Connect with us

News

APEC Health Working Group Statement on COVID-19

Published

on

Reflecting the discussions of the Health Working Group which met at the 1st APEC Senior Officials Meeting, 7-8 February 2020, Putrajaya, Malaysia

We, the member economies of the APEC Health Working Group (HWG), held a special discussion on the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, which has affected many APEC members, as part of our two-day meeting during the first Senior Officials’ Meeting in Malaysia. We express our sincere condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives in this epidemic. We reaffirm the central importance of collaboration at all levels to combat this infectious disease and commit to working together to bring this epidemic under control as fast as possible. Lessons learned from past epidemics like SARS, 2009 H1N1 and Ebola have strengthened and improved the resiliency of the global public health system. These improvements in global health security are credit to the efforts of many people, including those in the health ministries and public health infrastructures of APEC economies.

We, the  APEC Health Working Group, recognize the major efforts and actions undertaken by all affected APEC economies to control the spread of COVID-19, in parallel with continual efforts to learn more about the virus, and defeat this common enemy. This entails working in close collaboration with all stakeholders and public health officials both across the APEC region and worldwide, noting the trans-boundary nature of disease. We appreciate all member economies’ efforts on transparency and recognize the importance of the role played by all APEC member economies to share information to increase the likelihood of success of collaborative efforts to fight the epidemic. The APEC Health Working Group also stresses the importance of working with established mechanisms, such as the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations (2005), which play a key role in supporting the global response.

We, the APEC Health Working Group, also acknowledge that the current epidemic is having other effects on APEC economies, including travel and trade. Major threats to health security can impose an extra burden on health systems and increase costs. Therefore and in line with the HWG’s recent efforts to strengthen our policy-focus and contributions on issues of health and the economy, the APEC Health Working Group sees merit in exchanging views on the public health implications of efforts to respond and control this outbreak using an economic lens. These efforts will be in harmony with the work of other international fora and allow the APEC Health Working Group to amplify regional perspectives without duplicating work done elsewhere. In particular, the APEC Health Working Group will consider best practices that were utilized by APEC member economies during the COVID-19 epidemic to support the health needs of APEC member populations, with this knowledge-exchange aiming to promote resilient health systems and further strengthen rapid emergency response capacities in the APEC region. This work is closely aligned with existing APEC Health Working Group work streams and the APEC Health Working Group will review and discuss at its meeting in August 2020 during the 3rd Senior Officials’ Meeting. At that time, the APEC Health Working Group can consider advice and recommendations it may wish to advance to APEC Ministers and Leaders. The APEC Health Working Group will also consider how the Group’s efforts can encourage economies to take action to further enhance the resilience, scalability and sustainability of health systems to promote healthy economies and people.

Continue Reading
Comments

Human Rights

The pandemic is fuelling slavery and sexual exploitation, UN experts warn

Published

on

UN human rights experts are warning of a direct link between the pandemic, socio-economic vulnerability and the risk of exploitation, including forced labour or being sold, trafficked and sexually exploited. © UNICEF/Noorani

The COVID-19 pandemic has played into the hands of slavers and traffickers and requires stronger government measures to prevent exploitation of vulnerable people, more than 50 independent UN human rights experts said in a statement on Monday. 

There was a direct link between the pandemic, socio-economic vulnerability and the risk of exploitation, they said. Exploitation could mean forced labour, including the worst forms of child labour, or being sold, trafficked and sexually exploited. 

Governments and businesses should recognise how the loss of jobs, income or land could put vulnerable groups at greater risk, such as people already facing discrimination on grounds of sex, race, age, disability, religion, nationality and economic status, and people without basic services such as sanitation and education.

“If workers don’t receive adequate economic, social and other support from governments, without discrimination on grounds of migration and other status, they face serious risk of exploitation, including being subjected to slavery, servitude, forced or bonded labour, or trafficking in persons”, the statement said.

“In this regard, we are concerned that these practices have increased in the past months. In some cases, victims are further subjected to ill-treatment, torture, or even disappearance when they are prevented from informing as to their fate and whereabouts and put outside the protection of the law.”

Signatories to the statement included many Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups –independent experts who report to the UN Human Rights Council – as well as the Board of Trustees of the UN Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, which was set up by the UN General Assembly in 1991. 

Governments must do more to protect victims

They said governments must increase their efforts to identify and protect victims of slavery and trafficking, ensuring their access to essential health services, including reproductive health services, psycho-social counselling, legal assistance, vocational training, income-generating support and remedies without discrimination.

Governments should also try to remove social and employment inequalities that can make some people more at risk of slavery and exploitation, while international solidary was needed to ensure child protection was adequately funded, the human rights experts said.

“We call upon Member States and other entities to address the structural causes that contribute to slavery and exploitation and continue providing support to those offering comprehensive assistance to victims, including through contributions to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year”, they said.

The statement’s first signatory, Tomoya Obokata, the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, plans to hold a webinar on Tuesday to discuss aid for racially discriminated groups subjected to slavery during the global pandemic.

The statement was issued ahead of the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery on 2 December, which marks the day in 1949 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the first Convention to fight human trafficking.

The Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. The experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity. 

Continue Reading

Tech News

Top 3 Effective Strategies for Using Push Notifications

Published

on

A lot of businesses are actively using push marketing to raise their sales, attract more customers, and build a strong brand. Although some marketers achieve their goals, there are many who cannot make push marketing work for them. So, what are the secrets of successful push notifications? What key aspect of push marketing should you be aware of? In this post, we have prepared the top-3 most effective strategies that will make your business fly.

1. A/B Testing

Before sending a notification to a large audience, test its effectiveness with a small group of people. This will help you determine which parts of the notification are working and which should be reconsidered. Start by testing elements and factors such as:

  • Post content – You can measure how well users are responding to your posts by tracking your open or click rate. Your job is to find out what factors lead to an increase in your targets. Test how effective simple URLs, short sentences in a message are, etc. Refer to evadav.com/faq-publisher information for more details.
  • Frequency/timing – To find out how often to send push notifications, try different frequency options (for example, weekly and daily) and choose the one that will result in fewer unsubscriptions. You can also use metrics such as open rate and CTR to find out what time of day or night users are most likely to respond to your posts.
  • Message delivery method – Open rate, click-through rate, bounce rate, and conversion rate – all of these metrics indicate whether your push notifications are successfully engaging users. Use these data to determine which delivery method is most positively treated by your audience.

A/B testing will only be beneficial if you have quality tools at your disposal to measure success. You may not be able to get it right the first time around, but don’t be discouraged. Just keep testing!

2. Personalize Your Messages

To achieve the same level of personalization that messages from friends, family, and colleagues have, you should take into account all the details about the user’s identity. Event settings, language, and lifecycle – considering all these characteristics will help you make your message as personal and targeted as possible. You can go even further and segment users based on their activity on your website or landing page. It’s only when you start sending them notifications that are relevant to their interests, users will feel like you’re really trying to provide them with some value.

3. Avoid Complex Wording: Write Clearer

Interactive notifications will mean little if the content you communicate is of no value to the user. Most companies continue to use notifications as some kind of bait – as a piece of obscure, cryptic content, whose task is to lure the user back into the application. But notifications work more efficiently when they have some other meaning, a message.

A push notification can be considered successful if it:

  • Is written in a laconic form;
  • Conveys something interesting and intriguing to the user;
  • Justifies the user’s choice to perform a target action.

Companies that have worked hard on their push notifications engagement strategy end up gaining user loyalty and engagement, increased traffic, and more page views – metrics that impact readiness for conversion. And all this for a lot less than what you could invest in retargeting tools.

Continue Reading

Human Rights

Human rights breaches in Belarus, Ethiopia, and Algeria

Published

on

A girl stands outside her home in the Tigray Region, Ethiopia. © UNICEF/Tanya Bindra

On Thursday, the European Parliament adopted three resolutions taking stock of the human rights situation in Belarus, Ethiopia, and Algeria.

Human rights violations in Belarus, in particular the murder of Raman Bandarenka.

Parliament condemns in the strongest possible terms the murder of Raman Bandarenka in Belarus, and expresses its condolences to his family and to all families who have lost loved ones as a result of the repression of Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s regime.

Mr Bandarenka, a 31-year-old art teacher, was brutally beaten on the evening of 11 November by a group of plain-clothed men in masks who reportedly had close ties to the regime. Mr Bandarenka was taken into detention where he was subjected to further beatings. He later died as a result of his injuries.

MEPs demand prompt, thorough, and independent investigations into his death and the protest-related deaths of other Belarusian civilians. They reiterate their support for the protesters’ demands for freedom, democracy, dignity, and the right to choose their own destiny, while condemning the ongoing human rights violations, intimidation, and disproportionate use of force by the authorities towards peaceful demonstrators.

The text was adopted by 613 votes in favour, 41 against and 35 abstentions.

The situation in Ethiopia

MEPs are deeply concerned by the current armed conflict between the federal government of Ethiopia and the regional administration of Tigray led by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), including the ongoing violence and allegations of serious breaches of fundamental human rights. They call on both parties to commit to an immediate ceasefire and to settle political differences by democratic means within the framework of the country’s constitution.

The resolution deplores the loss of life and killing of innocent civilians and the extrajudicial killings, regardless of their perpetrators. Parliament implores Ethiopia’s central government and the TPLF to take immediate action to deescalate the conflict and criticises the severe restrictions preventing humanitarian workers from accessing the area.

The text was adopted by 643 votes in favour, 5 against and 46 abstentions.

Human rights abuses in Algeria, in particular the case of journalist Khaled Drareni.

Parliament strongly condemns the escalation of arbitrary and unlawful arrests, detentions, and judicial harassment of journalists, human rights defenders, trade unionists, lawyers, civil society, and peaceful activists in Algeria. It also urges the Algerian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release journalist Mohamed Khaled Drareni and all those detained and charged for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

In August, Mr Drareni – a correspondent for TV5 Monde – was sentenced to three years in prison and fined 50 000 Algerian dinars for filming police attacking demonstrators in Algiers. He was formally charged with ‘inciting an unarmed gathering’ and ‘undermining the integrity of national territory’. In September, his sentence was reduced to two years on appeal.

MEPs reiterate their call on the Algerian authorities to stop all forms of intimidation, criminalisation, or the arbitrary detention of critical voices such as journalists, bloggers and human rights defenders. They insist that appropriate steps be taken to guarantee for all the right to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly. The resolution was adopted by 669 votes in favour, 3 against and 22 abstentions.

Continue Reading

Publications

Latest

Economy57 mins ago

Portugal’s crisis management: “Economic patriotism” should not be tied to ideological beliefs

The economic policy of the Hungarian government has provoked fierce criticism in the last decade, as it deviated from the...

Human Rights3 hours ago

The pandemic is fuelling slavery and sexual exploitation, UN experts warn

The COVID-19 pandemic has played into the hands of slavers and traffickers and requires stronger government measures to prevent exploitation...

Middle East5 hours ago

The Muslim world’s changing dynamics: Pakistan struggles to retain its footing

Increasing strains between Pakistan and its traditional Arab allies, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, is about more than...

Americas7 hours ago

A Dangerous Interregnum

Authors: Zlatko Hadžidedić and Adnan Idrizbegović* Less than two months are left for the transition of government in the United...

Tech News8 hours ago

Top 3 Effective Strategies for Using Push Notifications

A lot of businesses are actively using push marketing to raise their sales, attract more customers, and build a strong...

Americas9 hours ago

“Living On Mountains”: Antecedents of a Dignified and Secure World Order

“One must become accustomed to living on mountains, to seeing the wretched ephemeral chatter of politics and national egotism beneath...

Middle East11 hours ago

Assassination of top Iranian Nuclear Scientist: A big Tragedy

On the sad incident of the assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist, the UN spokesman said, “We urge restraint...

Trending