civil disobedience as the Constitutional Right
By many accounts, 2020-21 – time of astonishing synchronicity, when distancing became social – will be remembered as the worst period in living memory (since 1939). Some would say; C-19 stopped history, as it locked down our dialogues and atrophied political instincts of masses. All this with too many cases of arbitrary censorship streaming almost in a form of neuro-linguistic programming from the privately owned social platforms. Still, 2020-21 only quarantined and halted us, while in fact it accelerated history. This especially refers to the ‘Old Continent’.
People have the right to know what those in power are doing, especially in times of crisis. Therefore, Europe’s eldest and the most comprehensive multilateral mechanism – Council of Europe, promulgated Convention on Access to Official Documents more than ten years ago in Tromsø, Norway (entering in force on 01 December 2020). This Charter is the first binding international legal instrument to recognise a general right of access to official documents held by public authorities.
As this author noted back in spring 2020: “It is amply clear from the C-19 event that the right to health is an issue for all. The search for a reliable cure for pandemics control is not a matter of private business, but of fundamental individual rights situated on higher levels of sociableness, as embedded in the UN and EU Charters, and being obligatory for each of the UN Specialized Agencies or EU bodies to comply with. (Not a fear-based manufactured giving-in, but the right for informed consent as an inseparable segment of the constitutionally endorsed right to health.)
Even if the vaccine becomes the agreed or preferred option, it must be made available patent-free for all, and locally manufactured. However, binarization of debate onto a pro-and-con vaccine represents a dangerous reductionism and waste of planetary energy critically needed for a holistic and novel approach. There is no silver bullet for the European or world problems. Consequently, there is no solution in one-directional medical research in response to any pandemic, and in a single-blended (or centrally manufactured, hastily introduced) and mandated experimental medication for all. This especially refers to the genoccine. (Dogma is based on a blind belief; science necessitates constant multidimensional exploration. Science, especially a medical one, holds no single or absolute truth: The closest it can get is to the least wrong answer – which must be contested constantly, literally every single day.)
Proportionality of our (current and future) responses in Europe is another key issue. Hence, what presents itself as an imperative is the universal participation through intergovernmental mechanisms and popular control to it. That rule applies for at home and for abroad, as the Union has to comply with (and set example to) it urgently.
Growing particularisms in Brussels quarters, where (on taxpayers’ money and public trust), it is more and more the particular – be it individual, regional, national, lobby-groups driven – interest that prevails over the solid all-European project of our common presence purpose and future. Europe or EU Rope?
Past the Brexit, the Union has to be extra cautious about its chronic democracy-deficit, apparatchik alienation of Brussels, as well as the brewing concerns that the EU without UK becomes yet another greater Germany.
Of Paper Tiger and its Talking Heads
The one-year score (March 2020 – March 2021) of the Union is highly disturbing:
After all, the truth is plain to see; countries with the highly (deregulated and) privatised health sector are the C-19 worst offs (eg. USA) – as measured by the fatalities, overall socio-economic cost (incl. the long-term health prospects, or redistribution and inequalities), damage to the social consensus (safety and security), and the speed of recovery. Countries of the centralised health sector which resides strictly in public hands and is under popular control did and are still making it far better. Those among them that keep high respect for individual rights, liberties and freedoms (eg. Sweden) are by far the best achievers.
How the issues of health will be balanced with the human rights – as these two are not excluding but are complementing each other – is the fundamental issue for the future.
Additionally, how (geno and pheno) data are generated, stored and governed, and ultimately used will be the second defining issue of global public health (and planetary support to or conflict over it) in the coming decades. That very much includes a dubious imposition of exclusionary digital bio surveillance grid that some circles advocate as a presumptive recommendation to restore ‘normalcy’.
All in all, the one-year score (March 2020 – October 2021) is highly disturbing;
Not only the socio-economic one, but every aspects of Western vitality is also vanishing rapidly, making the prospect of triumph of its model (or its demographic relevance) less likely with every passing day. Hight time to accuse the silence?
Beyond the disputes about possible initial intentionality (allegedly inspired by the sectarian, class, demographic, environmental or any other drive), let us close this text by displaying the probable epilogue: An ever-larger number of military strategists see (unfolding of) the C-19 event as a (techno-)biological warfare.
Here comes the powerful reminder that history gives us: decisions to go to war were never based on facts but on perceptions. Therefore, make no mistake; the end game to any further continuation or escalation (of attempt to singularise the biological, chemo-electric and digital, and to centrally control it) is the nuclear holocaust which none of us will escape.
Reducing the human integrity on a bodily space (and freely harvestable biodata) to which (an early capitalism territorial raw grab) business model should apply – is truly diabolic idea. Moreover, it is a suicidal idea – a last outcry before the ultimate self-destruction. (Imperialism, as the highest stage of capitalism, manifests through the Nazification of question of space. As always, an expansion over the limits of physics and society leads to a fast contraction and ultimate death).
Thus, invading human body on the same principle as the colonization of the west followed the age of so-called Grand Discoveries. (Interestingly, then in XV century – almost as now in XXI – Chinese were the first to explore and circumvent, while the western peripheries of than global civilization only brutally followed and accelerated.)
Finally, monetizing this newly acquired space in the absence of expanding anywhere else: Treating human health like a business model and invading unconsented humans through the hijacked medicine. (Actually, what we consider as ‘medicine’ is also a political construct. There is a western medicine – which we falsely label as ‘medicine’. But, over half of this planet follows the Vedic, Chinese, Shaman, and several other traditional medicines in their approach towards life health and nature.)
But to extend the context:
History of (what we, humans, describe as) technology is a story about primordial (survival-driven) fear far too often turned into a long line of violence towards all organic and inorganic systems on our planet. Too many times our technological breakthroughs were linked to destruction (with violence against nature and societies as means to introduce it), instead of being coupled with or supportive to creation. Otherwise, our millenniums-long technological march would have brought us to the Gates of Triumph in self-realisation of human race.
If historically our technological advancements (by its motive and method of introduction) only managed to accelerate frequency and severity of (disharmony and) alienating aggression on this planet, while repeatedly falling short to bring about everlasting self-realization of humans – than this anthropotechnic is based on confrontation (coercive introduction) and not on cooperation (support and inclusion). Then both, its intensity and direction – corrosive, polarizing, disruptive and reductionistic; must be thoroughly re-examined.
No wonder that our technology (or to say: ‘’technology’) is seen by many as the developmental dead end. Cosmos means balance/perfect order, chaos is absence of it.
 The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres is well aware of it: Addressing the Organisation’s General Assembly at the 75th anniversary (September 2020) he admitted: “… people continue to lose trust in political establishments. … widespread protests against inequality, discrimination, corruption and lack of opportunities all over the world – grievances that still need to be addressed, including with a renewed social contract.”
 In fact, in Germany and several other EU member states the number of hospital beds in the intensive care units is even reduced for up to 20% compared to its pre-C-19 capacities. Additional (politically polarising) controversy are millions of euros spent on diagnoses tests which are scientifically contested.
 In the formally neutral and peace-loving Austria – following the provisions of a strict autumn 2020 – spring 2021 lockdown – only the basic supplies shops were opened. However, besides the grocery stores, mobile phone shops and pharmacies, it also included the guns shops, while the schools, theatres, libraries and museums remained closed.
 There is an observable trend that – for the past few decades – our public health has been at first globalized, than centralized, with the ongoing privatization and its monopolization as the final phase.
 The year of 2020 recorded unprecedented planetary contractions and nearly a free-fall recession. Of course, it is misleadingly ascribed to the pandemic instead of being attributed to the C-19-related measures. Among the countries of the G-7 + G-20 group only China had scored growth. Cross-sectoral picture is the same – deep recession. Only the big tech and big pharma scored surpluses in 2020. (World Bank Report 2020)
 The extraordinary measures introduced in spring 2020 were and still are more administrative/political than they are scientific based. That starts with the very definition of pandemic (infection percentage threshold); goes on with the diagnostics tools and protocols as well as the way to proclaim someone infected or ill (PRC tests and number of cycles applied, or medical doctor thorough examination), and finally it culminates with a diagnosis of death (mandatory autopsy or not). Therefore, it is safe to say that the C-19 has – in its manifestation – far more political than the health elements.
 Talks about ‘vax-passports’ falls under the same category. Not only that it is contrary to the ruling of the Council of Europe – conditioning freedom of movement with an exposure of personal medical record is contradicting any notion of Human Rights and every of its Charters. Liberties and freedoms are fundamental inalienable rights, not privileges (to be administratively or arbitrarily taken, given, conditioned or dosed).
 “The pandemic has also reviled how imbalanced the relationship between the public and the private sector has become. In the US, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) invests some$40 billion a year on medical research and has been a key funder of the R&D of C-19 treatments and vaccines. But pharmaceutical companies are under no obligation to make the final product affordable to Americans, whose tax money is subsidising them in the first place. … It was a typical move for Big Pharma. … Even so, US drug prices are the highest in the world. Pharmaceutical companies also act against the public interest by abusing the patient process. … Equally bad deals have been made with Big Tech. In many ways, Silicon Valley is a product of the US government’s investments in the development of high-risk technologies. The National Science Foundation funded the research behind the search algorithm that made Google famous. The US Navy did the same for the GPS technology that Uber depends on. And the Defence Advanced Research Project Agency, part of the Pentagon, backed the development of the Internet, touchscreen technology, Siri, and every other key component in the iPhone. Taxpayers took risks when they invested in these technologies, yet most of the technology companies that have benefited failed to pay their fair share of taxes. Then they have the audacity to fight against regulations that would protect the privacy rights of the public. … the power of AI and other technologies being developed in Silicon Valley, a closer look shows that in these cases, too, it was high-risk public investment that laid the foundations” – states prof. Mazzucato (FAM 99/6/20)
 See, eg. the EU Pandemic Accelerator Act (April 2020) or the July 15th 2020 Suspension of the EU GMO-related legislation (the so-called EU Council adoption of the Commission’s proposal to accelerate clinical trials and the supply of medical product containing the GMOs) – all promulgated speed-track without a prior investigative scientific reports, hearings or debate (as if it is a Capitulation Agreement). These are now submitted to the European Court of Justice for a legality and impartiality judgment. In the same fashion the recently adopted European Democracy Action Plan (EDAP) leaves many ambiguities, while also massively contradicting the European Convention on Human Rights.
 All four belonging to the United Nations system: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Review Conference to the Biological Weapons Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (RC-BTWC), the Nagoya Protocol to the Biological Diversity Convention on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation (NP).
 The US Foreign Corrupt Practice Act of 1977 could be used as a model for the universally binding instrument to internationally prosecute and punish any corporation that pay bribes to foreign officials.
 German Constitution (Art. 20). Similar provisions are encapsulated in most of the national constitutions in Europe and beyond. It rests on a notion that the state and people are bound by the social contract within any given society, and that in case of a breach of confidence, citizenry has an inalienable natural right to disobedience.
 The face covering coupled with distancing hinders our most basic functions of all – since humans are genuinely social animals. Social interaction for us is both a frame and content, an evolutionary constant. Physical distancing which is named a social, cloth ribbon which is named a mask and rnk-messenger appliance which is named a vaccine – all three error in objecto trigger confusions, and spark increasing mistrust and growing disobedience. Eg. it is crucial to differentiate the physical from a social distancing. Physical one is a preventive (punitive or medical) measure while the so-called social distancing is a century-old concept of (empathy charge and) social engineering. To this end, see works of the US sociologists Park, Hall and Bogardus (scale of social distancing), and Simmel’s ‘theory of the stranger’ – Simmelian social geometry (Germany 1908).
 During times of crisis national security arguments are often evoked to deny information to be requested and accessed. However, it is exactly at such times that a timely and trustworthy information from official sources is most needed. Informational transparency in accordance with the principles set out in the Tromsø Convention prior to the C-19 pandemic could have helped to avoid the ‘infodemic’ and a subsequent massive public distrust.
 Analysing the specifications indicated by the manufacturers themselves, the genoccine seems more accurate name for the experimental (thoroughly untested), new, RNK/DNK modified, nanotechnology-based tri-injecting solution that is currently advocated for the C-19. Some critics even reject to call it vaccine, arguing that it is in fact a GMO implant/hacking device or geno-therapy (which needs to be administered periodically, while vaccine is a onetime shot). Such claims are ignored, but not refuted yet.
 See: “World on Autopilot: The UNSC should urgently address C-19”, New Europe Brussels (Bajrektarevic-Agam, 10 APR 20); “Contributing to a Safer, Healthier and Prosperous World”, Diplomat Magazine Hague (Bajrektarevic-Goutali, 12 MAY 20); ”Return of Global Stewardship: the UNSC should urgently address C-19 – addendum” (Bajrektarevic-Agam, 25 May 20), ModernDiplomacy Athens/ Brussels; “Democracy Vaccinated, – The post-Corona epilogue of Sino-American relations”, (Bajrektarevic), L’Europe Unie Intl. Journal, Revue d’études européenne, Paris, France 2020 (15) 2.
 Interestingly one of the very first works on the so-called New Age Normal (and European integration) originates from an unexpected place and unexpected times: A war time Nazi Minister for Economic Affairs and Head of the Reichsbank, Walther Funk, in his 1943 The Economic Face of the New Europe propagated ideas on the creation of a European economic area controlled by the New Germany.
 On December 18th 2020, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted Resolution against glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that encourage modern forms of racism and xenophobia. 60 UN members co-sponsored resolution, while only 2 states casted negative vote. Rather strikingly and disturbingly, Germany refrained from voting in favour (abstained). The UN GA recommends states “to take appropriate concrete measures, including legislative and educational ones, in accordance with international human rights obligations, in order to prevent revisionism in respect of the Second World War and the denial of the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed during the WWII.”
 Soon we are going to retrospect on all what is happening today. What will we conclude? Dr. Robert Malone, inventor of the mRNA vaccine technology, claims the following: “… There’ve been times when as a culture facing major crisis – war, famine, and the like – decisions have been made to cross ethical lines. (Sadly enough, Europeans are rich of such history, rem. aut.) It is convenient in fogs of war to rush on judgement calls where we say that the benefits merit compromising some of our core ethical principles. Invariably, in retrospect we always end up saying that was a grave mistake.”
 Detailed account about the Conflict of interests affecting judges of the European Court of Justice (ECHR) has been produced by the European Center for Law and Justice (May 30th 2021)– claiming that at least 20% of all judges might have had a troubling and long-lasting links with the non-European non-state sector. /see: One year after the report on NGOs and Judges of the ECHR: Overview (eclj.org) /
 While the EU officially insists on anti-Chinese narrative, deeds are telling contrary: Practically all prescribed face masks within the Union are manufactured in and shipped from China. Diagnostic kits for C-19 testing are also largely from China (in many Member states there are – contrary to the clear health regulations – available in pharmacies but without any inscription written in the language of that EU country). This sends disturbing image about inconstancy and inauthenticity of the EU rhetoric, as well as about the inability and incompetence of the Union to re-start production even of the low-tech items such as cloth masks. Finally, the largest and ‘most successful block in history of mankind’ was unable to insist on the existing cheap, safe and effective drugs, or to produce its own medicine related to the C-19. Only one of the (emergency use) approved vaccines in the EU is partially made in the EU (Sweden), but even that one fundamentally borrowed from the external research (Russian virology solutions).
 The European Union summit on Urgent response in May 2020 (May 07th) was hastily allocating billions of tax-payers’ money on the irrationally lionized, single-mandated, yet unseen, future medication – all that in a rather opaque and nontransparent way. However, what finally triggered enormous public outcry and further disfranchising was an euphoric closure of that summit by the Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (unelected Brussels’ top official). By many accounts, her final words told with a delight “Thank you Bill for your leadership” acknowledging and praising a lead role of the non-state actor who is not even European (and who was – not giving but – receiving lavish funds) was an all-time low of the European house and its representatives – ever since the Commission and other institutions of the Union exist.
 Although initially representing the asymmetric workings of the non-state actor, the so-called Sarajevo assassination of 1914 triggered the WWI – a gigantic trans-continental conflict between all major powers of that time (and a rapid demise of many of them, in just few years’ time). This self-destruction lasted for 4 years with all unconventional (biological and chemical) means than at disposal used. What has happened? The non-state actor from Bosnia assaulted the Head of State in-making of the major power (Heir to the Habsbourg Empire). Now comes the most disturbing part: Asymmetric confrontation between the state and non-state actor in one corner of Europe (southeast) triggered a direct armed conflict and the immense bloodshed – but only months later and via spill over from the other corner of Europe. Militarily, the German attack on the Belgian Ardennes (northwest of Europe) marked the beginning of the total destruction – WWI. In summer 1945, Soviets were rushing through Korean peninsula to get a stake in forthcoming occupation of Japan. As a consequence, Americans repeatedly nuked that country’s inland. That much about controllability of (non-)intentionality and about mastering the outcome. Overconfidence (that easily turns into arrogance and ignorance and yet into miscalculation), is another (mass) killer. Just to recall but few history chapters by naming their chief protagonists: Darius III, Hannibal, Napoleon, Hitler, or places such as Điện Biên Phủ.
 For more on the topic see: Fukuyama’s defensive modernization, or author’s definition of anthropotechnique in his ‘Geopolitics of Quantum Buddhism’.
Legal Implications of Sea Level Rise for Small Island States
A new World Bank study examining the potential legal implications of sea-level rise on the maritime and legal rights of Pacific Island nations provides a pathbreaking review of the key legal questions and highlights that some international legal conventions may need to be reconsidered.
The new study, Legal Dimensions of Sea Level Rise: Pacific Perspectives, sets out the latest developments in international law to support policy considerations now underway in the Pacific and around the world. The report assesses how states would defend their existing territories and marine resources in accordance with international law when dealing with rising seas and land loss.
Furthermore, the report considers more existential questions for these countries such as whether statehood could continue if a nation were to become uninhabitable and legal rights and implications for citizen mobility if people are to be relocated.
Global mean sea-level will continue to rise throughout the 21st century due to the effects of climate change. In many areas, this will result in increased coastal flooding, storm surges, cyclones and even land loss. In small Pacific atoll nations, these impacts are expected to be more severe, with entire islands at risk of becoming uninhabitable. Along with the loss of homes and resources, the loss of land to rising seas would also have profound impacts on countries’ legal and maritime rights.
“The impacts of climate change are a global concern, however the loss of territory is a real and clear threat to the very existence of Pacific states, and particularly atoll nations,” said Benoit Bosquet, World Bank Regional Director for Sustainable Development in East Asia and the Pacific. “Such impacts would be unprecedented and create similarly unprecedented legal questions. We hope this work will provide useful analysis for Pacific nations and small island states facing these unique and challenging questions.”
The Pacific region has been a leader in considering policy and legal options in the face of sea-level rise, most recently with the Members of the Pacific Island Forum endorsing the Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones in the Face of Climate Change Related Sea Level Rise in August 2021.
While the report highlights a range of legal and policy tools available to island states, a re-examination of the current paradigms of international law are also suggested. One example is clarifying how territorial and maritime entitlements – including to resources – can be preserved in the face of rising sea levels. Something the Pacific Islands Forum’s recent Declaration on Preserving Maritime Zones has just set out to do.
“As the impacts of climate change are being felt, it is clear that adaptation alone will not be sufficient for small island states such as the Marshall Islands,” said Acting RMI Chief Secretary, Catalino Kijiner. “This work will be helpful in informing government decision-making in the context of rising sea levels, and will help direct how the international community can best provide island and atoll nations with the support we need to address these unprecedented challenges.”
The study, authored by David Freestone and Duygu Cicek, has been developed as part of the World Bank’s work on Building Resilience in Pacific Atoll Island Countries with financing from the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).
The World Bank works in partnership with 12 countries across the Pacific supporting 87 projects totaling US$2.09 billion in commitments in sectors like agriculture, health, education and employment, climate resilience and adaptation, energy, fisheries, rural development, economic policy, macroeconomic management, aviation and transport, telecommunications, and tourism.
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