Belarus presidential elections

The Belarusian presidential elections on 9 August 2020 saw President Lukashenko re-elected based on official results. However, media organisations have widely reported that the elections were not free or fair. The UK Government has described Mr Lukashenko’s subsequent inauguration as fraudulent. The election result has led to protests and allegations of human rights abuses in the country.

Belarus presidential elections

Human rights concerns in India

For several years, concerns have been raised by international governments and human rights organisations about alleged human rights violations in India. Concerns include the protection of religious minorities in the country. India has disputed the allegations, reiterating its commitment to human rights. This article looks at some of those incidences, as well as concerns raised by human rights organisations.

Human rights concerns in India

Cadet forces: funding and social impact

The cadet forces are voluntary youth organisations that are based on the traditions of the armed forces but are not part of them. The Government says they offer “challenging and enjoyable activities”. They receive some government funding. Independent analysis suggests that they provide benefits both for participants and wider society. An ongoing government scheme aims to increase the number of cadet units in state schools.

Cadet forces: funding and social impact
  • In Focus

    Antarctic Treaty: impact and relevance today

    The Antarctic Treaty is a framework for peaceful coexistence and scientific cooperation in the continent. It was ratified in 1961 by the 12 countries active in Antarctica at the time. 60 years since its ratification, the number of parties to the Antarctic Treaty has increased. However, the challenges facing the continent have also grown, including the threat of climate change to the continent’s ice sheet and the impact of tourism on local flora and fauna.

  • In Focus

    Interim trade partnership agreement with Ghana

    The UK has signed a new interim trade partnership agreement with Ghana, replacing the trade arrangements that were in place when the UK was a member of the European Union. The terms of the interim agreement largely replicate those previous arrangements but with some notable differences. Concerns have been raised over the timing of the interim agreement, the level of scrutiny it has received to date, and other issues including the potential impact on trade with and between other west African nations.

  • In Focus

    Importance of foreign aid programme

    Aid spending is targeted at improving the lives of people around the world. This includes tackling global diseases, humanitarian assistance, eliminating poverty, reducing the impact of climate change and making progress towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. In addition, many believe aid spending improves the global standing of the UK and builds better trade links. The Government has recently been criticised for announcing a reduction in aid spending.

  • In Focus

    Reduction in the UK’s 0.7 percent ODA target

    In the 2020 spending review, the Government cut aid spending from a target of 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) to 0.5%. Ministers said the UK would spend £10 billion on overseas development assistance (ODA) in 2021–22, this compares with £14.5 billion in 2020. The decision has been controversial, with several politicians and aid organisations expressing concerns about the impact of the reduction.

  • In Focus

    Magnitsky sanctions

    ‘Magnitsky’ sanctions target those responsible for human rights violations or corruption. The UK established a global human rights sanctions regime in 2020 and a global anti-corruption sanction regime this year, using powers in the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018.

  • In Focus

    United Nations Peacebuilding Fund

    The United Nations Peacebuilding Fund is a financial instrument used by the United Nations (UN) to intervene or sustain peace in areas either in or at risk of conflict. This article details the financial support given by the UK Government to the fund and to other peacebuilding organisations.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2021: international trade

    Ahead of the Queen’s Speech on 11 May 2021, this In Focus sets out some of the Government’s current trade priorities and summarises policy issues that may be expected to develop over the next parliamentary session. This includes current trade negotiations, parliamentary scrutiny of agreements and the potential need for implementing legislation.

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