What does Brexit mean for the survivors of modern slavery?
EU victims of modern slavery and human trafficking are at serious risk of being harmed by Brexit. From December 2020 EU citizens seeking to remain in the UK will be required to apply and pay a fee to secure the right to stay in the UK.
For many victims the fee will be very difficult to pay, and this could mean they are exposed to further exploitation, with no other way out. This could also increase in the number of people going underground, with no support or protection.
The UK Immigration Minister has said that the only victims of trafficking and modern slavery for whom it is planning to wave the fee, are children in local authority care. But what will happen when they leave care? Will they be forced to return to their home lands where their safety cannot be guaranteed?
All of this points to the government going back on its promises and legislation to be a world leader on the fight against human trafficking.
We must put pressure on the government to take real consideration for what Brexit will mean not just for British citizens, but also for the thousand of people that have been forced here against their will , but now have nowhere else to go. We cannot turn our back on them.
As always I share a number of articles I think are key reads for you this month. If you would like to contribute to this in the future, then please do get in touch.
Trafficked Europeans may have to pay to stay in UK post-Brexit
Campaigners claim ‘hostile environment’ being extended to victims of modern slavery
From the Guardian
Connecting Informal and Formal Peace Talks
From Movements To Mediators
Authored By: Anjali Dayal - Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
Women remain dramatically absent from formal peace processes. As of 2015, women made up only 2 percent of mediators, 5 percent of witnesses and signatories, and 8 percent of negotiators in peace processes, reflecting the often exclusive nature of formal peace processes. However, as has been noted in works on peace processes, women are not simply passive while men attempt to forge a peace. Instead, they are active in the informal, or Track II, processes that accompany the formal, or Track I, negotiations. Given high levels of women’s participation in informal processes, connecting these two tracks in peace negotiations is critical to ensuring inclusion of women’s voices in the process. The responsibility of connecting the two tracks rests ultimately with the mediator.
This brief looks at current practices and advances in mediation, including the role of women mediators and emerging women’s mediation networks, and offers recommendations for better incorporating the informal roles that women play in the formal peace processes. It draws on a Chatham House rules convening hosted by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security in July 2018 to bring together expert mediators, policymakers, peace-process participants, and academics. The meeting was part of the Institute’s ongoing Bridging Theory and Practice series and strove to build connections across expert constituencies in the service of examining women’s involvement in informal peace processes.
Download the report here
5 Ways to Support Today’s Young Women Leaders
From Stephenie Foster
Young women aren’t future women leaders. They are women leaders. Period.
Last month, I participated in two events that drove home that point. First, I spoke at the kick-off event for Gender Balance Consulting, a student-led organization at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School founded to increase its clients’ commitment to gender equality. Second, I moderated a panel on pathways to leadership for young women, cosponsored by the Girls Scouts of the Nation’s Capital, American University’s School of Public Affairs, and my firm, Smash Strategies.
The young women involved in these events are engaged across diverse issues: women’s economic participation, anti-bullying, building leadership. We need their voices in every place where decisions are made. While 56 percent of college students are women, only 40 percent of colleges have women student body presidents. Running for student government is important because those who do are 11 percent more likely to run for political office. (And, forty percent of women currently in Congress were involved in student government.)
We need to value and validate the leadership of these young women and support their work. Here are five ways we can play a role in their success:
“If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.” We all know this mantra. Talent and skill matter but so does seeing someone like you as a diplomat, a scientist, a lawyer, a doctor, fill-in-the-blank. Young women need diverse role models, and we need to be accessible to them and tell our stories. Women can learn from men, but men can’t give advice on navigating the workplace (or the world) as a woman. The panel on young women’s leadership featured such a group of speakers. One panelist discussed her challenges being an African-American woman and a corrections officer, another around being a working mom.
It’s not only about doing the job well, it’s about claiming credit. Women often don’t get the credit or the visibility as experts we deserve. Young women aren’t always encouraged to promote themselves and don’t hear that many women’s public voices. For example, men dominate the Sunday morning talk shows, filling eight of the 10 most frequent guest seats. And, less than 15 percent of the millions of quotes shared every dayare by women and girls. This needs to change. We must encourage young women to write blogs and books, place them as speakers on panels, book them for media appearances, and nominate them for awards. Exposure is a validator.
Networks are important to success. Building a network starts from a young age (the school you attended, your sports team). Knowing a lot of people isn’t enough. We can help young women expand their networks by inviting them to events as our guests, by introducing them to others who can open doors, by giving them feedback on ideas, and by helping them find someone to build their skill set.
Confidence can be learned. In the Confidence Code, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman write about the confidence gap: women don’t consider themselves as ready for promotions as men do, predict they’ll do worse on tests, and overall underestimate their abilities. But, research demonstrates that acting confident can build that skill. Getting in the game makes a difference. We need to give constructive feedback to young women and give them opportunities to practice confident behavior. And, we should complement young women for their smarts and accomplishments, not just their looks.
We need to engage young men. As young women build their leadership portfolio, it’s important to engage other women and men. The work to empower women can’t be seen as a “zero-sum” game; it must expand opportunity for everyone. Men were about 20 percent of the audience at the Wharton School event, which helped to bring men into the conversation about the need for diversity in business leadership. We can encourage young women to engage young men, but we can do so as well.
Young women are coming into their own as leaders — not only of specific projects and companies — but of a culture that brings out the best in everyone. Together we can expand their reach and propel them further and faster. Let’s do it.