This article aims to give an account of how refugees' family relations are constructed in exile. It is based on fieldwork conducted among Chechen asylum seekers living in a refugee camp in the Czech Republic in April 2004. It argues that although traditional norms defining women's and men's position in Chechen families have often been transgressed in the actual experiences of men and women in situations of emergency such as war, flight and life in the camp, they remain relatively unchanged at the level of refugees' ideal notions of femininity and masculinity. It also shows that the environment of the refugee camp provides, on the one hand, some opportunities for the increase of women's power in the family and men's involvement in childcare and household duties. But on the other hand, the assistance in the camp is based on an undiversified and gender-blind perception and construction of refugees as passive objects of aid, and latently sustains gendered violence.
April 12, 2005 Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies // Nanyang Technological University
In an effort to make European troops more employable in out-of-area operations, the United States has urged NATO to set goals of having each member nation able to deploy 40 percent of its forces abroad with at least 8 percent of each nation's military actually deployed at any given time. The motivation behind this idea would be to help sustain the ongoing shift from reliance on territorial defenses during the Cold War to expeditionary forces in the post-September 11 era. Even so, this objective may be exceedingly difficult for new NATO members to achieve, given the competing budgetary and political pressures to which they are subjected....
The United States of America finds that neither the classic instruments of criminal law and procedure, nor the framework of the laws of war (including respect for the Geneva Conventions) has been apt to address the terrorist threat. As a result it has introduced new legal concepts, such as "enemy combatant" and "rendition", which were previously unheard of in international law and stand contrary to the basic legal principles that prevail on our continent. Thus, across the world, the United States has progressively woven a clandestine "spider's web" of disappearances, secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers, often encompassing countries notorious for their use of torture. Hundreds of persons have become entrapped in this web, in some cases merely suspected of sympathising with a presumed terrorist organisation....
After the 1946 election, the communists began to lose some of their popularity, and, as the 1948 election approached, their public support began to decline. Not leaving anything to chance, the communists staged a coup d'etat in February 1948 rather than wait for the scheduled May election. To ensure passivity among military units that might object to such unconstitutional methods, Svoboda confined all noncommunist commanders to quarters. Various units under communist command were placed on alert during the coup, but they were not needed and were not used as the legitimate government was ousted and a Moscow-oriented, communist regime was installed....
On August 20, 1968, Warsaw Pact forces--including troops from Bulgaria, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland, and the Soviet Union--invaded Czechoslovakia. Approximately 500,000 troops, mostly from the Soviet Union, poured across the borders in a blitzkrieg-like advance.
December 7, 2004 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed shortly after the end of the Second World War to counter the threat of Soviet invasion of Western Europe. The treaty setting up the alliance was signed in 1949 by 10 Western European nations as well as Canada and the United States. NATO's mandate is to provide a common defence for the European and Atlantic areas, and to address common issues faced by the member countries.
November 30, 2004 Minorities at Risk Project // Center for International Development and Conflict Management // University of Maryland
The Roma has been historically a frequent target of various forms of official and unofficial discrimination and prejudice. The predecessors of today's Roma are believed to have left their Indian homeland during the 9th and 10th centuries, traveled in the middle of the 11th century through Persia, Armenia and small Asia, and in the 14th and 15th crossed the Danube basin to proceed to the Central and Western Europe.
As Communist repression was lifted after the 1989 "velvet revolution", economic and living conditions deteriorated, and popular prejudice against the Roma became more overt, leading to a dramatic increase in racially motivated threats and violence against Roma and other non-ethnic Czechs. Despite some government actions, the number of racially motivated attacks against Roma continues to rise. In addition, a large number of formerly Czechoslovak Roma found themselves stateless after the 1993 split of Czechoslovakia, as the Czech government enacted a new discriminatory citizenship law which classified them as aliens, and denied them voting rights and social benefits
Due to their lack of political cohesion, widespread poverty and low levels of education, Czech Roma have virtually no risk of rebellion and only a very low risk of protest. Their situation, however, remains poor at best. Roma are still among the poorest in the Czech Republic and are subject to several forms of discrimination and popular prejudice. A disjoined Roma political movement has not been able to provide much help. Despite government efforts to improve the status of Roma, the group's situation in the Czech Republic is deteriorating.
Nonetheless, there are several signs of hope. Chief among them are the continuous pressures by the European Union, the Council of Europe, other regional as #well as non-governmental organizations on the Czech government to remove restrictions and adopt new policies to improve the situation of the Czech Roma....
April 27, 2011 International Peace Research Institute
The political transitions in Egypt and Tunisia have rekindled
the interest in how states and societies have moved from authoritarian
regimes to democracy after overthrowing old regimes.
This report responds to that interest by providing a factual
overview of transitions to democracy of nine European states
between 1974 and 1991.
The states covered fall into two geographical regions:
Southern Europe, and Central and Eastern Europe. The context
of transition in each of these regions was different. The transitions
in Southern Europe took place as mainly discrete events
with little influence of one country over another. In contrast,
there was a strong regional dynamic in Central and Eastern
Europe, where all transitions were influenced by Gorbachev’s
policies of perestroika and glasnost and the loosening of the
Soviet Union’s grip on its satellite states....
June 3, 2009 Initiative for Peacebuilding // Partners for Democratic Change International
This Synthesis Report extracts the main findings from seven EU Member State case studies surveyed under
the Capacity-Building and Training Cluster of the Initiative for Peacebuilding (IfP). Case studies were conducted
in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain in order to assess these countries’
capacities to meet EU spending targets for official development assistance (ODA) and to analyse the position of
peacebuilding within national ODA policies. Each case study analysed country-specific ODA policies by focusing
on institutional mechanisms and key actors in managing and implementing ODA; the role and capacity of civil
society organisations in influencing planning, implementation, and evaluation of ODA; and public awareness of
and support for ODA.
This report finds that international development cooperation has received growing attention during the last
decade in all surveyed case-study countries. New EU Member States in particular are striving to adhere to
their international commitments by further refining their ODA policies; enhancing the institutional structures
for managing and implementing ODA; and increasing cooperation with and consultation of civil society
December 10, 2008 International Centre for Migration Policy Development
A Survey and Analysis of Border Management and Border Apprehension Data from 20 States.
With a Special Survey on the Use of Counterfeit Documents.
Based on the contributions of the border services of 20 Central and Eastern European states, the 2006 Yearbook again provides its valuable overview and analysis of irregular migration trends in the region. Over the past ten years the annual Yearbook on Illegal Migration, Human Smuggling and Trafficking in Central and Eastern Europe has come to be regarded as an authoritative source of information on recent border trends and in particular on the phenomena of illegal migration, human smuggling and trafficking. The annual Yearbook covers the most recent trends in illegal migration and human smuggling in the region, including long-term trends in border apprehensions, shifts in source, transit and destination countries, demographic characteristics of irregular migrants, the relationship between legal and illegal border crossings, new developments in the methods of border crossings and document abuse and on removals of irregular migrants. In addition, this year’s edition for the first time features a Special Survey on the use of counterfeit documents for illegal migration purposes. This Survey is based on the contributions received from document specialists or Special Units dealing with document security in the countries under review and provides the first comprehensive overview and analysis of patterns and trends in the use of counterfeit documents for illegal migration purposes in Central and Eastern Europe....
This bulletin contains information about Amnesty International’s main concerns in Europe and
Central Asia between July and December 2007. Not every country in the region is reported on; only
those where there were significant developments in the period covered by the bulletin, or where
Amnesty International (AI) took specific action.
A number of individual country reports have been issued on the concerns featured in this bulletin.
References to these are made under the relevant country entry. In addition, more detailed
information about particular incidents or concerns may be found in Urgent Actions and News
Service Items issued by AI.
This bulletin is published by AI every six months....
U.S. policymakers have made securing and maintaining foreign contributions
to the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq a major priority since the preparation
period for the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. This report
highlights and discusses important changes in financial and personnel contributions
from foreign governments to Iraq since 2003.
To date, foreign donors have pledged an estimated $16.4 billion in grants and
loans for Iraq reconstruction, with most major pledges originating at a major donors'
conference in Madrid, Spain, in October 2003. However, only a small part of the
pledges have been committed or disbursed to the World Bank and United Nations
Development Group Trust Funds for Iraq. The largest non-U.S. pledges of grants
have come from Japan, the European Commission, the United Kingdom, Canada,
South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. The World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund, Japan, and Saudi Arabia have pledged the most loans and export
Currently, 33 countries including the United States have some level of troops
on the ground in Iraq or supporting Iraq operations from nearby locations. Those
forces are working under the rubric of one of several organizations — the
Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I), the NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I); or
the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Currently, the largest
troop contributors, in addition to the United States, are the United Kingdom, Georgia,
Australia, South Korea, and Poland. Some of these key contributors have announced
their intention to reduce or withdraw their forces from Iraq during 2008. The total
number of non-U.S. coalition troop contributions has declined since the early
stabilization efforts, as other countries have withdrawn their contingents or
substantially reduced their size....