GPG newsletter

September 2021

Table of contents


Read our recent blogs

Over the month of September 2021, GPG published a short series of blogs examining the context and impact of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. Read them here:

Sadness and mounting alarm: some personal reflections on Afghanistan is the first piece of our mini-series. In it, GPG Associate and former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence Sir Bill Jeffrey reflects on the challenges and lessons that arose from decades of foreign policy in the country and wider region.

Global attention on Afghanistan highlights plight of young refugees, in which GPG Project Officer Elizabett Yashneva examines how the young people forced to flee Afghanistan are about to enter a life of displacement which puts them at great risk of exploitation, on the backdrop of a dysfunctional asylum-seeking system.

This blog is also available in Russian: Русская версия доступна здесь

Reflections on Afghanistan: What future awaits international diplomacy? This third part of our blog mini-series is written by GPG’s Head of Programmes Zafran Iqbal who reflects on what the crisis revealed of the state of international diplomacy and what lessons can be drawn by the international community.

Discover our new website
If you’re reading this, you may have noticed – GPG got a brand new website! We are very excited to share this fully refurbished platform with you. We paid close attention to the way its navigation works, as we want it to best display GPG’s global experience and the breath of our projects.

This month, discover one of our five areas of expertise: Politics of anti-modern slavery

It is estimated that 40.3 million people currently live in modern slavery. They are displaced by force or coercion and suffer abuse and violence. Human trafficking threatens not only the individual’s safety, but also the stability of entire regions. Its effects are felt transnationally and reinforce a feedback loop of political and economic instability.  

To help tackle this immense challenge, GPG supports efforts to develop and review legislation tackling human trafficking, as well as produces research and analysis and seeks to build synergies within the affected regions in which we work. 

Explore the area of expertise’s page: find out about our expert Associates supporting us on this topic, including former Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain’s Labour Market Regulatory Authority (2011-2020), and Chairman of the Bahrain National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons (2015-2020) Ausamah Alabsi, UN Special Rapporteur on Eritrea and Dean of the School of Law at the University of Khartoum Dr. Mohammed Abdelsalam Babiker, or Former Secretary General of the National Assembly for Wales (now Senedd) and Chair of the Commission on Devolution in Wales Sir Paul Silk.

Scroll down and explore our diverse case studies, ranging from implementing anti-modern slavery legislation in Honduras to combatting human-trafficking in Sudan.

Finally, discover our range of related resources. You may want to look into our Guide to Parliaments paper, either on the Post-Legislative Scrutiny methodology we apply to our reviews of anti-human trafficking legislation, or on Parliaments and Human Rights. Read the report of our recent project in partnership with Rights LabRUSI, and Waging Peace investigating the impact of Covid–19 on human trafficking in Sudan and the wider Horn of Africa region. Do take a look at our related Insight: why not try this piece by GPG Associate and Former Member of the Scottish Parliament, Lord Jeremy Purvis, on the secondary effects of Covid-19 on women at risk of Human Trafficking?


Successful training and hearing sessions arranged with the Parliament’s Youth and Sports Committee

During September, GPG supported the Iraqi Parliament’s Youth and Sports Committee in arranging three hearing sessions with civil society organisations (CSOs) as part of the oversight parliamentary inquiry investigating the laws regulating youth training and employment in Iraq. The sessions were led by the Committee’s Members of Parliament and identified the main issues relating to youth training and employment, in addition to the recommendations which the CSOs highlighted in the inquiry report.

Moreover, we provided the Youth and Sports Committee’s staff with a training session on how to write an inquiry report, which was given by GPG’s Deputy Director Rhiannon Hollis. Our Iraq team is currently planning a webinar addressing the forthcoming transition to a new Iraqi Parliament in anticipation of the coming elections, which are to take place in October. The webinar’s main goals are to share best practice advice on the transitional process from the UK Parliament as well as to facilitate practical sessions in which the Iraqi Parliament’s transition team could work on strategically planning for the transitional process with the input of the Council of Representatives’ Heads of Departments.


Increased attention to the National Committee to Counter Trafficking in Sudan

Following the upgrade to tier 2 in the US State Department Trafficking in Persons Report that came out during the summer, there has been an increased attention to the work conducted by the NCCT in Sudan. During the last month, the NCCT launched its renewed National Action Plan, highlighting their priorities until 2023 and there has been an increased request from the NCCT for support to develop the baseline of what a National Referral Mechanism would look like in the country. GPG is working closely with the NCCT and is aiming to arrange a study tour for its members to visit other committees to counter trafficking in the region, tasked with coordinating national efforts to tackle trafficking in the country. Details are being finalised and we will be able to share more in the coming Newsletter.


Uzbekistan reaches important milestones for Human Rights

As Uzbekistan recently ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, it is an excellent time to work on the practical side of Human Rights implementation and scrutiny in Uzbekistan. The Presidential Election is a key focus for Parliamentarians at the moment and GPG is continuing to work on building links with CSOs and other stakeholders working in the country to support the development of an improved Human Rights culture. The team is organising a visit to Tashkent to allow in-person project delivery in the coming weeks to meet with stakeholders and provide continuity with our counterparts during and after the elections.